No Worksheet Holiday 2017

Brought to you by Ms. Rachel Altreuter, Elementary Principal, at our San Francisco campus! 

Our First Annual No Worksheet Holiday of 2017 was a huge success!  Elementary teachers were challenged to spend their last day prior to the Thanksgiving holiday teaching students without relying on any worksheets, and the kids had so much fun!  There was tons of excitement throughout the school - one third grader even proclaimed this was the best day ever!

Kindergartners have been learning about Thanksgiving all week long, and have been reading about the meaning behind celebrating Thanksgiving.  They created a Thanksgiving trail mix, and each brought in a symbolic food item to share.  During math time, they measured the weight of their items and compared the weights.  They even shared their trail mix with our office staff!  Another highlight of the kindergartners’ day was getting to read with the 5th graders.  The 5th graders were supposed to read to the kindergartners, but some of the kinders wanted to show off their new reading skills to the 5th graders!

First graders in room 204 kicked off their No Worksheet Holiday with a treasure hunt!  Students were challenged to solve clues to find invisible ink pens that revealed their Morning Meeting message.  They got to use their invisible ink pens for the duration of the day - what fun!  Students used their observation skills to find items in I-Spy and Where’s Waldo books.  After recess, they compared muddy footprints to pictures of suspects’ shoes.  Each student also brought in a riddle to share with the class.  They used their decoding skills to solve riddles and read hieroglyphics.  In P.E., they even played spy dodgeball!  Students were dressed up as investigators for the day, and put their skills to the test!  First graders in room 206 brought in items they are thankful for, and shared them with the rest of their class.  They were super adorable in expressing their gratitude!

Second graders had six real-world situations in which a solution could involve simple machines.  Students had to identify which simple machines would work best for each problem.  They collaborated in small groups, designed the machine, and presented to the rest of the class.  Afterwards, they improved upon their ideas after hearing feedback from their peers.  They’ll build the prototype on Monday when we return from break!  They’ve also been learning about westward expansion in history, and students created an “Oregon Trail Survival Checklist.”  Then, they used recyclable objects to create a wagon that could carry their items westward.  What a fun, cross-curricular day!

Third graders had a Trumpet of the Swan themed day, complete with a gigantic inflatable swan in their classroom!  Students were encouraged to dress up as their favorite character from the book, and began their day with a challenge to design some decorations for the in-class swan to more closely resemble the main character, Louis.  Later in the day, they were challenged to create a book trailer for the book, and had to write, act, direct, and revise their trailer!  They finished off the day watching the movie and comparing it to the book.  One third grader proclaimed it was the best day of school ever!

4th grade students brought their spelling words to life and created a full-size crossword puzzle! They had to work collaboratively, communicate clearly, and think creatively.  Later in math, they worked in groups again to use manipulatives to solve problems and present their solutions to the class.  Even fourth graders aren’t too cool to get on the floor and solve some puzzles!

5th grade students began the day with a STEAM project with a history twist focused on Da Vinci.  In teams, students designed and then created their own parachutes.  They tested their chutes on the preschool playground slide and recorded their data!  Later in the day, they paired up with their kindergarten reading buddies and enjoyed the chance to nurture their new young friends.  Finally, they closed the day with a science lab in which the students all chose a surface to swab.  They disinfected one dish and swabbed the other.  They will start watching the bacteria grow next week!

And…that’s a wrap for our first annual No Worksheet Holiday!  We had so much fun watching our students learn with their brains, hands, and hearts.  We look forward to doing it again next year!