Competing in the difficult Blue Division of the WordMasters Challenge™, 5th graders Lucia Almonte, Raghav Belle Trichur and Gabby Guagenti, 7th graders John Budwick and Tate McEldowney, and 8th graders Julia Davenport and Devon Holloway each earned a perfect score of 20 on the challenge. Nationally, only 68 fifth graders, 20 sixth graders and 17 seventh graders achieved this result.
Jr. kindergarten celebrated Nowruz (Iranian New Year) with Mrs. Razi this week. Iranians grow sabzeh (lentils) to symbolize birth and growth, and on the 13th day they return the sabzeh to nature through running water. And then they have a picnic!
Spring sports are underway—boys and girls lacrosse, girls softball, and co-ed track and field! Hope you can make a game or meet!
How many items did the bird eat? To find the answer, preschoolers rolled a giant rubber dice and whatever number it landed on was the number of items the bird ate. Each student was assigned an item—fishes, worms, berries, etc.—and took turns rolling a number. Each student then collected that number of items from a special tray. After verifying they had the right amount, they added that number to a chart to graph the results. At the end of the activity, the class reviewed the chart to see which item the bird ate the most.
If you've seen our Big School gardens recently, you probably noticed how green they are looking! Kindergarten and 1st grade science classes began growing seeds back in February and this week they planted them into the garden beds.
Kindergarten is wrapping up March Madness... book style! Through persuasive "essays," persuasive argument speeches, and voting on story elements, the class has been narrowing 16 series books down to the final four!
Today we wrapped up a week-long celebration of the young child! The week is promoted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in celebration of early learning, young children, their teachers, and families. Our celebration was focused on our youngest learners—infants through kindergarten.
Each day featured a special activity. We had "Mix it up Monday" (wacky dress and trail mix making), "Try it out Tuesday" (Zumba), "Work Together Wednesday" (cleaning up campus), "Tip Tap Tapping Thursday (Little Kids Gala), and "Family Fun Friday" (pancake breakfast).
Congratulations for a job well done to our Congressional Chorale! The group preformed the National Anthem this past Saturday at the nationally televised DC United game, and they sounded fantastic!
Spring After School Activities have kicked off, and students are loving all the options! From chess to virtual reality to books to dance to Iranian culture, there is something for everyone after school!
Stations around the classroom help students learn in a variety of ways. As 1st grade begins their money unit in math, students spread out to explore coins. They rotated through buying things at a "store," sorting coins, a coin identifying worksheet, and coin BINGO.
8th grade completed their egg drop designs. Their geometric, egg-saving creations could only have tape or hot glue at the joints, and they were only allowed to use straws and two dixie cups. Students dropped their structures from the balcony to see if their egg safely tucked inside would survive—and most did!
6th grade has finished Dave Ramsey's “Foundations in Personal Finance” Middle School Edition and have certificates to prove it! 5th grade has finished the first half of the program and will get their certificates next year after they complete the second half!
As a result of digging deeply in to topics around immigration and the refugee crisis, 6th graders have been hard at work designing a sustainable refugee community that meets the short and long term needs of those displaced. Today, students presented their projects to parents and a few visitors from the State Department. Very impressive!
Thank you to our student council for organizing our annual student talent show! We had a wonderful mixture of musical performances, comedy, acts, magic tricks, and more. We're proud of all the brave students who went on stage and performed for their peers!
Students and faculty embraced a day of STEM at today's Science Symposium. The day began with visits from three professionals in the science industry (Dr. Leah Lipsky: National Institutes of Health, Mr. Matthew Saks: Airbus, and Dr. Jitendra Joshi: NASA) followed by an afternoon in the gym with students' symposium presentations, which were judged by Dr. Lipsky, Mr. Saks, and Mr. Jason Blondin from Lockheed Martin. In the afternoon, students in Grades 4-8 gathered in the cafeteria for the awards presentation. Congratulations to all the students for doing such an amazing job!
Most parents understand the importance of reading to their children, but many parents might not realize the extent of the power that reading aloud brings to their child’s cognitive and literary development. Mrs. Hjalmervik, Learning Specialist, wrote about reasons to read aloud and how to read aloud even with a busy schedule.
One of the 7th grade choice electives right now is "Jam Sesh." Students choose a band name, instruments, a song, and jam together with Ms. Spalletta!
1st graders have been learning gymnastics in PE class. They are practicing various moves and each student is using a combination of those moves to create their own routine.
Ethan Grace '18 recently presented the research he did on Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances for his Congressional capstone project, at a conference in Ohio. He spent the weekend exploring the laboratories at Case Western University and having great conversations with professors from MIT, NJIT, VT and various other universities. It was a wonderful experience. He was invited to speak again at another conference in May.
