Fourth Graders prep the garden beds with fresh organic soil and fertilizer in anticipation of the third grade planting next week.
Third Grade Cultural Arts with Poet Bill Buczinsky.
The West School Green Club meets once a month at 8:00 am on a Monday. This group of dedicated students and staff have already planted bulbs that will bloom in the spring and transplanted prairie plants to the front of our building. They also decorated reusable canvas bags that were used during Trick-or-Treating. These students coordinate the collection of our plastic bag collection, repurposing of office and classroom paper, distribution of reusable “sporks,” and the organizating of the lunchroom Green Team to help students determine what can be recycled, composted, or thrown out from their lunch trays.
Third Grade: Students were paleontologists for the day as they unearthed real fossils to help them learn about what the world was like long, long ago. Using brushes and chisels, they excavated the fossils that their teachers had planted in plaster for this hands-on project. For each fossil they discovered, they observed the details and recorded what was found.
On November 8, 2016 the West School students participated in an election…. Bluestem voting election. “Big Bluestem, the Illinois state prairie grass, symbolizes the entire Bluestem Award and the variety of titles on the Master List each year. The deep roots of this dominant native grass of the tall grass prairie indicate the older titles with lasting appeal. New yearly growth relates to the newer titles chosen. Its changing colors are a reflection of the variety of literatures, and the three seed spikes represent the three grades of students for whom the program is intended: 3rd, 4th, and 5th.”
Standup to Bullying Day To date, more than 2200 schools, workplaces and organizations representing more than a million people have taken the STAND. At the elementary level, this is an awareness campaign that is aimed at acknowledging the issue and helping students and staff identify what bullying looks and feels like. Our Social and Emotional Learning curriculum focuses on the issue of bullying through lessons on: Social Awareness including perspective taking and appreciating diversity. Relationship Skills including helping and seeking help as well as resolving conflict. Students and staff were encouraged to wear something pink on this day in observance of Standup to Bullying Day. Why Pink? WhyPinkWest.pdf
Third Graders visited Heller Nature Center. Students learned why Illinois is known as the Prairie State. They learned about the various components of a prairie and they examined the plants and animals that make a prairie a prairie. Our third graders visited hives, participated in honey extraction, and used microscopes to get a larger than life perspective on these amazing insects and the flowers they pollinate.
Gardening: Each spring the third graders plant seeds in one of the garden beds that is assigned to their class. The third graders are responsible for maintaining the garden, which includes weeding, raking, and eventually harvesting and possibly replanting. During the summer, the garden is maintained by summer school students and with a little help from our neighbors. During the fall, our fourth graders are assigned the beds. Planting is done as soon as school starts and then it’s the fourth graders’ turn to weed, rake and harvest. The produce that is harvested is donated to local charities where it is distributed to those who can use it. The organic vegetable garden is only part of all the growing that is done at West. While studying the “Prairie State,” our students learn about the native plants and wild flowers that grow here. Along our front walk the “Green Club” has planted a variety of native prarie plants and grasses. On our front lawn, we have a variety of wild flowers planted in three large beds… some native… some not… but all are just part of the outdoor classroom that the students explore.
Third grade students visited the Chicago History Museum as part of their Social Studies unit on Chicago.
Winter Recess: Recess is an important part of our students’ day. Throw in a little snow, and we have the a wintery opportunity for teamwork, partnership, innovation, and a whole lot of fun! Sometimes the few minutes before school can provide for a school recess feeling too.
Annual West School Chorus Club evening winter concert at Misner Auditorium. There is a video of this concert that is filed under “videos” in the Gallery.
Annual West School Skate Day at Watts Ice Arena.
An actor portraying our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, visited West on Friday. The program included several costume changes as the actor took the students on a journey of Mr. Lincoln’s life, accomplishments, and his leadership through challenging personal and political times.
In recognition of the playoff games, we recognized all sports by wearing our favorite team color, hat, and or jersey to school on Friday, October 28.
Students donated some of their Halloween candy collection to the Leukemia Society’s collection box.
Every Halloween is a lot of fun for children. This year was no exception. The weather was perfect for our outdoor parade.
WECARE: The first day of school is a busy one. Third graders are given a tour of the school and then everyone meets in the gym for our First Day WECARE Assembly. The West School Players…. staff… act out various social scenerios and ask for audience participation on how to end the skit with a positive message for all concerned.
Move-in Day 2016. This is the day that the students come to school and meet their teacher and see their new classroom. It is an important day and to many it is the unoffical first day of school.
The First Day of School! Friends and family all gathered on the front lawn waiting for the first bell on the first day of school. Everyone settled into the new year quickly.
October 21st was a Night to Remember! Our annual PTO sponsored West School Fair is a fun night for all members of our community. West School students look forward to an evening of fun and frolic in the halls of the school. The bouncy house obstacle course was set up in one half of the gym, while the other half was used for games. A pizza dinner was available in the lunchroom and the famous West School Fair Cake Walks were buzzing with hopes of winning one of the nearly 200 cakes and other baked goods that were donated for this event. Concurrently, the annual PTO Scholastic Book Fair was a hive of activity in the school library. The West School staff silent auction and raffle raised $2000.00 for Hitch Elementary School in CPS. A huge thank you to the PTO for their outstanding organization and promotion of this event. It’s our biggest of the year! A huge thank you to the West School staff for volunteering to man the games for the first shift, and to the parents and Central School students who took over for the second shift. Ms. Porretta led the West School Chorus Club in the rendition of a few songs at half-time. There was a lot of fun and joy packed into this 90 minute extravaganza .