Community Connections

Third graders study our local economy and neighborhood businesses. As they learn about the basics of economics, students do an in depth study of a local business in Wallingford. As a part of this study, students are required to interview business owners.  They then become business owners for a day, managing a budget and creating goods to sell on Wallingford Day. The Meridian community is invited to “shop local” using “Wallingford Money”, a currency only spendable in third grade on Wallingford Day.

By Meridian 3rd Grade Students

In third grade we learn a lot about businesses and organizations in our community and the city of Seattle.

On Wallingford Day everyone in third grade recreates a mini version of the business that they studied and shares their projects with the whole school.

Before we picked our business, we walked down 45th Street and saw and learned about all the different businesses. We took notes of the services or products that each business sells.

On Wallingford Day, all of our visitors are given 40 Meridian dollars to spend, and we see who has made the most at the end of the day. Then we have to pay taxes!

This project was important because It taught us about economics, and how to run a business. We were surprised by how much taxes people have to pay! We learned that it’s a lot of fun to be able to sell things, and it helped us understand what it might be like to have our own business, and it inspired some of us to hopefully run our own business one day.

This month we also ran a food drive in third grade. We are studying Oceania, so we were trying to find a way to include service with our Global Studies unit. That’s when we decided to work with ACRS (Asian Counseling and Referral Service). ACRS runs lots of programs, and a food bank that collects special foods like tofu, rice, soy milk and noodles. These are some traditional foods from Asia and the Pacific Islands, and might make people feel at home.

First we presented at Friday Morning Meeting to try to get our whole school excited about our food drive. Our goal was to collect 800 food items, but we only got to 790. We realized at the end that our goal should have been about the weight of the food and not the number of food items, because the actual amount of food we collected was way more than the items. Our goal was to feed lots of people, so large bags of rice were only one item, but enough to provide some food for an entire family. It helps looking at things with a different perspective!

It felt great to help other people and know that all the items we donated were going to feed so many people. It was a lot of hard work and we were scared at the beginning that we wouldn’t succeed. We were surprised and happy that everyone was so eager to help. It was a really cool experience to see everyone our whole school want to get involved.

4th & 5th Grade Chorus Concert

By Meridian 4th & 5th Graders

We had a lot of emotions about the chorus performance! We felt nervous, scared, dizzy, excited, relieved, and more during and after the performance. It was a lot of work! Even though we got nervous (which is totally normal!), we still had a lot of fun. We performed two other times before the concert, but it still felt like the final time was the most pressure. We made mistakes each time, so having 3 performances made us more confident as time went on. Some of us hadn’t performed in a concert before so it was new and a little scary. It’s important to improve as a group because working together is a skill that will help us when we move on to middle school.

Ms. Kister really wants us to do well and succeed. She has high expectations and a lot of structure because she knows we can handle it, and we know we can too! It’s a good kind of pressure to make us want to work harder. Ms. Kister is really nice and cares a lot about us. She’s a little bit of a perfectionist, in the best possible way. It motivates us, and it makes a big difference in how much we want to succeed and achieve ourselves.

The music was a little bit different than what we were used to listening to. Some of us were not sure if we would like chorus at the beginning, but at the end we felt really good about it. It felt great to work hard and notice everyone else trying and improving. Now we feel like we can perform more complex music, so hopefully in the future we can reac
h more challenging points!

Learning Through Art

Creative juices are flowing in Meridian’s new Art classroom! Guided by our wonderful Art Specialist, Ms. Marika, students are engaged in a variety of projects, exploring different mediums and making connections between Art, Science, Spanish, Global Studies and more. See a list of current projects below, and learn why our 1st graders think the Art room is such a special and important place at Meridian.

Kindergarteners just finished designing matchbook houses, modeled off of their own homes. These projects will be used to create a large display, integrating Kindergarten’s Family Studies Unit, Global Studies, and Art.

First graders have been working on chameleons this week. Their project incorporates an important 1st Grade visual art standard, as they are using primary colors to create secondary colors. They first read the book A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, and drew chameleons together. Next, students painted 3 sections of their chameleons with their 3 primary colors. The following class they used their own plate for mixing primary colors to create different shades of green, purple and orange. Simultaneously, 1st graders have been learning primary and secondary colors in Spanish class.

Second graders are working on oil pastel and watercolor hearts based on the artist Jim Dine, and third graders are constructing islands using plastercraft! This interdisciplinary project is being led by our Art Specialist & Science Program
Coordinator. Students are studying Oceania as a part of their Global Studies curriculum, and are learning
about the resources needed to sustain life on an island.

Fourth graders just completed a contour line hand
project, and fifth graders are finishing a Gustav Klimt inspired tree project. Next, they will create papier mâché pie and cake slices, based on the artist Claus Oldenburg and his oversized sculptures of everyday objects.

By Meridian 1st Graders

The art room is a really fun place! It’s different this year because we have Ms. Marika, and our Art classroom is right next door instead of in a different building. Last year Art felt different than other specialists because it was in the other building. Now it feels more like home.

When we get to the Art room we sit on the rug, and the first thing we do is read a book about the activity we are doing that day. This week we made chameleons and dinosaurs using all different colors! In Art we get to use pencils, pens, sharpies, water paints, oil pastels, and more. We are looking forward to making planets out of paper mache.

Our favorite thing about Ms. Marika is the things she helps us create. Art makes us feel happy, and when we walk into the art room we are excited! Art is important because you don’t know if you’re an artist if you don’t try, and it would be sad if you never learned that.

Our favorite part about art is painting because it is so fun…we’re not quite sure why! Actually, our favorite part is all of it, because the Art Room is a great place to learn!