LS Blazer Buzz 26 May

This week's highlight: Ellis Island Simulation

The third grade students at Woodlawn School have been studying immigration, focusing most of their attention on the many immigrants that passed through Ellis Island in the early 1900's. During the culminating activity, the third grade classroom was transformed into the immigration station found on Ellis Island. Our third grade students adopted identities of immigrants and were prepared to share their unique story and the circumstances that led them to the United States. Students arrived to school dressed as their immigrant with their luggage in tow (including special items from home). Woodlawn eighth graders served as the immigration inspectors and led the younger trailblazers through the different stations of the immigration process. The ship captain and the Ellis Island Guard greeted newly arrived “immigrants” and their baggage was examined and some items were confiscated. Students patiently waited in the Great Hall before visiting the great hall teacher to share their knowledge of the English language. They ate a small meal at the food service station followed by a physical exam at the health examination station. The most intimidating part of the process was the legal inspection station where newly arrived immigrants were asked up to thirty questions. The inspectors had a difficult decision, but in the end, they admitted eleven immigrants into the United States and deported three hopefuls. This simulation enabled students to experience and understand what immigrants experience as they work to gain entrance into this great nation.

LS Blazer Buzz 18 May

This week's highlight: Rescue Ranch

As part of their service curriculum, our first grade students study the importance of being compassionate, responsible individuals while caring for pets. During the course of the year, they also meet pets that perform a service to the community as well! Last week, our first graders had the opportunity to visit the Rescue Ranch in Statesville. The Rescue Ranch is committed to ending pet overpopulation and associated suffering of animals by promoting and providing for the humane care, protection, and control of domestic animals. While visiting the Ranch, the students attended a class on Animal Habitats and had the opportunity to pet a giant bunny, lion head bunny, a uromastyx, and corn snake. They also spent time with a variety of farm animals that had been rescued from dangerous living conditions or surrendered by their owners. In future years, the Rescue Ranch is planning to build a deer rehabilitation center on their property so they can continue to expand their much-needed care. In order to help the Rescue Ranch with their many endeavors, our students collected donations of tissues, crates, totes, and cleaning supplies for our valued service partner.

LS Blazer Buzz 11 May

This week's highlight: Serving Others

Our youngest Trailblazers have supported the Ronald McDonald House as their service partner for the last five years.  Ronald McDonald Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child.  A Ronald McDonald House is that “home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost.

Recently, our kindergarten students embarked on their final service trip of the year.  Students began their day by visiting the Build-a-Bear workshop at Concord Mills to create a very special bear.  They then traveled to the Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte to give their bear to a sick child and brighten the day of children fighting illness.

LS Blazer Buzz 4 May

This week's highlight: Chocolate!

During their most recent integrated unit, our second grade students have delved into the world of chocolate and its evolution into one of the world’s most popular treats. Students have learned that the fruit of the cacao tree is a football-shaped pod that grows directly from the cocoa tree’s main branches and trunk, not from a stem like an apple. They even learned that the average American eats about 12 pounds of chocolate each year!

As part of their chocolate study, the second grade students had the exciting opportunity to visit the Davidson Chocolate Company. Students were given a tour of the kitchen and learned the process for creating chocolate from the cocoa bean. Students then had the opportunity to create their own chocolate treats, including chocolate covered strawberries with sprinkles and chocolate covered pretzels.

To close out this sweet unit, the second grade surveyed different classes about their chocolate preferences and attended a chocolate tasting hosted by the second grade class. Students tried a variety of treats dipped in white, dark, and milk chocolate including crackers, potato chips, marshmallows, and rice krispy treats. Several students felt that salty chips dipped in chocolate were especially delicious!

LS Blazer Buzz 27 April

This week's highlight: Pioneer Camp

Our third grade students have been studying westward expansion and the challenges pioneers faced when traveling west. Students began writing their own pioneer newspaper during class to highlight the many stories and facts they have learned while studying the westward movement. In addition, our third grade class has their own covered wagon located outside the classroom to bring to life some of the challenges pioneers experienced when traveling. The covered wagon has become a favorite reading spot for our third grade students during the last few weeks. The culminating activity for their study was a trip to Bethelwoods in York, South Carolina last week for Pioneer Day! While there, students went on a hike, explored true to size covered wagons, and practiced their archery skills. Several students had the opportunity to help prepare the lunch for the class in a real dutch oven while reading letters from the trail. All the students agreed that it was tremendous fun being a pioneer for one day, but it would be truly difficult to live that life for several months!