Archive for February, 2012

Grandparents/Special Persons Day

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

“If you wanted to see a beautiful day with cherry pie hearts and heart cookies made by one of our parents, have a professional photographer take your family’s portrait Delicious Refreshments– if you wanted to see the most precious Kindergarten children perform and have a preview of the Fifth Grade Play, then you should have been at Peninsula Heritage School’s Fancy Nancy/Elegant Edward Day aka Grandparents/Special Persons Day!Kindergarten Performance It was a day to be proud of, and a day that brought many smiles to many people. We thank all those who made this day a success and a true family event!”

Aquarium Overnight

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Last week our Second Graders had a fabulous overnight experience at Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific. Our Second Grade teacher, Mrs. Bakkila, shares with us the details of this outing:
“Every February the Second Grade participates in the Aquarium’s overnight program. This marks the culmination of our month-long science unit on marine life. It is also a bonding experience for the class as well as with each child and his or her parent. Second Graders at AquariumMrs. Mallon, our Science Lab teacher, created this idea, and we have been going for the last ten years. We feel that the first PHS student overnight experience should be close to home, and the Aquarium is perfect. Each child brings a parent to ease the transition to this new experience, as the following year the children go to Rawhide Ranch for three days without the parents.”
“We arrive at the Aquarium at 5:00 pm and have the freedom to explore for half an hour. At 5:30 pm, the Aquarium closes to the public and we have the facility to ourselves along with the Aquarium docents. We eat a healthy meal of turkey sandwiches and fruit and then proceed to the third floor, which is reserved for private groups such as ours. Aquarium Touch TankWe feed nori – restaurant-grade edible seaweed – to the fish in the large tank and then have an interview with the tank divers. Our next experience is walking the entire Aquarium with our docent as we learn about all the inhabitants. This includes dressing in costumes and acting out some of the characteristics of various marine life – for instance, the octopus costume’s arms have suction cups and the children can better imagine a little about the life of this creature. Next we stop in the Aquarium classroom where we play a game involving facts about sea life. Mrs. Mallon has prepared our students so well, that they always get the facts correct!”
“It’s now about 9:00 pm, and we watch a movie to relax prior to bedtime. However, it’s a 4-D movie – we wear 3-D glasses and experience fog and mist coming over us to replicate the ocean experience! Then we pump up the air mattresses, get out the blankets, and lie down in front of the large otter tank, which stays softly lit. As we watch these interesting creatures, we nod off to dreamland.”
“Next morning at 6:00 am sharp, the Aquarium lights come on, we pack up, have a light breakfast, and head home – this is a special no-school day for the Second Grade only, as we have worked so hard and learned so much the night before!”
“Our parents were thrilled to enjoy this experience with their child and found it fascinating, educational, and definitely a good time! And our students? They haven’t stopped talking about it! It’s one of the real highlights of the Second Grade year.”

Dad’s Day Continued

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Last week’s “Dads and Granddads Day” included a special experience for our guests – a class in dissection led by our outstanding science lab teacher, Mrs. Kathy Mallon:
“In the Fifth Grade science program, we have already dissected clams, mussels, oysters, fish, and squid. Recently we have been studying the systems of the body, concluding with the circulatory system. Last week in class we did cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), learning how to compress the heart to keep blood circulating around the body.”Mrs. Mallon Explains Dissection
“For this lesson with the dads joining us, we dissected pigs’ hearts. They are about the same size as the human heart, and anatomically they have the same vessels. It is easy to see the arteries, veins, and chambers. “Dissection Lesson with Dads
“By examining the heart, the children and their dads could see the difference between the arteries and veins – the arteries actually have thick muscular walls that push the blood along by contraction, while the veins have thinner walls as well as valves to prevent any back flow of blood. With the students doing the dissection, the dads and their sons and daughters identified the left and right atrium and the left and right ventricle, plus all the valves.”
“’This was actually fun!’ commented one dad, while a doctor in the group felt it was great for the children to get excited about science and the anatomy of the heart. Some of the children told me they were imagining themselves as surgeons doing the dissection. That’s our goal – to introduce real science to the students and let them become familiar with the lab and the possibilities that lie beyond!”

Dads and Granddads Day

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Although last Friday was called “Doughnuts for Dads and Granddads Day,” it was more like “Tamales for Dads and Granddads.” We realized that although the doughnuts were abundant, our guests seemed to enjoy the tamales just as much. Dad and ChildrenEvery year we add to the number of tamales that we order, as they have become such a staple to the morning’s menu. This breakfast was just a prelude to the wonderful classroom time with our guests, followed by our “travel” to an island called Hawaii. The weather cooperated, First Graders Hula with Sixth Graderssurfboards were in place, and our First Graders rode a big wave to greatness. Our Character Quality of “Caring” certainly shown through on the little faces of our First Grade students! As always, it was a grand event at Peninsula Heritage School – as one father put it, “The best Dads’ Day ever!”

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