Take a tour of our school highlighting many of the fine things teachers do with students here!
Step inside the classrooms with us to take a little tour. Today, kindergartners are studying the letter “G” making graphs in math with grapes. The students first tasted green and purple grapes, decided which kind they liked better, then learned how to graph their “favorite” on a Venn diagram. Following-up in language arts, they read about Gary the Gopher and culminates the lesson by making “green, goofy glasses” out of pipe cleaners.
Going up and around the corner to first grade, we find that the students have gone to music with our music specialist who meets with children weekly. They are using percussion instruments such as rhythm sticks to learn about “staying on the beat.” The music is lively, all of the students are participating, and you can see and feel the energy and excitement that fills the room. After music, they return to their classes to learn more about the Nevada County Library. Their honored guest for the day is “Mother Goose” who is dressed in an authentic costume and looks like she just stepped out of an enchanted storybook.
We go a bit further and peek into the second grade classrooms. We see that one of the classes has a note posted on the door. They have gone to their Buddy Class! Many classes at Alta Sierra School have a Buddy Class at a different grade level. This second grade class is working with one of our fifth grade classes. Today, they are sharing a math lesson by “guesstimating” how many licks it will take to eat an Eskimo Pie. They will then measure the stick in inches and centimeters. They culminate the activity with a writing lesson, focusing on the use of descriptive adjectives and comparisons. The other second grade classis immersed in the study of dinosaurs. Not sure why the Parasaurolophus had a horn on top of its head? Just ask one of our second graders. These curious little scientists are also zoologists who love to demonstrate their knowledge of animal groups. Their learning environment is full of amazing art projects, like paper-box fish, watercolor birds, and origami amphibians.
Moving on to third grade, we find that the students are learning about “Exploring Space.” They have just finished sharing their Planet Reports and are so proud of their ability to write a report, which includes a
title page, three to five pages of factual information, illustrations, and a real bibliography. Tomorrow is Space Day. Students will come to school dressed in a space costume and will compete for special recognition in one of the following categories: Most Alien-Like, Most Beautiful, Most Creative, Most Metallic, Most Spaced-Out, and Most Technical Astronaut. All children will be involved in “The Egg Drop,” a physics activity where there is intense interest to see whether their egg will break inside their homemade space capsule when dropped from the top of the stairs. Then, it’s off to the Rocket Launch!
It’s now time for recess. Children are free to play whichever games they choose. Real favorites at our school include Wall Ball, Nation Ball, Tetherball, Cat’s Corner, jump rope, and the Big Toy. Children normally eat a healthy snack and then get some good exercise with their friends.
As we visit the fourth grade classes, we see that Student Council members are making their monthly presentations to the classrooms. We have a very active Student Council with officers and representatives elected in our fourth and fifth grade classes. These students make class presentations to all students K-5 monthly, so that every child in the school feels that they participate in some way with Student Council activities. Today, the Student Council representatives are enthusiastically promoting our next school spirit day, which is “Crazy Hair Day.”
Once the Student Council presentations have finished, the fourth graders move into their science lesson. Today they are doing a hands-on experiment making circuit boards in their study of energy. They are busy creating six different circuits that will be powered by a D-cell battery which enables a light bulb to shine when correctly connected. Both fourth grade classes are active in the Computer Lab as they learn how to do a Power Point presentation. They develop their California Mission reports by writing group reports using Alpha Smart computers in the classroom. The information is then downloaded onto the server and the students convert that into a Power Point project, complete with research information and pictures.
It’s almost lunchtime. Students eat in our multipurpose room and then go outside for about twenty minutes of play. Our multipurpose room is used for a variety of activities including assemblies, P.E. games, Buddy Class activities, and art and science lessons.
As we visit the fifth grade classes in the afternoon, we find that one of our visiting artists is doing an art lesson with some students. Our Parents’ Club pays for a professional artist to come each year to do special art lessons. This year our students are learning skills in the art of watercolor. They produce magnificent artwork which is displayed in their classrooms, the office, the annual Art Show, and often on “artware,” which can permanently place the image on anything from coffee cups to cloth grocery bags.
Other fifth graders are working on the class play called “Sh-sh-sh, We’re Writing the Constitution!” Students are studying parts for the play and practicing songs that help develop the content of the production. At the end of the day, students will be reminded that tomorrow is the field trip to the State Capitol in Sacramento. This daylong trip includes a docent-guided tour of the capitol, the Peace Gardens, and both the Viet Nam and Firemen Memorials. Students from our school are consistently complimented on their appropriate behavior and knowledge of the particular field trip site that is being visited. Each year, our district and Parents' Club allocate funds for teachers to use for field trips throughout the year.
During the daily bulletin that is broadcast on the intercom each morning, students were reminded that at 2:00, the Track Team will meet on the playground, the choir will meet in the multipurpose room, and that the ceramics and Weird Science enrichment classes will meet from 2:00-3:00. Students end the day by walking with their teacher down to the buses where they may ride the bus, get picked-up to go home, go to Tutoring and Learning Club, or go the one of the other after school activities or the after school daycare program.
Your tour was a quick one and you only saw the tip of the iceberg! If you would like to see a more comprehensive listing of school activities, review our test scores, look at our Parents’ Club page or review more information about Alta Sierra Elementary, be sure to check all of the links on our website. You can always call us at (530) 272-2319. Our office hours are 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.