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Photo Walk Series: A Morning in the Lower School
Jim Morrison, director of student outreach & special projects


Our new Photo Walk Series aims to provide the community with a snapshot in time—a celebration of work being done across grade levels, content areas, and divisions. 
 

On a beautiful Tuesday morning, lower school students could be found across the entirety of the campus deep in their studies and enjoying their day.



In the ballroom, preK students were hard at work using their bodies to reenact the life-cycle of the butterflies.  
 
Movement and dance teacher Helen Wicks guided their movements before settling into an activity based upon the Spring Equinox, which had just occurred a few days earlier on March 18.
 

 

First graders take some time in the sun to meet with Karen Tiegel to gather information for their Community Project.  Throughout the month of March, our first-grade students are interviewing dozens of people at Nueva to learn more about their role at Nueva and how their experience might be improved.
 
Students couldn’t believe how many different jobs Karen has had during her years at Nueva. They were also fascinated to hear that she was often on “ski patrol” when she worked at a school in Europe.
 

 

Zubin Mobedshahi debriefs with his second-grade class after a fierce round of Pirate Ball.
 
After a brief discussion about heat capacity and why, perhaps, the stones baking in the sun feel cooler than the grass, Zubin took some time to acknowledge several students who “set the tone of positivity for the entire class” and did a great job of building each other up.
 
This week Zubin has focused on optimization during PE – supporting the lower school team by teaching students some new games they can play at recess which optimize their playtime and minimize conflict.
 

 

Our third-grade students are in the midst of a religious studies unit. 
 
Taking advantage of the smaller and more intimate structure of the grade’s book groups, students will watch films, read books and articles, and have discussions about several major world religions.
 
This week, the class is focused on studying the five pillars of Islam, which include:

  • the declaration of faith (shahada)
  • prayer (salah)
  • alms-giving (zakat)
  • fasting (sawm)
  • pilgrimage (hajj) 


As the fourth grade continues their study of the Odyssey and the path of the hero, students have been asked to recreate the entrance to Hades’ underworld from Odysseus’ perspective.
 
After visualizing the scene, brainstorming, and creating sketches, the students will use charcoal to create vivid, high-contrast images.
 
The themes of darkness and light are conveyed in the simple materials but the students have been asked to try to address the who, what, and when of the plot through their imagery.

 

After emerging from their chrysalises and learning about the balance of the equinox, the preK students spring forth from the doors of the lower school ready for lunch, eager share stories of their plans for the week, their favorite foods, and the teachers and friends they are looking forward to seeing later in the day.

   


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