September, 2016

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Upcoming Calendar Events

Beach Clean Up – October 7th

No SCHOOL – Columbus Day – October 10th

Picture Day – October 14th

PSAT - October 19th

Red Ribbon Week – October 24th-28th

The Fall Festival! – October 29th

Everyone is Excited to Be Back!

The teachers were fired up to return to school, and our families were super excited that school started again on the 31st of August.  It was so great to catch up on everyone’s summer experiences and to meet all of our new families and students.

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Summer Work Party

ice-cream-for-summer-work Students who completed their summer reading and math assignments got a special treat on September 9th – they had an ice cream sundae party down at the café to celebrate their achievement!  Congratulations to the students who did absolutely everything this summer – you were already a winner for getting everything done!

Differentiated Instruction Spirit Event

Pollution was the theme of this year’s differentiated instruction project.  The whole school participated in developing projects about the impact and ways to combat pollution during the first few weeks of school.  Here is a Facebook live video that shows some of the students’ projects as buddy groups moved from classroom to classroom exploring as our September Spirit Event!  In October we will continue this theme at a beach cleanup at the beginning of the month!

Parent Night @ AZ

It was risky asking parents to come to school on a Friday night, but it worked out beautifully!  Parents were broken up into 5 committees…

  • Board of Directors,
  • Fundraising,
  • Beautification & Maintenance,
  • Community Outreach & Grants, and
  • Hospitality & Communication.

Together they introduces themselves and determined leaders, reviewed the committee focuses and brainstormed what their work should be this year, and determine when and where they were next meeting and what they should do first.

Here is a video of one animated session!  Thank you to all of the parents that came out!!

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Fall Festival

The Fall Festival is right around the corner – Saturday, October 29th to be exact! We need all hands on deck to make this event possible. Ms. Drue will be calling you to schedule your very important role such as running a game, a booth, admission, selling game tickets or some other important area that will make this event a success. If you miss her call, please call back or send an email confirmation to dvanmeter@azvi.org.

Fall Raffle – We are still putting together our raffle packages. If you have a suggestion or a donation to the raffle please let us know. Some of the gifts we would like to add to the raffle include a weekend getaway to Puerto Rico or another island, a staycation, a St. Croix ultimate adventure package and a dinner for two on St. Croix.

Candy, candy, candy and more candy! Send in your sugary sweets. What would the festival be without trick or treating at each booth? We need lots of sugary goodness for the treat bags at the festival. So keep them coming.

Fall Festival Planning Meetings will be held every Thursday at 6PM on the pavilion. Please make an effort to come out. We need many heads and many hands. Thank you for your commitment. If you were not at the festival last year, have a glance at what is in store for you!

Team Building Field Trips

Despite the threat of inclement weather, all of AZ Academy students  had a great day working together to build unity!  Pre-K – 2nd graders stayed on campus, while 3rd-7th graders headed west and 8th – 12th graders headed east.  All in all, everyone had a great day together!

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4th Grade News

Welcome back to AZ!  It’s been a great start to the new school year.  Fourth grade classes and curriculum are moving along quickly.  In Language Arts we are doing RAFT writing, building our vocabulary Word Wall, and have started weekly spelling lessons.  We’re also beginning to look at using nouns correctly which is the first part-of-speech we will study in grammar.  Together we are reading a book entitled, “The Sign of the Beaver” about a boy who spends many months in the wilderness waiting for the rest of his family to arrive to their new cabin.  This book goes along with what we are discussing in Social Studies, which is the arrival of early Americans to North America, where they came from, and why and how they settled their civilizations.  We are also well into the first unit in math with an emphasis on reviewing place value, rounding, and using basic math algorithms.  Please contact me anytime if you have questions or concerns.

Mr. Clark

PreK – K Off and Learning!

Welcome to Mrs. Thomas’s Pre- K/ Kindergarten class. This is my second year at AZ Academy and I am thrilled to be back! This year we have 7 students, 4 Kindergarteners and 3 Pre-Schoolers. A big welcome back to our 3 returning students and a special welcome to our 4 new ones. It’s going to be a great year!

