December, 2016

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 Quick Calendar Notes

  • School Resumes– Monday, January 9th
  • Informal Assessments– Tuesday, January 10th-13th
  • NO SCHOOL – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day– Monday, January 16th
  • End of Quarter 2 - Tuesday, January 24th
  • NO SCHOOL – Professional Development– Friday, January 27th
  • Quarter 2 Report Cards Issued - Tuesday, January 31st

Happy New Year!

Christmas Card Contest

The middle school art classes entered a Christmas Card Competition earlier this month with other schools for the whole US Virgin Islands. The winners were just decided, and the top three contestants were from AZ Academy.  As an added bonus, not only will the winning card be Department of Parks and Natural Resources’s holiday card, but the school’s art department will receive $500 in art supplies.

Congratulations to our winners!

1st Place: $100 – Sophia L.

2nd Place: $75 – Orion H.

3rd Place: $50 – Izzy R.

Ms. Myra

Winter Celebration

AZ Academy hosted its 15th annual Winter Celebration on Tuesday, December 20th at the Juanita Gardine Elementary School auditorium.  Despite some lighting challenges, friends and family gathered to experience the holiday season’s joy through song and dance.  All of the students were awesome as they shared their creative talent!  Here is a link to videos and photos – feel free to share it with family and friends.  Also, a special thank you to Dennis McCluster for videotaping and taking photos for us!

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Good Times with Mr. Clark

Happy holiday season!  I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing break.  Students have been writing a lot in ELA class.  We finished up with persuasive writing and have been looking at informational text.  This is something we do in all subjects.  Students need to continually practice how to read material and then pull information from it to answer questions and problem solve.  Math class is moving along nicely.  We finished up the metric unit with a test.  All students did very well.  Congratulations!  We have started the geometry unit, and this will continue after the holiday break.  As always, please contact me anytime if you have questions or concerns.

Mr. Clark

Analyzing Truth in ELA and Math

ELA III is learning about memoirs and how they convey real truth, even though they are not 100% true. ELA V/VI is reading magical realism and learning how the magical elements convey real human truths, and Integrated Secondary Math II is beginning to explore ir-real or imaginary numbers.

ELA III recently presented to their class about the memoirs they had analyzed. (See photo.) Now, they are building on those whole-class presentations by writing individual memoir critiques. Next up: they will write mini-memoirs of their own.

ELA V/VI has been learning about metamorphoses, or transformations, through two texts: the ancient Roman myth of Arachne and the more modern The Metamorphosis by Kafka. Students complete speaking and writing exercises.  Next up: real-world experience in St. Croix’s amazing ecological system and using it to inspire their own story about transformation and magical realism.

Math class has been working on exponents and roots. They are looking at how numbers can get very big and very small very rapidly! We have just started to look at negative square roots, which are not “real” numbers. Next up: expand our understanding of these imaginary numbers.

eden1Mrs. Eden

Mathematicians Mastering Multiplication!

Our Math Enrichment group has been working diligently on mastering multiplication facts.  We have individualized “Sweet Facts” graphs in our classroom to track growth.  Each student is working towards mastering numbers 0-12 with ease and increasing automaticity with these facts.  Our group completes a timed test each period to increase fluency as well.  Congrats to Elijah LaRose on completing his personal goal of mastering all of his facts and earning an ice-cream party!

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Ms. Harris

Spelling Bee

AZ Academy has spellers! Ms. Eden took on the task of organizing the 2016 Spelling Bee. Third grade through eighth grade students all participated in a class Spelling Bee on Friday, December 9th. From that competition, six top spellers emerged to compete against each other to earn the honor of representing AZ Academy in the District Spelling Bee.

The top six finalists took the stage on Monday, December 12th for the School-Wide Bee. It was a close call and couple of good rounds for these top spellers. Down to the last word, Cooper W. came in a good second place, holding his own right next to our first place winner, Sophia L.. Sophia will represent AZ Academy on February 10th at the District Spelling Bee. The location of the District Spelling Bee is to be announced.

Congratulations to all the spellers that participated in the class Bee. If you see Sophia or Cooper, congratulate them on a job well done!

spellingbee4spellingbee3 spellingbee1spellingbee2Ms. Kishma

Word Scientists

Students in grades 5-12 are becoming quite the word scientists! They have been busy discovering the meanings of Latin base units through their powers of deduction. Students use word matrices (see picture) to create enough words to get a sense of the base unit’s meaning. They have become more and more independent in this skill over the past three weeks. Discussions sound something like this, “I think that <igne> means to light something on fire because when you ignite something you light it on fire and you can reignite it when it dies. When you turn the ignition in the car, something heats up. And igneous rock was made by heat.” While this exercise is about finding meaning and sharpening spelling skills, the bigger picture is that these students are practicing asking questions and finding evidence to support a theoretical answer. That doesn’t help students learn just one lesson that helps students learn for life!

crowther-december-2016-dragon-talesMs. Crowther

Mrs. Rothwell and the Alphabet Pupils

Our Preschool/ Kindergarten class has been having a holly, jolly time! We have been celebrating the letter J with discovering words that begin with J! We had fun having Jelly and crackers, Jumping over the candlestick like Jack and even discovering that a yummy candy cane really is a letter J! On Friday, the 9th, we put the letter J to bed and woke up the letter K! Please check out the picture of our Kites that we made J It was perfect weather for flying them on the playground. We also discovered together that we are not that fond of eating Kiwi!

So, if for some reason you are having any trouble getting into the holiday spirit, stop in! We are certainly in the holiday spirit and are contagious! Happy Holidays to all!

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Mrs. Rothwell

Mrs. Clarke-Charmon’s Busy Bee’s

Grade 1 and 2’s has been very active for this month. Thank you parents for assisting us in creating our animal body covering collage. Our children were so excited to group all the different animals in their own categories, the level of cooperation between them was absolutely astounding. I just sat back and observed them communicating and helping each other making sure all the pictures go in the correct places.

We looked at important places in our neighborhood, the definition of neighbor, and now we have undertaken a major class project. We are building a neighborhood. Everyone gave their input of what should be part of the neighborhood such as hospital, restaurant, police station, and fire station to name a few. We also added a cinema in our neighborhood and pointed out where the houses needed to be. We used Popsicle sticks to build our houses and then everyone chose their own color and painted the houses. Viewing and discussing the video about the neighborhood completed our lesson.

Thank you to all who donated decorations to make our class so much more festive for teaching! The winter celebration is coming up and it was amazing to see our students practice their part. We have also been spelling by movements. Letters have been placed on the floor and students have been asked to spell the word, as they spell they jump from letter to letter. Be proud parents! You have amazing children.

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Mrs. Clarke-Charmon  

Mr.Renee and Being Thankful

Thanksgiving has past, but it is important to reflect on the impressive bulletin board that the 8 & 9 graders did to highlight what they were thankful for. Worthy of note was that the vast majority of the students were thankful for parents, family, teachers, and friends. The future looks bright indeed.

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Mr. Renee    

Mrs. Huff’s 3rd Grade Class

We have had a lot of fun working up to the holidays.

In ELA, we have been finding themes of our favorite Christmas Stories and discussing what makes a good narrative story.  We found that kindness, joy, and generosity are common themes of the season that make us feel good and gets us into the holiday spirit.  We also have been enjoying poetry and writing our own narrative stories.

Word Study and spelling centers have been a large focus this month. Students are becoming productive word detectives!  This has been an engaging and fun center for students to analyze spelling patterns and build words.  We have had guest teachers come in and teach new strategies that has taken our word study routine to the next level.  Thank you Ms. Harris and Mrs. Crowther!

Mrs. Huff