5th & 6th Grade Play

Swallowtail School Presents “The Birds”

Performed by Ms. Ingrid’s 5th & 6th Grade Class

Directed by Ms. Pam

The Bird

The Bird - February 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Please join us for a play presented by the 5th & 6th grade class on February 2nd at 6:30 pm at the First Christian Church (directly across the street from Swallowtail). This is the oldest play in Swallowtail’s history; it is a Greek play dating back to 414 B.C. The class has put in countless hours rehearsing their lines, creating amazing costumes and building stunning props! This is a performance you won’t want to miss!

(There will be a donation opportunity to help the class off-set the cost of renting the venue.)



Eighth Grade Update

{ Thank you Ms. Puanani and Ms. Erica }

Grade Eight took advantage of our sunny weather by heading into Portland. After a birthday breakfast for one of the students, complete with gluten-free pancakes, they headed to The Portland Art Museum for the afternoon. Most of their time was spent in the north wing, which houses the museum’s permanent collection. The students were allowed to enjoy the museum at their own pace, although they were asked to take note of landscapes and cloud formations in the art work. The eight grade class has been painting many landscapes in their art classes and the cloud study is a foreshadowing to their upcoming Meteorology Block this spring. The trip ended with a quiet sketching period before heading back to Hillsboro. The class had a wonderful time and look forward to their next trip in January.


Student Painting

Student Painting



Fifth and Sixth Grade

{ Thank you Ms. Ingrid and Ms. Erica }

To begin their Astronomy Block, the fifth and sixth grade jogged to Hare Field and completed an activity to find their bearings from a geocentric perspective of observation. This perspective will be the basis for their studies of the heavens throughout the block. The students were introduced to various Greek Mythological stories that offer Greek origins of well known constellations. They began charting the Circumpolar stars to establish basic landmarks for more complicated constellation searches in the future.


Chalkboard Drawing

Chalkboard Drawing for Class Story by Ms. Ingrid


Next they will finish mapping the Circumpolar Constellations and then map the Seasonal Constellations and investigate star movement through their established paths. We will find which constellations are known as winter or summer constellations and map them in relation to one-another.

Students took their parents out on a clear night to find Ursa Major (in its entirety), Ursa Minor and Polaris and share how they were able to identify them. The clear skies and dry weather in the area have made studying Astronomy so rewarding! There is a Star Gazing Evening scheduled, complete with a crackling fire to keep warm against the cold and some delicious hot cider as well.

New this year is the opportunity to bring the German Language to our school. A Swallowtail parent has graciously offered to share her language and culture with the students. This will be a combined Block for students from fifth through eighth grade.

1st and 2nd Grades: Poetry of Numbers

Thanks to Mr. Kris for providing the opportunity and Ms. Erica for putting this together we now have an idea of what this class is up to.

Mr. Kris’s 1st and 2nd grade class has been busy working! The first grade has been learning about letters, specifically the form and sound of the letters. The second grade has been writing poetry, which they have been speaking together for the class. They have also been filling their books with their beautiful writing. The writing of familiar verses and songs paves the way for reading abilities to organically emerge. The students have made great accomplishments in their writing abilities, as their stamina and concentration has grown immensely.

The students also had great fun on their last trip to the farm, and continued their look at the forms of the letters coming from the natural world by finding things at the farm with certain letters. The children showed their creativity and humor stringing their words together in fun ways.  They also planted a tulip garden for the spring and help the rest of the school sow a field of oats.

Class Drawing

Chalkboard Drawing for Class Story by Mr. Kris

 The children have been learning German over a four week block. It is so good for children to be exposed to many languages and the children are very fortunate to have a parent from class who can give this gift to them.

Over the last few weeks we have had a special visitor who shared a form of movement art called Eurythmy. First and second grade, along with the rest of the school, enjoyed their Eurythmy sessions and the Eurythmy performance assembly was a big success. “Thank you” to Swallowtail’s parent association for bringing this to the school!

The class will be focusing their next block on the qualitative aspects of the numbers.  It is very important that children gain a feeling for the numbers before they work with them in the typical quantitative sense.  Just as in the case of the letters, the children need to form an inner connection with the numbers, so they can connect them to themselves and not just to an abstract form.  There are stories that will be told to embody the numbers in a human way.

For example, “I am one, but I have two hands to do work in the world.  A mother, father and child make three, and four are the winds that blow to me.  I have five fingers on each hand and like to eat honey from the six-sided comb.”  By introducing the numbers in this way, the children create living pictures.  Next, the children will look to roman numerals as a bridge between the qualities and the quantities of numbers.  Roman numerals are great for this as they can see their shapes in their hands.  From the roman numerals, the class will move forward in time to the Arabic numerals and practice writing these forms.

As the numbers are being introduced to the first grade, the second grade will focus on number patterns. This will keep a qualitative sense to it as well and will help to pave the way for learning the times tables.  The children will begin to look at patterns in different pictorial ways as well as using their bodies and writing numbers too.  Students will soon be able to count by twos, threes, fours, fives and probably tens as well. Then they will look at how these interrelate as they draw them in different ways and look at the various shapes that the numbers are prone to make, which furthers the children’s sense of the qualities.