Pollyanna is a gift exchange that takes place right before winter break. it is a tradition to celebrate it in Diane and Sarah’s ⅚ class. This is how Pollyanna works: everybody picks a name out of a hat and they can not tell anybody that name. (That person is their Pollyanna.) We had everybody write what they like, or enjoy, on a notecard, so that everybody could see what their Pollyanna is interested in. Everybody had about two weeks to make a gift for their Pollyanna, and then they give their gifts to that person. This is how we exchange the gifts: we pick somebody to start and they give their Pollyanna the gift they they made, then the gift receiver gives THEIR gift to THEIR Pollyanna, and so on.
Welcome Back Breakfast
The day that winter break ends, the teachers (Diane, Sarah, Louis and Jeri) treat the whole ⅚ to a breakfast. When we come in the morning, it happens right away. This year Louis and Jeri’s classroom had the food, and Diane and Sarah’s classroom is where we ate. The teachers do this because they don’t participate in pollyannas before winter break, since they don’t just want to give something to one of us. That is why they do something for all of us after winter break. This year it was very fun.
The Talent Shows
Over two to three weeks, every Friday we have a school talent show. First we have the nursery and kindergarten. Next the first and second grade classes perform, then it’s the three/four, and the five/six. Some acts are funny and some are serious. We all have a lot of fun rehearsing and coming up with the acts. The whole event is organized by our music teacher, Diego. We practice in the music room, and he signs us up on his computer. All of the acts are fun to watch and perform. This year things got a little chaotic when a snow day came on the kindergarten and nursery show date. We skipped it, and moved on to the one/two. Next time, we’ll have the kindergarten/nursery show, and the three/four and five/six, will happen after spring break, on April 5th. AHHH!!!
100th Day of School
At Miquon, on the 100th day of school we celebrate. Everyone goes down to the after-school building to do a ten part obstacle course with different stations, like hopscotch with ten places to jump. The 100th day is kind of a halfway mark of the year for Miquon. When everyone has jumped, run, skipped or whatever it is they do, we all sing Happy 100th to You! Our beloved kindergartener teacher, Sherry, very sadly passed away recently. I think of the song as a way to remember her this year.
Check-in is something we do in class (Diane and Sarah’s class). We go around in a circle, you can pass or go if you choose. To go, you sometimes have to share what mood you’re in, based on the color chart, and you have to say something you’re looking forward to or something that happened over the weekend or the break.
The reason why we do check-in is to check in with people, to see how they’re doing, and so you can learn more about them. We normally have check-in in the living room on Monday mornings or after snack choice.
Designing Science Experiments in Science
Diane and Sarah’s and Louis and Jeri’s group are both (at different times in the week) designing experiments and practicing how to make and design a fair test. This takes place in the science room with Kate and Arielle, the science teachers.
We have so far tested the group’s heart beats, both before and after exercising, to figure out the mode, mean, and median, of the group’s data. We have also designed different fair tests to get ketchup stains out of cloth or T-shirts by trying different ingredients like lemon juice, baking soda, and club soda (and even sometimes combining them). This will go on until the unit is over.
Noteflight in Music
In music we are learning to write music with music writing software called Noteflight. We are doing this in class time. Diego, our music teacher, shows us how to write music on the computer attached to the TV. We each get a Chromebook, a pair of headphones, and a mouse to use. Diego intends for us to do some work in between classes, also.
This year on January 8, Diane and Sarah’s group started our biography study. The teachers put out biographies and everyone walked around and wrote down their top three choices. Then they sorted and sifted till everyone had one person to study and a book or two about them. Some of the people we studied include: Charlotte Bronte, Rosa Parks, Leonardo DaVinci, Pele, and Wilma Rudolph.
We had three weeks to read and each week we had a different task. In week one, we wrote a list of adjectives; in the second week, we wrote about why they were famous; and the whole time we kept a list of important words, which was due the last week. We were supposed to make crosswords on a website, but not everyone got to it that day, and the website was not working, so we did not follow through with that. Then we made presentations, like a poster, clay models, or a piece of art. We showed them off on the 28th of February to our parents and the other 5 / 6. Some people chose to share in front of our class and our parents.
We did this to learn more about a famous person, practice deep reading, and do some reading in between book groups. It was lots of fun, and I learned a lot!
Every year we have an African American cozy read-in. A cozy read-in is a Friday in the year where we trade assembly for the cozy read-in.
There is a list of around fifteen books of stories by African American authors and/or illustrators, and kids get to choose three books from that list. The cozy read-in is not only a read aloud time, it is pajama day, and we all get hot cocoa.
The purpose of the cozy read-in, is to teach kids more about African Americans history, and to highlight those writers to them. It is also a time to get cozy with friends and listen to a story.
Touring the Cathedral
In Diane and Sarah’s ⅚ classroom we have been studying sacred spaces. We thought that the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul would be a great example of a sacred space. The cathedral is in Center City Philadelphia. We planned a visit for February 4th. We took two vans, one driven by Sarah, the other by Diane.
