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DHA & EXCEL Classroom News - October 2016

October 09, 2016 8:22 PM | Letricia Hess (Administrator)

Pre-Kindergarten - Mrs. Davenport 

In September, we talked about starting school and what that looks like in our classroom. We worked on shapes and read several books, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We did some alphabet activities to go with the book, a craft, and had a special snack. In science, we predicted and discovered whether particular items would sink or float, learned about our five senses and coconuts, and tested an apple volcano. We talked about how God made us special and how He gave us our five senses.

In October, we will spend two weeks focusing on leaves. We will be going on a leaf hunt and sorting leaves. We will also be making leaf art and leaf prints. Our centers will be about leaves and Fall as well. We will then spend the last two weeks talking about pumpkins, exploring pumpkins inside and out while investigating them and talking about their life cycle.  Our activities involving math, science, literacy, and Bible will be so much fun!

Pre-Kindergarten - Mrs. Levy

September was a busy month in the Frog room! In math, we learned to identify shapes and played several games to help us with this skill. Our favorites included Shape Bean Bag Toss and making shapes with play dough.

The preschool scientists learned all about color mixing. We explored this concept by mixing liquid watercolors, vinegar, and baking soda. Not only did the colors mix, but it was amazing to watch the vinegar and baking soda reactions. Of course, we recorded this information in scientific journals.

We also studied the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We played math games related to the book and used our five senses to explore a real coconut. We are working very hard to recognize and write our names.

In October, we will be exploring all things leaves and pumpkins! The big concepts that we'll work on during this month are retelling stories, and the science behind leaves and pumpkins.

Kindergarten - Mrs. Calton, Mrs. Puckett, & Mrs. Collins

It's hard to believe that we have already had 5 fun weeks of school together! In September we focused on Johnny Appleseed. We compared the true facts to tall tales! True or False? Butternut Squash was a main part of John Chapman’s winter diet? We learned a fun poem about apples and a cute song about the Appleman, made some amazing art and crafts. We studied the life cycle of the apple tree and experimented with our tastebuds during our Apple Science lessons (YUM). We are already working hard on new songs for our winter concert. We love Mrs. Calton's guitar! Show and Tell is always a highlight in our month and helps us learn to respect others. In October we will be focusing on fall leaves, pumpkins and spiders! It sounds like a tangled web of fun to me!

1st Grade - Mrs. Gartman

In September, we began learning our numbers and colors in Spanish. We will continue to review these as we add on family and house vocabulary.

In Art, we have worked with primary and secondary colors. As we move forward, we will begin discussing lines as part of the seven elements of art.

Apples have been our main focus for Science. We've discussed oxidation, built structures, and experimented with sink and float. In October, we will be working with leaves and begin our stem activities.

In Social Studies, we have worked on building classroom community as well as discussing parts of our community and community helpers. We will move forward with learning about the three branches of government and the election process.

Primary Art - Mrs. Wright

September was a busy and fun month in Art. Third grade played an art beach ball game and refreshed our art knowledge. Second grade learned about the painting techniques of Jackson Pollock and then created their own "drip painting" by spray painting their own work of art. First graders learned about our primary colors and made our secondary colors with icing. Pretzel sticks were our paintbrushes, and the students got to eat their icing "paint." We also learned about color values. Third graders made paint chip cities. Second grade made monochromatic shape paintings and first grade did value ice cream cones. First grade parents, please be looking for the parts to this painting to come home for kids to finish at home if they'd like. We also read a great book by Herve Tullet called Mix It Up. It's an interactive book that teaches colors and their values. The kids LOVED It. Other great books that you could read at home are Ish by Peter H Reynolds and Dot by Peter H Reynolds. In October, we will begin working on the element of line. You all have some incredibly artistic kids, and I'm looking forward to more great projects in October.

Upper Elementary Art - Mrs. Palmer

In September, 3rd graders created Impressionist Sunflowers inspired by the works of van Gogh and Georgia O'Keeffe. We used color to create value and texture using oil pastels with a loose coloring and blending technique.

