2016-17 School Year

Lightning Life, V2, Issue 2 Publication


Lightning Life, V2, Issue 1 Publication


2015-16 School Year

Lightning Life, February 21, 2016:  V1, Issue 2 Publication

2015-16 Hillsborough County District STEM Fair

Congratulations to our Lutz Prep students who earned the following awards at the Hillsborough County District STEM Fair on Wednesday, February 10, 2016:


  • Zoey C. - Merit Award
  • Keeret K. - Outstanding Award

Middle School:

  • Ariana Q. - 3rd Place Plant Science
  • Blake S. - 3rd Place  Plant Science
  • Conrad D. - 3rd Place Environmental Engineering as well as the specialty Award for Excellence in Environmental Engineering Sciences
  • Alyssa P.- Honorable Mention Plant Sciences
  • Logan D. - Honorable Mention Math & Computational Sciences
  • Michael F. - Honorable Mention Chemistry division
  • Adam T. - Honorable Mention Plant Science
  • Ryan F. - Honorable Mention Chemistry division
  • Ryan M. - Honorable Mention Earth & Environmental Science
  • Fernando M. and Garrett S.- Honorable Mention team project Chemistry division
  • Kaylee W. and Olivia W. - Honorable Mention team project Chemistry division

Lightning Life, December 9, 2015 V1, Issue 1 Publication

Week Ending May 8, 2015

Elementary Battle of the Books
4th grade battle teams; BoB School Battle will be held on Friday, May 15th and will decide on the team that will go on to the district battle. Good luck to all participants!

B.O.B Stars - Raina, Lauren, Sofia, Hannah, Larissa
The Book Battlers - Collin, Luke, Beau, Ryan, Mia
The Battle Bolts - LeAnn, Devan, Zoey, Keerat, Sarah
Battle Book Buzzins - Maheer, Anjalee, Freddy, Alyssa, Brooklyn

Tampa History Museum Art Contest
The Annual Repurposed Doodad Art/Sculpture Competition is a great exhibit where school children are challenged to "recycle" everyday items into art. Congratulations to the following Lutz Prep student's whose work was chosen to be in the exhibit at the Tampa History Museum through the end of May. Check out the following segment on Fox13 to learn more about the exhibit.

5th Grade
Olivia W. and Ana Maria S. - Monarch Butterfly
Amena S. - Animals Native to Florida
Devon B. and Lucas N. - Red Fox

4th Grade
Kaitlyn B. - Ocean Fun
Collin P. and Peter John B. - American Alligator
Freddy B. - River Otter
Jessica C. - Scavenger Raccoon
Devan P. and Keerat K. - Mega Turtle
Brooklyn Y. and Brooke B. - Red Fox
Jenna N. - Black Bear
Alyssa D. - The Bobcat
Lauren S. - Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Ryan W. and Grant C. - ARMYdillo
Brooke S. and Riley H. - Sea Turtle
LeAnn H. and Zoey C. - Alligator Mother

3rd Grade
Emily T. - Dolphin
Ava A. and Hallie B. - Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Emily M. and Talan P. - Dolphin

2nd Grade
Laci W. - The Basic
Vivian G. - Cutie Rabbit Liza

STEM Activities
The 5th grade SMATH teachers finished off another week of STEM activities. Students were challenged to design and construct a bridge that will support the mass of 3 Billy Goats Gruff as they cross the bridge to return home after eating the grass and apples on the other side. Given only 20 popsicle sticks, 60cm of masking tape, 3 index cards, and a small lump of clay, the students engineered some interesting bridges, with the majority of them supporting the goats.

Week Ending May 1, 2015

Students in Ms. Devon's VPK class have been studying the life cycle of the butterfly. They observed caterpillars as they attached themselves to twigs and formed pupas. Earlier this week, they enjoyed their final transformations into butterflies which they released outside. But not before naming this little one Marshmallow!

Phases of the Moon
Students in Ms. McMeen's 1st grade class used Oreo cookies to explore, in a hands-on activity, the different shapes and phases of the moon. This activity effectively showed the light and dark areas of the moon and all eight of the phases in a full moon cycle. They all enjoyed "cleaning up" after the activity was complete!

