Welcome back everyone! February marks the beginning of our new semester here at Alexander Academy. We sure are ready to begin the next phase of our language journey after laying down some fundamentals.
We begin with our Theme class, which took us on a journey through cities and famous buildings! During “Buildings and Construction” students began by looking at easily recognizable infrastructure around their community. We reviewed community vocabulary (fire station, supermarket, post office) and added new terms such as skyscraper and airport. Students also looked at who built and designed infrastructure (construction workers, architects) and even had a chance to design their own distinctive building. Students worked in pairs and brainstormed what kind of building they wanted and how they would share roles to create their masterpiece. Some students drew a military base, while others took inspiration from the Taj Mahal to design a school.
We continued with our theme in Science class and did a very exciting activity related to “Buildings and Structures” called “Friction and Movement”. Students had the chance to look at how different materials create different friction and change the speed of a blocks movement. We tried many materials, including felt and sandpaper! For “Feelings and Emotions” we experimented with the impact of music on our emotions. Students listened to different genres of music ranging from heavy metal to classical and drew what they felt. The results were fascinating. We also did a smelling test to test out our 5 Senses, specifically our sense of smell. We sniffed a variety of scents including vinegar, soy sauce, and vanilla in order to understand how scents can relate to our memories and feelings. Would we enjoy living in a smelly building? Or would we prefer living in a building that smelled like flowers?
For Reading, we began with really focusing on practicing our Phonics skills by beginning to read leveled readers related to our theme. Students now have the opportunity to practice reading on their own and take their book home to practice. Our first leveled reader was about what made someone happy and students had the chance to discuss what made them happy. We continued with “Building Homes”, while this was a more difficult level, students enjoyed looking at how a home is built. Reading these leveled readings have been successful at introducing new vocabulary, as well as helping students retain theme ideas and practice phonetic skills. In terms of Phonics, we worked with the letter R and reviewed vowels. At the moment we are still focusing on short vowels, which at times can be tricky. Students have come a long way from Day 1, and are starting to blend sounds with more ease and confidence.
This month we were able to explore themes related to feelings and emotions, the five senses, buildings and construction, and cities. Students continued to show progress and their learning growth has been commendable.