Newsletter: May 2023

newsletter for May 2023

Recapping May 2023: 🌼

The energy of May 2023 feels like summer is right around the corner (although the weather isn’t quite cooperating!). This month, we squeezed in TWO off-campus fieldtrips (to the San Diego Zoo and the Fleet Science Center), “traveled” to Germany and Sweden, pet some chickens, AND had a special monarch butterfly presentation to round out the year! Here are the highlights – or you can DOWNLOAD + PRINT THE FULL VERSION HERE: [May 2023 Newsletter].

Monthly Highlights:

  • ZOO FIELDTRIP: I was thrilled about the opportunity to put together a last-minute (free!) zoo trip for our pod. The kids had a blast!
  • FLEET SCIENCE CENTER: Our first off-campus trip in May! There was so much to learn, touch, create, and play with at this museum!
  • CHICKENS & BUTTERFLIES: How neat to be able to pet chickens AND learn about the life cycle of a monarch first-hand from some experts. . . all in one month!?

What We’re Up To In Language Arts:

  • ‘FIX-IT WRITING’: We did a big push this month on proofreading. We practiced editing ours and others’ writing for grammar and punctation mistakes!
  • REFLECTIONS: As we had two different fieldtrips this month, we practiced reflection writing and summarizing skills!
  • RAINY DAY VOWELS: Another focus area was the difference between ‘or’ ‘ar’ and ‘er’/’ur’/’ir’. These sounds are tricky to distinguish, which is why we practiced them a lot this month!
  • SWEDISH FAIRY TALES: We read some interesting Swedish fairy tales in class and talked about the parts of a story. In our afternoon session, we also talked about chronological order and organizing our writing!
  • CHARACTERIZATION: This month we also talked about how authors create characters (specifically protagonists & antagonists)!

Math Updates:

  • SHAPES: A fun unit this month was shapes (both 2D & 3D!). We worked on making objects and animals out of our shapes to help us remember their names (Ex: ‘Roblox’ for cube and ‘Dog-o-gon’ for Octogon).
  • PARTS & WHOLE: In our morning session, we talked about parts (shaded areas of shapes or ‘numerators’) vs. whole (all the parts or ‘denominators’). We also practiced coloring in and recognizing the whole-and-part fractions.
  • FRACTIONS: In the afternoon, we jumped off of the part-and-whole practice to create our own fractions and shade accordingly. This also helps us with understanding equal parts!
  • SPATIAL RECOGNITION GAME: A fun game and ‘station’ we played practiced spatial recognition and manipulation. We used Montessori Tessellations to copy and recreate pictures. In the afternoon, we also used smaller shapes to create larger ones – this was super challenging and rewarding!

Science Updates:

  • PLANT EXPERIMENTS: This month we finished our learning about plants with two different experiments: (1) Plastic Bag Experiment: seeing if plants can grow without soil, and (2) Aero Garden Experiment: seeing if plants would grow the same with artificial light instead of sunlight.
  • SEED JOURNALS: We completed weekly Seed Journals and tracked our plants’ growth and discussed our findings!
  • MONARCH BUTTERFLIES; In May we also learned a lot about monarch butterflies and their stages, migration, and life cycles through our special presentation! We were also able to keep three chrysalises in a cage to (hopefully!) watch our butterflies grow!

What We’re Up To In Social Studies:

  • SWEDEN: This month we finished our around-the-world journeys and completed our passports with a final venture to Sweden! We tried authentic Swedish apple cake (Äppelkaka) and colored dala horses to take home!
  • WORLD MAP ACTIVITY: This month we also completed our ’round-up’ World Map Activity reflecting on all the places we’ve learned about and where they’re located!

Other May 2023 Updates:

As we head into June, spirits are high and everyone is looking forward to some sun and summer camps! Here are our “High, Low, Buffalo” moments — ‘High’ is a happy moment, ‘Low’ is a bad moment, and ‘Buffalo’ is a random moment — from May 2023:

  • HIGH: May Days! Many of us enjoyed the dress-up days this month: PJ Day, Crazy Hair, Sports Day, and Wacky Wednesday!
  • LOW: Weather. The weather has been putting a wrench in our plans this month, especially with the end-of-the-year! However, we’re hoping to pivot our party to still have fun (even if it’s not pool fun).
  • BUFFALO: Monarch Facts! We learned that you can tell the difference between a male & female butterfly by their wings! Boys have spots and girls have thicker wing lines! How cool! Now, we’re just hoping that our chrysalises will hatch before the end of school!

Spotlight Student:

Each month we celebrate a student (or students) who are doing exceptional academic work and/or been outstanding in terms of behavior, attitude, or empathy towards others.

This month’s Spotlight Student is Taite! Taite is kind, thoughtful, and playful. She cares so much about her friends and loves to bring her silly self to school every day! Thank you for bringing your chickens to share with us, too!

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You can also download the full May 2023 Newsletter [RIGHT HERE].