6th graders are finishing their post-apocalyptic story collaboration in English class. Mr. Yassine gave them the first part of a story. Students then randomly selected whether they would continue writing this story from the perspective of the child or the parent in the story. After a couple of days, each student chose a name out of a hat and were partnered up so that each “parent” had a “child.” They then had to combine their stories in a logical way, jumping back and forth from both perspectives, and revising to ensure the entire story fit together coherently.
To close out a sport season, it's our tradition for the 8th grade to face the faculty and staff in a fun, competitive game. This Monday, the 8th grade tried their best but the faculty won by only a few points in their basketball game!
3rd grade students are designing parachutes, experimenting to engineer the most effective outcome. To test them, one partner drops the parachute from the balcony while the other records the drop speed and calculates the average of 3 trials. Is your parachute mission ready?
Congratulations to the cast and crew of Into the Woods JR. The show was spectacular! We hope everyone had the pleasure of seeing it last Friday evening. A big thank you to Mr. Bowley, Mrs. Spalletta, and Mrs. Bicksel for their hard work in making this production possible!
Our Extended Hours Program hosted an Italian-themed dinner for EHP students and their families. Our auxiliary staff and counselors attended, and everyone had a great time!
Happy BFG Day! 2nd grade just finished reading their "Big Friendly Giant" novel and spent an afternoon celebrating. They watched the cartoon movie, made dream jars, and tried some frobscottle, snozzcumbers, and toast!
The Fireflies had fun making works of art this week. They used pretty pink paint and large building blocks to stamp patterns on their papers. They did a great job following directions and loved seeing the patterns that emerged. The exercise helped them practice their fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
To practice their skills at drawing angles, 4th grade tried a fun little activity. One person was given a picture showing lines and shapes. That person had to describe to their partner the details of the picture so that their partner could replicate it on their paper, only through hearing the description. They did really well!
Mrs. Weiss' 8th grade Geometry Honors class was tasked with writing pseudo code that could calculate what type of quadrilateral 4 coordinates would create. While the project was overall impressive, Aaron '19 took it to the next level and wrote an entire program in Python rather than pseudo code. And it worked great!
The latest engineering challenge: robo-wheels! 1st grade has been experimenting with various size materials to see which can store the most energy and perform the best in races and bowling! #PotentialEnergy #KineticEnergy
8th graders have partnered up in music class to cover a song of their choosing. Everyone must play guitar and at least one person must sing. Students have been reading chord charts and have been encouraged to truly make it their own!
Our blue blocks are a huge hit with our youngest friends! Our Ladybugs used them in a STEM exercise this week—a great opportunity build collaboration, eye-hand coordination, and gross motor skills.
After presenting their aquatic ecosystems, classmates offered constructive comments and criticism of their delivery. They criticized for things like reading off the poster and rough transitions and gave compliments for things like eye contact and creativity. They were very impressive in their interactions!
Using mats that incorporated sight words and math problems, both kindergarten classes worked on coding their bots to reach an end point. #InterdisciplinaryLearning #Robotics #Math #LanguageArts
Love was in the air at the preschool Love Shack Cafe this week. Parents transformed the Little School cafeteria into a bustling restaurant, complete with menus and fabulous decorations—the room was bursting with color! After their lunch, which was served by parents, preschool students used play money to pay for their meal at the cash register.
Patcraft Commercial Carpet and Flooring designated Congressional School a “School of the Future” in 2018 and awarded us a $1,000 check this week. Patcraft sought submissions from a national pool of schools. We were 1 of 3 schools to win and the only private school.
Congratulations to our newly elected student council. Our 8th grade co-chairs stay the same all year, but our grade-level representatives change half-way through, spreading the opportunity for leadership.
Research skills continue to develop in lower school as students embark on new projects. 3rd grade presented their discoveries about southeastern states. We are proud of how they worked together in teams to delegate work—an equally important ability!
Let the debates begin! Should police officers wear cameras? Should schools require standardized testing? 8th grade speech and debate class researched, formed arguments, and brought their cases to the class to be debated in front of peers and judges.
1st and 2nd grades were looking for inspiration in famous artists—painting the world like Clementine Hunter and constructing pieces to decorate like Tyree Guyton and his Heidelberg Project. We all need a little inspiration sometimes!
During their science series on the nine major phyla of the kingdom animalia, 7th grade students scouted locations around campus for a trail camera. They mapped the campus looking for footprints, antler rubs, and other animal signs.
Ms. Mankar and Ms. Fitzpatrick teamed up to give students an opportunity to combine science research and visual communication. 6th grade students studied climate change in Ms. Mankar’s class, they did research, and then graphed the data. They worked in art class to turn their graphs into artwork that conveys their findings. Finished projects are displayed in the Big School lobby!
On the students' days off this week, our auxiliary program offered optional child care. Preschool through kindergarten spent a fun day of activities, games and craft projects on campus while 1st - 8th grades ventured out to the new St. James Athletic Center and Disney on Ice!
