February, 2016

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Quick Calendar Notes…

  • Week of February 29th – Career Week
  • Friday, March 11th @ 2:05PM – Spirit Event
  • Friday, March 11th @ 6:30PM – Movie Night
  • Tuesday, March 15th – End of Quarter 3
  • March 18th – No School – Professional Development Day
  • March 21st – 29th – No School – Spring Break and Easter weekend

Pi Day – A Spirit Event about Math and Pies!

pi3.14159265359…to infinity!  Pi represents the relationship between a circle’s circumference and its diameter, which as a fraction is approximated as 22/7, but as a decimal it is an infinitely repeating pattern.  To celebrate this mathematical Phenom, AZ Academy is hosting a variety of Pi Day celebrations at the March Spirit Event on March 11th…

  • Pi(e) Bake Off – The 7th – 9th graders are holding a pie baking contest! The baker of the best tasting as well as best looking pie will receive a trophy, bragging rights, AND the opportunity to be the first person to throw a whipped cream “pie” at a teacher. All student bakers will receive a piece of pie of their choice. Then, slices can be purchased by students, families, and staff after the Spirit Event. All proceeds will go toward the 7-9th grade class trip to Mount Victory in May.
  • Pi(e) Problem Solving – Blue and Silver Team buddy groups will complete a problem-solving challenge this month while the Pie Bake Off judges deliberate!
  • Pi(e) in the Face – Students will vote all week to determine which teachers will receive a pie in their face at the end of the Spirit Event!  More details about voting will come next week.

Movie Night – Here We Go Again!

jurassic worldAfter re-scheduling Movie Night because of Jump Up, and then getting rained out the next week, we still haven’t gotten to see Jurassic World, an action filled movie that will entertain everyone.  Join us on Friday, March 11th at 6:30PM to watch this film with your AZ Academy family!

Science Learning!

4th and 5th grade science classes are currently working on an Earth Surface Project. They are researching famous earthquakes and volcanoes to write a report about and creating a model to share with the class.

The middle school STEM class recently had a paper airplane challenge. Our winner was Kaya S. whose airplane flew 56 feet! We are currently working on a popsicle stick bridge challenge. The class is working in groups to compete for the best looking bridge and the bridge that will hold the most weight.

Erica Childress

Lessons on Love

IMG_2403Students in 5th-12th grade had the great fortune of receiving a lesson on love this month in ELA. While we quickly pondered matters like, “Will she be mine,” “Will he say yes,” and “Have I been looking for love in all the wrong places,” we soon got down to the weightier matters of love. Like, “Why is there an <o> instead of a <u>,” and “Why is the silent <e> there if it’s not making the vowel long?” Students learned that <uv> was not used together in Old English style print because it tended to look like a <w>, so the next best vowel was used – <o>. Students also learned that no complete English word can end in <v>, so we use <ve> as in the words shove, above, and, of course, love. Final, silent <e> performs other duties as well, such as helping to distinguish plural from nonplural words (pleas vs. please). After some discourse, students hunted for more examples in their reading books of words that followed these new spelling rules. At the end of the day, no one ended up finding a date, but everyone sure learned a lot about love.

Dulcie Crowther

Former AZ Dragon Returns to Explore a Career in Teaching

Chelsy Pic #1AZ Academy would like to welcome Abby T. to our learning community!  She is a former Dragon, who will be spending several months shadowing teachers at the elementary level to explore a career in teaching.  After the past 4 Wednesdays working with teachers in grades 5 and down, Abby is already discovering her passion for the teaching profession.  The students have enjoyed having her in their classrooms and working with her for individual and small group instruction.  If you see her around campus, please give her a big AZ welcome.  3 BIG claps!

Chelsy Harris

Memoirs, Research, Functions, and Speaking – Busy Learning at AZ!

In ELA III students finished their memoirs and they are posted (excerpts of them) on the walls in 3C. Ask your student to share his/her memoir with you. Students worked on description (showing vs. telling) and thematic development.

In ELA IV students finished their research papers and they are posted (excerpts, again) on the walls in 1A. Ask your student about citations and plagiarism. They read a lot, wrote a lot, and revised a ton. Below is a photo of peer editors working together.

In Integrated Math students continue with functions. We are getting into the more abstract topics: domain and range sets, rational vs. irrational numbers, and dividing by zero. We all want a 0th of a pizza! (It is undefined, so you get to eat the whole thing yourself…photo below showcases their table and graph skills.)

