February, 2015

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Calendar Quick Notes…

• Quarter 3 progress reports are being sent home with 3-12th graders today

• Spring Break is the week of March 23rd – then we come back for a short week and have Easter Break

• Career Week has been re-scheduled for the week of March 30th

Movie Night – Friday the 13th

malificentJoin Student Council for a special movie night – featuring kosher hot dogs, nachos, and popcorn on Friday the 13th!

In Maleficent, “A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1587310/)

As a retelling of Sleeping Beauty from another point of view, this will be a fun movie for Friday the 13th! Watch the trailer here.

Open House – Invite a Friend!

open houseAZ Academy is hosting an open house for prospective parents on Friday the 13th. Students can be dropped off at the Mahogany Stage for Movie Night, while parents head up to the campus to meet with teachers and to explore classrooms. We will be advertising in the St. Croix Avis and on Facebook, but we know how powerful word of mouth is – so invite a friend! Share your passion for the AZ Academy difference!

Stay Fit 4 Life

IMG_1559AZ Academy’s 4th Annual Stay Fit 4 Life was a huge success! Students, parents, and staff gathered at the Christiansted fort to have a day of physical fitness activities as well as health and wellness workshops throughout the morning of January 23rd. A special thank you to Gwen Jones for monitoring students crossing to the bathroom, Gus from Crossfit 340 for a rigorous workout, Wendy Green from the National Guard for coordinating the jumbo obstacle course, and Terese from Crucian Gold for a great Zumba workout! Stay fit, AZ Academy!

Accelerated Reader Points Pool Party

IMG_1600Students who met their AR points goal for the 2nd quarter were treated to a pool party and brownies, and everyone had a great time! For the 3rd quarter, 1st-6th graders who reach their goal will have another pool party, while 7-12th graders will have an afternoon at the beach. These rewards should encourage everyone to want to read to earn the reward (but don’t let on that there are 2 other rewards – enjoying good books and becoming a stronger reader!)

Agriculture Fair Booth – 2nd Place!

With a full school effort to highlight the difference between “Super Foods” and “Super Dangerous Foods” and their impact on the heart, AZ Academy took 2nd place in the Agriculture Fair’s K-12th grade competition. The booth looked awesome and was highly educational! A special thank you to Ms. Lisa for coordinating the booth, and a special thank you to Mia N., Katie M., and Conrad Y. for representing their school in the interview phase of the completion. Great job, everyone!

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8-12th Graders Enjoy the Roseway

This week AZ Academy’s 8-12th graders boarded the Roseway to experience the World Ocean School’s cross-curricular and hands-on approach to learning. From climbing the 90 foot mast to hoisting the sails and more, students learned about ship terminology, the importance of teamwork, and how communication is essential for sailing.

IMG_1644 IMG_1647 IMG_1659Math Tutoring – Mondays and Wednesdays

Mr. Mauree is available after school on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:15 – 4:15 to assist students with math homework. Please feel free to contact him if you would like more information – mheller@azvi.org or by calling 340.718.7909.

Guatemala Group Prepared 37 Spaghetti Dinners Today!

IMG_1634They did it again! The Guatemala Group worked hard today to prepare 37 tasty spaghetti dinners, with homemade sauce, garlic bread, and brownies. We hope you enjoyed it! Students earned $412 today that goes toward their service learning trip to Guatemala in May.  A special thank you to Rosie S. and Tea D. for working hard all afternoon long – they were so helpful!

Kalinago Indians

The Caribbean History class had the opportunity to take a short field trip to Columbus Landing where Bill Cissel (former National Park Service Historian) talked to the group about the first clash between Native Americans and Europeans in the New World. Mr. Cissel brought along some tools (weapons) used by the Kalinago (formally called Carib) Indians. The students were fascinated to learn that the bow and arrow used by the Kalinago was mostly used from a sitting position. This allowed for greater strength in releasing an arrow. The Kalinago sat in a V-seat formation with their feet on bow. Then by releasing the loaded arrow from such a position the arrow would fly a greater distance and force than the more commonly known way. In addition to the bow and war arrow, Mr. Cissel had a spear used for stunning birds, a three-pronged fishing spear, and a javelin-type spear. But the most fascinating artifact of all was a small zemi made from conch shell that is over 1000 years old. It had a skeleton type face with a big, round hollow eyes, a flat nose, and bearing two rows of perfectly shaped teeth. The ears had holes in the lobes for stringing. Such a zemi would have been worn around the waist of chief to cover his belly button. This was believed to keep evil spirits from entering his body.

