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 BEE themselves!
Contributed by Debbie Lolla

LS Blazer Buzz 7 April

This week's highlight: Polar Animal Research

The first grade did plenty of research during the winter trimester. Students learned about the people, places, and animals of the polar regions. Each first grader selected a polar animal to research and created a representation based on his/her discoveries. Some students chose to make models, while others created nonfiction books and posters. Parents were invited to view the presentations in late March and then the students celebrated the end of the unit with a "H.A.M." party. For the party, students wore pajamas to school to "hibernate" while they watched March of the Penguins and enjoyed hot chocolate and donuts. Then, students "adapted" to the environment by changing into their regular clothes. Finally, everyone "migrated" to the lodge patio for a cookout of hot dogs and s'mores. Next up for the first graders:  the study of simple machines!

Contributed by Tracy Hoskins

LS Blazer Buzz 31 March

This week's highlight: Mandalas

The fifth graders spent time exploring a circular form of art called mandalas, a word that translates to mean circle from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. A mandala can represent many different ideas, such as wholeness or unity within oneself and the community. Mandalas are used by many different people, including the Navajo Indians and Tibetan Monks. The students learned about radial symmetry and created their own paper mandalas.

In early March, the fifth graders had the opportunity to work directly with eco-artist Bryant Holsenbeck at the Cornelius Art Center. Woodlawn students and other community volunteers teamed with Holsenbeck to create a mandala made from bottle caps and lids. Holsenbeck's goal as an artist is to create environmental awareness through her art. She creates such large mandalas to show off how many items it takes to make just one with the hope that people "really think about recycling after seeing it." Since the fifth graders are in charge of all of Woodlawn's recycling, this statement truly hit home. The class was featured on the front page of Lake Norman News for its participation with the mandala.

The fifth graders will be creating their own bottle cap projects in May when they design their own mandalas to create a sculpture garden for Woodlawn's campus. This was a wonderful experience for the students to meet and work with an artist whose vision mirrors that of Woodlawn School.

Contributed by Jackie Royce

LS Blazer Buzz 24 March

This week's highlight: Rock Climbing

Woodlawn's first ever trip to Inner Peaks Climbing Center exceeded expectations! In honor of Healthy Heart Month in February and the conclusion of the winter Olympics, first and second grade students got all "geared" up to challenge themselves to try something new. After a brief lesson on rock climbing, the students lined up to conquer the wall...and a few fears. They cheered one another on as each student reached "new heights." Thanks to the support of teachers and parents, the first and second graders accomplished so much during the short trip. The students finished the day with a self-assessment based on five Olympic values:  determination, patience, positive attitude, respect, and inspiration. Whether students reached the top of the wall or not, they were all winners because they exhibited excellent sportsmanship. To conclude the day, everyone on the trip earned a gold medal for their amazing efforts.

Contributed by Debbie Lolla

LS Blazer Buzz 17 March

This week's highlight: Chocolate

The second grade class is currently researching the history of one of our country’s most delicious treats:  chocolate. The students have uncovered some very interesting facts about this sweet treat, such as where it originated, who first discovered it, and how chocolate plays an important role in the economy of civilizations in the past as well as the future. The students began their research by sharing their own experiences of chocolate. They expanded their knowledge by reading The Story of Chocolate.  From this information, the second graders created a timeline of events beginning in 1200 BC to the present day. The students paired up to survey the lower school teachers and students on campus about some of their encounters with chocolate. Some of the survey questions included:  “What is your favorite chocolate treat?” and “Which holiday do you eat chocolate the most?” They used this information to create a bar graph, along with a summary of their findings.

After all of this hard work, the second grade class transformed into candy makers on Friday, March 14. The students had the opportunity to make chocolate treats at the Davidson Chocolate Company. The storeowners explained how chocolate is created from a tiny cocoa bean on the cacao tree. The students took a tour of the kitchen and learned that a guitar is not only a musical instrument, but also used as a tool to slice chocolate into perfect sized squares. The students asked the owners thoughtful questions like, “Do you do enrobing here?” and “What is the busiest season at your store?” The second graders had the opportunity to create their own treats by dipping, making chocolate covered marshmallows with sprinkles and chocolate covered pretzels. The students purchased a special chocolate treat from the counter to conclude the trip. The second grade will complete the unit by collaborating with the fifth graders to have a chocolate tasting celebration later in March.

Contributed by Dawn Modrak