JC Lower School November Newsletter 2023

November 13, 2023

Kindergarten – Academic Engagement

Kindergarten students are acquiring vocabulary and comprehension skills through the use of notice and wonderings from stories we analyze in our literacy curriculum. They have been working on asking intentional and purposeful questions starting with who, what, when, where, why and how. While on their Fall journey, Kindergarteners put these skills to use outside of their classroom. Students observed their surroundings within Town Square, around town and in Grand Teton National Park. The Five Senses are the beginning topic of the year in literacy and students have begun to appreciate the importance of their senses in order to see, feel, touch, smell and taste the beauty in their world. Using their inquisitive question words in connection with language such as “I notice” and “I wonder”, Kindergarteners discussed and drew the senses they use in everyday settings such as a local coffee shop, an art gallery, library and nearby beautiful outdoor space, Grand Teton National Park.

1st and 2nd – Student Corner

This month the Lower School students went on their Fall extended journey. The 1/2 class worked to create their own color pallets based on colors in the natural world around them. Students were given time to explore and create. They were all very supportive of one another and celebrated their fellow classmates work. The first and second graders really enjoyed this project! This engaging art activity helped us to see change in the natural world around us. 

“It was SO cold outside, but this was fun. I liked finding flowers that matched my colors.” – Sydney 

“This was one of my favorite parts of the journey.” – Max

3rd and 4th – All Kinds of Communities!

Community is at the core of all of the work we do in third and fourth grade, as well as a critical component of the lower school mission. At our foundation, it is essential to build and foster a classroom community founded in trust, respect, and mutual understandings and expectations of one another. From there, third and fourth graders are able to reach out into the communities around them  to learn even more. This has come in the shape of our high school read aloud buddies who take the lead on a small read aloud during morning meetings; a unique and dynamic lens on learning and listening. We have also welcomed in many outside communities: from our 4/5 friends on the TVC who came in to share in the learning and execution of feedback giving on our Capstone and Independent projects, to the educators from the Kingdom of Bhutan, who brought global understandings directly to our spaces The more we can grow in our own strength as a small classroom community, the more we can gain from those around us!


This month in Science for Lower School, both cohorts are learning about survival. K-2 is looking specifically into pond plants and animals while 3/4 is learning about the survival of butterflies and how they are able to overcome a changing environment. In Spanish class, the K-2 are learning their family members and working on family trees! The 3/4 class is working on learning different greetings in Spanish and ways to say hello, goodbye, and ask some simple questions. In Outdoor Education we are learning about shelters, map making, and different survival techniques when in the backcountry!