The 4th and 5th graders' project was a Fall Aspen Tree. We learned the different parts of a landscape and about using a horizon line to divide the page which can be moved to change the view of the picture. We used a variety of painting techniques to create our paintings. We discussed warm and cool colors and created contrast using them next to and over each other.

In 6th grade, we are studying value and learning how to create value scales using pencil and sharpie pens to create value with a smooth and textured appearance.

For October, the 3rd graders will create a landscape inspired by The Impressionists. We will be learning the different parts of a landscape. We are going to learn how to use value to help create emphasis in our painting and create tints and shades. We will use a combination of tempera and watercolor paint.

The 4th and 5th graders will be reinforcing their knowledge of the different parts of landscape and creating a reflection of our landscape on water. (Which we are drawing upside down!) We are learning that size, color, and placement of objects in our landscape help to create visual depth and create the illusion of distance on a flat surface. We will use oil pastels to color in our landscape.

The 6th graders will continue their work on value. We are working on creating the illusion of a 3-dimensional object on a flat surface using value. We will create a simple still life using geometric objects and shading in their value.

Computers - Mrs. Selaya

What a fantastic start to the year! I enjoyed meeting all our new students and getting to see our returning students. We jumped right into Google Forms and covered all the parts, pieces, and the purposes behind it. In October, after a thorough review of proper typing technique, we will dive into Google Fusion Tables, exploring database and the relationships between data or bits of information.

Primary Music - Mrs. Sapp

What fun we have had in September's music classes! :-)  Students learned our music class expectations and they already impress me with their words and motions for two of our December music concert songs. Wow! :-)  Specifically, we learned what number we are each assigned for our seats and backpacks, how our class can earn 3 smiley faces so Chelsea the puppet can come out to help teach our music class, and finally, we learned our first and last concert songs, "Create In Me" which is available for parents to listen to at this link: http://wordmusic.com/kidz/non-seasonal/psalms-psongs.html and "O Come Let Us Adore Him."

In October, we'll continue infusing our bodies, voices, and minds with God's pure Word through more movement and music, adding "Praise The Lord, My Soul" (with a boy's rapper crew and a rapper solo) and "How Majestic is Your Name," both of which are available to listen to and order for your own practice at home through this link: http://wordmusic.com/kidz/non-seasonal/psalms-psongs.html

What fun it is to move, make music, use our voices in healthy, beautiful ways to glorify God, and to make new friends in DHA Primary Music! :-)

Upper Elementary Music - Mrs. Scholes

We started off the year learning the basics of music. The kids showed their knowledge of note values through Legos, raced to the correct notes on giant music staffs, and walked up a giant keyboard singing the notes. We also made music with boom whackers and enjoyed rewarding ourselves with a sweet treat by playing a musical note name challenge using candy corn.

In October, we will begin working on our Christmas program music and hold auditions during class for speaking parts and solos.

Primary PE - Mrs. Morrison and Mrs. Lewis

September was a month of getting used to routines and playing games. We learned our warm-up routine and safety rules for the gym. We enjoyed playing kickball outside and playing Guard the Castle, a favorite game.

October will be fun learning (large motor) kicking skills with drills for soccer. We will institute fitness stations which utilize a variety of activities to improve both fine and gross motor skills as well as cardiovascular.

Thank you for remembering to send your children in tennis shoes.  Also, as we head into the cold and flu season, please send a note for the PE teacher if your child is recovering from illness and may need to adapt their activity level.

It is a joy teaching your child.

Upper Elementary PE - Mrs. Miller

I had such a great time in September getting to meet our new DHA students and catching up with former DHA students! We spent some of our time going over rules and procedures to ensure a smooth, successful school year! We also had time to learn our Physical Education warm-up and play a couple of fan favorite games like Guard the Castle and Two Base Kickball.

