As always this summer has passed by in a hurry! It was not as crazy busy as last summer, but we have spent some time at school: mostly in our garden, which did not take a summer vacation!
We have had some amazing crops this summer: zucchini, squash, tomatoes, eggplant, banana peppers, radishes, lettuce, and even corn! We are watching our watermelons and can hardly wait to share some with our students when school begins again!
We are already looking forward to an amazing second year at SWS. Letters have been mailed to our incoming students. Supply lists have been posted. Our Parent Orientation is from 5:00-7:00 on August 1st. We look forward to seeing all our families again and even meeting some new ones! Let's go, 2017!!
SWS finished our Christmas celebrations by visiting various businesses in Albertville. We divided into our four house groups, and each House visited several places. We sang Christmas carols and shared Christmas cheer! What a fun experience!
Below is a picture of students in Mrs. Howell's class celebrating with Christmas crackers, an English tradition they learned about during our Christmas around the world exploration
Since it has been too cold on several days to go outside, different classes have made use of indoor activities to help channel that energy! Below you will see Mrs. Luce and Howell's classrooms having fun in the gym and Mrs. Harris's class exploring with geometry and Knex. All of these materials were purchased through Donors Choose grants!
And finally...we celebrated our first 100 days of school at SWS! We are looking forward to the next eighty days as we round out this first year of challenges and celebrations!
One of our main focuses at SWS this year has been to include families as much as possible. We began planning a way to have families join us for Thanksgiving way back at the beginning of the year!
First Baptist Church Albertville graciously allowed us to host this event at their multi-ministry facility, and we served in two shifts. First and second grade families ate together, then third and fourth. Wayne Farms and Mitchell Grocery donated chicken. Arby's donated desserts. Foodland prepared the food (chicken fingers, dressing, green beans, and mashed potatoes). Hutahmaki donated plates. Students worked hard to create table decorations and thank-you posters. Many parents contributed their time and efforts to organize, pick up food, serve, and clean up!
We served around 500 students and families, including parents, grandparents, and special friends. All in all this was a successful, fun, family event!
On Tuesday night SWS opened its doors for our first (and hopefully annual) Monster Math Night! Teachers organized math related games and activities in their classrooms and invited students and parents to school.
Families arrived and had blast! From rolling giant dice, to solving equations to create monster pictures, to making tangram bats, students and parents laughed and learned together. Enjoy the slide show below as we share a few pictures of our fun!
Third and fourth grade students had their turn at the AHS Culinary Department this week. Our focus was on pumpkins and pumpkin treats! We rotated through stations, with the help of parents and culinary students. Students made pumpkin chow, our version of trail mix. They watched as culinary students followed a recipe to make pumpkin mini muffins, learning basic kitchen etiquette. They made and ate rice krispie treats and roasted pumpkin seeds. While waiting on the seeds to cook, they followed a listening activity to make their own jack-o-lanterns.
Although our rice krispie treats didn't set like we expected, students still enjoyed the taste! We had a few thoughts on why they didn't turn out...
All in all, our day was a huge success. We can hardly wait to go back and learn some more about cooking!
Students in Mrs. Howell's and Mrs. Luce' s classes made a delicious spaghetti sauce this week with veggies grown our garden. The children picked basil, oregano, bell peppers, chives, and tomatoes for the sauce. While the noodles were boiling, the veggies were chopped and put into a pan to cook.
As soon as everything was done we all ate a sample. Our spaghetti was a big hit and everyone wished there had been enough for seconds!
First and second grade SWS students visited our AHS culinary department on Monday. Groups of students rotated through different stations, learning about apples in various ways.
The culinary students made apple crisp for our children to sample. We also tasted apples with caramel dip and fruit dip. We listened to storyies about how apples grow and about Johnny Apleseed. We made fried apple pies and graphed favorite kinds of apples. It was a day filled with apple fun!
Later in the week, Mrs. Hulgan's and Spicer's classes invited Mrs. Howell's class to join them for making apple butter. Apples were cut and put into the crock pot. Sugar, cinnamon and cloves were added, and it cooked overnight. The next morning we all sampled it. Apple butter got a big thumb's up!
Students in Mrs. Kelsey Luce's second grade class had a wonderful idea a couple of weeks ago. They wanted to show their support for our local Police Department in some way during the September 11th, fifteen year remembrance.
After talking with a contact at the Douglas Police Department, they decided to raise money for Individual First Aid Kits for police officers. These IFAKs have the potential to save the lives of police officers in emergency situations.
After initiating a vote among the entire SWS student population, students decided on two ways to raise funds. They could bring $1 to wear a hat to school, and they could bring $1 for a turn at a "Pie in the Face" Game. Students could bring as many dollars as they wanted for this game, and each dollar would give the student a turn to play. Students were so excited at the possibility of getting to pie their teachers in the face!
Our faculty at ASP/AES and SWS got in on the fun as well! Teachers could pay ten dollars to wear jeans during the week!
So on Friday students could hardly contain their excitement until 1:30 arrived and they could pie their favorite teacher! Enjoy a few slides below of the event!
By the end of the day, Mrs. Luce figured up the funds and declared we had surpassed our goal of $500! We raised $661! This total will pay for six complete IFAKs and one partial one. Mrs. Luce arranged for two police officers, Officer Matthew Burns and Chief Speight, from the Douglas Police Department to come to the school on Monday, September 12, so we could present them with a check. Our entire SWS population gathered to show our support and appreciation for police and what they do for us!
We had our first SWS Open House Thursday evening. Students brought their families back to school to show off all the wonderful things they have learned and created so far. Two fantastic parent photographers, Mandy Owens and Dena Dendy donated their time to take family portraits. There was a popcorn bar for students to take a bag of popcorn and add their favorite yummy toppings. And all through the school there were excited voices as children, parents, siblings, grandparents, and teachers celebrated the learning of our first few weeks of school. Below are just a few of the many pictures taken!
Then on Friday we had our House reveal. All of SWS made their way to the gym where banners for all four houses were displayed along with balloons. Students joined in music and dance and then celebrated as they learned which houses their teachers were in as well as all other students. Everyone received a bracelet the same color as their house and we ended the scream fest with a giant long conga line! What a way to end a super week!
You never know which one of us is going to post here! We are a team of 12 teachers in grades 1-4 who work together to make learning authentic, engaging, challenging, and lasting!