LS Blazer Buzz 26 May

This week's highlight: Immigration Simulation!

The third grade immigrants embarked on a difficult voyage on the USS Woodlawn to reach their final destination — Ellis Island! The immigrants came from Ireland, Germany, and Italy, and had their bags packed for a nerve-wracking immigration inspection. They quietly lined up outside the classroom as eighth grade inspectors demanded to see their passport and papers, while asking them a variety of questions about why they were wanting to settle in America. As the immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, they had many obstacles to face. First, they had to check in with the immigration officer to hand in their papers for the manifest log in order to keep a record of all passengers. They checked in their luggage, and unfortunately some personal items were often taken as the inspectors felt they were not safe to bring in to the country. Immigrants went through a variety of inspections, including a lesson with the Great Hall teacher, a physical exam with the medical inspectors, and an anxious wait in the Great Hall. Some immigrants had to wait a long time in the Great Hall, as they were detained due to illness. The most stressful part of the experience for the immigrants was the interview with the legal inspectors. The immigrants were asked 29 questions about their personal life as well as specific questions about America. The inspectors were intimidating and very indifferent to the immigrant’s feelings. The immigration officer had the final say on the fate of the fearful immigrants. While nine students successfully entered America, three students were deported. The immigrants that gained entry were welcomed warmly by their sponsor and given their first taste of oranges! Everyone agreed that passing through Ellis Island was no easy task!

Contributed by Jamie Gunby

LS Blazer Buzz 11 May

This week's highlight: Atlanta Trip

The fifth grade had an amazing overnight trip to Atlanta, GA. The trip was focused around the fifth grade’s study of water and environmental issues. The first day of the trip involved a visit to the Georgia Aquarium. The students explored different aquatic environments including tropical, polar, saltwater, and fresh.  They also had the opportunity to take in the “Dolphin Tales” dolphin show and the environmentally focused movie, “Depot’s Undersea 3-D Wondershow.”

The second day of the trip began with a visit to a wastewater treatment plant. The students got an in-depth look at every stage involved in making sewage safe to return to the environment. It was certainly an eye opening experience. The students all agreed that they had no idea it was so much work to clean the water that goes down their drains.

Finally, the trip concluded with a trip to the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. The center allowed to students to see sustainable building practices in action. The students learned about the building’s green roof, reclaimed granite façade, and various other features such as waterless toilets, tinted windows, and native plant landscaping. They also had the opportunity to participate in various activities related to meteorology and hydrology. The students had a great time while simultaneously preparing for their upcoming research on environmental issues and solutions.

Contributed by Jerod Jones

LS Blazer Buzz 5 May

This week's highlight: It's Hatching Time in Kindergarten!

After studying the life cycles of several plants and animals, the kindergarten students end the school year with the life cycle of a chicken. The students begin their study with all oviparous animals — which means animals born from an egg. They study all of the different components that chicken eggs will need to hatch. The students learn about the incubator and how to read a thermometer and a hygrometer. After 21 (long!) days, the eggs begin to hatch. This year the students welcomed six chickens into the world. Now the kindergarten students are learning to be good roosters and hens to their new brood. Students will even have the opportunity to take the chickens home to "chicken sit" over the weekend. It will be hands-on learning as the students are responsible for seeing to the chickens' needs of water, food, clean shavings, and safety.  If you haven't already, be sure to come visit this year's new hatch in the kindergarten classroom!

Contributed by Nyasha Grennan

LS Blazer Buzz 28 April

This week's highlight: Field Day

The eighth grade students planned yet another fun-filled Woodlawn Field Day. The childhood favorite game, Candyland, was the theme for Lower School students. On Gumdrop Mountain, a challenging game of tag was set up on a colorful field of spots. Ice Cream Sea served up scoops of fun with (and under!) our giant parachute. Lord Licorice showed his kind side as he freed students frozen by the touch of a licorice stick (pool noodle), while King Kandy had students running their hardest to fill up Candy Castle and win his royal favor. Finally, in Lollipop Woods, students tested their skills in Lolly Volley, a game of volleying balls with a variety of lollipops (racquets) provided by Princess Lolly. Lower school students followed colorful balloon paths as they made their way from one activity to the next, and they enjoyed filling their Field Day bags with treats provided at each station. Following the lower school event, fifth through seventh grade students enjoyed a morning of Ancient Olympic challenges, also planned by the eighth grade. Activities ranged from traditional foot races, long jumps, high jumps, and archery, to olympic-inspired events such as soccer and more creative events such as Gladiator Battle -- everyone for themselves dodgeball! Middle school students gave their all as they enjoyed the gorgeous spring weather and the friendly competitive spirit of the day. Thank you, eighth grade, for putting together a fun time for us all!

Contributed by Kristen Wiesenmayer

LS Blazer Buzz 14 April

This week's highlight: BEE happy, BEE adventurous, BEE innovative, BEE healthy!

That was just some of the advice given out at this year's Lower School Afternoon with the Arts. On a recent bee-autiful spring day, students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade showcased their singing, dancing, instrumental, and artistic talents for their parents and grandparents. The theme of the day was Just BEE.  Packed with 25 adorable bees, plenty of bee references, one Queen BEE, black and yellow tie-dyed shirts, and bee-themed artwork, Afternoon with the Arts was all a "buzz" with entertainment for everyone to enjoy. The performance concluded with a memorable song entitled, "I Can BE," written by Woodlawn's Ms. Donna Early. This rewritten version of the BEEatles classic, "Let it be," was performed by all of the lower school students. It truly captured what we teach Woodlawn students everyday...to BEE themselves!
Contributed by Debbie Lolla