School Dispatches: Feb. 28, 2018

Eighth grade students at Sheridan worked with a partner to create picture books. (photo courtesy of Sheridan School)

Eaton Elementary School

In honor of Black History Month, the Eaton Extra students asked classmates and teachers for their favorite African-American hero. Here are some of the responses:

  • Officer Clark said, “Michelle Obama because she was a powerful first lady.”
  • Nurse Esposito said, “Rosa Parks because she was highly educated and brave.”
  • Sawyer said, “Maya Angelou because she was my favorite author when I was a child.”
  • Rottman said, “Michelle Obama because she fought for healthy, nutritional school meals”.
  • Justice said, “Martin Luther King Jr. because he did the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech”.
  • Reid said, “Jackie Robinson.”
  • Jerlisa said, “My grandma because she raised eight children on her own and was able to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.”
  • Mann said, “Mrs. Anderson because she is a leader that tries hard and she helps me think about equality.”
  • Clayman said, “Alma Tomas because she is an art teacher.”
  • Clay said, “My mother.”
  • Tarzia said, “Louis Armstrong because his music inspired many people during hard times.”
  • Ethan Faustin said, “Martin Luther King Jr. is my hero because he fought for the rights of black Americans. If it were not for him, I would be judged for my skin color only.”
  • Rose said, “George Washington Carver. He faced a lot of adversity and became an inventor.”

— Ethan Faustin, Lia Feleke, Jami George, Zadie Hunt, Justice Lamar, Zhenya Nikolayeva, Marianne Treguer and Hillary Zavala, fourth-graders; and Roman Bystriakov and Morgan Hubbard, fifth-graders

Emerson Preparatory School

To honor Black History Month, students and faculty members assembled in the gym of the Thurgood Marshall Center for a presentation about the history of our new U Street home.

The program began with opening remarks from Mr. Shickler, head of school, about the importance of “memorializing African-American history month.”

Pictures of the center’s storied past decorated the walls around us as an informational video produced by fifth-generation Washingtonian Shellee Haynesworth spoke about the impact of the Thurgood Marshall Center on D.C.’s African-American community and the city overall.

The building has served as refuge, a meeting place and even as a basketball court for famous people passing through the area. It was incredible to imagine as we were sitting on the same exact gym floor where the likes of Denzel Washington played. We saw the concrete that Emerson students speed-walked across when running late to school being poured carefully by past community members.

Our own Mr. Kelly closed the powerful morning with a beautiful rendition of “Old Man River,” eliciting applause and cheers from the crowd, many of whom had no idea he could sing so gracefully!

The future of the Thurgood Marshall Center is limitless — the Emerson community is doing its part to promote its foundational principles, nurtured by the spirits of those who put their livelihood into it. We as the new tenants of the center must value and preserve the national historic landmark by being respectful of the facility, and educating ourselves with days like this.

— Isabel Fajardo, 11th-grader

Lafayette Elementary School

This year, Lafayette Elementary School held our winter dance on Feb. 9. Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders could attend the dance. Each student who came paid $5 to get in and received a wrist band and a food ticket. The line to get into the dance stretched from the cafeteria across the school to the gym.

The theme was “Winter in Paris.” The student council made an Eiffel Tower out of cardboard. They also had cool lights, fake snow and white balloons. There was a photo booth with props and it was a big hit. Each student got a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, a cookie or a macaroon, and a juice box with their food ticket.

Physical education teacher Ms. McClure and administrator Mr. Benob were the DJs. They held three dance contests. The winners were fifth-graders Annabelle Green, Elena Lee and Truman Muffett. They were all great.

Student Council President Caleb Murphy said, “[The dance] was great and a good fundraiser for the student council and I really enjoyed the dance contests. It went really well.”

A lot of kids just came for the food and to hang out with friends, but there was a lot of dancing. The fifth-graders liked doing a dance called “the Owen,” which involves jumping up and down while fist pumping. It was a very fun and exciting dance.

— Eli Schwartz, fifth-grader

Maret School

In second grade we are researching birds. Each student chose a different bird that they wanted to research. There are a ton of books, and we also got to use the iPads. We used PebbleGo and Brittanica, and we have this paper to record all of our research. When we are done with our research everyone is going to write their own book about birds!

One day we even had live birds of prey come to our school. It was awesome, and it was just second grade! There was a merlin falcon, a peregrine falcon, an eastern screech owl and a red shouldered hawk. We learned about the adaptations these birds have that help them survive in their environments. For example, did you know that owls have one ear that is higher than the other? This helps them hear things that are above and below them. We also went to the Air and Space Museum and learned about the four forces of flight that help birds fly.

