This Week in Lower School 12/18/2020


This week, the Lower School continued with Hanukkah learning and celebrations. We would typically have a wonderful Hanukkah play, which is the highlight of many culminating educational experiences leading up to the week of Hanukkah, but we have had to hold off on the play for this year. However, we have kept the excitement of Hanukkah alive by keeping many of the same traditions, but in a different capacity. 


Our 5th grade students usually take the leadership role in writing and acting the lead roles of the Hanukkah play performed by the entire K - 5th grade student body. We still wanted to allow for that leadership opportunity for our 5th grade students, so they have created a Hunakkah movie in their performing arts special. Click here and enjoy. Can we make this video the highlight for the Lower School update. 


Another neat project that has become a tradition is that the 4th grade students design and 3D print Hanukkah symbol cookie cutters. In a typical year when we can mix cohorts, our 4th grade students would bring their cookie cutters to a cookie baking day with the Kindergarten students, who would then get to take the cookies home in their Hanukkah cookie jars that they design. This year, the 4th grade students will get to share their cookie cutter designs with family in their homes. 


In art, our students had a variety of projects that focused on a particular aspect of Hanukkah. Here are a few of the projects: Students made Hanukkah cookie jars for Hanukkah symbol shaped cookies, Hanukkiot and dreidels out of clay, plates for latkes, plaques with the Hanukkah blessings pasted on, dreidel paintings, kindness candle hanukkah drawings, and much more. 


The Dreidel Spin Off is a tradition of our K-5 grade students where students compete to see who can spin their dreidels the longest. Each class had their own competition this year and students paid $0.25 for each play. The students raised over $100 and the Student Council has decided  to donate all proceeds to the Kline Veterans Fund.  Our 5th grade students also had their own Dreidel Spin Off with a twist of technology. In Discovery Lab, 5th grade students 3D printed the dreidels that they use in the spin off. Enjoy the video of the 5th grade “3D Printed Dreidel Spin Off.”



Kindergarten - 3rd grade Science: Kindergarten students have been learning about precise measurements with measuring cups and mixing substances to create new substances. After all, there is a lot of cooking with the Holiday of Hanukkah. 1st grade students are celebrating light and the effects that it can make with transparent and opaque objects. As a result, students made really neat Hanukkah shadow puppets. Students in 2nd grade have been investigating candles and how the wax vaporizes to allow for the right amount of oxygen to keep the candle wick lit. The 3rd grade students investigated the science of spin with their dreidels. They have learned that by making their own spinners and seeing how physics and geometry play a big role in how an object spins. 


4th and 5th science students studied the chemistry/science of candle burning. They learned that a flame needs fuel (carbon and hydrogen), oxygen from the air, and heat to burn. Students placed a glass jar over their candle and watched the flame burn out from lack of oxygen. This was related to why candles can’t be lit in space. They also investigated why trick candles relight because their wick is wrapped in wire that keeps the wick hot. Students also floated a candle in water and then watched the water rise when we covered the candle with a glass jar. We learned that the carbon and hydrogen from the wax combines with the oxygen in the air to form CO2 and H2O. They had a blast playing with fire the last two weeks. 

A new Tradition that we have started is the Shinshinim Hanukkah competitions. Students engaged in timed Hanukkah themed “missions” that students had to complete in order to earn different point values for their class. Some examples of the missions were spinning dreidels, naming three important figures in the Hanukkah story, drawing three symbols relating to Hanukkah, students sharing how they celebrate Hanukkah at home. For the higher point values, students had to go deeper into the many aspects of Hanukkah. Some examples include creating 3 different menorahs, filming a commercial explaining key points to the hanukkah story and why we hold some of the traditions from year to year. There was great excitement around this new tradition! 



In continuing with many of our traditions, our general studies teachers incorporate Hanukkah into the daily lesson plans. Teachers used the candles as math problems including patterns, counting, problem solving, logic and more. Learning about probability lessons came by way of spinning dreidels. In Language arts, many teachers read and provided   Hanukkah stories to our students. There was even a Hanukkah Bitmoji library that students could pick and read virtual Hanukkah books. 


We are resharing the picture slide show of all classes taking a picture in front of our Hannukiah for the 1st night of Hanukkah along with Ms. Watkins and Ms. Cherney’s classes singing in the background.



Preschool Hanukkah

In preschool, students learned the story of Hanukkah and engaged in many Hanukkah themed activities. Some of the Hanukkah topics included the miracle of the oil, rebuilding the temple, Judah the Maccabee, dreidels, Hannukiot, traditional Hanukkah foods, and traditional Hanukkah songs and stories. Whether it be counting candles and gelt, exploring oil, building Hannukiot out of blocks, listening to a Hanukkah story, making Hanukkah books, or dancing to their favorite hanukkah songs. Hanukkah was incorporated into their daily curriculum over the past two weeks and we were happy to see the excitement and joy of our preschool students.  



Important Lower School Show Announcement 

Our theater arts teachers have been working on an exciting new approach to our Lower School production. Please watch this video to find out the exciting news!

wax museum

4th Grade Wax Museum:

The entire fourth grade created a wax museum similar to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, except this year it was virtual! It was held on campus on Tuesday, December 15th. Fourth graders each researched a chosen biography and became a famous person in history that has somehow changed our world for the better. They created a poster board, a timeline of the character’s life, delivered a short speech and are currently writing a Bio Poem about their historical figure. Videos of these wonderful performances were shared with families and fellow students to learn from and enjoy. We hope to open the Wax Museum for live visits next year!




Important Dates: 

12/21 - 1/1 - Winter Break - No School

1/04 -   School Resumes (Synchronous Remote Learning Day) -Beginning of Q3 

1/05 -   Synchronous Remote Learning Day 

1/06 -   Asynchronous Remote Learning Day - K-12/Staff COVID Testing 

1/07 - Synchronous Remote Learning Day 

1/08 - Synchronous Remote Learning Day 

1/8 -  Report Cards Posted 

1/11 - Resume In-person Learning 

1/11 -  “100th Day of School” Canned Food Collection Begins 

1/14 - From Cubs to Lions

1/25 - “100th Day of School” Canned Food Collection Ends  

1/18 - MLK Day - No School 

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