LS Blazer Buzz 22 Sept

This week's highlight: Garden of Five Senses

Our Kindergarten students had the opportunity to spend time with their 6th grade family last Friday in the garden.  Kindergarten students have been studying the five senses and spent time in the garden using their senses and collecting garden goodies to take home.  Students had the opportunity to smell and taste a variety of mint including Spearmint (we have tasted this in gum and toothpaste), Peppermint, and Lemon Balm.  The children used their sense of sight to locate and describe a variety of flowers growing in the garden and listened for helpful insects like crickets.  Our Woodlawn students were most excited about touching the fuzzy Lamb's Ear plant and collected one or two leaves to take home to share with their families.

LS Blazer Buzz 15 Sept

This week's highlight: Yoga!

Our children live in a world of busy parents, school pressures, lessons, technology, friends, and competitive sports. We usually don’t think of these influences as stressful for children, but they often are.

We have found that yoga can help counter these pressures. When children learn techniques for self-health, balance, and relaxation, they are often better equipped to navigate daily challenges. Yoga introduced at a young age promotes positive self-esteem, body awareness, flexibility, coordination, and strength. In addition, their concentration, sense of calmness, and relaxation improves.

Kim Atkins, our Life Sports instructor, comes to Woodlawn with 11 years of experience as an Elementary Physical Education instructor. Kim is an avid runner (she has twice completed the Boston Marathon) and yoga instructor.

Woodlawn has long known the benefits of incorporating yoga into our regular routine. By adding Ms. Atkins to our full-time fitness faculty, we can now offer yoga to our students on a weekly basis. Our Kinder – 5th grade students participate in a half-hour yoga class each week with Ms. Atkins. Currently, students are learning the basic poses and breathing techniques and will build on this foundation as they move through the year.

LS Blazer Buzz 8 Sept

This week's highlight: Art at Penland

While many of us were relaxing poolside, Jackie Royce, Woodlawn’s lower school and upper school art instructor, received a work- study scholarship for summer classes at the prestigious Penland School of Crafts. Penland is a national center for craft education and is located in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. Ms. Royce’s Penland course, “Found and Fabricated,” required students to deconstruct, reconfigure, and seek new contexts for found and appropriated materials in jewelry.

Based on summer research, Ms. Royce and Ms. Lysne made the decision to move our art program to a choice-based classroom. During class, students have the opportunity to make choices in the creation process, which enables students to develop independence in the artistic process. Throughout the year, Ms. Lysne and Ms. Royce will open stations to students including drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, and collage. Once stations are opened, students will have the option to use that medium to complete assigned tasks. As Woodlawn integrates this new artistic classroom experience, please be sure to follow our progress in our monthly Art Studio newsletter.

LS Blazer Buzz 2 Sept

This week's highlight: Woodlawn Welcomes Class of 2027

We want to welcome our new Kindergarten students in this week’s edition of the Lower School Blazer Buzz. The class of 2027 shared the first day of school with their new teachers and families. You could feel the excitement as students explored their new classroom, met their classmates, spent time with their teachers, and began their educational journey. During their half-day on campus, students participated in a practice fire drill, experienced a Life Skills lesson with Ms. Lolla, and had their first Spanish lesson with Senorita Morgan. We learned a great deal about our youngest students during that first day. For example, most of the students in the kindergarten class like bugs. Ladybugs, inchworms, and roly-polies were mentioned as favorites. Five students in the class of 2027 like spinach, which will be very helpful when they grow their own vegetables with Ms. Denham, our gardening instructor. All of our students, however, admitted to being very excited about beginning kindergarten! We are so thrilled that our youngest students are happy to be at Woodlawn because the faculty is extremely excited to start a new year with this wonderful class!

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