June 16, 2019


T-D’S Lower-School Spring Newsletter


Dear Lower School Families,


Wow!  I do not know about you but I feel like I blinked and the school year is over!  It was so nice to mix and mingle with you at T-D’S Fringe Festival, I know the students were proud to show off their work.  Although the school year has been winding down, we sure have been working full speed ahead. Read on to catch a glimpse of what has been going on.


Kindergarten:  It is hard to believe that the school year is coming to an end. The growth that I have seen in each and every one of my kindergarteners brings me so much joy. We start most of our mornings with math. This quarter we have learned about composing and decomposing numbers to nineteen. We have also explored measurement, and sorting, classifying, counting and categorizing data. We are just beginning to learn about shapes. In science we have been problem solving by asking “what can this object do?” and trying it out. We have carried it through by making plans and testing them out. We have also studied plant life by actually putting in the work so we can watch lettuce, radishes and marigolds grow! The flowers made for a beautiful Mother’s day gift as it allowed the children to share something they had done and been responsible for.The reading in the class is phenomenal. Every one of the students takes pride in their reading awareness and enjoys conversations with peers and teachers about it. They love to discover words within words and to be silly with their rhyming of made up words. I am very proud of the good choices that they make throughout the day, both academically and socially. Our new reward system in the class motivates everyone. “Super student is the best” as they all like to sing! It is sad to think it’s coming to an end.


First Grade:  The First grade is finishing up the year on a high note! We have learned the different parts of speech and are now incorporating them into our writing.  We have finished up working on verbs and adjectives and are now focusing on compound words, homophones, synonyms / antonyms and contractions. We have continued reviewing long vowel sounds.  As a culminating activity for our adjectives unit, we will have an “Adjective fashion show”! Each student will walk the catwalk while the audience discusses and records as many adjectives as possible to describe each outfit.  In math, we are finishing up comparison of numbers, double digit addition (with and without regrouping) and for the remainder of the year we will incorporate subtraction with regrouping as well. We will also work with three-digit numbers in both math operations.  Of course, those students who have been working on multiplication continue to do so using arrays and repeated addition.We continue to explore the elements of a paragraph.  I have introduced topic sentences and how to give your paragraph writing more “flavor” by using the analogy of a hamburger with many toppings. The more toppings you add to a burger the tastier it is – the more details you add to your writing the more interesting it is. They seemed to have grasped this concept well.  They are also learning how to support their writing with facts and opinions. Each week we practice writing paragraphs on different topics.In Science we have finished up our solar system unit – each student chose a planet to make a model of and learn about as the culminating activity.  They all did a wonderful job! We also planted our “seeds” from the greenhouses along the fence in the back of the school. We hope to see our flowers bloom in time for graduation and the stepping up ceremony.  We have been studying rainbows, clouds and the rain cycle. We will have several upcoming weather experiments that the students are looking forward to!In Social Studies we are now focused on America’s past. We have learned about the first settlers, Native Americans and the original 13 colonies as well as symbols of freedom in America.The first grade has worked very hard and I am very proud of all the work they have done this year!


Second & Third Grade: We have recently finished their geometry math section with second grade looking at various shapes and figures while third grade enjoyed studying various triangles, angles, and line segments. Both classes recently designed and typed out their own twenty page stories on bookcreator.com. Currently, all the stories are being edited and will be ready for the “public” soon. Our combined class has been studying and discussing democracy. We have had a handful of class presidents and vice presidents thus far. There is even a rules committee, as well as a social committee, which are responsible for planning monthly activities for the class. To incorporate STEM into our class room, both classes have had several independent and team based projects. Students have built towers, bridges, and designed their own vehicles. We have even involved physics as the students created their own egg protector for our class egg drop.

 Fourth & Fifth Grade:  We have just finished our study of the novel, Addison Cooke and the Khan’s Tomb.  It is safe to say that we all enjoyed the book and were sad to see it come to an end.  It definitely left us waiting impatiently for the next book, Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny, which will be out this summer.  We had a fantastic time getting our literary juices flowing while we authored our own Addison Cooke sequel.  I was amazed how creative and different they all were.In Math it has been all about fractions!   5th grade has been multiplying and dividing fractions.  We all know about the “Keep, Change and Flip.”  4th grade has learned how to simplify, turn improper fractions into mixed numbers, and add/ subtract like denominators   I hope all students will utilize the school’s subscription to IXL.com to keep their acquired Math skills fresh.  In Grammar we just finished Adverbs and Conjunctions, I hope you have all heard Conjunction Junction What’s Your Function.  In Art, students have created self-portrait masterpieces each donning a Mongolian Hat.  5th grade Science has been, “out of this world!” We have learned about both the inner and outer planets, the Milky Way and the vast universe.  We even made an “artificial meteorite shower” with some bicarbonate and anhydrous citric acid, a.k.a. Alka-Seltzer.It has been a wonderful year, and a great pleasure to watch these guys grow and become more independent.  Our Middle-School English teacher will be visiting the 5th grade class to discuss Summer Reading Assignments.  


Upcoming Events:

Field Day will be held Tuesday, June 18th, 12-3 PM.  Students are permitted to wear T-shirts and shorts on Field Day.

The Moving Up Ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19th at 10:30 AM behind the White House.  It concludes at 11:30 AM with dismissal. Please note-students should arrive at school by 9 AM, as usual.
Wishing you all a restful summer and looking forward to our “Sacred” next year!


Very truly yours, 

Virginia Keating

vkeating@td.edu

Lower-School Director

Middle-School Director