Every week in class we highlight our “Letter of theWeek”. Everything that we do centers on this letter. For example, when we were on the letter “Bb” we learned to sing “Bingo”, went on a Bear hunt with the beautiful blue binoculars we made, sorted, matched and counted bears and played  number, color and shape Bingo. We even celebrated Backwards Day and did everything the backward way! You get the idea. There is always so much to do around our letter that the week is over before we have run out of ideas!

The children have been enjoying their specials classes in Art, Spanish, P.E. and Music too. What a wonderful, energetic group of students I have! We are busy building our community and getting to know each other. We have written up our class rules and completed our “Hopes and Dreams” for this school year. Remember that my door is always open to you so please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

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Mrs. Thomas

THE HIGH SCHOOL ECONOMICS CLASS

Economics is offered this year to the high schoolers. It was an interesting and exciting period to study economics. The students began by dealing with the Pollution Project. They were able to analyze the pollution on St. Croix and the economic cost of pollution and how it affects the other aspects of the Virgin Islands economy. They learned and appreciated the concept of opportunity cost.

A second major project was to study the Virgin Islands 2016-2017 fiscal year budget. The students in class made an in depth look at the $700,000,000 plus 2016-2017 Fiscal Year Budget for the Virgin Islands. The students understood how the money was allocated and they were able to set different priorities based on previously studied worthwhile economic goals.

Interestingly too, they looked at the borrowing bill proposed by the governor of $426,000,000.  They went along and reallocated the funds to a different set of priorities based and the most urgent needs as they saw it. They went through a process of cost and benefit analysis. It has been an exciting start to the study of economic this month. The major lessons learned throughout was the process of decision making which comprised: Identifying a problem or situation that requires a decision; identifying options; possible consequences of the decision and the process of putting the decision into effect.

Mr. Renee

1, 2, 3, AZ Blast Off!

What a wonderful way to start the year in science than applying the scientific method to building rockets. The Physical Science class had the fun of answering the question ‘which rocket pattern is best for flight’. Students used both pure and applied science in constructing their rockets. Students were placed into groups in which they did research on how to build rockets and what was needed to make the rockets fly in the patterns that they chose.  What was wonderful about this lab was that it went hand in hand with our wonderful DI Recycling project as students used items that would normally be thrown away to build their rockets. On our scheduled flight day students learned the trial and error of experimentation. Please see this video. All of the rockets flew after some slight modifications but few achieved their desired flight patterns. So back to the drawing the students went to modify their designs. Once modified, rockets will be sent blasting off again in hopes of achieving the desired rocket pattern. Stay tuned…

Mrs. Nurse

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…and Create an Ocean!

Our first and second graders are immersed in a sea of learning!  We have had a fantastic start to the school year and enjoyed the school-wide project focusing on pollution.  The children learned about the effects of pollution on ocean animals and ways that we can help take care of our environment.  Living on an island surrounded by water and ocean animals, the children were easily able to grasp the understanding of the negative impact of pollution on marine life.  We began our unit with a hands-on activity to discover what happens to “Freddie the Fish” as environmental and human pollution become factors.  We then reused materials from home to create our own ocean animals.  It was a whale of a good time!

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Thinking Skills Can Be Messy!

Students are working on explaining their thinking. Math students are using multiple models (tables, graphs, diagrams, equations) to demonstrate patterns over time and space. Language arts students are thinking about their thinking (metacognition) as they read and write. We are building confidence in our ability to think and our ability to talk about our thinking. Students are working hard, respecting one another, and doing their homework! What a great start to the year!

Ms. Eden

Let’s Make the Difference! 

