Bruno Upper EL Classroom

Week of September 19th-23rd

We welcomed the beginning of Fall this week with some great lessons. Mr. Zech gave a presentation with a convection experiment, which is related to the bottles students brought home this week. Ask your child how they can continue the experiment at home. In Culture with Mr. Fox, students were able to take home their finished Cuneiform product they created last week. Ms. Leeann wrapped up a presentation on the 6 Kingdoms of Life with an activity that includes the characteristics of each Kingdom. In Junior Great Books, Ms. Sandy continues to read and have meaningful discussions with students.

Thank you to the families who were able to visit our 40th Anniversary Celebration. It was nice to see students interact with their families and give their families tours of the classroom. Donations will be accepted through the end of 2022 and can be made through the Bruno website, under the Giving tab.

Reminders for the week:

  • Vocabulary1-3 unit review work is due Monday. The test will be on Friday, September 30th.
  • Vocabulary chapter 4 work is due Monday, October 3rd. The test will be on Friday, October 7th.
  • The written portion for the 5th-year History Native American project is due on Monday, September 26th. The diorama is due Tuesday, October 11th.
  • The Children’s Theater will be visiting us on Wednesday, September 28th, for a performance. Please send in $9, by Wednesday, for your child to enjoy the show.
  • Please return any Fall Festival sponsorship or t-shirt order forms asap.

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Week of September 12th-16th

The weather was beautiful this week, which means we were able to spend time outside. We posted our classroom jobs and groups. Students had discussions among their groups and voted on a leader. The groups have been working well together to take care of our classroom environment. They took special care this week to ensure our classrooms are well represented during our anniversary celebration on Sunday.

In Cultural History, Mr. Fox has been presenting the history of language, specifically Cuneiform, the first form of written language. To wrap up the unit, Mr. Fox gave students a clay tablet, a copy of the Cuneiform alphabet, and a tool to “write” with. Students quickly realized it was quite difficult to write a long message, however, some students decided to collaborate and create longer messages on several tablets put together.

This week in geology, Mr. Zech gave a demonstration using cold water, hot water, and food dye to represent convention, ocean currents, and air currents. Students made observations, predictions, observed the experiment, then discussed what occurred and the causes.

On Sunday, we will celebrate JBMA’s 40th Anniversary with an open house from 2:00-4:00. Join us for some fellowship and see the amazing results of our renovated gym, visit classrooms, listen to some music, experience our beautiful campus, and attend a dedication ceremony for our founder, Ms. Theresa. Former faculty, families, and alumni will also be in attendance.

“Since our inception in 1982, we have been working hard to educate and grow young minds through the Montessori Method. All of you have played a crucial role in the prideful history of the school and we encourage you to participate in the storytelling and celebrations this coming year.” Please help us to celebrate and to keep our tradition alive by making a contribution to our 40th Anniversary fund.

Reminders for the week:

  • The JBMA 40th Anniversary Celebration is on Sunday, 2:00-4:00. We hope to see you and your family!
  • Vocabulary review unit 1-3 is due on Monday. The test for the review unit will be on September 30th, to ensure students have enough time to study multiple units. There will not be a vocabulary test on September 23rd.
  • 5th-year students- make sure students are working on their history diorama. An email was sent with information and students were given a paper packet.
  • Please remind your child on the morning of any after-school activities.

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Week of September 6th-9th

Can you believe it’s already September? We’re fully immersed into our curriculum and work cycles now, and the students are doing amazing things! Even though we had Monday off of school, the students buckled down and accomplished the work they needed to tackle.

In science, we have been exploring the Zoology unit. We’ve been discussing and exploring characteristics of living organisms, the 3 domains of living things, different ways scientists classify living organisms, and have just been introduced to the Kingdoms of Life. After we do a brief overview of each kingdom, we will go in-depth with each, beginning with the Animal Kingdom.