Chicks Hatching - Mitchelson 2nd Grade
As a part of their study of life cycles, students in Mrs. Mitchelson's classes hatched quail and chicken eggs. Students had the opportunity to handle the eggs and observe the development of the chicks before they hatched. We were extremely fortunate to be able to watch several of the chicks hatch during the school day. It is fascinating to witness how quickly the chicks grow and change.

2nd Grade Field Trip to Crystal Springs
Second grade students visited Crystal Springs as part of the conclusion to a study of habitats. They created a watershed model that represents their community. Once constructed, students determined what happens to the run-off and watched as pollution from one part of the watershed affects the entire watershed. This was a great lesson in water conservation and pollution. Students also explored the habitat surrounding Crystal Springs and learned about its native plants and animals.

5th Grade STEM Project
The 5th grade SMATH students are at it again with their hands on science! They have been working diligently on engineering a box that will be able to ship a radish safely from their home back to school. Each group brainstormed their own creative plans, brought in all their necessary supplies, and put together some very interesting parcels. We want to send out a huge THANKS to all the parents for their support and acceptance of this STEM project! The students truly enjoyed themselves, and we loved watching their excitement when their packages were delivered to the school. Mrs. Adams & Ms. Hoag

Week Ending April 24, 2015

Animals Around the World
Lutz Pre-Prep students traveled from classroom to classroom on Tuesday, April 21st to learn about different parts of the world. They learned about various animals native to the area, made crafts and had a great time using the passports to travel around the world!

Field Trip- Lowry Park Zoo - Pre-Prep
On Wednesday, April 22nd, Lutz Pre-Prep visited Lowry Park Zoo to further enhance their study of animals around the world. Each class participated in a guided tour of a specific region and learned about the animals, their eating habits, special adaptations and life in the wild.

Field Trip to Lowry Park Zoo - 1st Grade
On Monday, the 1st Grade classes enjoyed a field trip to Lowry Park Zoo. The students were challenged unscramble a word list of animals native to Asia and then use their math and science knowledge to classify animals in the Florida Boardwalk area. They loved the hands-on experience and sharing their findings with their classmates.

Engineering Project
4th Graders were challenged to apply all geometry vocabulary to a 3D structure. They had to include specified lines, angles, 2D and 3D shapes. The student's creativity flowed. We had several sports represented, towns/cities, robots, rockets, islands, and buildings.

Week Ending April 17, 2015

Pre-Prep Feld Day
Thank you to Erika Katz for organizing another successful Field Day! Our Pre-Prep students had a blast participating in all the fun and engaging activities!

3rd Grade Field Trip to Zoo School

Week Ending April 2, 2015

Jeff Alt, Author and Adventurer Visits Lutz Preparatory School
On Monday, March 30, 2015, author, Jeff Alt, spoke to our 5th & 7th grade classes about his writing, outdoor adventures, and his forthcoming book, The Adventures of Bubba Jones: Time Traveling Through the Great Smoky Mountains (ages 8-14). Students were engaged and enthralled to hear the adventures and journeys of his travels along the Appalachian Trail that lead to Mr. Alt becoming a writer. We know his stories will inspire our future writers to follow their own dreams.

After wrapping up the session of volleyball skills in PE. The middle school teachers went up against a fiery group of middle school students in an exciting game of volleyball. All players demonstrated great school spirit and it was the perfect way to let off a little steam following their recent assessments!!

Week Ending March 27, 2015

Author Visit, Jeff Alt
Jeff Alt, Author and Adventurer Visits Lutz Preparatory School On Monday, March 30, 2015 author Jeff Alt will be visiting classrooms in 5-7th grade to talk about his writing, outdoor adventures, and his forthcoming book, The Adventures of Bubba Jones: Time Traveling Through the Smoky Mountains (ages 8-14). Alt's new book is not available until August, but students who wish to purchase an autographed copy of Alt's Appalachian Trail book, A Walk for Sunshine (7th grade comprehension level, rated PG-13).

Week Ending March 20, 2015

Wax Museum
The second grade classes completed their wax museum biography projects with great success and flair! The room was filled with excited parents and friends ready to learn all about the dozens of famous people dressed in character in the room. After extensive research the students wrote and presented the speeches they memorized as they "came to life" when their buttons were pushed. The students definitely made their teachers and parents proud, it was a fantastic morning for all!