September has us “fired up” to start a new year!   We are getting our classroom running smoothly and learning a lot of new things through hands on learning.  We got started right away working on our DI projects, featuring our pollution solutions.  We researched and asked questions about the environment and effects pollution has on our community.  In Reading, we read a poem that suggested we often take nature’s beauty and resources for granted.  We compared nature to the tree in the Giving Tree, learning that if nature gives too much then it will have nothing left to give.  Our research and hard work paid off when we were able to express how we could make a difference in our environment through our projects.  Our hanging garden improves the beauty and ecosystem at AZ.  Our dioramas were inspired and impactful.  As the year progresses we will continue working with Ms. Angie, our esteemed agriculturist, to plant herbs and gardens throughout the campus.  Look for emails suggesting ways to contribute and put in some volunteer work!  See you in October!

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Mrs. Huff - Third Grade  

First Month at AZ

It has been a great first month here at AZ!!!! The ELA II Students have just finished reading and dissecting Steve Jobs 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford University. Along with “To Failure” by Phillip Larkin and “Mother and Son” by Langston Hughes, we have been reviewing the concept of a theme with supporting details. We found that the overlying theme in all three texts was success despite obstacles and initial failure. We have been using the word ‘perseverance’.

The ELA IV students have been exploring the concepts of Perception vs. Reality and Point-of-View / Narrative Voice. We now understand the difference of how people see things as opposed to how they really are and realize the narrator can tell a story from different perceptions/perspectives or from reality.

In both classes, we have been exploring more vocabulary and in ELA II we started semantic mapping of vocabulary today!! Both classes also watched movie version of the literary classic, “Flowers for Algernon”. The name of this movie was “Charly”. This further helped us explore theme, perception, reality, point-of-view and narrative voice.

In Civics, we have completed Chapter 1 and have been exploring what it means to be a citizen and how a person becomes one. In Geography, we have also completed Chapter 1 and have been exploring what geography means to us, the five themes of geography and geographical attributes. All classes have also been working on the use of summarizing. This is the ability to analyze any work and create a short summary, or comprehensive brief, abstract, made up of facts and devoid of opinion.

Lastly, we had the school wide Differentiated Instruction Project on Pollution! The kids in my Social Science classes did DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects using waste items. Some of the projects were so awesome including electric toy cars, solar power cookers and even an ottoman! The children really enjoyed this project and were extremely creative. In enrichment Math, we have been working with Ms. Eden and have done creating art using coordinates, using math for coding and Sum Dog online. With Mr. Renee in Reading Enrichment, we have been working on our typing skills, reading on the history of different common items like buttons and exploring our reading skill progression on ReadTheory.org online.

So….Three Big Claps! *Clap, Clap, Clap* A..Z! 1,2,3! FIRE UP!!!!

Ms. Chew

STX Dragon Tale Report from Art Class

Please see this link for an update on Art Class with Ms. Myra.

High School Music with Mr. Smith

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See what’s happening in high school music with Mr. Smith by clicking the snapshot.

 

 

Spectacular 5th Grade

Welcome to AZ Spectacular 5th grade class! It’s been an AWESOME start. In ELA (English Language Arts) we are reading as a group ‘Esperanza Rising’. The students are very excited about this book.

In Math, we are reviewing place value with division and multiplication, divide & multiply mixed unit by 10, 100, and 1,000, and the power of 10s using multiplication and division.

For Science, students are learning about the plant and animal kingdoms.

You are always able to stop by or call me with any questions or concerns.

Ms. Bradshaw

Technology is Everywhere at AZ!

We are so excited to be blazing ahead with technology at AZ! Here are some of the exciting things happening:  Students in grades 3 thru 12 have their own AZ gmail account to help them navigate our digital world. With it comes access to a suite of Google Apps designed specifically for education. For example, in my Earth and Space Science class, we are using Google classroom to share and complete assignments. We use Google Docs for word processing and Google Sheets (spreadsheet program) to analyze data. We timed students running 12 meters and converted to miles per hour using formulas! Please let me know if you want to learn or get involved with the school’s technology endeavors.

Mr. Mauree