Squid Science – Hands-On Learning in 4th Grade

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Engaging hands-on experiences are a hallmark of City Academy’s STEAM program, and our faculty are finding creative ways to make that possible during virtual learning. This week in 4th grade science, our scholars dissected squids as part of the biology curriculum. Each student was given their own specimen to dissect, following along with 3rd and 4th grade science teacher Ann Luciani on Zoom.

Before the dissection, students were asked to draw a squid from memory. This helped them identify questions they had about the structure and form of the animal, which they were then able to answer during the dissection. On Monday, students completed an external examination of squids, and on Tuesday they completed the internal examination.

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Introducing Our Onsite Learning Team

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Alison Slama – Onsite 3- and 4-Year-Old Teacher

Alison came to City Academy in 2019 to launch the first three- and four-year-old classroom in the newly expanded Early Childhood Center. Alison has over 10 years of experience in early childhood education.

Alison is a St. Louis local and a graduate of MICDS. She went on to earn a BA in Psychology and Early Childhood Education and a Teaching Certificate from Webster University, and a MA in Special Education, also from Webster University.

In her free time, Alison enjoys hiking, playing and watching sports, and spending time with her friends and family.

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Third and Fourth Grade Scientists Zoom with Fox 2 Meteorologist Chris Higgins

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Students in third and fourth grade science classes wrapped up their ecology unit this week with a livestream Q & A with Fox 2 meteorologist Chris Higgins.

The unit began with creating nature journals to record daily abiotic elements of weather such as temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind and clouds. After students practiced recording data, they incorporated analysis in small ways by looking at how the weather/abiotic elements interacted with the biotic elements such as the plants, animals, and us!

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Learning at Home – Tips from Our Counselor

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As the City Academy community moves online, our faculty and staff are hard at work making sure that students and families are supported through these challenges. Counselor Joan Bates shared these tips for setting a schedule for learning at home that works for each family:

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Extended Day Program Teaches Business Skills

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Students in the Cricut Crafting Extended Day program did an excellent job selling their Dear Black Girl/Boy, Africa is the Heartbeat, and Africa is in My DNA shirts for Black History Month. Their project incorporated 4 out of the 7 Nguzo Sabo (Kwanzaa) principles during this project: Umoja (Unity), Ujima (Collective Works and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) and Kuumba (Creativity).

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Graduation Ceremony 2019 | Oliver Langenberg Award

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The David Steward Family

Graduation is also a time to reflect on the importance of philanthropy: Making an active effort to promote the welfare of others. We are all here today because of the generosity and support of those in our community who believe in our school and in you, our students.

At our first graduation in 2005, we established the Oliver Langenberg Award to annually honor a St. Louisan whose contributions have made City Academy and our broader community better. Oliver Langenberg was City Academy’s first donor in 1998, a year before we opened! He invested in a school with no students or teachers. Think about that. Mr. Langenberg believed in our vision for a school of excellence for all families. He had faith that we would get it done. We did! And I will always be grateful.

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Fine Arts Assembly and Showcase

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City Academy 5th Grade students have spent the school year working to create original compositions of poetry, music, dance, and storytelling pieces. Under the guidance of Mr. Laren Loveless, City Academy 3rd-6th Grade Music Teacher, the students collaborated to create their own original piece, titled “Here I Am”. The 5th Grade Students showcased the original piece to parents, faculty, and staff on Thursday, May 9th at the City Academy Fine Arts and Showcase.

The gallery, directed by 3rd – 6th Grade Art Teacher, Julie Bugnitz, showcased works of art by each student across City Academy’s 3rd through 6th grade that had been created throughout the year. Faculty and staff were asked to contribute at least one photo story taken throughout the year. The unveiling of the gallery was accompanied by a live reading of a poem titled “City Academy Miracles” written by our 4th and 5th grade classes.

View Gallery

Read City Academy Miracles Poem

 

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Building Bridges: The Real World Applications of STEAM Outside of The Classroom

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In addition to cutting edge collaboration and integration of the five STEAM fields into classroom learning, the STEAM program includes experiential learning in the community through field trips that help students build bridges between classroom learning and real world applications. Generous support from the Monsanto Fund (now the Bayer Fund) has made these field trips possible.

The fifth and sixth grade science classes were very busy upon their return from spring break. Field trips were scheduled to three different STEAM-related institutions here in Saint Louis. Because of City Academy’s incredible Board of Trustee members, students had a chance to tour Express Scripts, Emerson, and Bayer. All three companies employ individuals with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, art and math. These tours were a chance for students to explore different STEAM careers and relate what they are doing in the classroom to the real world.

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Collaborative Curriculum Takes On A New Meaning

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“With the synergies of all our efforts, what we can achieve becomes very powerful.” – Erica Venne

Mission-made and mission-proud. At City Academy, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional education and empowering our students. To meet the needs of our growing student body, we are expanding our faculty and staff. One new position we added this year is the Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator. This is a great example of generous community support impacting education equity.

We are excited to re-introduce Erica Venne as the new Instruction and Curriculum Coordinator. Erica is now in her fifth year at City Academy. Previously, she was a Spanish student teacher, fourth grade humanities teacher and fifth grade humanities teacher at the school.

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Nature Makes the Best (Scientific) Classroom

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Shaw Nature Reserve Field Trip | Fall 2018

Each year, our third and fourth grade classes participate in an overnight excursion to Shaw Nature Reserve. For students, the trip is an opportunity to gain hands-on, in-the-field experience. For our science teachers – Ann Luciani (3rd & 4th grades) and Erik Taylor (5th & 6th grades), this is a great opportunity to educate beyond the classroom.

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