It was quite a last week of school. We continued the classroom tradition of honoring the fifth graders at during our hike in Chautauqua Park and holding a bead ceremony. Later that day, the fifth graders and their parents took part in a moving and heartfelt transition ceremony.
Of course, one of the highlights was the fourth and fifth grade performance of Crusin' USA where we sang and danced to songs from the 1930's to present day.
We also spent an afternoon with our first grade buddies and participated in Fun Day.
The cafeteria was filled with almost eighty heads of individuals who made a difference in history. Each student in the fourth of fifth grade completed a comprehensive research project then over the course of a month sculpted the head of their person out of clay. It was quite a sight!
Where has the year gone. The last two weeks of school were certainly busy. After visiting each classroom to raise awareness about the effects of malaria in Uganda, the students turned their efforts to baking sweets and holding the bake sale. The students raised $355!
Then we got a call from Beth and Jim from Think Humanity and asked if we could help create vitamin packets for children at the Kwangwali Refugee Camp in Uganda. WIth multivitamins donated from Vitamin Angels in large containers, our classroom repacked them into smaller containers for a month's supply of supplements. This will be helpful for children who have low immune systems due to malnutrition. Once the immune system is stronger, they will hopefully be less susceptible to diseases like malaria, typhoid, and other illnesses. We created over 300 packets over two days.
What a week it's been! Hopefully, the stories about what we've been doing each day is coming home. A short synopsis:
Singing with Ernie
The halls have been full of songs from the 1920s to the present day. Each cast has been practicing their parts in Crusin' USA with Ernie. I'm sure you've heard some of the songs during the car ride to and from school.
Dancing with Annalise and Case
Horizons alumnus, Annalise Woller, and now professional dancer and her friend, Case, have been showing the kids how to move their bodies for the dance portions of the performance. The dances range from the salsa to hip-hop.
Math - Investigating Algebra
We started a unit on Algebra, but are using an investigative approach. Through experiments with dripping water and jumping jacks, students gathered data, created tables and graphs, and analyzed these three elements.
Think Humanity - Assisting Refugees in Uganda
The students continued their work for the refugees in Uganda this morning by counting then repackaging donated vitamins from Vitamin Angels into small containers. Beth Heckel, director and founder of the non-profit Think Humanity, tells us that "all vitamins will go to children from the Kyangwali Refugee Camp or children who come to our clinic. I think it will be really helpful for children who have low immune systems due to malnutrition. Once the immune system is stronger, they will hopefully be less susceptible to diseases like malaria, typhoid, and other illnesses." Stella Brown, an eighth grader, who did her aperture project on Uganda relief work, coordinated this project with the class.
The energy in the classroom around this project is truly wonderful. None saw the repetitious task of counting and filling as menial and often talked about the kids and families that would receive these vitamins.