A few reminders:

  • Unit 3 vocabulary is due Monday and the test will be on Friday. Students are encouraged to bring their vocabulary book home throughout the week to study.
  • Please check-in with your child that they are keeping up with assignments, studying, and reading.
  • The JBMA 40th Anniversary celebration is on Sunday, September 18th, 2:00-4:00. All current and former students and families are encouraged to attend.
  • Please remind your child in the morning if they have an after school activity that day.
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Week of August 29th-September 2nd

What an interesting week. We had to rearrange our daily schedule due to some unusual circumstances, but that did not hinder our learning!

In geography, Mr. Zech has been guiding lessons on earthquakes and making STEM connections between geography and geometry. He’s demonstrated how architects and engineers use geometry to make buildings stronger structures to withstand earthquakes. Some techniques Mr. Zech demonstrated were the strength of triangles as a base, flexible bases, and the use of seismic force dampers. Students were divided into groups and used K’nex to collaborate and build their own structures. The structures were then tested on a mock earthquake table, which represented the movement of plate tectonics, to test their strength. This lesson will continue so students can revisit their structure design and modify it, after observing its performance during testing in round 1. Students are really enjoying this lesson!

We’ve been going outside as much as possible, as the weather permits. We’ve made great use of our picnic tables to enjoy having lunch outside and also getting out to play on the playground.

Some things to remember:

  • There is no school on Monday, in observance of Labor Day.
  • Vocabulary for unit 2 is due on Tuesday.
  • Unit 2 vocabulary and spelling test will be on Friday, 9/9.
  • Masks must be worn through Thursday, 9/8.
  • If you received an email indicating we have not received a signed photo release or student handbook parental agreement form, please return it asap.

Enjoy a safe Labor Day weekend with your family! We will see everyone on Tuesday.


Fallen into a Routine

Week of August 22nd-26th

It’s our second full week and the children have fallen into their daily routines. We’ve added more lesson and presentations to our work cycle, and students are rising to the challenge. The rain has kept us inside all week, but Coach has kept the students busy on the beautiful gym floor. Some extracurricular activities have begun, keeping students engaged and exploring avenues outside of the curriculum. Keep your eye on your email for after school activities.

We’re happy to welcome Ms. Sandy to our Upper Elementary class! Ms. Sandy will be spending a majority of her day with the upper elementary, and we are excited to have her added to our UE family!

Information families need to know:

  • Unit 1 of vocabulary is due on Monday, August 29th.
  • Our first vocabulary test will be next Friday, September 2nd, on unit 1.
  • Our Upper Elementary room parent for this year will be Gisela Westercamp.
  • If there are any signed forms that still need to be turned in, please do so asap.
  • Please do not sync a school Google account with a personal device at home. This leads to students becoming locked out of their school Chromebooks. Students can log in and use their Google account at home, but not sync to a device.

** Please add Ms. Sandy to all upper elementary email correspondence, as she is now a key presence in our classroom.

History lesson
Building a skyscraper to survive an earthquake.

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Welcome Back!

Upper Elementary has had an amazing transition into a new school year. During our first week we reviewed policies, expectations, and practiced procedures, both in our class and at all specials. We also participated in team-building and other activities to get to know one another and build a positive classroom culture.

This week, we introduced work plans and have experienced full work cycles using the work plans. Students have been receiving lessons on materials, both as an introduction and review.

Next week, we will evolve our work cycle expectations of student performance and all of our curriculum areas will be full swing in lessons.

Reminders and Information:

  • Please return a signed photo release, checking yes or no, so we can put some pictures up on the blog!
  • Please return a signed student handbook parental agreement.
  • Students in upper elementary must wear a mask through Friday, August 26th.
  • Send in a “passport” photo for Foreign Language.
  • Watch your email for extracurricular activities.

Please remember to include all 3 upper elementary teachers with any email communication.,,

Our classroom constitution, with rules made by the students.
Math materials and open area for class line time.
History and culture materials.
Language, reading materials, and a freshly painted wall.

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