Study of Shapes
Mrs Grenon's Kindergarten class had fun with a hand's on extension project wrapping up their unit on solid shapes. Students learned to apply their knowledge of more complex shapes by building models out of toothpicks and marshmallows!

Week Ending March 6, 2015

Dr. Seuss Comes to Life with Help From Kindergarteners
Kindergarten and VPK enjoyed a fun-filled Monday morning as they celebrated together with centers based on several Dr. Seuss Books. Each VPK student was paired with a Kindergarten buddy and they engaged in various learning activities together related to the different Dr. Seuss stories. Each activity was lead by one of our fabulous Kindergarten teachers. The experience gave the VPK students an opportunity to become familiar with the Kindergarten classrooms and teachers and gave the Kindergarten students, who took their buddy roles very seriously, enjoyed showing their pals around. Thank you to Mrs. Roberts in coordinating this special day!

Kindergarten Author Celebration
Mrs. Cataldo's class celebrated their published writing along with their families and friends in other Kindergarten classes. For the past few months students have been writing stories, incorporating new techniques as they learn them. In their most recent writing, the children used proper writing conventions such as capital letters and spacing between words and incorporated crafts; speech bubbles, transition words and non-fiction features. Congratulations to all our new authors!

First Grade Biography Reports
For the past few weeks, First Graders have been working diligently on their first biography reports. They each chose a famous person of whom they needed to provide both a written report and oral presentation. Last week, the students dressed up as their chosen person and educated each other and their families on what they learned.

Lutz Prep Library News
Our 1st and 2nd grade classes have been having a wonderful time studying about the Caldecott Medal. For several weeks we talked about Randolph Caldecott, the Caldecott Medal, how it is awarded. The Caldecott Medal is given yearly to the illustrator for the most distinguished picture book published the prior year. The fun part of the study is looking at many of the books that librarians and book experts had predicted would be in the running for the 2015 award. Each week the students examined a tableful of those books, analyzing the artwork not the stories. The following weeks they rotated to all four tables so they were able to examine all 29 books we had. I was so proud of the way they pointed out various techniques that were unusual, compared the books, thought about the time to produce the work, etc. Each class then voted for their favorite book. The first and second graders all chose the book Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson. The grown-up experts chose The Adventures of Beekle; the Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. It was close - so many students would have picked that book as their 2nd favorite! Only one class picked the correct winner - and they selected (in a tie for first place) one of the Honor Books (Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales)! Congratulations Mrs. Jeffers class! Way to go!

Fifth Grade Scientists
Our 5th grade scientists have been learning about the structure of living things and the systems of the body. As an extension of their classroom learning they observed Ms. Hoag and Ms. Adams dissect a pig heart and a sheep brain. This hands on activity broadened the students understanding of the structure of the circulatory and nervous systems.

Week Ending February 27, 2015

Chinese New Year Celebration 1st Grade
Last Friday Ms. McMeen's class celebrated the Chinese New Year; 2015 is the Year of the Sheep. Presentations on the customs of the celebration along with lion and dragon dances and the lantern festival were shown to the children. Little red envelopes, a hong bao (lucky money), with a Chinese coin and a bracelet with Chinese characters were distributed. The children enjoyed lo mein, which they used chop sticks to eat! Crafts included a dragon and Chinese character of the sheep sticker sheet. Yin Nian Kuai Le!

Discovering Density Lab
Fourth grade students in Ms. Adriani and Ms Wesner's classes were exploring the properties of matter. Students were given four unknown liquids and they had to get the liquids to form layers. Through this process students had to analyze how each substance interacted and then apply their knowledge until all four liquids formed layers without mixing.

Week Ending February 20, 2015

Chinese New Year
Kameron Chao, Lutz Prep parent, spoke to students in Ms. Shaer's 4th grade and Ms. Hurley's 2nd grade classes about the Chinese New Year, the year of the Sheep/Goat. He explain the family traditions, the meaning of the zodiac, and the fables or stories behind the zodiacs.

