Fifth Graders at Nature’s Classroom

Dear Families, 

We had an awesome time last week in Rhode Island at Nature’s Classroom! Despite some intense overnight rain and winds and two days with no power, our kids were enthusiastic and inspired. They participated in many nature-centered activities, from shark and squid dissection, to natural tie-dyeing, creating their own field guides, making shelters, learning about camouflage, cracking open geodes, and more. 

The class also got to participate in many team-building activities. These collective tasks challenged our students to think about creative solutions and to work collectively. It was fun to watch them come together and share triumphs when they succeeded in figuring out a pattern or completed a “mission.”

They also participated in a Night Hike, a chance to explore the outdoors with absolutely no light to guide them, which culminated with, what else?  A campfire and s’mores : )

*I’d like to mention that we really missed Clay, who was off having his own adventures in Scotland. We’re glad to have everyone back and rolling along into fall in fifth grade.

In housekeeping news, a reminder that our first Passport to Reading (PTR) assignment is due next Wednesday, October 30th. Please note the date change. I have checked in with each student to be sure they have a plan and have begun their projects. Most of the tasks have multiple components, so it’s important that they give themselves enough time to do their best work.  

I’m looking forward to checking in with parents next week for conferences. In the meantime, feel free to contact me with any triumphs, challenges, or concerns. Enjoy the slideshow!

Nature’s Classroom Photos

Cheers, 

Ms. Grippo

By |2019-10-25T09:24:03-05:00October 25th, 2019|

Closing out the schoolyear with our last package of PenPal letters, sent + received!

Bonjour to all,

Today we have posted our final letters/drawings/ origami art to our friends in France, wishing them a bon été and telling them a little bit about what we will each be doing this summer.

It has been an enriching and heartwarming experience for us all, students and teacher alike! I am amazed to see the instant connection formed between these students, a true comradery, having never met nor spoken, and living an ocean away!

What has amazed me most is to see the spark in my student’s eyes and their eagerness to understand the letters that their French friends are writing, and to be able to write back to them. It has been a great motivator for our curriculum, to see the words and phrases put into use for basic communication.

It has also been enriching to learn more about the Montessori School of Uzès; what their school is like, what subjects they are studying in class, and to get to know their school pets (chickens): Abricot, Black and Grissette!

I also take pride in sharing information about our school. I included a copy of our 2018-19 yearbook with our envelope of letters shipping out today, to share a glimpse of what our school year at BCD looks like! The traditions and special events that we honor, the organized sports that are played here, and the field trips that are taken.

I look forward to continuing this PenPal exchange with the 4th and 5th graders next school year, and incorporating this project into other grade levels as well!

I’ve uploaded some new pictures to our BCD photo 2018-19 French @ BCD album! …

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y8axH9vNz9NtJCs57

Bon weekend tout le monde!

Mme. Daire

 

 

By |2019-05-31T13:23:40-05:00May 31st, 2019|

Last chance for summer reading materials in French through Bayard-Milan!

Bonjour tout le monde,

Tomorrow, May 15th, I will have a table of sample materials from the French language publishing house, Bayard-Milan, on display for your consideration in the Learning Commons.

My hope is that parents and families of students of all ages at BCD will stop by during or after school to peruse the selections, and consider subscribing to a magazine for your child for some enriching summer reading in French!

From Pre-school through Gr.9, there is something for everyone!

The samples on display will be organized by level and age, and include a plethora of themes, styles, and layouts. Please check out the link below for more information on the different magazines offered, per age.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/parents/quel-magazine-pour-quel-age/

What is Bayard-Milan?  … “We are journalists, graphic designers, early childhood education professionals, employees or freelancers … for forty years we have chosen to put our readers at the center of our editorial thinking. Listening to them, understanding them, astonishing them, nourishing them with inspirational works and accompanying them at each stage of their lives.”

Here’s a short excerpt on the mission of Bayard-Milan:

“More than anything, today as for yesterday, we have a duty of promoting enchantment in the younger generation. And in this particular situation where our magazines are not the voice of parents or teachers, but of caring accomplices, we can highlight the positive force that exists in everyone and in the many situations one encounters in life. And when you have the chance to live through words, thanks to talented creators, characters who can embody all their life experiences, it’s as if we invent small lights that will mark the lives of children and which they are will remember for a long time.” 

Please carve out a few minutes tomorrow to check out the selection of Foreign Language materials in the Learning Commons, for all grade levels and interests!

Best,

Mme. Daire

P.s for all inquiries concerning subscriptions, please refer directly to the US agent for Bayard-Milan ;

Ms. Catherine LAMY

[email protected]

*Orders are not placed through BCD.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/#

 

Merci beaucoup!

By |2019-05-14T14:11:59-05:00May 14th, 2019|

Fifth Grade Marks Earth Day with Kindergarten!

Fifth Graders joined their Kindergarten friends last week in a celebration of Earth Day.

