Lower School Curriculum Unveiled for 2019-2020

Posted on May 23rd, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

By Michelle Feiss, Head of Lower School

View the Lower School Curriculum Night slideshowThis past Tuesday evening, we unveiled Allendale Columbia’s new Lower School curriculum for the 2019-20 school year. Over the past 10 months, teachers have met in various teams to research the best programs globally in order to develop new standards for mathematics, literacy, and our project-based learning units for next year at AC. (more…)

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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade

Lower School Reads for 100 Minutes at Camp Read-A-Lot

Posted on May 10th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Students camped out at school with some good books as Allendale Columbia’s Lower School students completed their 100 minutes of reading at Camp Read-A-Lot on May 10th. (Read the preview, Wolfie Stirs Students to Read and Help for May 10 Read-A-Thon.) (more…)

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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade

Wolfie Stirs Students to Read and Help for May 10 Read-A-Thon

Posted on May 3rd, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

by Randy Northrup, 5th Grade Teacher

Students from Nursery through Grade 5 gathered in the Curtis Performance Center (CPC) for a Read-A-Thon Kick-off. Mrs. Michelle Feiss, Head of Lower School, noticed all sorts of camping equipment on the stage and, along with the students, figured that AC mascot, Wolfie, was up to something.

Sure enough, Wolfie shared that he was missing all the fun he had at Camp Howl-A-Lot last summer and was trying to recreate the experience. After talking about all of the fun activities he enjoyed at camp, Wolfie asked what students at AC like to do. (more…)

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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Summer LEAP, Third Grade

Seeing Injustice Through the Eyes of Children

Posted on February 14th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

No one points out injustice quite like a child does. And no one gives us more hope than our children do.

Beginning with their preparations for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and their annual Kindergarten Breakfast, Allendale Columbia Kindergarten students learned about the life and legacy of Dr. King and the outstanding contributions of African American authors, artists, statesman, and scientists.

But while their research told them about these great people in our history and of today, the most difficult questions began with “why.”

(more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School

RSVP: Next Steps Event for PreK to Grade 4

Posted on February 1st, 2019 by cnickels

Parents of students in Pre-K through Grade 4 at AC are invited to a special Lower School Next Steps event on Friday, February 8th from 8:00-9:30 a.m. We will start in the CPC to learn more about next year from current students. Afterward, parents will be invited to visit and observe classrooms in action from 8:45-9:30 a.m. and visit our with our specialists in Art, Spanish, Music, and PE, and with our Learning Advocate.  (more…)

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Posted in: First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade

Feb. 1st Friday Night Delight Postponed

Posted on January 31st, 2019 by cnickels

We are postponing this month’s Friday Night Delight, originally scheduled for February 1st. We will communicate the new date as soon as one is confirmed. This pertains to the STEM-focused Friday Night Delight for our K-5 families.

Thanks for your understanding and stay tuned!

Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade

Young Soloists Turn Butterflies Into Bravado

Posted on January 24th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Yes, there were a few butterflies in the stomachs of Lower School students who had signed up for the annual Solo Performance Night held January 18th. But once they got started, the young students turned those butterflies into brave and beautiful notes that floated to the receptive ears of a welcoming audience.  (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade

MLK-inspired Dreams to Rhombicuboctahedrons: Celebrating Learning in Lower School

Posted on January 18th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

From Kindergarteners’ dreams inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech to rhombicuboctahedrons made by fifth-graders, students in AC’s Lower School demonstrated some of their recent work in a Celebration of Learning assembly.

After reciting the “I Have a Dream” Poem in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, each Kindergarten student read a dream they have for the future. These kind-hearted children included dreams for everyone to have a house and car, food, water, give to others, take care of children, keep the world clean, help other people, and for everyone to be loved.

First-graders recalled facts they learned about local animals, with masks they had made with Ms. Alexander. They also performed a rap song they wrote with Mrs. Grossman about recycling:

Save the Earth, Recycling Wins!
By the First-Grade Rock Band

We want to help you know,
where all the trash should go.
If you have a piece of toast,
Where to put it? The compost!

Plastic, paper, cardboard, cans
If you recycle, you protect our lands.
Put them all in the big blue bin!
Do this now, and you will win!

Dirty wrappers, broken toys,
Listen up, girls and boys!
Don’t put things in the wrong space,
it makes our earth a stinky place.

CHORUS:
Recycling! Recycling!
Just as fun as playing!
Recycling! Recycling!
Saving our earth is thrilling!

Recycling! Recycling!
Just as fun as playing!
Recycling! Recycling!
Saving our earth is thrilling!

“Bee Kind” was the second-graders’ motto and recent project, with its bee mascot, Zinger, whose voice made everyone giggle. They presented different ways people could add kindness in their daily lives. They also performed a regal “Kings and Queens” folk dance.

What strategies can be used to multiply numbers? Third-graders performed a skit to demonstrate multiplication strategies they’ve learned, including skip counting by threes, the sevens distributive property, halving the fives, and using solvemojis to “crack the code” of symbols representing numbers in multiple operations, and having an “ice cream party” treasure hunt after solving their 1,000th math problem of the year.

AC fourth-graders presented part two of their Zero Hunger project, explaining how wasting food also wastes money, labor, fuel, water, and time, and giving tips on how to reduce food waste with waste monsters:

  1. Take smaller portions!
  2. Eat all your crusts!
  3. Plan ahead to buy food you will actually use!
  4. Use up leftovers. Make a soup or an omelette. Just use them up!
  5. Clean out your pantry. Use up food close to expiration or donate. Preserve, pickle, or can food!

They also wrote and recited a food waste reduction pledge:

As an Allendale Columbia school student, I pledge to do the following.

    • I pledge to be mindful about food during lunch.
    • I pledge to ask about portions when getting more food.
    • I pledge to waste as little food as possible by taking only what I will eat from the salad bar.
    • I pledge to try and drink all of my milk, juice, or water each day.
    • I pledge to be appreciative of the hard work our lunch staff does on a daily basis.
    • I pledge to be courteous when informing others about the importance of curbing food waste.
    • If I am out to eat and there are leftovers, I will bring it home in a box.

How many books have you read since September? Fifth-graders updated everyone on their 40 Book Challenge, where each student is challenged to read 40 books from a variety of genres. They’ve read a total of 239 books this school year, and since their last Celebration of Learning in November, they’ve read 102 books. They explained how to make polyhedrons (many-sided objects), starting with “nets,” which are flat shapes that can be folded into 3-D objects; rhombicuboctahedrons, objects made by folding paper into 6 triangles and 18 squares; and stellated (star-shaped) rhombicuboctahedrons with 18 folded pyramids. They also watched the documentary, “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm,” which inspired the students to write letters to the film’s creators.

There’s a whole lot of learning going on in Lower School!

 

John Palomaki

John Palomaki

John is a parent of twin boys in Middle School at AC, an active volunteer, and occasional contributor of stories and photos. John spent a stimulating 10 years at Microsoft through the 90s as a systems engineer and managing executive relations programs. Since then, John has worked with non-profit organizations and has held leadership roles in independent schools in New Jersey and Connecticut in development, communications, and technology. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences (Biology) from Colgate University.
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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade