Home   /   Elementary School   /   Étude Elementary Blo...

Étude Elementary Blog

May 24, 2016
by: Beth Carreno

ESAA 2nd and 3rd Graders Skype with Lightning Thief Playwright

ESAA 2nd and 3rd graders recently had the opportunity to attend a matinee showing of Theatreworks’ The Lightning Thief at the Weill Center.  Exposure to theater is important to everything from developing creativity and imagination to lengthening attention span.  It’s also a powerful connector to reading.  We were fortunate that our students had the chance to attend a live production of a book so many of them enjoy.

One of the things that makes our schools unique is the investment in “more.”  More opportunities to learn, to stretch, to build background knowledge, and to ask questions.  Thanks to his theater network in New York City, Mr. Burkey, the school’s drama instructor, arranged for ESAA’s 2nd and 3rd grade students to Skype with the show’s playwright, Joe Tracz.  (The book was written by Rick Riordan.) 

To prepare for the discussion, Mr. Burkey led the students in a “See Think Wonder” thinking routine.  Students discussed the observations they made seeing the play; shared things the play made them think; and asked questions they still had on the play or the process of creating a play.  Students generated the questions that they would ask Mr. Tracz through the thinking routine.

With Mr. Tracz’s face projected on the screen, students lined up to the computer to ask their questions.  “Did you read the book? Why did you make it a musical?  Why did you make it so funny?  Why did you want to become a writer?”  Mr. Tracz answered the questions with humor and insight.  It was obvious that he enjoyed sharing his passion about theater and writing with this group of students. 

The experience was more than a simple question and answer session.  It was an opportunity for our students to talk with a creative professional while digging deeper into the creative process.  What was Mr. Tracz’s advice to our students?  See lots of theater. Write. Read! 

Expanding Horizons is what we call our efforts to provide students with enrichment opportunities that include live theater productions and working with creative professionals.  Experiences like the ones our students experienced around The Lightning Thief build greater understanding and connection with their learning.   

Tags:     |     |     |  

April 21, 2016
by: Beth Carreno

The Étude Group's Maker Movement

 The Étude Group's Maker Movement Thumbnail

There is a lot of talk in education these days about “makerspaces.” It seems to be a new buzz word. The reality is that while it may be a new concept for some in the education community, it’s one of the foundations for The Étude Group. While the concepts of making and creating are not new for us, our role in sharing this concept at a greater level with the community is.

Read the full post

Tags:     |     |     |     |  

April 2, 2016
by: Kimberly Johnson

Parent Maker Night

Parent Maker Night  Thumbnail

Please join us for an evening of making at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center!

Read the full post

Tags:     |  

March 25, 2016
by: Beth Carreno

ESAA Creative Process: It’s No Accident

ESAA Creative Process:  It’s No Accident Thumbnail

A recent blog covered ESAA’s first grade Exhibition of Learning (EOL) on human body systems. It was a reminder of what The Étude Group’s education philosophies create when they are put into practice. It was also an opportunity for us to step back and acknowledge that this is not an accident. The approach, the successes, the learning…it is purposeful, and it is a process.  

Read the full post

Tags:     |  

March 24, 2016
by: Beth Carreno

ESAA receives funding for forestry education

ESAA receives funding for forestry education  Thumbnail

The Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB) announced that ESAA / The Etude Group has been awarded $4,700 to develop and enhance forestry education projects at the school. 

Read the full post

Tags:     |  

March 9, 2016

ESAA First Grade Exhibitions of Learning

ESAA First Grade Exhibitions of Learning Thumbnail

As a supporter of our schools, I was invited to a first grade Exhibition of Learning (EOL).  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I’ve attended EOLs for our high school students.  They are amazing.  But, I’ve also spent lots of time with first graders.  I wasn’t sure how what I understood about EOLs would be translated by first graders.  

Read the full post

Tags:     |     |  

February 14, 2016
by: Lori Ladiges

ESAA Literacy Connections: What is family literacy?

ESAA Literacy Connections: What is family literacy? Thumbnail

Dear Parents, 

Read the full post

Tags:     |     |  

February 3, 2016
by: Janelle Bane

Kindergarten Students Study Holidays and Celebrations from Around the World

Kindergarten Students Study Holidays and Celebrations from Around the World Thumbnail

Kindergarten classes are exploring the question: How can I learn about others? To answer this, they've explored the holidays and celebrations of different cultures in our community. Guest speakers came to kindergarten to share information, food and background information about a holiday they observe. Students learned about the Hmong New Year, Las Pasadas, Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Epiphany, and Indian Harvest Festival and always had plenty of questions. The visits included stories about the origin of the holiday, why it is important to that particular culture, and customary food, toys, clothing and plants. Students then identify elements of each holiday, and compare and contrast to find themes. At the end of the unit, the classes will use this research as a model to create their own celebration about peace using the common themes and elements in world celebrations they’ve discovered.

Read the full post

Tags:     |     |     |  

January 9, 2016
by: Susan Griffiths

Gaining understanding through close looking

Gaining understanding through close looking Thumbnail

In our busy world, we rarely take the time to look closely to see things that often go unnoticed. Much can be learned when we slow down and really look at something. As one of our Habits of Mind, observation is essential to learning. Observation requires students to intentionally slow down and look closely to see details. From these details students start to form patterns and make connections. This leads to understanding not only the details they see, but how these parts interact systematically to form the whole.  In projects at ESAA, observation can be found throughout the creative process. Observation is a form of research and discovery. Students use the details they uncover to wonder, think deeply, and analyze. These observations help students understand the complexities of the world around them.

Read the full post

Tags:     |  

December 22, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

First Grade Body Books: All About Bones

First Grade Body Books: All About Bones Thumbnail

This trimester, first grade students are investigating the question: How does the human body work? 

Read the full post

Tags:     |     |