The classes have been meeting monthly since September to participate in a peer reading experience. Each fifth grader is paired with a Kindergarten special friend. In addition to peer reading, we’ve exchanged bookmarks and valentines, and last week, each student crafted his/her own necklace from an assortment of Earth-themed beads. Mrs. Patel shared one of her favorite new stories, Stacy McAnulty’s Earth: My First 4.54 Billion Years. Anyone who has had Mrs. Patel knows what a great storyteller she is, and her reading of this funny, yet scientific approach to the Earth made us all smile.

By |2019-04-29T10:40:08-05:00April 29th, 2019|

Please vote for our Grades 7 and 8 French students!

Dear families and friends of BCD,

There’s one week remaining to vote for our Upper School French students!

Our 7th or 8th-grade classes are in the running to win $ 1,000 for the ‘Prix du Public’ award through the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques Slame tes Accents challenge!

Last month, the 7th and 8th-grade classes each submitted a video which met the requirements of the slam competition (length of the video, vocabulary, and content.) The themes that each of our classes chose to promote in their poetry include unity, respect, and acceptance.

Voting for the ‘Prix du Public’ award began on April 15 and nearly 29,000 votes were received during the first week of voting!

Please help us to increase our chances of winning by inviting your family, friends, colleagues, etc. to vote for BCD and to encourage the hard work that our students have put forth in meeting the challenge of creating their personalized ‘Slam’ in French!

The video that receives the most votes in the 12-14 age group will be declared the winner and that class will win a $ 1,000 grant (Canadian dollars) to use towards an educational event. S’il vous plait, spread the word and vote for our students!

Here are the details to vote:

The voting period is April 15, 2019 at 10:00 am (EDT) on April 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm (EDT);
1 vote per day, per IP address and per category is allowed;
The voting platform makes it possible to share each video on different social networks. It will be possible to share your video to the maximum!

Our 7th and 8th-grade French students video projects can be found in the ‘Catégorie de 12 à 14 ans’ (web address included below) … among dozens of videos submitted by students from countries all over the world! Canada, USA, Mexico, Haiti, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru and Colombia just to name a few…

http://www.francophoniedesameriques.com/slame/presentation-des-videos/

On behalf of our dedicated and dynamic students and myself, merci beaucoup for your support!

Best,

Madame Daire

 

 

By |2019-04-24T09:22:31-05:00April 23rd, 2019|

Fifth Grade Winter Update

Dear Parents,

Hope you are all enjoying Spring Break!! Here’s an update on our activities!

History: We completed our study of China this week by taking a closer look at Taoism and Confucianism, and by trying hands at painting on silk. We also began to explore the origins and practices of Islam as a way to provide context for reading I am Malala by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai.

English and Writer’s Workshop: Students enjoyed reading and discussing Bridge to Terabithia as well as viewing the film. We have completed our mini-unit on Word Choice, one of the 7 traits that good writers use. Each student outlined and wrote a process essay with a focus on word choice.

Math: Fractions have been the topic of conversation in math class. We’ve been working with mixed numbers and learning to regroup in order to subtract. Students will continue to explore operations using fractions in April, as well as begin to play with measurement conversions. We had some fun before vacation using fractions to bake chocolate chip cookies. However, in the consumption of these, I must admit there were no fractions of cookies left uneaten!!

 

Enjoy the slideshow and have a restful break!

Jilly

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GE4wWERWGFHpkMN99

By |2019-03-17T08:32:01-05:00March 17th, 2019|

Mois de la Francophonie in full swing at BCD!

Good afternoon all,

Before we part ways for Spring break, I wanted to share a brief update on what the different classes in the French curriculum here at BCD have been up to lately.

From poetry writing and presentations, cooking demo’s, PenPal exchanges, cultural and geographically themed projects, and learning songs, French students of all ages at BCD have been busy abeilles! (bees)

The 7th and 8th-grade French classes are now putting the finishing touches on their Slam Poetry videos – for submission to the Slame Tes Accents! international competition proposed through the organization, Francophonie des Amériques. The students were challenged to create a poem as a class and choose how they wanted to Slam their poem, employing the pre-requisite vocabulary and meeting other requirements for the contest. The 7th grader chose a theme of ‘unity through different accents’ and ‘self-confidence’ under the umbrella of the international French-language community. Their project was filmed in a casual, walk-through style in the Learning Commons.

For their part, the 8th-grade class embraced a ‘high-tech’ approach, using a drone, filmed outside, and with voice-over audio. Their message is aimed at the importance of recognizing the shared community of the French-speaking community around the world, no matter skin color, orientation, religion, current events or other cultural facets.

I’m very proud of the energy, enthusiasm and quality of work that these students brought to their projects. The organization will announce the winners in April.

For more information about the contest, please visit : http://www.francophoniedesameriques.com/slame/

 

The 6th graders took a cultural microscope to the different regions of France, each choosing a region of the Hexagon and shining the spotlight on and outlining notable facts for each. If you are looking for any fun + tasty recipes to try over the Spring break, have a look at their posters for guidance! 

