MA JC Lower School January Newsletter


This month in Kindergarten, students have been working on comparison. Topics include comparing sets by using more than, fewer than, same number as well as comparing sets with like unit numbers such as less than 5 and more than 5. They also have been classifying flat shapes into groups to compare the quantity in each group. Questions students have been considering this month include:

How can you tell which group has more?

How can you compare the number of objects in two groups?

How can a number path help us compare sets? 

How can we compare the number of objects in groups when the objects aren’t the same size?

How can we compare groups of different things?

1st and 2nd Grade- Plant Project

This month we wrapped up our plant project. At the beginning of this project students used what they learned through research to take better care of their plants. Second graders and first graders collaborated to learn more about their different plant species. We worked on figuring out how much water and sunlight each type of plant needs which helped during hands to work when one of the students was in charge of watering our plants. Students also worked each week to measure the growth of their plant and to make a quick sketch of what their plant looked like so we could chart our plant’s growth. This project was very fun for students and taught them some great responsibility skills. Everyone has taken such good care of their plants and they are excited to take their plants home as we gear up for a new project after winter break!

3rd and 4th Grade – Academic Engagement: Socratic Seminar

Socratic Seminars are formal discussions based on a  given text in which all participants engage in the speaking and  listening rules of open ended conversation. Usually, also, at a high  level. The third and fourth graders first attempt at a formal discussion of this kind was extremely impressive. All students were given time  to analyze texts, prepare arguments, and formulate thoughts in  preparation for this experience. Students on the inside circle were  given 5 minutes of time to, simply, discuss. No teacher prompting ,  no adult to tell them what to say or when to say it; rather, all explicit teaching in the rules and patterns of effective subject-based discussion were given before hand. Students were then held completely responsible for the success or failure of their discussions. With high level expectations and a rigorous and supportive learning environment, incredible things can happen.

Outdoor Education

This month in Lower School Outdoor Education we are  continuing to learn and play in the cold! The K-2nd class is  building shelters out of snow and continuing with map and  compass work. With compasses and map making, they are  learning their directions and how it pertains to the campus layout and their way home. They are practicing teamwork  and task management in their fort building. The 3/4 class is continuing to study and explore the Flora and Fauna in the  Jackson area through observing the plants and animals on  campus. We also were able to use the cold as an opportunity to  practice fire building skills and using knowledge from last year’s  OE to implement fire safety and low impact fire building techniques.

Share this post: