November 2018 Message

Posted by Rebecca Goertzel on 11/5/2018

Amazing Chautauqua!

It has been a wonderful fall here at Chautauqua. Our students have been happily engaged in their classroom projects, hands on mathematics and literacy studies. We have seen our walls decorated with wonderful art projects, writing and science explorations. Our kindergarten students are getting into the forests weekly, and Amy Bogaard continues to introduce classes to environmental science in our forests and gardens. We have developed a K-5 science curriculum that meets modern STEM standards, which means that students are exploring and understanding scientific phenomena - and it’s super fun.


This is our first year implementing our new literacy curriculum and I have seen more enthusiastic, focused writers than ever. Students are enjoying the wonderful selection of diverse literature that is part of our reading and writing curriculum and our leveled reading groups are under way in grades K-2. Students think, reflect and collaborate, expanding their vocabulary and understanding. It’s been a joy to watch their growth.


We have been celebrating cultures and diversity in our specialist classes and in the library. September was Hispanic heritage month, October was disabilities month and Tara Brenno, our art teacher, highlighted some amazing artists with disabilities. We also celebrated Dia de los Muertos (A Latin American Ancestor celebration) and Halloween and in November we will celebrate Native Americans and our Veterans.


Thank you to all our families that volunteer at school. We love to have you here. If you’re interested in talking about our programs and have an impact on the big picture at Chautauqua, come to a Roundtable with Rebecca on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 2:45pm. We will look at the literacy curriculum the upcoming gathering and talk about recruiting more parent volunteers for PTSA on Nov. 20th.


Want to hear more about science?


Here is our Fall 2018 Science Update
At Chautauqua, students often engage in Mystery Science. Each lesson starts by posing a question commonly asked by kids, like "Do plants eat dirt?" Then a series of short videos prompts and guides a class discussion, followed by an hands-on activity. Lessons cover a wide range of topics, including light and sound, biodiversity, engineering, and the water cycle.


Snapshot: For example, this fall, 2nd graders completed an Earth Science Unit where they learned that maps show how the Earth changes over time.


Students made maps of Vashon that showed landmarks, their homes, bodies of water and landforms. As a culminating project students read The Three Bears of the PNW and created maps, complete with a key and compass rose, of the bear’s journey.


In 3rd grade students participated in a Life Science Unit where they learned to identify patterns and develop models demonstrating understanding that plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles, yet all include birth, growth, reproduction and death. Students manipulated the environment in which a plant grew to see how the plant changed. They also observed the life cycle of mealworms, which metamorphosize into darkling beetles.


Thank you for your involvement in our school and your support of our students.


Nov 7th is our final day for Sister Schools Donations.


With care,
Rebecca Goertzel