What is STELLAR?

stellar happenings


We began the year teaching the children about the proper use of the iPads and books in the library.  We prepared them for their first NWEA through apps that required them to follow directions, while listening through their headphones.  Then we moved onto lessons about colors, nursery rhymes, and fire safety.  Each lesson involves movement, listening, writing, and drawing, and was designed to go along with the Kindergarten curriculum!


We are currently supplementing the science curriculum, focusing on the solar system. Students are spending each class leaning about one planet, and creating a model of it using various artistic methods to showcase the characteristics of that planet. This project will culminate in a completed model of the solar system, with facts on each planet, and then a visit to our very own star lab to reinforce the unit.


We are enriching both the science and ELA curriculum through a Paleontology unit. The students are learning how to use books and online sources to answer their own questions about dinosaurs, and learning how to organize the information they find in a meaningful way. They are also working on creative writing pieces using what they’ve learned about dinosaurs, to turn them into the main characters in their stories. Next, they will choose a specific dinosaur to research, and then compile their research into a presentation for their class.


The year began with an introduction to technology and an All About Me Publisher project.  They are now beginning student-driven research on Mexico, which goes along with the 3rd grade guided reading curriculum.  The third graders will move onto modular robotics, author studies, STEM activities, and other research projects.


The first few weeks of school was spent reviewing technology and good digital citizenship.  This included class discussions and working on different laptop and iPad programs such as Publisher, Keynote, Google Docs, etc.  Currently the 4th grade students are researching landforms and working on a google slides document, which they will present to the class.  The projects are differentiated to provide each child with the opportunity to challenge themselves.  Moving forward in 4th grade, the children will conquer engineering projects, learn about coding, visit the star lab, and work on additional research projects and presentations. 


After a brief review of technology, students were introduced to google docs and google classroom.  Our first unit is a persuasive writing piece centered on Technology and Friendships.  Students go through research, presented orally and digitally, choose a side of the argument, and begin their writing piece.  We discuss the difference between facts and opinions, and what type of language makes a strong argument.  The children learn the importance of annotations, and how to write a thesis statement.  Based on their writing levels, students will be required to write a paragraph or an essay.  Additional projects coming up in 5th grade include engineering units,, robotics, coding, and World War II research projects.