Our 4th and 5th graders have prepared their third round of letters to their friends in France. It has been an incredible experience to see the connection grow between these classes on both sides of the Atlantic as the school year has evolved. This project strengthens not only vocabulary use, sentence structure, talking about oneself, asking questions and letter writing, but more importantly, it brings the ‘human element’ into our French language learning experience. The children have been able to establish a relationship with their PenPals and with the Ecole Montessori d’Uzès since September; learning more about ‘a day in the life’ of their pen-friends, both personally and academically. Through these letters, here are some of our takeaways : we were all saddened to hear of the tragic deaths by fox of two of their school chickens, Le Chef and Flash, 🙁 we were intrigued to learn of shared interests in Harry Potter books and favorite flavors of ice cream, and felt a general curiosity and interest about the importance of the celebration of Carnevale in France.

I welcome you all to visit the French classroom in Ryan 22 to see our PenPal board, read the letters and see the beautiful drawings done by our PenPal friends.

Our Kindergarten and grades 1-2 friends are starting to prepare for the performance of a classic French song at the Spring concert. More on that to come!!

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and fun Spring vacation.

Bien cordialement,

Mme. Daire

P.s.. check out the BCD photo album to see some pictures of our continued adventures in French!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y8axH9vNz9NtJCs57

By |2019-03-15T12:43:41-05:00March 15th, 2019|

Hinduism Exploration in Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade students have been studying the rise of civilization in the regions of the Indus and Ganges Rivers. This week, we focused on the beliefs and practices of the world’s oldest religion, Hinduism. We welcomed Preeti Kedia to our classroom to share with us her practices and beliefs, and to answer our questions. While each student prepared at least 2 thoughtful questions, her visit sparked so many questions that we ran out of time to ask them all.  Students were interested in topics ranging from life cycle rituals of birth, marriage and death to what gods are favored in Mrs. Kedia’s family,  what a Sanskrit prayer sounds like and where she buys all those spices she brought for us to smell!

By |2019-01-26T15:09:30-05:00January 26th, 2019|

Mois de la Francophonie, How Will We Celebrate at BCD?

Bonjour tout le monde!

What is the Mois de la Francophonie, you ask? The goal of La Francophonie Month, organized each year around the world, is to promote the French language in the context of cultural diversity, as well as to support dialogue and bringing together people, groups and communities interested in the Francophonie. 33 million people in the Americas live and radiate the French language around them.

We will celebrate La Francophonie Month at BCD in several ways, starting off with a crepe-making ‘atelier’ on Friday, February 1, with grades 4-8. My husband & local chef, Benjamin, will help us to assemble our ingredients and share the technique to making a perfectly thin and delicious crepe! …more details to follow, to be distributed by email per grade.

Another way in which students will celebrate Francophonie month is by participating in an international ‘Slam poetry’ competition, called Slame tes Accents’.  Through this competition, the Center of Francophonie des Ameriques aims “to highlight the diversity of French accents hosted by the Americas, to highlight the vitality and dynamism of the Francophonie of the Americas and stimulate interest in the Francophonie by demonstrating to students the power of words. Whether French is your second or mother tongue, whether you are starting out or perfecting it, display your accents and make them vibrate in video form!”

With grades 7 and 8, we will create a video of 60 to 90 seconds. Our class slam must integrate some 15 proposed words. This is an opportunity to celebrate the richness, vitality, and diversity of the French language during the month of the Francophonie. 

Here are some objectives of the competition, which we will approach in a way that best represents our Francophone culture at BCD and our school community! …

Stimulate interest in the Francophonie of the Americas in educational institutions.

Generate the pride of speaking French and belonging to the Francophonie family.

Engage students in their learning of French.

Demonstrate the evocative power of slam.

Develop written and oral skills in French.

Among the many prizes offered is the chance to win a visit to the school by Mathieu Lippé, a popular artist, singer, and slam poet from Quebec who has enjoyed great success among young people with his “contagious” dynamism. His visit, in the form of a creative workshop, will certainly help stimulate and promote student interest in the French language.

For more information about this engaging and inspiring educational challenge, please follow the link; http://www.francophoniedesameriques.com/slame/

Best,

Mme. Daire

 

 

 

 

 

By |2019-01-24T13:51:08-05:00January 24th, 2019|

Diversity, Ruby Bridges, and Lenny Kravitz’ Black and White America

Dear Parents,

In our advisory this week, and in the spirit of Martin Luther King, we approached the topic of diversity. We began by learning about Ruby Bridges, the brave first grader who was the first black student to be integrated into a public elementary school in 1960 New Orleans. We shared Robert Coles’ The Story of Ruby Bridges and then watched a short documentary. Next, we listened to the music of biracial musician/actor Lenny Kravitz and watched a short interview with him about his experience with discrimination in elementary school.  Students also made the connection with some of the discussions we have had about literacy and fair access to educational resources in our Reader To Reader class. We talked about the need for sensitivity around race and diversity, and about how we want to be careful about not judging others based on skin color or other superficial criteria.

Here are the links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkBJcR9ZUjw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wsqtg-Rs7Y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx1zdngX0DQ

Best,

Jilly

 

 

 

By |2019-01-23T13:45:04-05:00January 23rd, 2019|