Learning about birds is so much fun!

— Teddy Talbott, second-grader

Our Lady of Victory School

On Feb. 11, the U14 Our Lady of Victory girls basketball team won first place in the CYO silver division championship. The team consisted of eighth-graders Anna, Emily, Salina-Mari, Katie and Lauren, and seventh-graders Maia and Joana.

We played St. Anthony’s and beat them 24-14. After a great season, we went into the playoffs undefeated. In the playoffs, we beat St. Augustine, and then continued to the semifinals and played Holy Trinity and won.

After weeks of work, we made it to the championship! The game was held at Georgetown Visitation, our home court, and everyone was nervous. We had beaten St. Anthony’s before, but we didn’t know how much they had improved. Our coach gave us a pep talk and told us we all deserved this win, but that we had to work to get it.

“Let’s go show them some OLV basketball! You girls got this. Just go out there and play your game,” he said.

For most of us, this was our last year playing as Our Lady of Victory students, and we wanted to end on a good note. We walked into the gym with butterflies in our stomachs. We started out strong and were ahead the entire game.

When the final buzzer went off, we were so excited! We lined up to shake hands with the other team and thanked the referees. We were then presented with our first place trophy. GO BLUE HAWKS!

— Emily B. and Katie K., eighth-graders

St. Patrick’s Episcopal School

This year in fifth grade we decided to do a unique performance. The idea came from our two music teachers, Mrs. Petersen and Ms. Kipperman, who introduced us to the book “The Calabash Cat” by James Rumford. Our performance will include body percussion, multiple instruments, stop-motion videos and the much-anticipated shadow screen!

“The Calabash Cat” tells the story of a cat who wanders the Earth, wondering where the world ends. The cat wanders through four different landscapes, meeting animals along the way who truly believe that the end of their landscape is the end of the earth. Finally, the Calabash Cat comes upon an eagle who flies up into the air and shows him that there is actually no end to the world and that all of the landscapes are connected.

To prepare for this performance, we intertwined art, singing, technology and expressive movement. In art, we are creating puppets for the stop-motion videos. In music, we are learning multiple pieces that will take the audience along to the different landscapes. Groups of students have choreographed movements to show the natural elements present in each landscape — desert, ocean, grasslands and jungle.

The most enjoyable thing has been constructing and then experimenting with the shadow screen to see if we can create life-like shapes with our bodies. The most challenging thing for this performance has been learning all of the parts and knowing that everyone has multiple jobs. Overall, I believe this performance will be a huge success!

— Carter Hudson, fifth-grader

Sheridan School

Every year, eighth grade students at Sheridan School create a picture book with a partner in English class. The goal is to create a story whose message reaches out to younger kids.

During the brainstorming process, students thought about their identities and problems they faced as children. Students individually took inspiration from their own lives and turned it into a fictional story.

Afterwards, they worked with partners and chose the story idea they and their partners liked best. They then created a storyboard to lay out the ideas and created an image proposal that was presented to the English and art teachers. Students used all forms of art from collaging, to drawing, to painting. People also used Pixlr, an editing software. The wide array of methods allowed for creativity to be expressed in this project.

This project challenged partners to cooperate and share the workload evenly. At times there were conflicts, but part of this project was learning how to move past those issues. In the end, the students printed a few sample photographs that summarized what the book was about and wrote a brief blurb about the story.

These will be displayed for the school to see until the books get back from the printer. Then, the eighth graders will share with the lower school students. All in all, this project was a fun and creative way to study character and work with others.

— Miriam Akhmetshin and Sophie Schweitzer, eighth-graders

Washington International School
Recently, we visited the KID museum, a science and engineering museum where instead of learning about something by looking at it, we learned by working with it!

Our first station was “Pipe Dream.” We had to connect large tubes to make a passage for balls to roll from side to side. My group failed because we didn’t work with gravity! The other group always made sure to piece together their pipes downwards to use the momentum to roll all the way to our side.

Next was “Circuits,” where we learned which materials allow electricity to pass through (conductors), and which materials stop the flow (insulators). We then learned how to use a circuit to switch a lightbulb on and off and power a motor to make mobile artwork. We put a paper disc on the spike of the motor and turned it on, using different colors as the wheel spun. I loved how the circuits made such beautiful circles of color!

Last was “Ping,” where we built a passage for a ping pong ball that led to vertical tubes, which took the ball across the ceiling using wind energy to the other side of the museum. We managed to get many balls through, plus we got good exercise by running back and forth, chasing the balls.

We learned by doing and not looking. I really like this way of learning because we not only learn the concept, but we also apply it, which helps us understand it better.

— Eileen Maloney Cunningham, fourth-grader