The Children's School at Stephens College

Because big dreams start early.


November 2015

The CSSC Students’ Collection of Civil War Artifacts and Research Museum

We ended our Civil War inquiry with a museum exhibit! The CSSC Students’ Collection of Civil War Artifacts and Research Museum welcomed parents, preschool teachers and students, and faculty and staff from all around campus.

Our Fourth and Fifth graders, with the help of Dr. Prater and Ms. Vonder Haar, studied major people in the Civil War and wrote biographies. They each had a tri-fold board equipped with photos and facts about their person. Each student also created an artifact to go along with their presentation.

Ms. Jill, our student teacher, Mrs. Clifton, Kindergartners and First graders, examined the life of Abraham Lincoln. They created a log cabin included with a garden, corn husk bed, and pond. Other students presented information about games Abraham Lincoln played as a boy, clothes his wife wore, and other aspects of Abraham Lincoln’s life.

Some of our First, Second, and Third graders, along with Ms. James studied the Underground Railroad. After thinking about ways to share what they learned- they decided to build it! They wanted people to experience the journey slaves took to freedom. Visitors traveled through the plantation, forest, stopped at the safe house and arrived at freedom.

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Stalactites Galore!

During our habitats unit, students in Wonderland have been learning about caves and what’s inside a cave. Today we discussed how stalactites hang from the “roof” of the cave. Students made observations about the length and pointy ends of the stalactites. We decided to make our own cave roof and hang our own stalactites from it. We will continue to learn more about stalactites, stalagmites, and different animals that live in caves.



This week, the students in the Wonderland classroom are studying caves! As we discussed what we already knew about caves, students decided that they would like to turn the loft into a cave. We brainstormed what supplies we would need in order to construct our cave. Students listed black paper, paints, and tape for our supplies. We gathered the items we needed and realized that the loft was still full of groceries! Students identified that this was a problem, because you do not see grocery stories inside caves. We decided to move all of the groceries outside the cave. Next, students started painting black butcher paper to represent our own cave wall art. Once the paintings were finished, we use packing tape to secure the black paper around the cave. Students enjoyed constructing their own cave and are showing deep interest in learning more about this mysterious habitat!

Missouri Contemporary Ballet

Yesterday afternoon, while the older students were at dance on campus our younger students took a walk downtown to the Missouri Contemporary Ballet studio. The dancers showed us how they stretch, how they move and answered some of our questions. A few of our students shared with the dancers that they take ballet classes too!

Author/Illustrator Study

Ms. James and Ms. Vonder Haar presented students with two names: Kadir Nelson and Bryan Collier. Students then decided who they would like to study and were put into groups. Once in their groups, they were able to explore different books each person wrote and/or illustrated. With help from teachers, students decided how they wanted to present the information they learned about their author/illustrator. Ms. James’ group decided to act out one of Kadir Nelson’s books titled If You Plant a Seed. Ms. Vonder Haar’s group made an illustration using collage and watercolors just like Bryan Collier. They also made a poster about Bryan Collier. The elementary students journeyed over to the preschool classrooms and presented their author/illustrator creations.





The Amazing Math Race

Saturday afternoon a few of our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders participated in the Amazing Math Race on campus. Students were given clues about where to go on campus and once they arrived at their destination, they had to solve a math problem. Parents were there to cheer on our students and encourage them not to give up. In the end, our students won 2nd place and received a board game for our classroom. Congratulations to Michael P., Kaylee, Eric, Thomas, Michael K., and Konrad!

Elementary P.E. With Stephens Stars



What an active start to November we’ve had! Dance with the 3rd through 5th graders began, and so did our physical education class, led by the Stephens student athletes. Obstacle courses, basketball, running, stretching, soccer….all of these are just some of the physical activities being introduced, and the elementary kids are loving it! With so many schools sadly whittling away P.E. classes, we here at The Children’s School at Stephens College are committed to engaging not just our students’ minds, but their bodies as well.

Rework, Revise, Reread, Reveal

 Literacy ends each day with a share time. This time is dedicated to sharing student work, chosen by the teachers, to inspire our writers.  This week the authors in our classroom have created powerful writing pieces that exemplifies the writing process.

Below is a blog post written by three of our own students about our literacy workshop:

“Today in Literacy we had many inspirational and creative writers like Eleanor who was inspired by Cynthia Rylant who was the author of “When I Was Young In The Mountains”. She took the time to revise her memoir, “My 6th Birthday” so that it would have repeated lines just like “When I Was Young in the Mountains.”

Another student Thomas, was inspired by a book he was reading from the “I Survived” series. He revealed his published piece to our class and it looked like an actual book; complete with a bar code, publishing company, and price.

Michael K. revised his memoir to use the perfect words. Each day he has been going back to his memoir and changing the words in his story so that it tells the special details.

Michael P. and Konrad were both interested in paranormal activity and wanted to make a book together. So they researched and worked together to write a chapter book and even took the time to edit and revise each others work. The finished book is about ghost, demons, spirits and haunted locations.”

Written by Eric, Maggie & Kaylee


Dance, Move, Learn

Dance educator Margot Gaught states, “creative dance provides movement experiences that promote motor skill development and general body awareness, as well as basic learning skills such as listening, following directions, sequencing and problem solving”. Author of Integrating the Arts Across the Elementary School Curriculum, R. Phyllis Gelineau writes, “like a violin in an orchestra, movement is the body’s instrument of expression, engaging the emotions as well as the intellect — becoming the interpreter of feelings, sensory impressions, and ideas”.  

New Opportunities

Our 3rd through 5th grade students are spending three afternoons a week in Senior Hall working with students and faculty from the Stephens College Dance Program.  They are learning how to control movements and become comfortable in their own bodies. They will be learning the basics of modern, ballet and jump rhythm jazz.  These techniques will be choreographed into a final dance number at our Variety Show in December.

Below you will find pictures and videos of the 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders very first dance session:

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