Congratulations to all the students, teachers, administrators, and parents who contributed to the fabulous success of the spring musical, Wizard of Oz. Again, we were amazed and awed by the incredible talents that exist at Stephen S. Wise.
After travels and R&R of spring break, students returned to school ready to face the final, busy weeks of school: projects, studies, activities, and testing (just around the corner.)
On April 24, the fifth graders fought the final battle at “Yorktown,” defeated the British, and became free, independent citizens of the United States! This was the field trip to Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen where the students took part in various colonial activities in the reenactment of the Revolutionary War. When we arrived, the students were divided into two groups, the British and the Patriots. In these groups they were given lessons on marching in line, obeying orders, wartime strategies, and how to use the various tools that the soldiers would take with them. Other activities included experiencing the Quartering Act, participating in an unfair trial by the British, learning colonial etiquette, grinding grain into flour, churning butter, making biscuits, playing colonial games, and weaving. The final battle was the culmination of an exciting day of hands-on-learning that made this part of history real and memorable for our fifth graders. The two-hour ride each way was most enjoyable on the luxurious coaches provided by the school.
Reading classes are progressing with the reading of final novels for the year and honing reading skills and strategies. All of the novels involve character study, theme, and setting. In social studies we’re learning about the branches of government and how a bill becomes a law. In math the students are meeting the challenges of fractions, decimals, percents, probability, and geometry.
Fifth graders are completing work on their independent projects using Scratch software. Through this program, the students have been developing their computational thinking skills by creating projects, games, stories, or art. The culmination is the presentation by each student of his/her project to the class. Because this is part of a pilot program with MIT, the researchers are getting input from our students that helps to refine the creative, computational thinking curriculum projects for children all over the world.
In Hebrew, fifth graders are continuing their work in the “Chaverim B’Ivrit” curriculum. In addition, we watched videos about Israel’s Memorial Day, and remembered all the Israeli soldiers who were killed defending the land of Israel. The day after Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, we celebrated Israel’s Independence. The students read stories about Israel, sang Hebrew songs, and discussed (in Hebrew, of course) their feelings and connections to the State of Israel. In Judaic studies, we are focusing on the Amidah prayer. The students are very excited to lead services on Friday, May 4, in the Sanctuary with the entire Stephen Wise Community as the culminating presentation of their studies.