Next month, we plan to have fun with some Fitness Stations! Fitness stations provide a great avenue for students to improve overall physical fitness and health, stay active the entire class period, and increase exposure to a wide variety of different activities! We offer fitness stations such as scooter activities, basketball, volleyball, jump rope, and more!

In October, we will also begin a soccer unit. In our soccer unit, we will learn skills such as dribbling, passing, and trapping. At the end of the unit, we will engage in game-like situations with lead-up games.

As the weather is getting more Fall like, please send students with a jacket. As weather permits, I love to get the students outside to practice skills! As always, thank you for sharing your blessings with me!

Primary Science - Mrs. Skinner

Hello DHA families! Primary science has been such a fun class for me as a teacher! I hope your children are enjoying it as well. All through September, we learned about God’s creation starting with atoms. We moved on to rocks and minerals and opened our own geodes. The later part of the month, we explored trees. We learned the importance of trees, the parts of a tree, how to care for a tree, and the process of photosynthesis. Trees are great habitats and so the children also learned what a habitat is and what an animal must have in order to survive.

Next month, we will be exploring animals from their food chains to foot prints. I hope to have a day that the children are able to, with your help, bring in their animals from home to share with the class. I would love to be notified of any special allergies before this happens. If your child has any allergy to any type of animal, please e-mail me at mrslindseyskinner@gmail.com by October 15 so I can plan accordingly. Please include your child’s name and class, as well as if they can be around the animal with no contact or other helpful things I would need to know in order for this to be safe and fun. I will create a SignUpGenius for the classes after I have the info needed. A note will come home after October 15th with the sign-up information.

Thanks for your partnership and for sharing your amazing children!

Upper Elementary Science - Mrs. Spoolstra

We've kicked off the year by learning about the Scientific Method. Ask your child what 6 steps this includes. We've been asking a question each week, making hypotheses, and testing them out. Some of our questions so far have included: Will the material of a paper airplane affect the distance it travels? and Can you pour water from one cup to another without placing the cup directly above it? We learned about cohesion and adhesion in the "traveling water" experiment. It made some classes wonder if this would work with other liquids such as milk, juice, or soda.

In October, we'll continue doing some fun, hands-on experiments focusing on using the steps of the Scientific Method. This will include: Does the temperature of the water affect how fast the color coating dissolves from an M&M? and What factors make an Alka-Seltzer tablet dissolve the fastest? We'll keep you posted on the results!


Social Studies - Mrs. Wagner

Building a Community was the theme for our first month together. Students made objects from Play-Doh to introduce themselves. We learned all about communities: what is a community, citizens, and types of communities (urban, suburban, and rural). After reading “City Mouse and Country Mouse,” we focused on how they are alike and different. Students made houses and buildings to create a community. They had committees to work on street construction and beautification, and the building inspectors helped to make sure the buildings would pass code. Groups in third grade decided to either make an urban, suburban, or rural community. After our big community project, students created maps to represent their own community.

Since it is a big election year, the month of October will be spent learning how our country's government works and how a democracy operates. We will conduct our own “Mock Election” on Election Day.


Primary Spanish - Mrs. Hesman

Hola! We have covered so much in Spanish in just five classes! We have worked on our ABC's and 123's, asking for one's name, and then answering them back. We have practiced using morning, afternoon, and evening greetings, recited calendar vocabulary, such as days of the week and months of the year, expressed feelings, and started learning colors. We have played group games and practiced intentional listening skills by listening for newly learned vocabulary in Spanish cartoons! It's been one action packed month!!!

In October, we will continue reviewing what we have been learning and add body parts to the list! We will celebrate the beauty of Autumn by learning weather and fall-themed vocabulary and learning some important phrases, such as how to ask, "Where is the ...?" Sounds like lots more fun is on the way!

Upper Elementary Spanish - Mrs. Patton

We have had so much fun starting out the year in Spanish class! We've learned how to share our names and how we're feeling. We also learned numbers one through ten, colors, and several animals. In my class, your students have been playing lots of games, making projects, and engaging with new vocabulary in a scavenger hunt around the building.

