5th Grade Weekly Update, Week of December 4th

ELA: On Monday, students will take a vocabulary test covering vocab from Chapters 14-17 of Shades of Gray. This week we will focus on comparing our two novels Turn Homeward Hannalee and Shades of Gray. We will use a Venn Diagram compare the protagonists from each of the novels. We will also learn about story elements found throughout Shades of Gray: static and dynamic characters, theme, exposition, rising action, the climax, falling action, and the resolution/denouement. Students will be given a study guide on Monday covering both SOG and THH. The final test for these two novel will be given on Friday. It’s vital that students finish their reading of Chapters 9 and 10 over the weekend so they are prepared to answer questions on their study guide early in the week. They do not need to have their Literature Circle job completed, just make sure those last two chapters are read! Our final lit circle will meet on Friday. Students were given their averages of the first four weeks’ grades. Once the last lit circle has met, all of the six weeks’ grades will be averaged as a test grade. In grammar, we will continue to study verbs, specifically irregular verbs this week.

History: We will focus on leaders of the Civil War this week and their contributions to the Civil War. We will also study the Peninsular Campaign and the Battle of Antietam. On Wednesday, we will watch a biography about Stonewall Jackson, giving students a better understanding the type of man he was and his contribution to battles throughout the war. Last Tuesday, students were introduced to our Civil War Feast project. They should bring a copy of the recipe they have chosen by Monday, or else they will be assigned a recipe. Our feast will take place after our day band concerts on Thursday, December 14th. This assignment is a great way to experience the lack of availability of certain food items and what food tasted like when there was a Civil War going on that divided our country so drastically. I’m attaching the project sheet to this email. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Math: On Friday, students enjoyed learning about winter holidays including Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Thank you to Bella and Macey for bringing in items to share with others and explaining more about Hanukkah! Afterwards, students selected a holiday related math coloring sheet that reinforced subtracting fractions. We will display these for others to see in the classroom! This week, we will continue to learn how to subtract mixed numbers and practice problem-solving skills, such as working backwards. Since several of our lessons will focus on problem-solving this week, we will not complete a weekly problem-solving packet. We will resume the problem-solving packet on December 11th.

Science: On Monday, we will begin our Earth’s Forces Cell. During this CELL, students will perform several investigations designed to reveal the Earth’s forces of gravity and friction, and the way that these forces affect the motion of objects on Earth. Through discussion and experimentation, students learn about the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on stationary objects as well as objects in motion.

To spark students’ interest in our new topic, they were given a mystery scientist sheet on Friday, which is due Monday. They have been given clues about a famous scientist and their job is to use those clues to discover the name of the mystery man or woman. If your child correctly guesses the name of the scientist and records the resource he or she used when researching, then his or her name is placed in a raffle to win a prize! This is an optional assignment that students love to participate in!

Other: Please be on the look out this week for a letter detailing our Winter Wishes gift exchange with fourth grade. This has become a beloved tradition between our grade levels that our students look forward to! Those who choose to participate will be a part of a secret gift exchange with a fourth grader. There is a $15 limit on gifts and students will receive a favorites list of their fourth grader to help guide them when buying gifts.

December Weather

Good afternoon to the parents of Jones two year olds. Hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine. I think winter weather is finally here so please be prepared. If bad weather is in the forecast, please check our school website for updates as to any school closings. Thank you Mrs. Jones

Welcome all to Mrs. Jones site

Welcome to our new Website. Thank you for any feed back to this site. Our early learners will be celebrating family and friends at school. In December we will design our own Gingerbread houses. Also we will enjoy a holiday concert put on by the older students. Happy Holidays everyone. Mrs. Jones

Thanksgiving Celebration

We had such fun celebrating Thanksgiving with our Friendship Salad, also known as, Feast! What a joy it was to see the children all dressed up walking though campus and then sitting down to eat all the delicious food that everyone brought together at one big table! We have so much to be thankful for and thank you for giving us the opportunity to celebrate with your children! Hope everyone had a fun, relaxing, and thankful Thanksgiving with your family!

The Nobel Prize and its Relevance to Learning @ the Woods

Let’s face it. Most of us know more about the Super Bowl Championship and the Academy Awards than we do about the Nobel Prize.  I was certainly in that category until I had the awesome opportunity to visit the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.  Since night comes early in Sweden in late October, my entrance into this beautiful 18th century building was enveloped in an oncoming fog and an unsettling early darkness.  The Square that fronts the Museum was quite deserted and I felt I heard the hooves of horses pulling carriages in a strange mix of IKEA and Dickens.

As my eyes adjusted to the interior lighting of the museum, I realized I was in for a wonderful learning experience and an unexpected personal and professional “aha”! The Swedes really know how to blend the architecture of divergent centuries as well as the history and relevance of Nobel, the man and the award.  I walked a timeline of the award and met all the Laureates as their bios flowed overhead on an amazing cableway circulating at the roof level throughout the museum.  Modern technology allowed me to “talk” with Laureates and learn about their diverse lives and their own personal “ahas”.  My “quick” visit developed into hours as I visited and re-visited exhibit areas and slowly became a Nobel groupie!  I think the docents were ready to offer me a job or have me arrested as a museum stalker.  And, of course, I completed my visit at the Nobel bookstore purchasing books and literature that are now here for everyone at school to read, learn, and enjoy.  The seeds of an exciting new endeavor for the Woods were planted and I was already dreaming of what could be.

As with sports championships, theater awards, and other social recognitions of achievements existing in all countries, the Nobel Prizes are the only internationally recognized awards in any categories, much less in the areas of academic achievement and research that improve the lives of the world’s inhabitants. There is so much to learn at any age from Nobel, the man and the award.  There is even more to learn as older students learn of the lives, trials, challenges, and successes of the Nobel Laureates.  And there is enough intrigue, drama, mystery, and media gossip surrounding the annual awards to intrigue everyone, too!