Owl Pellet Learning Activity
Mr. McGuinness' 7th grade scientists enjoyed a science lab dealing with the world of producers, consumers and decomposers. Students dissected and studied owl pellets, which are sanitized regurgitations, to reveal the owl's food sources. They classified bones, feathers and other items, organized tables and charts and debriefed with their peers. In the end, scientists expressed their findings through writing. It was a cross-curricular event which focused on science, math and writing.

Week Ending February 13, 2015

Field Trip
Manatees, hippos, and gators, oh my! Pre-prep went on an exciting field trip to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park where they learned about manatees, met the resident hippopotamus, and came face to face with wildlife native to our state.

Lutz Prep Third Graders Place at District Science Fair
Congratulations to our 3rd grade students Hailey A., Nikheel D. and Aryan P. for their accomplishments at the District Science Fair last week. We are so proud of you!

2nd Grade Field Trip
Students enjoyed their field trip to LEGOLAND where these budding engineers experienced hands-on attractions, life-size Lego displays, and interactive fun.

Week Ending February 5, 2015

2015 Regional STEM Fair Finalist - 3rd Grade
Congratulations to the following students for this great accomplishment! Hailey A Sophia M Kellan H Madison M Jacob D Nikheel D Aryan P Ryan B

3rd Grade's Exploration of Native Americans
Students in third grade teamed up with art to combine curriculum to further the education experience. Third graders are currently undergoing an in-depth study of the earliest Americans including their culture and history. We are focusing on four different tribes, and the students began with a focus on Inuits from the Sub-Arctic region of that time. Students have learned about how they endured their environment and about their day to day life. Learning was taken to a new level to include a role play written assignment, as students wrote a journal entry in the shoes of an actual Inuit. Students actually sewed journals with their narrative out of materials donated by the art room to create an authentic piece. As students continued their learning in Mrs. Williams class they learned about an Inuit art form called Scrimshaw. Students then began a hands-on activity to create actual scrimshaw of their own in art class. This was a wonderful opportunity to work together, and what makes Lutz Prep such a special place! Swing by the third grade wing to take a look, but please don't touch.

100 Days of School Completed!
Students & teachers alike had fun celebrating our 100th day of school!

Week Ending January 30, 2015

Florida Standards Assessment
With the new Florida standards in place to help Florida students succeed, the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) will serve Florida students by measuring education gains and progress. Parents are encouraged to stay connected to the FSA Portal that has been communicated in previous NEWSFLASH publications to stay up to date on important announcements and access information and resources as they are available.

Week Ending January 23, 2015

Fifth Grade Light Art Fun
During our recent half day the art department couldn't resist adding in a little light drawing for the day. Mrs. Williams says, "I can never get enough of making these photos and seeing the kids' faces when they look at them!"

Sixth Grade Art Color Project
Here is just a small glimpse of the pompom pillows some of the 6th graders made for their final color project. Before the quarter ended Mrs. Slats and I gave them three choices to choose from, one of the choices being making lots of pompoms out of a chosen color scheme and turning them into a pillow. Loved how cool they turned out!!

Week Ending January 16, 2015

Together As One...We Build Our Future
Thank you to all our families and volunteers that came to our Derrick Brooks event last night. Along with answering a number of questions regarding his football career, Mr. Brooks delivered an incredible message about using both your gifts and your talents to give back to the community. He also challenged us to do all we can, despite recognition, to strive to make a difference. Together As One We Build Our Future!  

Mickey Mile
Thank you to all the Pre-Prep teachers and families that started 2015 out on a healthy foot and joined us for the Mickey Mile! The children (and many parents and staff) ran a great race and thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

First Grade Reading Support
First Grade Teachers are offering tutoring in reading on Wednesday mornings from 7:30-8:00. Students will be gathered from the main lobby at 7:30 and brought to the classroom. To host this tutoring effectively, children may not come to the tutoring session if they aren't in the lobby waiting at 7:30.

Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights
As part of their studies on Asia, Ms. McMeen's students learned all about the Indian holiday, Diwali. The first graders enjoyed learning about Diwali traditions by making their own Rangoli patterns, trying on typical Indian attire, listening to Bollywood music, and eating some delicious sweets!

Week Ending December 19, 2014

Holiday Sing A Longs 
This week, Lutz Prep Families enjoyed a wonderful Holiday Sing-Along performed by our elementary school students. Students sang a selection of holiday songs from around the world and performed several dances, entertaining families throughout the day. A big thanks to our music teacher, Mrs. Lester, for organizing such a fun and diverse event.

