Thursday, February 17, 2011

Roaring News

Baldwin Community,

I want to begin this blog by highlighting some of the amazing work that is taking place at our school. First, I want to brag on the art work that our students have been doing in art class.  In the display case by the cafeteria, there is third grade artwork. They have been working on sewing small stuffed animals (animalitos). The third graders learned to thread his/her own needle and sew small stitches. Their work includes a running stitch, an outline stitch, and a blanket stitch. There is also some amazing first grade artwork hanging in the main hallway that leads to the cafeteria. First grade students studied the life and art of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh. From this learning, the children were able to create swirling, moving lines just like Vincent van Gogh's brush strokes. They also learned about the State Capitol building and drew the Austin landmark landscape in the style of van Gogh. Their work is titled: Starry Night, Austin Style. Next to the first grade artwork, there is a display of Kindergarten work. To celebrate Black History Month, the Kindergarten Classes learned about the legends of Anansi the Spider, an African Folk  hero of the Ashanti people of West Africa in the country of Ghana. Anansi is a wise and loveable spider. The Kindergarten children used horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines to create Anansi's spiderweb. The webs were filled by using colorful markers to create line patterns that include curved, dashed, dotted, zig-zag, curly and spiral lines.

I also want to brag about the history projects the second graders completed a few weeks ago. Each second grader had to complete research on a past president and complete a written report that they then presented to their classes. The projects were amazing! I could tell that each student took so much pride in their work because their presentation boards had so much information and each child could explain their research in detail. I was fortunate to hear a few of the students presenting to their classes. I saw a student in Mrs. Lee's class present his report through a game he created. The game was a timeline of the life of the president he studied. Another student in Mrs. Lee's class created a cipher just like the president he had studied had done to send code messages. I am very proud of our second graders for the incredible projects and presentations they created. Way to Go Second Grade!!

Our fourth graders have been working extremely hard in their language arts classes. They have been writing and writing to get better prepared for the TAKS Writing test that will occur on March 1st. I want to say thank you to our fourth grade teachers and parents for encouraging your children to write from their hearts. The different writing techniques and strategies the children have been using will help them on the day of the test and beyond. We appreciate your encouragement and support!

I also want to thank everyone that participated in the PTA sponsored "Love Your School" No Hassle Fundraising Campaign. I don't know an exact total for this campaign but I do know that we are close to reaching our goal of $10,000. Thank you parents  for your continued support and love!

Don't forget Parent-Teacher Conferences are Monday, February 21st. I look forward to seeing you at Baldwin!

Roaring with Pride,
Dr. Peña