Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Ms. Cather's Class
Weekly Update - May 10, 2019

Dear 5th grade families,

We had a great week of Pentathlon preparation, learning about Greece and Greek Mythology. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow for our Mayfaire festival, and then again on Monday night for our Parent/Guardian Evening. Happy Mother’s Day to all of our amazing moms, stepmoms, and mother figures!

 

Upcoming Events

  • Mayfaire TOMORROW, May 11., 11-1pm.

I’ll be at the Family Jam station, so bring an instrument (there will be some percussion instruments provided) and come jam with me!

    • Please bring a potluck dish that serves 4-6 people (see assignments below), and plates, cutlery, napkins, water bottles, lawn/camping chairs for your family.
    • Early Childhood and Gr 1 – Sides (breads, bean dishes, roasted vegetables, etc)
    • Gr 2 and Gr 3 – Main dishes (chili, roast or fried chicken, casseroles, meat and vegetarian options, etc)
    • Gr 4 and Gr 5 – Salads (green, pasta, potato, fruit, etc)
    • Gr 6 and Gr 7 – Appetizers (cheese, grapes, hummus or dips, cut veggies and/or crackers, etc)

For safety reasons, we would be greatly helped if all parents and guardians could keep an eye on and know the whereabouts of their children at all times.

 

  • 5th Grade Parent/Guardian Evening, 6:00-8:00 pm
    • I will provide snacks, feel free to bring something to add to the table
    • We will have Ms. Kondrat, Mr. Riendeau, and Ms. Pearl visiting! Bring your questions about Pentathlon and Middle School.

 

  • Pentathlon, May 20-22
  • Jumpathon, May 23
  • Records Day, no school May 24
  • Memorial Day, no school May 27
  • Cirque de la Prairie, May 31

 

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the ways you made me feel appreciated this week. Thank you for the flowers, the delicious food, and for decorating our community room and wellness room! I enjoyed a relaxing massage today too, which topped off my week!

 

Morning Lesson

The 5th graders did Pentathlon training for their Morning Movement work this week. I set up circuit training stations, where they did jumping jacks, stair runs, sprints, jumped rope, situps, etc. for a minute at a time before moving on to their next station. It was a great way to get their blood flowing in the morning and help to build their confidence for our upcoming Pentathlon!

The 5th graders began their Ancient Greece block by studying Greek geography. They drew a map of Greece, which was quite a difficult task. Nevertheless, they persevered through the hard work and did a really lovely job. They learned about the jagged coastline, rugged mountains, and the many islands off of the Greek mainland. This study sets the stage to learn more about Greek mythology and history in the coming weeks.

The 5th graders worked on a dictation focusing on geography vocabulary: terrain, island, climate, mountains and words with doubled consonants: rugged, sunny, brilliant.

Next, they learned some stories from Greek mythology. They learned about Zeus and the Olympian gods, as well as Perseus and Medusa. They were really captivated by these dramatic stories and had many questions and reactions.   We will continue next week with more Greek mythology and history.

 

Skills Classes

The 5th graders worked on converting metric units of length this week in Math skills. They used a table to show equivalencies between kilometers, meters, and centimeters. They discovered the ease with which one can convert between these units, but simply moving the decimal point to multiply and divide by multiples of ten.  Mx. Bala shared with the class their experience of living in India and using the metric system there, and then learning the conversions between the customary and metric systems when they moved to the United States.

In Botany skills, the 5th graders participated in an inquiry activiry for plant classification. I lined up all of the plants in our classroom and had the students observe in silence for 5 minutes. Reverent and careful observation of phenomena are important parts of the Waldorf approach to science. After this, I asked the class to sort the plants into 2 groups, but I did not give them the criteria. They first sorted them by size. Wanting them to dig deeper, I asked them to sort them again, but use a different criteria. This time, they decided to use the leaf patters and sort by opposite leaves and alternate leaves. Finally, I sorted them, but didn’t tell them how I did it.  I asked them to look at the plants grouped together and draw conclusions. Finally, someone mentioned the veins in the leaves. One group had parallel leaf veins, while the other had reticulated leaf veins. This is one major difference between two plant groups, the Monocotyledons and the Dicotyledons. After they observed these differences, we discussed the other characteristics of plants in these two groups, as well as examples of each.