Holiday Performance
Our Pre-Prep students dazzled parents and family this week with truly adorable Holiday performances.

1st Grade Holiday Centers
Our 1st grade classes "took a trip" through Asia visiting several countries including India, Thailand and China. Students rotated through all five classes creating a craft or performing an activity from each country that celebrates the holiday season.

3rd Grade Field Trip
The 3rd grade classes enjoyed a visit to the Gaylord Palms Ice Exhibit. Students have been studying the Inuit people and were able to experience the harsh climate conditions that this population endures, as well as see examples of the states of matter they have been examining in science. What a great hands-on experience for the kids to enjoy!

Lutz Prep Library
Students in 3rd through 7th grades were invited to participate in a fun contest in the library this month. Our Genre Tic-Tac-Toe game was lots of fun and introduced students to all sorts of genre. Our big winners of Florida Aquarium tickets were Katie Colline P. (3rd), Madelynn M. (3rd), Shivani T. (4th), Freddy B. (4th), Daniela C. (5th), Jayna J. (5th), and Courtney T. (5th). I know all students participating discovered new, exciting books. READ ON!! Students in 1st and 2nd grades will begin a really fun project in January. They will be introduced to Mr. Randolph Caldecott and the Caldecott Medal which is awarded each year to the illustrators of children's books. Students will analyze past winners, why they were selected, see the evolution of book illustrations, and evaluate books recommended as winners for the 2015 selection. They will vote on their favorites and see if they can pick the winner! The children LOVE this project.

Week Ending December 12, 2014

Fifth Graders Raises Money to Purchase 3D Printer
Written by: Taylor B. from Ms. Mazzole's HR I first became interested in 3D printers after seeing the 3D printer exhibit at MOSI. Having great teachers so excited about SMATH inspired me to raise money to get the DaVinci 3D printer, so I started raising money to get 3D printers because I really wanted to experiment with Science this year. Although I'm hoping to raise enough money to get three 3D printers for the school, so far I've been able to raise enough for one, including the plastic filament that the 3D printer uses to build your object. The 3D printer was a little more complex than I had anticipated but once we made a star shaped vase and key chain as beginner projects, I could handle a little more complex projects. If you are going to use a 3D printer, the first thing you need to do it is choose a filament color. Next you can either choose a creation from the machine or you can download one from online and scale it down to size. Printing objects takes anywhere from thirty minutes to twenty hours depending on the size, or at least the projects we've done so far. The machine helps you and cares for itself as well. I'm very excited for my class to continue getting more familiar and better at using the printer so we can keep doing more complex items. I'd like to learn how to design my own 3D models to start printing my own designs too. If you would like more information about 3D printers for our school, please contact 5th grade teachers, Mrs. Hoag or Mrs. Adams.

Week Ending December 5, 2014

Learning about Heritage 
After completing individual heritage projects and studying Immigration, Mr. Durham's 3rd grade class enjoyed a Heritage Luncheon. Students shared traditional dishes from their family's heritage with classmates and their families. Everyone enjoyed tasting food from all over the world!

5th Grade's Chemistry Cafe
Each month the 5th grade science team hosts a Chemical Change Café giving the students hands-on exposure to science procedures. This month's menu featured homemade pancakes. The students explored the differences between chemical and physical changes by observing a variety of changes in matter. They measured the ingredients, described the changes they observed, then sited evidence in their science log of either physical or chemical changes.

Week Ending November 21, 2014

Great American Teach In
We appreciate all of the volunteers who took the time to meet with our children across all three schools and give them real world insight about careers they can strive for in the future.

Pollination in Action
Students in Ms. McMeen's first grade class have been working hard learning about pollination. This week, they did a pollination simulation using Cheetos and juice. The busy bees were instructed to eat their Cheetos without wiping their fingers. The cheese dust = pollen! As the students were drinking their juice/nectar, pollen just happened to find its way onto their fingers. After they finished their juice, they flew around the room from flower to flower. When they wiped their fingers on other flowers they saw the power of pollination!

