March, 2014

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AZ Academy                                                     The Fire Burns Within!

AZ Academy champions the whole child using differentiated small-group instruction in a safe and nurturing environment, thereby inspiring students to reach their full potential.

Quick Notes

• Quarter 4 Dragon Café menu forms were sent home Friday, 3/21 – you can also access it here.

• Spring break is next week, March 24th – 28th.

• Quarter 3 ends on Wednesday, April 2nd. Quarter 3 report cards will be sent home on Wednesday, April 9th.

VI History Month Fun – Quadrille Dancing!

During the week of March 10th, Mrs. Lampe skillfully taught our students how to dance quadrille The first day was hard – students picked partners, learned to stand in a line, and learned some basic commands in the dance. We never even turned the music on! But from Tuesday until the end of the week, Mrs. Lampe added music and even more moves. By Friday, in time for our Spirit Event, students were secure in their dance skills! Thank you, Mrs. Lampe, for giving AZ Academy’s students a meaningful VI History Month experience!  Here is a video!

VI History Month Fun – Hiking with Olassee Davis!

After a week of dance lessons, students headed out the week of March 17th for full day educational hikes with environmental educator Olassee Davis. Kindergarten – 4th graders hiked Salt River Bay, and learned about the history of the region and the people who lived their over time.   5th – 12th graders hiked Sweet Bottom Bay and learned about Welles Estate, the slave trails for the maroons, the sugar mills, and the plant life and animals that are there.  Everyone was exhausted when they got back, but they had a great time!

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Career Week Exposes Students to the World of Work

AZ Academy celebrated Career Exploration Week during the first week of March. The students in Pre-K thru 6th grade completed Paws in Jobland career lessons. Paws in Jobland is a web-based career curriculum designed for elementary school students. The 7th thru 12th graders attended various professional workshops on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday, the high school students went out into the world of work. Various businesses and agencies provided our students with job shadowing opportunities. Career Exploration Week concluded with a ceremony on Friday. Verna Walcott, the Employment Transition Coordinator of the Hero2Hired Program, spoke to the 7th thru 12th graders about what they need to do to be ready for their careers. The high school students then shared their work experiences with the middle school students and parents. Taken altogether, it was a very impactful week that highlighted the purpose of education today to prepare for tomorrow.

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Crime Dog McGruff Visits AZ Academy

Students learned about stranger danger and what to do if someone nearby pulls out a weapon.  Watch the video of the messages he shared with students!

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All That’s Happening in Room 3A with Pre-K, K, and 1st Grade

This month we have been busy having guest readers from 2nd grade. It has been fun to listen to them read so nicely and we can tell they have been working hard to improve their reading. We also had one week of career activities in our classroom. The children really enjoyed pretending to be police officers with their badges and police hats. This month we have also been talking about VI History and getting ready for the hike to the historical site at Salt River. They have been enjoying quadrille dancing and learned that the name of the music is quelbe. Miss Callie visited and did a spring art project with the children which they enjoyed a lot. See next month’s hot topics for more fun activities always happening in room 3A.

Language Arts Frenzy!

Second grade is becoming a classroom full of readers and writers! The children have been working on their writing skills, building more detailed stories that include voice. Long vowel patterns have been our focus in word study to ensure that our writing includes correct spelling of these words. The children practice writing their patterns in shaving cream, with magnetic letters, and on wipe-off boards to make learning fun! Their reading experience consists of dialogue about literature with partner and group work. We use quiet reading phones to read to ourselves during our reading group rotation. Our second grade students have become guest readers in the preK-1st grade classroom to practice our fluency and public speaking skills. As you can see, we are in a language arts frenzy!

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Fractions Masters in Intermediate 5 Math

The students in Intermediate 5 Math are doing an in-depth study of fractions. We began with identifying fractions, equivalent fractions and comparing fractions. We have since moved on to adding and subtracting fractions by finding the LCM (least common multiple) and coming up with a common denominator. We are now learning to multiply and divide fractions.

Ask your student to find 2/5 of 35 or 3/8 of 32. They are now experts!

Personal Growth Focus in Middle School

The fifth and sixth grade Personal Growth class took a minute…..or two before class to see how many could fit on one bench. Rosie S. reported later that she was getting a drink of water and missed the fun stuff that we did. Personal Growth focuses on skills students need to be successful in school and beyond. Topics covered are planning a long term project for history or science class, proper ways to set up a paper on the word processor, or the difference between reading fiction and non-fiction works. We also have a little fun – students are working on the Cup Song. It’s hard work getting 17 students to do a synchronized routine with a cup and keep time with the music. Our plan is be able to synchronize the entire middle and upper school……I think we can do it!

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Rockem’ Sockem’ at The School Store

The school store has gone green with Lucky Leprechaun pens. Not only are they ready to do battle with each other, they are ready to do battle with your latest written assignment! You can find these and many other fun school supplies during store hours on Thursdays from 3-3:30 p.m., and Fridays from 7:20 – 7:40 a.m. Coming soon . . . spring items! Hmmm, do they make Boxing Bunnies?

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Math Maniacs!

The 3rd graders have had some fun discovering the world of math! They spent the first part of the year learning their multiplication and division facts and have enjoyed a variety of fun ways of practicing from Multiplication Jenga and Multiplication War to division games on the Smart Board. Now, they are using their knowledge of the facts to help them in learning about area and playing an Island Conquer game where they plotted points on a graph and solved for the area of that “island”. They also had a lot of fun trying to figure out a way to break into my imaginary pool that I kept having to protect with various imaginative materials for the walls and with the use of “minions”. Every time a student came up with a method of how to destroy the pool, I had to create something to block it with which then would create a new perimeter or area they would have to measure. This all makes learning exciting and fun!

Middle School Literature Focuses on Writing

I hope everyone has a great spring break and gets recharged for April. Literature II students will be finishing up the poetry unit shortly. We took a week long break from poetry to write essays. The St. Croix Council of the International Reading Association held its Young Authors contest this month. The essay theme was, “Strengthening Our Community through Literacy”. Each student wrote a 300 word essay. They did a great job and the top two papers were sent in for judging. The top three papers from the island have already been chosen and have the opportunity to present their essay at the Reading Conference on March 22nd. 7th grader Mateo H. won 3rd place – congratulations!  He won $25 and a certificate!

IMG_0945  Video of Mateo Reading His Essay

The Literature III students have been working hard on a research project focused on women’s history month. They are spending time researching their person, organizing their thoughts in outline form, and writing a paper with cited sources. The final product is due on April 4th.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns – Mr. Clark Dauner, cdauner@azvi.org

Hot Topics Logo designed by former AZ Academy student, Morgane Deighan, 2013