 In October, we're focusing on calendar vocabulary and Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration. I'm looking forward to sharing some neat Mexican culture and connecting our calendar conversation with holidays and celebrations in the States and in Spanish-speaking countries. Thanks for practicing at home, and I hope your students continue to learn a lot and have loads of fun!

EXCEL Art - Mr. Voyles

In September, the EXCEL Art Class began its exploration into the elements of art. A commonly used list of the main elements include: form, shape, line, color, value, space, and texture. One of the ways we are exploring the elements of art is with the use of the Zentangle method. The Zentangle method is focused on creating pattern designs. It requires focused attention with a formulaic use of composition method and pattern. Just as we learn that there are colors that complement one another, we also learn that shapes can complement one another as well. I use the analogy of composing a piece of music with the kids. With the right composition of spaces between the notes and the intensity of the notes, you create a wonderful composition. The same could be true in regards to the visual arts when viewing an artwork. The use of the Zentangle method increases focus and creativity and provides artistic satisfaction to the artist. Many times the Zentangle designs are unplanned; however, the method of Zentangle patterns and relationships can be applied to other aspects of designed art concepts. This aspect of learning a Zentangle makes it definitively different than just a doodle. We plan to continue the Zentangle method in exploring the elements of art throughout the school year. I have been very pleased with the results of our students' work, and I think you will be as well when we display them later in the year.


EXCEL English & History - Mrs. Rose

This month in 7th and 8th/9th English, we have focused on the foundations of English: parts of speech. Students broke apart sentences and identified each word and how it functioned.  In October, we will be covering grammar rules and starting our first essay.

This month in 7th & 8th/9th History/Literature, we focused on Ancient Civilizations. The students created their own language, learned about hero stories, created their own hero, researched Ancient Egypt, and presented their research to class.  In October, we will cover the Roman Empire.

EXCEL Music/Drama - Mrs. James

Music and Drama class has been very busy this first month of the school year! We have explored the basics of theater blocking and the fundamentals of good singing, including posture and breath support. We have learned several "warm ups" that we sing each class before we begin working on our music for the Christmas showcase. For our showcase, we will be performing songs and skits from the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In order for me to cast our showcase, each student performed a song and monologue from this musical for their audition. Next month, we will continue exploring theater and voice fundamentals as well as rehearsing the script for our showcase.

EXCEL Science - Mrs. Snyder

We started September by learning the Inquiry Process in science. We followed the procedure while we evaluated which bubblegum produced the best bubbles. Hubba Bubba is usually the winner. Next we used the inquiry process to see how many drops of water would fit on a penny. I think students were surprised by the number of water droplets that actually fit on the penny. They discovered the "cohesion" of water molecules was stronger than they first hypothesized (46 was the highest count). I enjoyed their conversations about how to increase the number of drops after each trial. October will be busy with Newton's Three Laws of Motion with the building of a Newton's Cradle, An Egg Car, a Disc Hovercraft, and a Hero's Engine. (P.S. We could use some caps from pop up reusable sports bottles.) I am having a blast working with students again and enjoy their sense of humor and thirst for knowledge.

EXCEL Spanish - Mrs. Mitchell

¡Hola! ¿Cómo están? ¡Bienvenidos! Mi casa es su casa. These are just a few examples of the things that we have been learning this month in EXCEL Spanish! We started this school year by going back to the basics of Spanish. In order to allow any children who have not studied Spanish in the past a chance to catch up, we have spent the month of September working on the Spanish alphabet, colors, days of the week, months of the year, basic phrases, and the basics of verb conjugating. We have had so much fun playing games each week to help retain the information that we have learned in class, and as a teacher, I am happy to note the progress each week! This upcoming month, we will be taking a more in depth look at Spanish verbs and working on more vocabulary and how to conjugate them as well as studying the culture of Peru! Until next month, ¡Saludos! Señora Mitchell

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