APRIL News from the Upper Hall

Tapping into Grades Second - Fifth @ CBA OAKS

Mrs. Strohecker's Second Grade:

It's my favorite time of the year! National Park week is coming and we are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service by doing some research on a protected National area and creating a commercial in Touch Cast on the IPad. We have also been creating all kinds of graphs to display and analyze data. Check our new bulletin board in the hall. Of course, we continue to learn new vocabulary and practice all those math and reading skills we have learned throughout the year. I am trying to open their minds to see that math, reading and writing are everywhere. They are life skills, not just school subjects.

The Third Grade Tribune

Having leprechaun problems? Well, third grade can solve the problem of those pesky leprechauns. We spent the month of March designing and creating leprechaun traps to capture those problematic little creatures. We brainstormed ideas, made designs, and then crafted our traps from found objects. Incorporating one type of simple machine into our design helped us use simple machines in a real world situation. Using our writing skills we wrote descriptive paragraphs on how the trap would function. We then wrote commercial scripts and developed storyboards for our leprechaun trap in order to “sell” the traps to the every eager first grade students. We filmed our commercials using the Touch Cast application on our I-pads, and had a screening of all the commercials for the first grade students. The first grade students then decided which trap they would purchase, taking into consideration price, availability, and design. Please check out the different leprechaun trap designs and the 3rd grade bulletin board describing our fantastic project.

Fabulous Fourth Grade!

The Fourth Graders have become mechanical engineers! To begin this STEM project, Fourth Grade defined what a mechanical engineer is: “someone who designs machines or parts of machines and find ways to make machines work better.” The students became mechanical engineers by using the engineering design process to make sails for a boat. We learned about sailboats and their parts, and that mechanical engineers design sails to catch the force of air and help the boats move along the water. In order to make the sails the students investigated the properties of the different materials they would be able to use and manipulate to make our sails. The students then worked independently to design and create their first sail. Once their sail was complete, they tested it by attaching the sail to a raft, blowing a fan on it, and measuring the distance the boat sailed on the track. We discussed what worked well with the sails and what did not. The students then redesigned their sail and tested the new redesigned sail. We then reflected on our designs and created a data table based on our sailing results. Once the class analyzed this data, they all make a third sail based on the materials, shape, and size that made many of our sails successfully move along the track. The students had a great time becoming mechanical engineers!

Fifth Grade is Fantastic!

Welcome to Mrs. Vail's incredible voyage with fifth grade!


After a fun-filled educational trip to New York, we headed back into the classroom to learn about the Revolutionary War from the perspective of the British and the Americans. Using the book, George vs. George: The American Revolution as seen from Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer, the students were split into two groups, one American, the other British. They read, and re-read this colorful, informative and beautifully illustrated history lesson pulling out the perspectives of their side on the events of the time. They created posters, used touchcast to film Persons on the Street interviews with random passersby in “England”, and across the pond “in the Colonies”. Songs from Hamilton that were pertinent to the lessons were played and listened to closely as the students began to realize that what we were learning in class they were singing about in the musical. As one student put it “I didn’t know they were educational!”