Cartoons – Not Just for the Sunday Funnies Anymore

Crowther picGraphic novels are all the rage in Room 1A. They are popular with the younger students as well as the older students. They are popular with the struggling readers as well as the advanced readers. Let’s just say they are plain ol’ popular. Three recent series that have shown up in Room 1A are Witch & Wizard: The Manga by James Patterson, Bone by Jeff Smith, and Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi. They get students excited to read and those students keep coming back for the next in the series. I love the groan I hear when students find out there are no more in the series because I see they are hooked on reading. If your child needs to get hooked on reading, send them to Room 1A.

February FUN!

prek1prek2It has been a fun-filled February up in pre-k/kindergarten! We had so much fun celebrating Valentine’s Day, especially because we got TONS of treats! This month we have been focusing on the letters N-P and we’ve explored the numbers 13-15. We learned that 15 is a really big number when it comes to doing jumping jacks and hops! In science we’ve spent a lot of time talking about living vs. non-living things and have made some pretty neat books to help us remember how to tell the difference! The kindergarteners are becoming excellent readers and are masters in addition, telling time and spending pennies! The pre-ker’s have been busy making connections with the letters in the alphabet, memorizing nursery rhymes and exploring outer-space! As a class we have been gardening and we made some awesome octopods! All-in-all we’d say it’s been an awesome month!!

Science News

moran pic 2photo_1 moranThe science room has been a very busy place. High school physics has been working on designing and building a wind turbine for the “KidWind Challenge” on Saturday, March 21st. The head of the challenge, Mr. Carl Joseph, of the VI Energy department spoke to the student on Thursday about the competition. I will be keeping everyone updated on the class’s progress on the build. The physical science class has begun a very ambitious project of building their own Tesla Coils. I have been so impressed with the hard work and determination of all the students. This will be a truly enlightening project.

Animation Club Has Started!

thaumatrope (Morgan pic)This past Monday, Animation Club had our first meeting, and we had a great time learning how animation tricks our brains into thinking they see something they don’t. To explore this concept, we made one of the most basic forms of animation, thaumatropes, and began trying to make our own flipbooks. There were a great deal of trial and error involved, but figuring out what worked and what didn’t was half the fun! I can’t wait to see how creative our students continue to be as Animation Club meets every Monday afternoon from 3:15-4:15!

Next Up…Peter Pan

The third grade has had a very busy February! The 100th day of school, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents’ Day have come and gone so quickly (Come see the students’ 100th birthdays in the windows!). Over the first half of Quarter 3, the students have worked on cause and effect, fact vs. opinion, and many of the skills that they need for the Common Core. Coming up next is Peter Pan! The students have also been learning about and perfecting their skills to write poetry. We will have a Haiku garden up very soon! We are also well on our way to exploring the universe in science, most recently the moon and how/why its appearance changes in the night sky. Up next is looking at the stars! We have been very busy in math with measurements of time, liquids, length, and weight and also estimating to find out if answers are reasonable. The third graders have also welcomed Alana to the class very nicely this month and we are all glad to have another smiling face with us!

Using Sundials to Tell Time

4th and 5th grade continues to work on adjectives in Language Arts, and we’re reading a book together entitled Frindle. I’ve met with each student individually regarding their AR goal and their STAR reader test score. The students have been trying to expand their vocabulary using adjectives to create comics and descriptive writing paragraphs. We’re also using sample questions from the Common Core Test to hone our test-taking skills and practice more advanced open-ended questions. In science, the students have created informative posters to go along with their paper mache’ planets which will be displayed at QUEST. They also created sun-dials and kept track of the sun’s trajectory throughout the day. We’re still studying the settlement of the new world in Social Studies as we move towards discussing the reasons for the Revolutionary War, and the formation of the U.S. and our system of government.

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100th Day of School Extravaganza!

Our class had a great time celebrating the 100th day of school! We made necklaces using 100 Fruit Loops, became “Word Watchers” and found 100 words around the room, and practiced skip-counting up to 100. The children listened to a variety of stories and created their own stories about “When I am 100 years old…” It was a fun day of learning and celebrating!

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