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December 22, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

First Grade Body Books: All About Bones

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

At home, parents traced the outlines of their child on white paper and glued them to thick cardboard, one page for each system. It is on these life-sized paper cut-outs that each student will illustrate the systems of their body to scale. Over the course of the unit, each page of the Body Book will explore a different body system and how it functions. 

body in text

 

Page one is the skeletal system. To begin, each class listed things they already knew about bones, questions they had about bones, and explored the sounds of bones in Drama class. They have observed how their own bones feel under their skin, shared experiences they’ve had with broken bones, and wondered how their bones support them in everyday life.

body thinking in text

To help answer their questions and find out more, they have been reading books about bones, the skeletal system and bodies in general. Earlier that week, each class had Reading Centers, when small groups of students work with their teacher and parent volunteers in guided reading practice. Mrs. Beilke’s class read What’s Inside of Me?, a text listing the major organs in each system, practicing sight words and reading strategies. Mrs. McKeone’s class worked with a text comparing and contrasting different animal skeletons. They even drew connections to their previous butterfly migration unit wondering if caterpillars would have more bones than an adult butterfly, the same way human human babies have more bones than adults.

Bodies Reading

They use their own bodies and a skeletal diagram to ascertain where the bones go and how they are situated in relation to another. Students in Mrs. Beilke’s class offered each other some strategies on how to get accurate placements of facial structures, such as using a certain number of finger-widths between nose and eyes as a guide, or noticing the nose is placed on the same plane as the ears on the skull. Some students checked out their face in a mirror to get a better feel for how they should draw the details of the skull. In Mrs. McKeone’s class, they used their belly button and elbow as a reference point for placement of the rib cage and arm bones, respectively.

body slide 10

Students use their own bodies and research texts to draw to-scale models of their skeletal system.

Some students in Mrs. McKeone’s class found drawing the curved shape of the rib cage difficult to transfer to their model. As a class, they came up with some ways to help make it easier. One student noticed that the rib cage as a whole was shaped like an upside-down heart, which you could lightly draw on the model to get the right shape. Another student noticed that each rib was about the same width as a finger, so they could trace their fingers as a model for each rib.  In partners, they used warm and cool feedback to make sure each model showed good detail and was accurate.

The next page of the Life-Sized Body Book will be the Nervous system. After more questioning, researching, and discussing the nerves and how we are able to feel, students will have a brand new blank body to fill in with to-scale drawings of nerves for their books.

Page through the Photo Gallery below to see more photos from research and the attention to detail students put into drawing their skeletons. 













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December 21, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

Second and Third Graders Learn About Geography in the Field

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The second and third grade classes visited Pigeon River, Kohler Andrae Park and The Kettle Moraines over the last three months to make observations and work together in the classroom to research Wisconsin landforms, practice reading and writing skills, and integrate movement into their research. Through trips to area landscapes, each classroom brought their knowledge and questions back to school as tools for learning and extending by thinking critically about what they’ve seen.

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December 4, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

A Trimester of Bee Research and Learning with the Fourth and Fifth Graders

A Trimester of Bee Research and Learning with the Fourth and Fifth Graders Thumbnail

In the first trimester of the year, the fourth and fifth graders of ESAA studied ecosystems. What better way to study ecosystems than through the lens of bees and their contribution to a healthy environment. To begin, each class performed a “Generate and Sort” thinking routine that helped to grasp knowledge students already had about bees and captured all the questions students have about our buzzing friends. This research continues throughout the trimester, learning more about bees to better understand why they are important to our ecosystem, and culminating in a final project to help support bees and their important work. 20150921 142310

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November 23, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

With Amazon Smile, Your Purchases Help Build Community

With Amazon Smile, Your Purchases Help Build Community Thumbnail

Here at The Étude Group of Schools, IDEAS Academy, The Mosaic School, and Elementary School for Arts and Academics, we value not only the community within our walls, but what impact we make as individuals and as a group in our larger community. Through project-based learning, we can situate our academic learning into real-life, relevant issues in our community like monarch migration[/elementaryschool/esaa-blog/first-grade-exhibitions-of-learning-why-are-butterflies-important/], native species awareness[/middleschool/mosaic-blog/mosaic-at-maywood-native-animals-and-energy-transfers/], and high school health[/highschool/ideas-blog/ideas-human-anatomy-and-physiology-class-hold-health-fair-at-school/]. If this is something you value, we'd like you to consider supporting us in our mission[/about-us/educational-program/].

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November 21, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

First Grade Exhibitions of Learning: Why are Butterflies Important?

First Grade Exhibitions of Learning: Why are Butterflies Important? Thumbnail

The first grade students of ESAA have spent the trimester exploring the question, “Why are monarch butterflies important?” Butterfly habitats, conservation, and the environment in general is an extremely relevant topic at the moment and also provides many opportunities to incorporate science, literacy, movement, and music.

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November 12, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

Parent Connections: Literacy at ESAA

Parent Connections: Literacy at ESAA Thumbnail

*Tuesday, November 17th at 6:30 pm*

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October 29, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

Community Art Project at ESAA: The Process of Building Identity through Color, Shapes, and Symbols

Community Art Project at ESAA: The Process of Building Identity through Color, Shapes, and Symbols Thumbnail

If you have recently gone through Door 8, the door at the very back of the school, you may have noticed a new work of art on the wall. This piece was created by each ESAA student to represent the school as a group of individuals, classrooms and the school community as a whole. This was the first time a school-wide art project has been attempted at ESAA using observations and thinking routines with a professional work of art as inspiration.

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October 19, 2015

ESAA Information Night This Week

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We know you never get tired about talking about your kids and their achievements... neither do we! We want to let people know what we're all about at ESAA and share all the wonderful things your kids do here. Help us spread the word!

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October 19, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

ESAA Awarded Cellcom 2015 Green Gift for Environmental Stewardship

ESAA Awarded Cellcom 2015 Green Gift for Environmental Stewardship Thumbnail

We are excited to announce that ESAA has been awarded a Cellcom 2015 Green Gift grant. Dean of School, Susan Griffiths, and The Étude Group Board Member, Beth Carreno, wrote and submitted the grant, showing ESAA’s innovative and educational approach to environmental stewardship in our classroom learning. There were nearly fifty entries and the selection was competitive.

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October 7, 2015
by: Janelle Bane

Parent Connections: Creating an Empowering and Safe Learning Environment at ESAA

Parent Connections: Creating an Empowering and Safe Learning Environment at ESAA Thumbnail

Last month, we held a Parent Connections meeting at ESAA. The focus of the meeting was establishing school culture and how we create community among our unique and individual students, families, and teachers.

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