Congratulations to not one but TWO of our expert teachers for being published in The Virginia Association of Independent School's Winter Magazine! Maura Rice, Jr. Kindergarten, and Evie Hinrichs, Grade 2, both wrote articles about active learning in their classrooms.
Four Hugs A Day is the minimum in the Fireflies class. The friends had fun singing this classic song to help them practice counting to four. As they sang, they used their fingers to reinforce the counting steps as prompted by the song…Step one, look them right in the eye…Step two, nose to nose…Step three, reach your arms…Step four, you can't do any harm. They did a great job following the directions.
4th grade had another special visitor today. Mr. MacNair, a 1st and 4th grade parent, came in dressed in Colonial garb to do a read aloud about what Colonial life may have been like in Virginia. Thanks for visiting and bringing learning to life, Mr. MacNair!
For the past four years, our school has kicked off the new year with a Top 10 Video featuring our school's highlights from the previous year. This past fall, we submitted our 2017 Top 10 video and we won a Bronze Brilliance Award from InspirED in the Holiday Video category!
The ability to confidently present to an audience is a quality we strive to foster in our students. 5th grade speech class is learning about verbal and non-verbal techniques. To enhance their learning, they are evaluating speeches recorded from Mr. Bowley's old speech classes, rating the techniques used, and presenting their findings.
On Music Share Days in kindergarten, students are invited to share something musical with the class…a song, play an instrument, a dance, written music, and more. We want them to find & share the ways they personally love & connect to the arts!
Preschool students in Mrs. Welty and Mrs. Collins' class enjoyed a physics lesson this week. They created a pyramid of plastic cups and used a home-made catapult to lob different materials toward the cups to see which materials traveled the farthest. They used cotton balls, Styrofoam balls, and golf balls and examined how far each traveled based on its density and weight.
1st grade took a trip to the Children's Science Center Lab and rotated through 4 different stations exploring STEM activities. We love using the resources not only on our campus, but in our community as well!
Dan Huynh ’15 stopped by our campus last week for a surprise visit. He’s currently a senior at St. Albans School and is now deciding whether he will accept his admission offer to Yale or enter the Naval Academy after graduation.
Mrs. Fry's 1st grade math class this week was working on subtraction by deconstructing numbers. When not working in small groups with our math specialist, Dr. Ross, students had iPad time using those same skills in math apps.
To build our middle school community, our Student Council organizes 3 middle school hang outs to take place once per trimester. Last Friday night they had their winter "Chill Out."
If you were in the Big School on Thursday morning, you would have seen 2nd graders on all 3 floors in search of arrays—arrangements of objects, pictures, or numbers in columns and rows. They discovered all kinds of examples and then came together to share their findings!
To wrap up their unit, 3rd grade hosted a reading event and invited other grades to attend. They shared their original fairy tale or fantasy stories and visitors had the chance to leave positive feedback on sheets at each table 🙂
It feels like we highlight music class with our littlest friends a lot, but just look how cute our Busy Bees are playing their drums! They've grown so much in the past 5 months. It's such a pleasure to be a part of their development!
Students in 4th - 8th grades participated in the National Geographic Bee, and after an impressive first round, 10 students took part in the final school-level competition today. Congratulations to Tate '20 for being our school champion and to Julia '19 for being runner-up!
Happy Lunar New Year! Coach Kim held a special celebration where she explained the Lunar New Year, showed her kindergarten - 2nd grade students traditional Korean dress, and even taught them the traditional Korean New Year greeting.
This week during flex period, kindergarten - 2nd grade came together to learn about Ashley Bryan and his career as an author and illustrator, read his book "Beautiful Blackbird," and became authors and illustrators for themselves!
What better way to apply speed, velocity, and acceleration knowledge than by engineering ramps? Using a marble or hotwheels car, 8th grade students must calculate speed at 4 locations to determine acceleration at any given point.
Ms. Ginnetti, school counselor, provides opportunities for personal reflection in students. This week she met with 4th grade for their second Growth Mindset lesson.
Organization saves time and stress. Dr. Moore, our Director of Learning Center, met with 5th grade advisories this morning to discuss ways students can become more organized—at home, at school, and on the computer.
Innovation Evening was a fantastic opportunity for parents and students to spend time together while creating, designing, and engineering. Plus, parents got a peek into what innovation looks like around school. Catapults were launching, parachutes were floating, towers were growing, and robots were roaming!
We love having guest speakers in our classes to bring knowledge and new perspective to our students. This week it was an honor to welcome Kate and Anna’s grandfather and 18th Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General T. Michael Moseley, USAF Retired. General Moseley shared his insights with our 6th graders regarding the work he is doing to develop a 21st century model community for displaced persons in Northern Iraq.