Lower School News

Grade 1 is Grateful!
Rachel Freeman, Editorial Manager

In this time of Thanksgiving, first graders are building on their social-emotional learning (SEL) by taking on a 21-day gratitude journal challenge. Each day for the 21 days leading up to Thanksgiving, first graders spend the first 15 minutes of each day responding to a prompt that allows them to reflect on what they are grateful for. 

“This activity is rooted in the idea that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit,” said first-grade teacher Diana Friedman. “They love this practice so much that many students will take this activity home once the 21 days are up.” 

“We scaffold the prompts so there are multiple entry points for students to engage,” said first-grade teacher Emily Mitchell. “The prompts each day are tied to the curriculum and to our school.” 

Prompts have included: “What do you appreciate about PE?” and “I am grateful for choice because…” Below is a selection of what the first graders have written in their gratitude journals:

“I appreciate the Nueva Community Committee because they help us with our problems.” 

“I’m grateful for PE because there’s sports.”

“Fridays are very fun and fantastic because they have choice time.” 

“I’m grateful for SWI because I like script so much!”

“I’m grateful for the garden because I like the classroom.”

As part of the Lower School structured word inquiry (SWI) program, first graders also did a deep dive into the word “gratitude.” SWI is a scientific investigation of words: how word parts, structure, origin, and history come together to tell the story of what words mean. For their investigation of “gratitude,” students began by asking “What does gratitude mean?” They soon discovered that gratitude and grateful have the same word base gratis, which is Latin for thankful. They also discovered that the word “congratulations” contains this same base. 

This work will be on full display when first graders welcome their grandparents and special friends to campus next week. During the visit, students will teach their special friends about the word gratitude, and together they will create a word matrix, which illustrates word sums. This is a great way to share with the special friends, who will learn what a Nueva education is all about. 

Read More

Fourth grader Mila B.

Young poet Mila B. wants the world to know that women can do anything men can do. Through her writing, she takes on the issue of persistent sexism in our world.

Grade 1 is Grateful!

In this time of Thanksgiving, first graders are building on their social-emotional learning (SEL) by taking on a 21-day gratitude journal challenge.

Members of Nueva's operations and kitchen staff

Lower School students explore the true meaning of community by meeting the people of Nueva who work beyond the classroom. At the same time, they learn the tenants of being kind, courageous, and engaged.

Nueva PreK Scientists Learn the Periodic Table

It all started with a question: “Why is the ocean so salty?” Which led to another question: “What is salt?” What could have ended there with a simple explanation turned into a months-long study this spring for the inquisitive four and five-year olds in the Nueva PreK class where they learned about the elements that make up our bodies and the world around us.

students perform play

In “Ocean Plastic Paradise,” sea animals navigate the perils of a habitat overrun with discarded plastic. Written and performed by Laraine Ray’s Kindergarten class, the film is the culmination of months examining the effects of plastic pollution in the sea.