I have spent almost a year researching and collecting materials for Wood Acres’ faculty to integrate into their teaching and student learning to elevate awareness of the Nobel Prizes and its timeless relevance to helping mankind solve problems and improve lives.

The results of this labor of love and learning is that each teacher, in age appropriate ways, can incorporate learning about Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prizes into your teaching especially each December. The annual Nobel Award Concert and Banquet are held each year in Stockholm on December 10.  As you can imagine it is a grand and royal event.  My hope is that in a few years we can incorporate our December WA Band concert into a Nobel concert format and have a most royal reception afterwards surrounded by a suspended poster display of present and past Nobel Laureates (created by our students of course) just like in the Stockholm Museum.  My creative juices are on high alert to all the possibilities.  We can turn this dream into a reality!  Good Morning America, here we come!  What an exquisite way to celebrate the highest levels of learning from an international global perspective.  WOW!!!

The Noble Prize for me now is much more that the facts, history, and stories that first caught my interest in Stockholm that foggy evening in 2015.  My learning has evolved to embrace the process, the people, and character that these men and women displayed that make this award worthy of our study, learning, admiration, and awe.  Noble Nobel for certain!

Judy Thigpen

Wood Acres Family Reminders

The first signs of Thanksgiving are all around the Woods and we hope the upcoming week off will be much enjoyed.

 A few family reminders:
  • Friday, November 17   Support the Wood Acres 8th graders as they raise money for their capstone trip to Spain. Buy a Poinsettia today for the holidays! Deadline for all orders is this Friday, November 17th. Samples now in the WA front office and order forms are attached to this email. Thank you for your support!  Poinsettias will be delivered the first week of December.
  • Monday, November 20 – Friday, November 24   Wood Acres is closed for Thanksgiving and there is no Tree House.
  • Thursday, December 14   Annual Wood Acres Band Concert at 6:30 pm.
  • Monday, December 18    Tree House closes early at 5:30 pm for annual staff holiday event.
  • Thursday, December 21    Early Dismissal 4’s – 8th at 1:00 pm.  2’s dismiss at 11:45 am and 3’s dismiss at 12:45 pm.
  • Friday, December 22 – Tuesday, January 2   Winter Holiday Break.  No school and no Tree House.
  • Wednesday, January 3   Return to School – Welcome Back!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Wood Acres Faculty and Staff

Dear Wood Acres Families

Soggy rainy weather did not dampen our spirits or fun yesterday as we celebrated the Ultimate Play Day on campus. Play is a vital part of the spark of creativity in each of us. That is why play is a valuable skill that we often forget how to do as adults. Your homework for the coming holidays is a daily dose of play – inside and outside, with family and friends, with games, puzzles and challenges. Adults need recess and play days, too!

As we informed you several months ago, the property that borders our campus on Johnson Ferry Road and Bishop Lake Road will be developed into high quality “55+ Adult Community” gated cluster homes by St. Clair Holdings. The orange silt fencing is going up and land disturbance will begin soon. We have met multiple times with Patrick Clark, the developer and East Cobb resident. His adult son attended Wood Acres! We feel that he understands that he will be working around a very special campus filled daily with amazing students and staff. The setbacks and property walls for the project reflect his commitment to that. While the land will begin to look stark as ground clearing and digging begins, the end product will actually enhance our campus. Please stop by the Newbery Room of The Stacks in the main office to see a rendering of the final project as well as a site map. Jenny Tischer is our point person on campus for this project and she is most happy to speak with you about it and answer any questions.

Now back to play and an early greeting of well wishes for a family and friend filled Thanksgiving full of food, fun, and yes…PLAY! We are so thankful for each and every one of our Wood Acres families. We are blessed indeed and this is the perfect time to be ever so thankful!

Judy Thigpen

Welcome to Mrs. Siegelman’s Kindergarten class.

Dear Families,

On behalf of Doc, Golly, Ettabetta and all the Superkids I send you this digital welcome to our new Wood Acres website, parent portal, and our class’s very own page! Communication is key for a successful school year and this page will provide you with another easy way to be “in the know” about the happenings @ the Woods, especially in our class. Visit it often and let me know what else we can post to help you feel connected to us.

Autumn is an amazing season at Wood Acres as the changing colors never disappoint. Yes, it also brings shorter days and chillier weather, but we still pack lots of learning –inside and out- into each day.

Greetings and Welcome

Greetings and welcome to this unique school called Wood Acres.  It is my second home, my joy, and the place I come everyday with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.  As a teacher for many years in many different states and settings, once I found Wood Acres, I knew this was the place for me.

I was born in New York, and my husband and I relocated to East Cobb in 2000 where we were anxious to put down roots and stay awhile.  After an interview with our Head of School, Judy Thigpen, I quickly realized I wanted to teach and learn along her side, under her tutelage.  Her passion was inspiring, her creativity boundless, her extraordinary way of looking at teaching, learning, and education was unique and intriguing.  I was professionally eager to learn and grow as I reflect on my early years as a teacher, and every day since then and I have had the honor to work with her now as my role as principal.

The Wood Acres School has a heart. Its beautiful beat is strong and steady in this community of children of all ages, teachers, and parents who care deeply about this amazing place. The joy, wonder, and magic is palpable if you just look around our campus and take note of all the ah-ha moments whether large or small.

A Wood Acres education is decidedly different. In a world filled with a lot of noise and uncertainty, we hold a few things dear that have guided us for almost fifty years. Children always come first. All children deserve a superior, thoughtful, and rigorous curriculum. If it is good for children, let’s do it. Prepare each child for the path rather than the path for the child. Character counts. These are simple ideas, but for us at Wood Acres, they are everything.