Fifth Grade Writing

April 7, 2017

Fifth Grade Writing

By Deena Tarleton

 

Our very talented fifth graders are ratcheting up their skills of persuasion by taking opposing positions concerning various issues.  For one assignement, they researched information about zoos and what various experts considered to be the plusses and minuses of having zoos with captive animals.  After much class discussion about both sides of the issue, each student wrote a persuasive piece supporting a particular point of view.  If you recall the persuasive writing in third where students explored considering their audience (e.g. Alan, teachers, parents, me) in developing an argument for more recess time, staying up later and other topics, reading the next two articles will give you a sense of the development of student writing from younger grades to fifth grade.  These two pro and con papers are illustrative of the excellent work by our fifth grade students.  I think you would agree with me that critical thinking is certainly a part of that development.

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Why  Zoos Are Good

by Chattin

Did you know if we don't do something to protect animals the next generation may not see some species such as the Sumatran Rhinos, Red Panda, or the Silverback  Gorilla? Do zoos provide more benefits for animals or are they more harmfull? I believe that zoos are more beneficial to animals because they provide education, they rescue and rehabilitate injured or sick animals, and they keep endangered species from becoming extinct.

One reason zoos are needed, is that they are a great source of education.  For example, if you live in the city and wish to see wildlife,  you can go to your local zoo to interact and learn about any species. Some of these species that you see, you may never get the chance to see again if you don't go to a zoo. The Zoology Lost World Article states that zoos also give you a better education by describing all about the animal and its habitat. Without zoos, you might not know as much about an animal as you do today. This gives you  more information and knowledge because it shows you what sound an animal makes and can tell you a lot about the animal.

Another reason we need zoos is that zoos take in injured animals and nurse them back to health to later be released into the wild again.  According to the zoology lost world article this is important because if there were no zoos, then many of these species would become extinct. For example, if zoos get an eagle with a broken wing that doesn't know how to live in the wilderness,  they would take it in, nurse it back to health, and teach it how to survive in the wilderness. This is also important because if you released an animal that doesn't know how to fly, would not survive on its own. Many zoos such as the Big Bear Alpine zoo are working on releasing animals that they have rescued back into the wild once they have healed.

Lastly, one of the biggest ways zoos help is by keeping many endangered species from becoming extinct. The article 8 Zoos Helping Animals Edge out of Extinction states "Without their dedicated conservation efforts, some animals would be lost to us forever." Take the Red Panda for example. The only reason that there are Red Pandas still living is because zoos have given Red Pandas a protected place inside zoos and started breeding the species. Zoos breed endangered species which helps boost their population and bring the animals back to healthy numbers.

In conclusion, we need zoos because they provide education, they rescue injured or sick animals, and they save endangered species. As you can see, zoos provide important services for both animals and for people, and these are the reasons why we should keep and expand them. "There are bad zoos and bad individual exhibits but there is always room for improvement," Dr. Dave Hone stated in the Zoology Lost World Article.

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Why We Should Not Have Zoos
by Ryan

Imagine that you're a bird and people have put you in an enclosure in which you can barely spread your wings. That's how it feels to birds and many other animals when they are captured and put into zoos. If you're a cheetah, you need to be able to run and if you're a fish or a sea creature of some sort you need to be able to swim in a large area.

Many animals, mostly carnivores,  should not be in captivity.  According to the Science AAAS carnivores such as polar bears and leopard should not be held in captivity. The study shows that a polar bear that is in a zoo paces back and forth and a leopard plucks out its hairs.  They think this is because the animals are being held back from doing what they normally do. A heated topic today is whether or not zoos should still be in business.

I believe that zoos should not be in business because a zoo is like a prison for animals. Animals need to be able to do what comes naturally to them like swimming for fish and flying for a bird, and some animals are losing their natural instincts because they've been held captive for too long. Also, after being in zoos for a long time.animal's behavior changes may become different. Let's say that they were let back out into the wild, they might not know how to respond if a predator attacks.

Secondly, people usually say that zoos provide a good learning experience, but really they don't. In a recent survey by CAPS (the Captive Animals' Protection Society) of 2,800 people, 63% of them did not have a good learning experience. This survey also stated that many children have a negative response to their zoo experience. They do not learn about how animals actually live because the animals are kept in unnatural habitats. Children also do not feel that they can change how animals are treated and do not feel empowered. Clearly, it is false to assume that zoos provide valuable education.

Finally, animals were not put on this earth for our entertainment. In my opinion, animals have the right to live on there own. According to the Zoocheck Canada, on average people spend less that two minutes (117 seconds to be exact) at one exhibit at the zoo. This is why we should not have zoos.

In 2010 an undercover investigator for CAPS filmed animals that were sick and untreated and dead left to rot on the floor of the Tweddle Farm Zoo. Police also confiscated a monkey that had been left alone and was being fed junk food like cakes. These are some examples of zoo keepers not taking care of the animals. Some zoos (especially in the UK) train their animals to do tricks. CAPS found out that there was an elephant that had been previously trained using an electric goad. (Which is an electric shock) This is a  deal of harm to an animal. This is why we should not have zoos.

