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
Elementary students presented their last Show of the Year on Friday, June 8th. 1st to 5th graders worked for a whole quarter to make this event a success. The “Cup song”, dance, opera, rehearsal hours, placement work on the stage and lyrics to learn in French and English … a pleasure for both students and parents.
Thanks to the entire team of teachers and to the parents for their continual support.
On June 7th, the 5th graders re-created a 1776 town council meeting somewhere in the American colonies as the colonists debated whether or not to separate from Great Britain. The students had spent the last several weeks working on persuasive writing pieces, following a reading of excerpts from Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” which argued forcefully for independence in 1776. Some took the position of patriots seeking independence, and other took the role of loyalists faithful to the British crown. After giving opening statements, the students went back and forth, presenting their best arguments in favor or against independence. In the fashion of a British parliamentary gathering, their arguments were often met with spirited cheers or jeers from other colonists attending the meeting. Our 5th grade “colonists” argued over the relative merits of new taxes imposed by the king and parliament, representation in the British parliament, and of the risk of getting involved in a long war with the mother country. Although the town council was divisive, without a clear victor in the debate, all of them presented powerful arguments for their positions.
Every year, the 4th graders go to an overnight field trip. For the last five years, children have gone to Rawhide Ranch, in Bonsall.
This year, Cathleen Anderson and Sophie Nehoua’s students spent three days and two nights at the camp. Children have enjoyed taking care of the animals, learning more about horses, team building, climbing… and many more fun activities.
This experience will stay in their memory and will prepare them for more challenges and discoveries next year.