Third Graders Study Lost Cities as Part of Remote Learning

As soon as stay-at-home orders switched daily school to remote education from home, Kathleen Shook, third grade teacher at The Learning Center Charter School, immediately switched gears on how to continue enriching E-STEAM and PBL projects for her remote class.  As a result, students embarked on an extensive project based on lost cities of the world.

A targeted E-STEAM education approach ensures students engage in science, technology, engineering and math regularly. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, complex question, problem, or challenge.

The premise of the lost cities project came from a book the class read together about cities in history that are no longer inhabited either by means of disappearance, natural disaster, or mysterious episode.  Students researched lost cities and chose ones to focus on depending on their interests.  Petra, Atlantis and Great Zimbabwe were popular choices.

At the conclusion of the project, students designed and built models of their chosen lost city.  Many used recycled materials while others used both technology and materials found in nature to build outside forts.

“Not being able to be in the same room with my students is challenging to be able to gauge how my students are delving into a subject,” said Shook.  “However, I know from experience that PBL projects like this harness student curiosity and allow a deeper exploration and understanding of studies.”

The lost cities project included science, reading, writing and social studies components.

“What we could have learned about lost cities in one lesson on one day is nothing compared to the deeply engaged learning that we participated in during our PBL unit with lost cities as our overall theme,” said Shook.

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2nd Grade Studies Butterfly Life Cycle During Remote Learning

As part of remote learning for second graders, students have studied the life cycle of a butterfly. The studies included texts, interactive videos, reading aloud, directed drawing, and digital art. This allowed students to learn science, reading and writing standards!

Additionally, Ms. Stephanie also was able to share the process with her students via photos and video chats of the Painted Lady butterflies that she documented throughout the life cycle process.

3rd Grade – Community Read Aloud as Part of Read Across America

Third grader teacher, Ms. Kathleen Shook, has extended Read Across America Week to the entire month of March for her students. As part of the celebration, she has arranged guests to come read to the class daily. The first week included several class moms, an ICU Nurse, a local handyman, a NCDOT worker, and a public health advisor for the CDC!

8th Grade Studies Poetry

Eighth graders have been studying poetry and are seen here working in poetry stations to create their own unique poems.


One station was for “found poetry” which is using cut out words from newspapers to create a poem.

Another station was “blackout poetry” which is taking a page from a book and selecting a few words to create a poem while blacking out the rest of the page with designs.

The third station was “paint chip poetry” where the students took a paint chip sample and used the paint color names to create a whimsical poem.

The last station was a typewriter where students could create free verse poems on an old typewriter. 


The students were so enthusiastic to be able to explore the art of writing poetry through unique and creative ways. One student said “I can’t wait to go take this home so I can post a picture of it on Instagram!” 

Read Across America Week at TLC

Read Across America Week was March 2-6, 2020 and our students enjoyed all the activities teachers planned to celebrate.

Read Across America Week promotes reading, particularly for children and young adults. Many schools, libraries, and community centers across the United States participate in the day by bringing people together to take part in reading books.

Ms. Nicole taught “Green Eggs & Hamlet” to her students.

You might have heard your student talking about the daily events going on at school to celebrate. They were:

  • Mixed Up Monday: Wear your shirt inside out or backwards.
  • Truffula Tuesday: Wear a mustache (like the LORAX!)
  • Wacky Socks Wednesday: Wear a pair of WACKY socks.
  • Thing 2 Thursday: Decorate your hair in a crazy way, like Thing 1 and Thing 2.
  • Friday: Oh the Places You’ll Go! Wear a shirt for your favorite college or profession.

2nd Grade Cross Curricular Study of Thanksgiving

Second grade completed a cross curricular Thanksgiving lapbook project where students learned all about the history of Thanksgiving through reading, writing, research and collaboration. 


As part of the project, students were partnered up and given instruction on how to work collaboratively and how to have constructive conversations.

Next the students were taught how to conduct research on laptops and how to take notes.

Lastly, the children worked closely with their partners to complete their Thanksgiving lapbook projects and presented them to the class, taking questions from classmates and giving feedback. 

2nd Graders Immersed in STEM & PBL Project About Bats

Second grade students at The Learning Center Charter School spent the month of October immersed in a STEM and PBL project all about bats.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and PBL stands for project based learning. Students at The Learning Center charter school are very familiar with each since students at the school engage in STEM and PBL education daily.

A targeted STEM education approach ensures students engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics regularly. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, complex question, problem, or challenge.

Of course the second grade students read about bats but they also expanded their studies across the curriculum.  In science, students learned that bats are flying mammals that are important for our environment. In geography, they learned that bats live in warmer climates, closer to the equator and that no bats live in the continent of Antarctica. In math, they learned how to read thermometers as related to the preferred climates of bats as well as measurements of bats’ wingspans.  

 “Bats are a good fit for students in the month of October due to Halloween,” said second grade teacher Stephanie Hopper. “The kids are interested in spooky things and I take the opportunity to harness that curiosity and use it in every subject we study and really delve into the subject deeply.”

Hopper added that “What we could have learned about bats in one lesson on one day is nothing compared to the deeply engaged learning that we participated in during our PBL unit with bats as the overall theme,” said Hopper.

1st Grade — All About Birds

First grade students recently spent time studying birds across the curriculum. Their bird STEM project incorporated reading, math, writing and a hands-on art project.

The students studied and gathered information about six different types of birds — Penguins, Eastern Blue Birds, Birds of Paradise, Hummingbirds, Golden  Finches, and Blue Jays. They learned how to draw and label diagrams with specific bird body parts/ field marks, create graphic organizers of bird facts, use bullets to organize and record data, write detailed sentences of bird facts, and use a ruler to measure the actual height of each bird.

To gather this information, the class read non-fiction books and read online articles about each of the six birds during Guided Reading.

The students also made suet feeders out of peanut butter, seeds, and dried corn.  Student especially liked gathering sticks from The Outdoor Learning Center to serve as a perch for birds at their feeders.

2nd Grade — Chinese New Year

On February 5th, students in second grade celebrated Chinese New Year. Students learned about the customs and traditions of the holiday and the importance of the celebration in China. They also learned about the lunar calendar.

The students were able to read books, enjoy interactive parades and make Chinese New Year dragons and lanterns. To end the celebration, the students were able to enjoy traditional Chinese fried rice. The day was loaded with fun and learning.

2nd Grade — Reading in the Dark?

Second grade is enjoying their new reading headlamps.
 

They have been working hard on reading strategies in second grade. Specifically on how second graders need to learn how to pick “just right” books. They are using our new reading headlamps to examine books and use what we have learned to pick out the perfect book.