In Speech class students gave inspiring, heartfelt “Dream” speeches using repetition and allusions. Kevin L.’s and Colin K.’s were especially amazing. Now we are doing impromptu speeches; hopefully a little less stressful while still practicing professional speaking skills.

Eden - graphing on the sidewalk Eden - peer editing on the playground

Gwen Eden

February Fun in Early Elementary!

The first three weeks of February have been jam crammed full with President’s Day, The 100th day of school, Valentine’s Day and Dental Health month!

We learned all about President Lincoln and Washington. We looked at the coins and bills they are depicted on, sang songs about which number Presidents they were and what made them so special.

We celebrated the 100th day of school by counting from 1-100, counting by 5’s and 10’s counting 100 bears, clapping 100 times, doing 100 jumping jacks (not Mrs. Thomas however…) and so many more activities. We shared a 100th day cake with our 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade friends and wore 100th day hats and glasses.

Valentine’s Day activities found us immersed in pink, purple and red artwork. We made cards for our moms and dads and exchanged valentines with our classmates and teachers. We painted pictures, made a valentine tic-tac-toe board game from recycled bottle caps and made a poster telling each other how we show love.

Dental Health came next on the list and the children are really taking it seriously. They took home a chart so that they can record their tooth brushing and they are more aware of which foods are good to eat and what a cavity is. The Tooth Fairy was a lively topic as well. I found out that the payoff is considerably higher than it was when my own children lost a tooth. I understand it has gone up to $5.00! We will have a guest dental hygienist come in soon to the classroom to pay us a visit. I am confident that the children will be able to answer all of the questions she poses to them because they have learned a lot!

Lin Pic #1 Lin Pic #2 Lin Pic #3

Lin Thomas

Feats of Engineering in High School

The high school engineers have been learning about planning and construction of structures. The students did an amazing job with building Popsicle stick bridges. We tested their strength and design. There were many bridges that withstood 15lbs and more!  I am so very impressed and proud of each student and the effort that they put into these designs.

melinda 1 melinda 2

Melinda Moran

3rd Graders Get Ready for Tall Tales!

We have been reading non-fiction texts focusing on text evidence.  Literature circles have made it easy to break down the text into different roles that together create meaning and relevance.  However, it is about to get much more exciting as we begin a mini-unit on Tall Tales!  We will determine what characteristics tall tales have in common as we read and compare different legends from the past!  Then, students will be able to write their own tall tale using similar exaggerations and heroic characters.

In math, we are on a role with multiplication!  We are focusing on strategies and patterns to help us understand relationships and solve problems.  We are exploring the distributive property and the many ways we can break apart factors.  We can show our strategies using various manipulatives, diagrams, games, and models.

In social studies, we are working on our Heritage Projects and exploring culture.  As a class we have determined that culture is everywhere!!   And it’s important because without the differences that various cultures bring to our lives…. “We would be very bored!”

Science projects are happening, too!  We are creating a 3-D model of an animal using recycled products that were brainstormed in class.  It is compilation of what we learned about animal adaptations in different ecosystems and what we learned about how humans affect ecosystems.  Recycling is an important way to help out ecosystems.  So, the creators must engineer an animal out of used plastic, paper, aluminum, and any other waste that they can imagine.  Then, they will write a report on their animal to identify its ecosystem and discuss some of the features that help it survive.

Michelle Huff

Music and Physical Education Work It Out Together!

There are days when Mr. Clark and I have chosen to combine my PE class and his music class. When you put them all together this is what you get – enjoy these videos!

Dance, Dance, Dance!

Play, Play, Play!

And on a side note, our finals for Track and Field meets are on March 10th and 11th and a couple of our AZ students may just take home the gold!!! Join us at the St. Croix Educational Complex to cheer them on – we are busy staying fit for life!

Justin Smith

Cruising in 4th Grade!

Fourth grade is cruising along well.  The students have been writing poetry in ELA class, and we also finished the book we were reading together as a class.  Ask your child about the character named Judson Moon and what he was able to accomplish.  The students took an adjectives test this week as we also finished that unit.   Social studies classes are working on the various regions of the U.S., and creating Black History Month PowerPoint presentations.  The fourth grade group is also writing a play with four short vignettes about discrimination.  The math class is working hard on the fractions unit.  I’ve been really proud of this group this year.  Only two more units to go for the year, decimals and using multiplication in measurement.  They’ve kept up a great pace and done well!

Clark Dauner