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January 20, 2022


Fifth graders pilot new writing curriculum

Lotspeich teacher, Danielle Levine, was chosen as one of six teachers across the country to pilot the new Writing Unit of Study curriculum entitled, “Research-Based Argument Essay” written by the Teachers College at Colombia University.  Fifth graders continue to work through the new curriculum by peer-reviewing their argumentative essays about homework.  “Students are immersed in an intensive writing unit. They have researched the benefits and disadvantages of homework, and are composing letters to support the side of the argument they support.  The fifth graders worked on strengthening their writing by adding evidence they collected during the research process,” Levine said.  


Fourth graders want to help the seas

During the first Lotspeich assembly of the new year, fourth graders Ben Peattie, Caleb Cybulski, and Nalini Gupta discussed taking action to protect the ocean with their fellow Lotspeich students. After watching a documentary detailing the current state of the ocean and its future, the trio said they wanted to do their part to help improve the ocean environment by fundraising for Save the Seas, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting ocean wildlife. Throughout the month of January, Lotspeich students are raising money to donate to Save the Seas. So far, over $500 has been raised, with the last day to donate being Jan. 21.


First graders grow their own garden

First graders in Phoebe Dierkers’ class are gaining hands-on experience planting basil, spinach, green beans, mint, and peas. Students filled in a table with estimated germination dates based on their planting dates and the time needed for each plant to begin to sprout. “Once it does, the students will calculate the difference between the estimated and actual germination date of each plant. First graders will also use their measuring skills as they watch the plants grow from week to week,” Dierkers said.  


Second graders discover their Chinese zodiac signs

Second graders in Cicely Knecht’s class learned about their Chinese zodiac signs, either the horse or the snake based on the year they were born, and wrote an opinion piece about whether they embodied the animal’s characteristics to celebrate Chinese New Year. Students also learned how to draw their Chinese zodiac signs and used watercolors to bring them to life.


Red Barn hosts “Fallen Fairy” performance

Third graders performed “Fallen Fairy” during drama teacher Russell White’s class. Students learned how to follow different color light cues, while also how to express their characters’ emotions without sound. Throughout the performance, students captured the elegance of the Fairy Queen, the joyfulness of the Young Fairies, the hope of the Magic Healer, and the mischievousness of the Evil Ones without saying a single word.

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