School Dispatches: May 17, 2017

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Annunciation Catholic School

The kindergarten class at Annunciation Catholic School has been learning all about plants! We learned that they need sunlight and water to grow. Once the plant is fully grown, it may make a flower and a fruit. These will contain seeds that will grow once again into a new plant.

With all that we learned about plants, we decided to try to grow our own! We planted lima bean seeds in Ziploc bags with damp paper towels. We made greenhouses to decorate each of our bags and hung these in our classroom window so that they would get plenty of sunlight. We are now watching the seeds to see if they sprout and grow! Once they get bigger, we will take them home to plant them and watch a real bean stalk grow.

We even learned that we can eat all of the different parts of the plant, depending on the plant. We tried carrots for roots, celery for the stem, spinach for leaves, broccoli for the flower and corn for the seeds. It was a yummy and healthy snack!

— Annunciation kindergarten class

British International School of Washington

This week at the British International School of Washington marked an exciting annual event: the Book Fair. Shelves of fiction, fantasy and mystery novels — along with cozy couches and chairs interspersed throughout the venue — created a warm and welcoming environment for the avid readers of the school community. Everyone at the school looks forward to this valued and important tradition.

However, along with this anticipated event came another: exams. For example, the Year 11 pupils sat for both their geography and art International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exams. Both exams required a great deal of preparation. The art exam, which has a duration of two days, required a little more perseverance.
The Year 13s also sat for numerous International Baccalaureate exams, such as history and chemistry, to name a few. These exams mark the end to two years of hard work and dedication.

Despite the busy exam period that the Year 11 and Year 13 students are now experiencing, the school community is upbeat and as busy as ever.

— Ava Lundell, Year 11 (10th-grader)

Hearst Elementary School

We are deep in an investigation of trees! We are observing trees on nature walks — discussing parts of trees, who lives in trees and how we use our senses to explore trees. The students collaborated on a writing a poem “A Tree Can Be…” Here is our poem:

A tree can be…

…a place to rest. …protective. …somewhere to play. …somewhere to sit. …for climbing. …a place to live. …a scratching post. …a place to hide. …different. …radiant.

— Mrs. Haith & Ms. Morales’ Peaceful Penguins pre-K class

Lafayette Elementary School

Last week, Lafayette held an assembly for first through fifth grade featuring JusTme, a mindfulness rapper from California, who spoke to the kids about focusing and listening to teachers. JusTme also entertained the crowd of kids with activities that improve focus. He also played some of his music that told us about his teaching.

I got to interview JusTme. He told me he learned about mindfulness through two organizations in California: Mindful Schools and the Mindful Life Project.

“I spread mindfulness through rap/hip-hop because everyone of all ages deserves to know about, and have access to, mindfulness and the practice of it,” he said. “So I figured joining my love for mindfulness with my love/passion for my craft, rap/hip-hop, would be a fun new way to be an advocate for wellness, health, mindfulness and helping others.”

Lafayette Peace teacher Linda Ryden said she discovered JusTme on YouTube a few years ago, and brought him to Lafayette with help from the Home and School Association.

“When I played his song ‘Don’t Flip Your Lid’ to my students, they went crazy for it. So did I!” she said. “It was such a great way to help illustrate the brain science lessons I was teaching in Peace class.”

The kids definitely flipped their lid for JusTme’s performance at the assembly. Fifth-grader Dalton Tatchell told me: “We will keep doing mindfulness at home so we will do better in sports, school and life in general.”

— Jack Pagano, fifth-grader

National Presbyterian School

On March 9, the school newspaper club, the Nebraska Avenue Times, had a very special guest: a friend of Mr. Sumner, Lauren Markoe, who writes for RNS, Religion News Services. Her job is to interview people about politics and religion and write about it. For example, Ms. Markoe said she went to the Capitol to hear President Trump’s speech about the Holocaust and interviewed some survivors of the Holocaust.

Ms. Markoe spoke about many topics that would help us become better writers. She told us that for interviews when we need to write information down, we should try abbreviating. She also told us that when interviewing people, try to make them feel comfortable with the questions — not pressuring them — so they will share a lot of personal information.

She told us her favorite part of her job is the fact that she gets to write about all different kinds of topics and most of the time she gets to pick what she writes about. The Nebraska Avenue Times would like to thank Ms. Markoe again for this opportunity and letting us hear from her (a real writer) about her experience.

— Carson Browne, fifth-grader

Sheridan School

Recently Sheridan School celebrated Spirit Week. During Spirit Week students, teachers and staff dress up in fun ways. On Monday we wore pajamas. Tuesday was Matching Day. You could dress up to match somebody. The fourth grade all matched superheroes. On Wednesday, Wacky-Tacky Day was anything crazy. I wore a paper dress with cut up straws glued on the top and plastic silverware on the bottom to remind people to recycle. Thursday was Character Day. People dressed up as characters from history, TV shows or books, like Marie Antoinette or the Cat in the Hat. Friday was Wacky-Sock Day and Grandparents and Special Friends Day.

Spirit Week is about having fun. What someone wears gives you insight into who a person is, and it shows we are comfortable enough to be silly and funny in front of our friends and teachers. Being able to express yourself in a fun way joins you as a community. It helps us see each other as a group and not just an individual.

Spirit Week is my favorite week because it makes me be creative. It makes me feel proud and allows me to see other people and find out who may be similar to me. It allows kids who might feel like they are in the shadows to express themselves in a big way.

— Isabelle Goodweather, fourth-grader

Washington International School

Fridays at WIS are a lot like Fridays at other schools — teachers excited for the weekend and kids who can’t pay attention in class. However, one thing makes Fridays at our school unique: what we call Grill.

Grill is a tradition that has been around for more than 20 years (though it has not always been on Friday). Currently, early each Friday morning, teams of parents come into school to prepare an array of delicious food that they cook on restaurant-sized grills in the center of campus. Here’s what you can buy at Grill: grilled salmon, grilled steak, grilled chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, two types of pasta, rice, green salads, and a variety of drinks and desserts. Sometimes there are even grill specials. These have included ice cream, chili, tacos and barbecue.

Grill happens every Friday, rain or shine, cold or hot. The atmosphere on Grill day is unique. As Grill almost always takes place outside, most students eat their lunch on picnic tables around campus instead of in the cafeteria.

Grill is always a great way to spend the last day of the week. But come 12:45 p.m., it’s really hard to go back for another two hours of classes.

— Saul Pink, eighth-grader