• Kindergarten
    Title - We Chooses Kindness
    Guiding Question - 

    What difference can one person make?

    How do my actions impact a community?


    Expedition Dates - September - December


    Students will learn about the importance of showing kindness in the community through a series of case studies, starting with showing kindness within your family, then expanding to the school community and further to the community of Decatur.

    kindness heart guiding questions kindness bucket kindness chain kindness chains

    Celebration of Learning

    Choose Kindness

    lining up stage time singing work families families families families families families


    buddy bench  
  • First Grade
    Title - I Will Survive
    Guiding Question - 

    What conditions are necessary for a species to survive?

    • Where does an animal’s food come from?
    • How does an animal’s shelter help them survive?

    How are the basic needs of animals similar and different?

    How can we take what we learned about food and shelter to help animals who come from the wild and are now living with people as caregivers?


    Expedition Dates - September - December
    Kick Off- Reptile Wrangler visit


    reptile wrangler
    Celebration of Learning -  December 19th


    Children will use animals to learn about their basic needs and habitats. We will begin with our study of bearded dragons.  We will learn about the animal’s food and shelter that help the animal survive. Next, we will board a bus for Noah’s Ark and learn about other animal’s food and shelter and how these help the animal survive.


    Celebration of Learning

    I Will Survive video (Please contact Mrs. Nation for the password)

    families teaching chimes bells

    families student friends
    Spikey pig



    First Graders raised $1,192.00 for Noah's Ark by selling their beautifully crafted note cards and by leadning a coin fundraiser with their Westchester peers.  

    Noah's Ark was extremley pleased and sent us this letter:

    A Letter from Noah's Ark


  • Second Grade
    Title - WE Goes Above and Beyond
    Guiding Question

    • As astronomers, how do we learn about the sun, moon, and stars?
    • Why do my surroundings change?  
    • As astronomers, how do we communicate our knowledge about the sun, moon, and stars?


    Expedition Dates - September 25-December 15
    Celebration of Learning - December 15th



    During this expedition students will learn about the sun, moon, and stars.  As students learn about stars they will learn about star colors, brightness, constellations, and the life cycle of a star.  In investigating the moon students will observe and record the moon’s appearance from earth for a month to learn about the moon’s phases.  During the sun case study students will learn how the sun makes shadows change throughout the day, day and night, and seasons and weather.
    sun moon phases vocab astronaut art clay suns field experts movement movement field study
    field work
    Celebration of Learning
    COL COL COL Families families families families families families families

    WE Goes Above and Beyond websites










  • Third Grade

    One Well

    Guiding Questions

    Why is water important?     

    How do humans impact water sources?  

    What can we do to keep our water safe?  

    How do writers use text-based evidence to strengthen their message?


    Expedition Dates - October 4th-December 15th
    Celebration of Learning - Deceber 15th




    During our fall expedition, our third graders have explored how water connects every living thing and we all share “one well.”  In our first case study, students investigated the question “Why is water important?”  They explored this question by conducting stream assessments with experts from the Environmental Protection Agency of local water sources, one being the creek behind Westchester.  As we investigated how vital the health of the creek behind our school is to plants, animals, and humans throughout the world, we noticed that the creek behind our school was without a name.  The students wanted to change that because they “believe that people might take care of it if it had a name.”  With the help of Steven Blackburn, Ms. Lofstrand, and Dr. Dude, they completed an official application to name the creek behind the school “Wolfpack Creek.”  The request is currently being considered by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names and the students are anxiously awaiting a the board’s approval.  

    The students also investigated the importance having access to clean water.  They explored how much water they use and fetched water from the creek to see just how difficult carrying enough water to flush a toilet is for those who cannot turn a faucet on to have access to water.  After carrying the water and hearing about the difficulties that Puerto Rico was having with accessing water after the hurricane, the students wrote informational pieces about the importance of water to the 2nd grade students at Westchester.  After hearing their informational pieces, the 2nd and 3rd grade students at Westchester created a plan to raise money for providing water access to Puerto Rico.  

    In the 2nd case study, the students looked deeply into “How do humans impact water sources?” They heard from many experts and researched water pollution topics of their choosing.  Our 3rd, and final case study, asked the students to explore “What can we do to keep our water safe?”  The students visited the Emory Water Hub and spoke with experts from Decatur City and the Center for Disease Control to explore the question.  They also investigated what people have done and can do to share important messages.  They learned that they can use their voice by creating public service announcements about Halloween candy, their words by creating informational texts, creating art and sculpture with local sculpture artist, Jeff Mather, and creating movements/dances with local dance artist, Ericka Van Hoosear.  Our celebration of learning will be a showcase of all of the student created messages about water pollution.  We will unveil the student-designed and created sculpture, share a student-created production, sing songs about water, and share the website that we created to share our important messages about water pollution with our community.  Our website will be displayed via QR code and link near our sculpture and will be unveiled at our Celebration of Learning so that all visitors can access information about how we can protect our “One Well.”



    working with experts in the creek Mr. Blackburn teaching about the creek Dude & Lofstrand Pope and Erikson teaching Third Grade
    Celebration of Learning
    One Well (contact Mrs. Nation for the password to view)
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