When we arrived, we were greeted by two humongous wooden doors. We waited in a small room until our tour guide came to fetch us. When we came in, it was just absolutely beautiful. The ceiling was way up in the sky. The cathedral was built between 1846 and 1864. The cathedral can (comfortably) hold 2000 worshippers. There was stained glass wherever you twisted or turned. The building is shaped like a cross, reflecting how important it is to their community. The paintings were just absolutely gorgeous.
The students brought their observation notebooks, so while they were given the tour, the notebooks were used for sketches, tally marks, sentences, anything in the form of notes. After the tour, they showed us down to a basement where they let us enjoy our lunch. We inhaled our lunch, thanked the tour guide, and were on our way to our next stop, the Quaker meetinghouse down the street.
Visit to Bharatiya Temple
On February 6th, 2019, Diane and Sarah’s group went to the Bharatiya Temple in Chalfont. When we arrived, we went inside and into a room where we then proceeded to take our shoes off and put them in cubbies. We then headed upstairs and began to get a tour of the temple.
The first statue we saw was a statue of Ganesha. Ganesha is always the first statue in Hindu temples because he is the breaker of obstacles, and so he can break the obstacles in your head and allow you to become clearer-minded. Then we saw statues of three deities of Jainism. Next was a large podium with a large amount of deities. The Deities included Shiva and his family and Vishnu and his family. Next we went to a large, black granite statue of a god whose name I can’t remember. Then we got to a statue of Hanuman, the hero of one of the Hindu scriptures, the Ramayana. Finally, we arrived at the shrine of the nine planets. However, these planets were a little different from what we commonly refer to as planets. They were: Sun, Moon, Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus.
Seeing the Synagogue
On February 6, Diane and Sarah’s class went on a field trip to a place called Beth Or Synagogue. We went to the synagogue because it’s related to our study of sacred places and religion. It took our class about 30 minutes to get there, because the Synagogue was in Maple Glen.
When the class got there, the host for our tour was named Rabbi Jason. He showed the class lots of practices of the Jewish religion. Things that the class learned was that Torah, an ancient script written in Hebrew, was read every week at the synagogue and finished every year. We saw multiple Torahs at the synagogue. The Torahs are kept in a ornamental closet with glass doors and Jerusalem stone for a background. In the Jewish religion, Jerusalem is very important and connected to it, so that’s why the main room is situated to be facing east. That’s the direction of Jerusalem. While the class was there we also saw, very similar to Catholic Churches, stained glass windows that tell a story about the Jewish history and origins. Then the whole class ate lunch at the synagogue, and we headed back into the vans and went back to Miquon.
In our 5/6 class, we are doing a BAE project, which stands for “becoming an expert.” I’m studying Yankee Stadium. When we do our BAE, we studying at home and in the classroom. We’ve been working on our BAE projects since the end of January and it goes on until spring break.
We are doing a BAE project because in our class we’re studying sacred places and places sacred to us. Everybody chooses a different topic and my topic is Yankee Stadium. I chose Yankee Stadium because it’s really cool and I’ve been there. Everybody chooses different ones, because whatever one is special to them, they choose that. That’s how we do our BAE project in our 5/6 class.
Changes and Choices
Changes and Choices is a week where everyone in the fifth and sixth grade building learns about drugs, nutrition, and life stages.
During the talk about drugs, we take a look at how drugs can affect and change the way you look, act, and sleep. A lot of people get insomnia. When we learned about food, we were taught that a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner is good every day. We also learned about nutrition and what foods are good for you and which are not good for you. People can overeat or undereat. When we learned about life stages, we looked at how you change (mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally) throughout your whole entire lifetime.
Fasnacht, also known as Fat Tuesday, was on March 5th, the day before Ash Wednesday, which was March 6th. Fasnacht is a Pennsylvania Dutch celebration where you eat stuff like cakes, donuts, and pancakes. In Germany, you are supposed to eat it very fast. At Miquon we got sugar donuts and they were very good.
The Book Thief
Our class has started to read a book called, The Book Thief. It is a book about a girl named Liesel. It is set in the time of World War II, in Germany. Liesel’s mom did not have enough money to keep her healthy and alive, so she sent her to a foster home near Munich. In the story she finds herself in a situation where she ends up stealing a book. Our class is reading this book because it is great, and it ties into our studies this year.
Math Workshop is where all four of the 5/6 teachers (Diane, Sarah, Louis and Jeri) present a different course that they are going to lead in place of regular math groups. Each student has to pick one math workshop for the next two weeks.
Some of the things that we are going to do are: what is average, what is more popular, and what are the odds in card games. Both 5/6 classes will do Math Workshop every morning before snack choice. Math Workshop starts the Monday after spring break. I personally want what is average because it sounded cool. The purpose of this is to do something different with both classes. Doing something different makes learning more fun!