Lower School Outreach

December 9, 2016

 

Lower School Outreach

by Deena Tarleton

Although there are projects all year long, several Lower School grade levels are taking the opportunity to reach out to others at this time of the year. Beginning with Veterans Day, second graders made packages of candy and wrote special notes to soldiers overseas.  This also gave them the opportunity to talk to grandparents and relatives that were veterans about what it was like to sacrifice so much for their country.  Many of those experiences were reflected in the kids’ writing that week.  Currently, second graders are decorating a Christmas tree for their classroom with ornaments made by hand.  On the 16th this tree will be donated to a needy family that might otherwise go without a tree this Christmas.

As usual the school wide can drive was very successful.  Some of the preschool and kindergarten children built up their upper body strength dragging in sackfuls of cans and other nonperishables for the food bank.  The food bank workers always bring extra barrels to collect the St. Anne’s contributions.

At the end of December third graders will be making craft projects to contribute to nearby shelters.  In the past we have seen sleds and reindeer made from toiletries or other useful products. What a great way to express their creativity and do something kind for someone else!

Fourth graders fill Christmas stockings with items appropriate for boys, girls or adults.  Every year the stockings make the holidays a little more special for families at Warren Village.   They also walk to Christ Church and sing some carols with some of the older members of the congregation.

As a part of their participation in the new Changemakers Club sponsored by Kelsey Smith and Stephanie Bakken, several girls from 5th grade initiated a Shoe Drive for the organization, Clothes to Kids.  They had been inspired by a presentation from that group and leaped to action by initiating a school-wide shoe drive for children in need.  The response has been very gratifying.  The girls were so excited that so many “like new” shoes that have been outgrown and were sitting in closets are now on their way to children who greatly appreciate and need them.

One of the many things that makes St. Anne’s such an unusual and special place is the excitement all of our students feel when they are a part of helping others.  These projects are happening currently, but many others are a part of the experience of our children throughout the whole year.

New Outdoor Classroom

October 5, 2016

Our New Outdoor Classroom

By Deena Tarleton

 

If you have passed by the preschool classroom recently and found it empty, you might not find the kids in specials, but rather “working diligently” in our new outdoor classroom.    This classroom is intended for all students, but preschool has launched it’s early use and developed their first play theme, CAMPING.

We consulted with experts from the Nature Explorer group and received recommendations for various areas.  The water play center is a big hit.  Students experiment with the flow of water as they fill the top areas and watch the water flow through aquaducts down to the “muddy” area.  Often dams are improvised to check the flow.  The play takes considerable cooperation and creative experimentation.

This is only one area.  There is a center for art, for constructing with log and wood pieces, for gathering as a group, and we are in the process of developing others.  Eventually there will be space for a small theater area with a grassy knoll for the audience.  We are anticipating the creative poems and writing that may come from this idllyic place of contemplation.  The possibilities are only limited by the imagination.

Next time you are on campus walk back behind the Preschool/Kindergarten playground and take a look. You might even wish that you were a kid again!

Self-Regulation in Preschool Children

St. Anne's Preschool is adding more strategies to their teaching this year to help their students develop self-regulation through play.  Of course one condition for developing self-regulation is through regulation by adults and others.  Children learn to follow rules and routines.  Adults tell them what to do.  Adults model appropriate interactions and problem solving strategies.  Eventually, these behaviors become internalized. Children learn to follow directions from other peers.  Because there is a bit more choice about doing this, this puts them a bit higher on the developmental continuum.Unfortunately, neither is sufficient to fully develop self-regulation.  Kids also learn by helping others to understand the rules.  Often this appears as tattling.  It is easier for me to tell you what to do than to tell myself.  I may appear a bit bossy, but I understand what to do and am “helping” others understand as well.  Applying the rules to myself requires that I can overcome any negative feelings I may have about complying.  This happens in the third stage of development.In the last stage of development, the child chooses to follow the norms because he/she knows how and wants to.  Make-believe play designed into the thematic centers in preschool encourages self-regulation because children can act out roles and learn to comply with the rules established by the group in a safe environment.For example, if a kid chooses to play “cooking” in the playhouse and decides to bring in horses from another center and play outside of the “rules for kitchen” established by the group, members of the group may remind him/her that “that is not how you play cooking.”  If he/she wants to continue to play with that group, he will have to follow the lead of others.  This naturally occurs when children play and helps develop that third kind of self-regulation.  At its best no adult intervention is necessary.  In a make believe situation kids can practice self-regulation in a safe environment.When you come in as a parent volunteer, notice the situations that support the three stages of self-regulation:

  1. Being regulated by others
  2. Regulating others
  3. Self-regulation

They take lots of time and practice on a child’s part, but it is well worth the effort to set up a classroom so that children can play and have fun while we help them develop these important life skills.  If you have time, take a look at this video about the Marshmallow Test and some of the implications for helping your child delay gratification and become self-regulated.