Social Studies in 3rd Grade

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For the month of December, Ms. Stephanie, Ms. Nancy and the third grade class have been studying how different cultures celebrate the season.   First, the class lit a Menorah for Hanukkah.

Since one student lived in Japan for three years and shared her kimono and other trinkets with the class, it was a perfect opportunity to learn about Japan.

These kiddos also traveled to Italy to learn about La Befana.   To celebrate the children made their own pizzas,  cooked them in toaster ovens, and ate them for snack.

I surely don’t remember social studies being so much fun when I was in third grade.


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5th Grade & Michelangelo

In Guided Reading the fifth grade class is reading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.  Set largely in part at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the story is both a mystery and a celebration of art and beauty.  Mrs. Christy thought it only fitting as part of their study to have the students experience painting in the style of Michelangelo and his work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.   They painted their own “ceilings” on the underside of their desks!

Hey, if you know a fifth grader ask them if their arms got tired.

Thinking about children’s toys this holiday season . . .

Recently, fifth through eighth grade science teacher Ms. Emily pointed out some safety information regarding toys and toy recalls to our TLC staff.  I thought it a good idea to bring this same information and resources to you.  Here is what Ms. Emily had to say.

Unfortunately there are constant reports and recalls going out on children’s toys and jewelry saying they have dangerous levels of lead and cadmium – two very poisonous and carcinogenic chemicals.  I was reading about it today in the New York Times – an older article.

In case you want to do a little research before buying babies and kids toys here are some very helpful websites. this has a pop up thing when you first go to it, just hit Esc and it will go away.  This lists toys with high medium and low levels of cadmium and lead.


Murphy Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Last Friday evening The Learning Center Chorus and Fusion Ensemble participated in the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in downtown Murphy.

Our students love being part of this yearly event.  They especially love being the ones that usher in Santa Claus with the song “Santa is the Man.”

I think our teachers love it too!

Healthy Giving for Healthy Living

Holidays are the Perfect Opportunity to Instill Healthy Habits

Holiday gifts are often as decadent as the parties at which they are given. Occasions for overindulging are frequent for the last weeks of the year, just as physical activity levels decline thanks to shorter, colder days.   Gift giving – to family members, teachers, friends and coworkers – is a perfect opportunity to contribute to their good health.

“The toys and games that kids receive as gifts often encourage sedentary behavior,” says Rob Bisceglie, Executive Director of Action for Healthy Kids.  “Adults can teach and model healthy habits by giving presents that encourage physical activity.”

Action for Healthy Kids suggests these easy ideas for giving the gift of health this holiday season:

• Fresh produce.  Find bountiful baskets at a local grocery store, send a bushel from an online citrus grower, or join an online “Fruit or Veggie of the Month” club.

• Join a gym.  Give membership to an athletic club or the YMCA.

• Find a fun fitness class.  Gift certificates are available for gymnastics, yoga, aerobics, rock climbing, tae kwon doe, dance lessons and dozens of other active endeavors.

• Make a healthy toolbox.  Give toys that can be used in the basement or garage during inclement weather.  Include balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, bubbles, and chalk for hopscotch.

• Embrace the cold.  Snow toys, skis, sleds, and skates make cold weather fun!

• Plan a family adventure.  In lieu of wrapped presents, an active vacation will thrill the family!  Try hiking, biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, or a walking trek.

• Make the most of screen time.  Kids of all ages love motion-controlled video games, music video dance games, and exercise DVDs.

• Don’t forget the favorites.  Bikes, tricycles, pogo sticks, roller or in-line skates, and scooters have always kept kids moving!

“A fresh, health-driven perspective can make the holiday season an opportunity for children and adults alike to start practicing healthier habits,” says Bisceglie.  “Why wait for the New Year?”

About Action for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids® is the nation’s leading nonprofit and volunteer network fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment by helping schools become healthier places and our kids learn to eat right and be active every day.  A collaboration of more than 67 organizations, corporations and government agencies supports grassroots efforts by thousands of volunteers nationwide.  In 2009 Action for Healthy Kids reached nearly 4 million children in 8,000 schools. More information is available on Facebook and on Twitter.