May 27, 2016

First Graders have enjoyed a wonderful two weeks with Olivia Halverson. They have been anticipating her arrival since she visited for a week in December. Olivia will be graduating from The Principia on June 4. From there she will take a 10 day excursion to Spain with her Spanish 4 honors class. In August she will begin studies at Concordia University in Oak Park, Illinois. She will major in elementary education with possible minors in Spanish and music.


Our time with Olivia has been a gift. She has enhanced our learning about the world’s oceans in ways we never imagined. First Graders not only know the names and locations of the 4 or 5 oceans, depending on the scientists you believe, but have broadened their vocabulary. Students can describe the zones of the ocean, talk about depth, and density. These zones were learned in a clear cup as students layered ground Oreos for the trenches and a variety of puddings and cool whip for each layer!

They understand the effects of salt water versus fresh water on both sea creatures and people. Each student researched facts about a creature, made it to size, and compared it to the zones and sizes of their classmates’. Everyone had the opportunity to present their creature and their findings in front of the class.

Perhaps the favorite activity was the introduction of “Shark Tracker” an app that provides educational information about sharks and shows hundreds of sharks’ locations in the world’s oceans in real time. April, A.b., AL, and Billy are some of the class’ favorites.

What a special way to wrap up a wonderful year in First Grade! Have a safe and fun summer.

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