Cascades Academy Independent School PK-12
ABC's, 123's and Hittin' the Road Jack
ABC's, 123's and Hittin' the Road Jack
What a fun and entertaining time it has been to work with this rambunctious and energetic group of musicians. Both the kindergarten and the 1st Grade classes have been immersed in extensive rhythmic studies since the beginning of the school year. I have been very impressed at their ability to repeat complicated patterns, to listen to each other, to play as a group, and to play subdivisions to a metronome. Now their skills are being put to the test as we prepare for our February 28th Lower School music concert, so save the date. This year's Motown theme is filled with great feel good artists such as Ray Charles and The Jackson 5. The kindergarteners are currently learning how to tell Jack to hit the road, which may be a good life skill to have someday. The 1st graders are currently taking their ABC's and 123's to a whole new funky level. This concert will be one you won't want to miss. See you there.

-Derrick Strang, LS Music Teacher

A Wonderful Week in Kindergarten, 12.7.18
A Wonderful Week in Kindergarten, 12.7.18

Many, many thanks to Zoe's Mom, Anne Arathoon, for sharing the Arathoon family's Hanukkah traditions with us! The children enjoyed creating menorahs (also known as hanukiahs - the menorah with nine candles used for Hanukkah) and trying potato latkes. Hopefully, your children shared their dreidels with you, and you've had a chance to play the game in the past few days. We thoroughly enjoyed Anne's presentation. Thank you, Anne and Zoe!

With Storyline complete, we have returned to our "regular" activities; this time of year many revolve around a Holiday theme. This week, we've been exploring number stories during Math time, and practicing writing equations to go along with the number stories. We're also practicing writing numbers, and exploring number stories with unknown changes and starts. For example - Zoe had five cookies. Lily gave her some more. She now has seven cookies, how many cookies did Lily give Zoe? These are a little more challenging for kids, and require them to think more flexibly about the meanings and solutions of problems. We'll continue to practice these throughout the year.

During Literacy time, we've returned to writing, practicing our best guess spelling, and engaging in our literacy activities that reinforce phonemic awareness (rhyming, blending sounds, substituting sounds, etc.) Strong phonemic awareness is an important skill when learning how to read, and I'm pleased with the gains everyone has made in this regard. We also continue to practice reading books at our instructional level and adding sight words to our list. This group is very motivated to learn how to read which makes my job so much easier!

We had the opportunity to visit with our buddies on Wednesday. Buddy time is always a treat for our Kinders and this week we made Holiday cards for the front office staff. They had so much fun chatting with their buddies and delivering their cards. The 8th Graders who we've paired up with are a remarkable group of people.

As you all know, it is Cold out there. Please remember to send your child to school well prepared for cold weather - boots, hats, mittens, warm jacket. We go out to recess in all kinds of weather, and having children prepared for the cold temperatures makes for a happier child!!

Starting this week, students in Kindergarten and first grade STEM will be creating a stop motion animation project to demonstrate their knowledge of the sun and moon's patterns. It should be a fun, hands-on project! With bigger STEM projects, extra adult assistance is always appreciated. Colette could use some help on Wed. Dec. 12th from 2-3, and Friday, Dec. 14th from 11-1130. Please reach out to Colette if this is something you'd care to help with.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and enjoy some photos from the week.

Ms. Jane

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