On Thursday, November 15th, the 5th grade students demonstrated their science projects in the auditorium. After reading about William Kamkwamba, a Malawian boy who had designed a windmill out of discarded items in order to provide water and electricity to his home, the students set out to design their own useful machines with discarded materials. Student projects included pet food dispensers, weight-reducing levers, water dispensers for plants, and many more. On Thursday, they presented their finished projects to parents and to fourth grade students.
Project based learning allows students to work with a purpose and to use their skills in real life situations. After the 5th graders measured the area of artificial grass needed, the order was made. The facility team is working hard to install everything. The result already looks clean and beautiful.
4th graders have been working with Jacob Johnston during art class. After a step by step process, the result has been presented in front of the school. These additional touch of color welcomes everybody to SDFAS.
Technology in education allows students to work on multiple skills in one lesson. That’s what Caroline Dumas’ 2nd graders did, using the BookCreator app. Students were able to write, draw, organize what they had learned during their class delegates elections. They could even record their voices to repeat what they had written: a great way to practice oral language and share their work with their parents! Collaboration was also key in this process: many questions were answered by peers on how to create their very own interactive books.
In history, the fourth graders have been learning about the natives of San Diego, the Kumeyaay. They have learned about their skills, government, trade systems, and their management of natural resources. Today they were able to see and experience life as a Kumeyaay native at the Torrey Pines State Park. The park provided docents that took small groups around the reserve to explore the flora and fauna encouraging them to take on an archaeologist perspective regarding those who lived here before us.
Cathleen Anderson & Sylvia Aka
For the last 2 months, Kindergarten students have counted, added and subtracted by programming little robots called “Beebot”. Meanwhile, the 4th graders were learning how to code polygons using “Probot”, an advanced version of the “Beebot”. In addition to the required Geometry skills, they acquired specific coding knowledge: loops, logic and debugging.
All this work led to a meeting between both classes so they could share their new skills during a cooperative lesson. The older students had to program their Probot to trace different polygons. Then, they asked the younger ones to name the figures in French and English, and to point to the correct word among others on a document. A great active pedagogical experience, full of kindness and cooperation to learn better.
Project based teaching and hands-on activities have been one of several practices at SDFAS. This year, a whole school project is dedicated to gardening, planting, and water.
Today, 5th graders worked on measurements in a real situation. They had to calculate the amount of artificial grass that the school will have to order. After measuring all surfaces, planter boxes, and tree circumferences, they came back to their classroom and made the final calculation.
The artificial grass will be ordered during the weeks to come and the area will be ready to welcome students from 1st to 2nd grade, who will then use the planter boxes.
Fourth graders are learning about plant structures and how they aid them in their growth, reproduction, protection, and survival. The students were able to dissect flowers in class today to learn more about the crucial parts for the reproduction process.
With the start of the school year, each child faces doubts about their ability to learn, to interact with his/her classmates or with his/her teacher.
The objective of the Knowledge Market is to place each student in the context of teacher and learner. They evaluate each situation by becoming familiar with the requirements of each situation and more specifically, what is expected of them at school. Finally, every child understands that no one is ignorant, and that everyone can teach someone something.
At the end of May, the 5th grade students traveled to Astrocamp in Idyllwild, CA as part of their science curriculum. They spent three days doing science activities such as building and launching rockets, designing windmills, swinging through the forest on pulleys, and stargazing. On the first night, they had a beautiful view through the telescope of Jupiter and the surface of the moon. The class especially enjoyed the sky coaster, where they had to hoist each other up into the forest canopy with pulleys and let each other swing through the trees. It was an exciting, educational, and fun end to their 5th grade year.
Emmanuel Parello & Julien Moncelet