The JC Scholar: Early Spring 2019

Minutes and moments from the JC Library Learning Commons

"If I had to choose one, I would rather be a creator than a critic." ~George Couros

How did we get here? There have been so many wonderful events taking place this spring at the JCLLC (Julian Curtiss Library Learning Commons) that it's hard to keep up. In all areas of the JCLLC we encourage your children to be the creator (rather than the critic) and to persevere through challenges and recognize that triumphs sometimes come one step at a time. To take a glimpse of what has been happening in K-5 library, lab, and Makerspace classes see the pictures and info below.

Also, please be on the look out for the next installment of The JC Scholar Newsletter Late Spring Edition which will find it's way into your mailbox by the last day of school. Hint: there is an awesome summer event being planned that you are invited will NOT want to miss it!

JC Kids Love to Read!

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Makerspace Musings

What has your child has been learning in the library, lab, and Makerspace at Julian Curtiss School? Read on.

Kindergarten Exploration in the JC Makerspace

Our youngest students completed a coding unit and are now building math fluency in hands-on centers in the Makerspace. Students rolled up their sleeves and used counting, representing numbers, writing numbers, and counting from a given number other than one, from 1 to 50. Mathematics may not teach us how to add love or subtract hate but it does teach us that there is a solution to every problem.

First Grade Explorations in the Makerspace

Our 1st graders loved coding so much that they continued to utilize an unplugged approach to writing algorithms and recursions using Cubetto (pictured). However, now they are writing book reviews using Seesaw. Book Reviews are a way for us to share our opinions about books that we have read. First graders learned to start with a catchy introduction, name the topic, say their opinion and convince their audience by giving lots of reasons why they loved the book. "Writing is the painting of the voice." ~Voltaire. Whew! Lots of good writing happening here.
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Second Grade Explorations

Our second graders have become digital storytellers. After reading the book, Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by author Philomen Sturges, as a class, students dissected the story elements and created a story map. Identifying the main characters, main idea, problem and solution helped our second graders to determine which parts of the story should be included in their own retellings. Next students were introduced to the platform Scratch Jr. In this app, students are able to utilize coding blocks to recreate the story in their own words.They applied coding concepts of sequencing, events, variables, and even timed their algorithms. These digital stories are an expressive approach to integrating media from across the curriculum and they are fun to watch too.
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Third Grade

Third Grade Explorations

In third grade, students researched animal adaptations. Students considered examples of how organisms change over time in response to the environment by delving into the books, Eye to Eye and What Do You Do With a Tail Like This, by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. After discussing how animals must adapt to their environment to survive, and the adaptations and traits that can be good or bad for survival, students created animal block towers that showcased the animal adaptations.
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Fourth Grade Explorations

In fourth grade students learned that electrical energy can be transferred (moved) and transformed (changed). They also learned electric currents flow from an energy source through a continuous loop back to the source. This is called a circuit. Students explored circuitry in hands on projects, first with Wigglebots (mechanical energy) and then with Paper Circuit Light Sabers (electrical energy). Wigglebots are contraptions that move in unusual ways and leave a mark to trace their paths. They are made from simple materials and set in motion by the vibrating offset motor causing them to bounce, spin, and "walk" in interesting ways. Students also created paper circuit Light Sabers by forming complete circuits using coin cell battery, copper tape, lilypad button board and light emitting diodes (LEDs). Additionally, they explored the concept of polarity (positive and negative charges). Students were asked to capture their persistence throughout these projects to help create a habit of positive self talk and lots of perseverance.
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Fifth Grade Explorations

Can you build a house that withstands a simulated earthquake? Our 5th graders were encouraged to do so in a STEM challenge. This challenge included:

*Building a shake table, a device engineers use to simulate the back and forth shaking of an earthquake

*Designing a building or structure that is stable and sturdy enough to withstand an earthquake

*Testing their building on the shake table to see what happens

If their structure survived, students were challenged to set a new goal for themselves, such as doubling the height of their towers before reattaching it to the shake table.

This hands-on study of seismic energy afforded our fifth graders the opportunity to compare the strength of shapes and materials as well as landmark architecture such as the Tokyo Sky Tree.

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Fly on the Wall Photos: Behind the Scenes at the JC Today Show

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Fun Events

This spring the JCSLLC (Julian Curtiss School Library Learning Commons) hosted several fun events to promote a love of reading. Be on the look out for more to come...
The JC Scholar: Winter 2019

This is the third (3rd) newsletter of the year that gives you a glimpse of what your children are learning in the JCS LLC. If you missed the first two newsletter click on the purple buttons above to see them!

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