Lutz Prep Places 2nd at the Science Olympics Finals
Congratulations to Emerson H. and Keenan P. from Ms. Kottmann's Homeroom who represented Lutz Prep and earned 2nd Place at Science Olympic Finals held last weekend at MOSI. They competed with other students using their science skills and experimental data to design a racer that was powered by a single balloon. Congratulations!

Writing Boot Camp
Our dedicated middle school teachers are holding writing boot camps after school to assist our students knowledge of argumentative and informational style essays in line with the new Florida Standards. Please see your teacher for details.

Week Ending November 14, 2014

Pre-Prep is Going Batty
Tampa Bay Bats, an organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of bats, visited Lutz Pre-Prep this week. Ms. Francine brought four different kinds of bats with her for the children to view up close. They were able to see the bats roost and hear what bat echo - location sounds like. This exciting hands on activity wrapped up the student's studies on hibernation and migration. This educational experience was made possible by PTA grade level funds.

Sweetfields Farm
This past week, the first graders enjoyed a field trip to Sweetfields Farms. They learned all about the different ways the farms grows organic fruits and vegetables. Students participated in relay races with rolling pumpkins. They watched pig races (and cheered for their favorites), fed chickens and goats, and learned all about cows and the milking process. The students navigated through the giant corn maze, they had to answer questions correctly to ensure no wrong turns would be made!

Fifth Graders Visit Junior Achievement BizTown
Dressed in business attire and well prepared for their jobs, confident 5th graders get off the bus and rush to tackle the tasks of the day at JA BizTown. After a short town meeting, the new employees try out what they have learned in the classroom for the day in their business. Prior to visiting JA BizTown, students engage in a comprehensive 16-hour classroom curriculum that leads students through the study of business principles, career exploration, banking procedures, business decisions and economic terms. The curriculum immerses students into the exciting and challenging free enterprise system. The goal is to enable students to relate economic terms through the hands-on experience of running an interactive town. Students must demonstrate the skills involved in maintaining a checking account and will begin to identify the various banking services. The curriculum emphasizes the importance of ethical business practices, teamwork and making sound business decisions. Throughout the program students also begin to recognize that career and job choices are related to personal interest, skills, knowledge and education.

Study of the Earth Spheres
Mrs. Titus' 6th grade science classes are currently learning about the different systems or "spheres" of the Earth including the hydrosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, geosphere and atmosphere. Students went on a nature hike and recorded observations as we walked along the Lutz Prep campus. Students then mapped out their observations in order to illustrate how each of these observations involved interactions with the other systems of the Earth and that all the systems affect one another.

Middle School Wood Block Printing
Art:  Our sixth and seventh graders have focused the last several weeks carving and chiseling wood blocks to create stamps for colorful prints.

Technology K-5
Technology is in almost every part of our lives and it affects how we connect, play, and most importantly learn. It has become the new form of literacy in the current era. It is exciting and rewarding to watch, as the children master new skills and gain confidence in their ability to achieve success.

Our sweet kindergarten students are working on Microsoft Paint. I started with explaining the difference between a single click and double click, thereby they know the difference between selecting something and opening the program respectively. We have already done the pencil, eraser, fill with color, shapes and most recently, the textbox tool. They were introduced to the basic keyboarding skills too in which they wrote their names. They are doing awesome!

In the first and second grades, we have started Microsoft Word. Every time the students come in the lab, they write 7-10 lines about themselves. This not only gives them some writing practice but also the insight of using the keyboard at an early age. I want to mention that Taylor J., Logan V., and Preston C. (1st grade), Megan W. and Isabelle H.(2nd grade) are already mastering their keyboarding techniques! I am so proud of all of them. Once the lines are written, we begin formatting them. So far we have covered changing of font color, applying a font highlighter, text effects (outline, shadow, reflection and glow), bold, italics, underline, applying a page color, page borders, and most recently, watermark effect and inserting shapes and pictures.

In the third, fourth, and fifth grades, in addition to the above formatting features, I have also introduced on how to apply textures of a shape, gradient features, fill effects, shape weight and dashes, and how to put a text box on a predefined shape. They are also having lot of fun with the Clip art pictures in which they are using corrections, artistic effects, remove background, picture effects, picture border, and crop to shape features. They are exploring their creative side by making flyers and brochures for Thanksgiving. In the coming weeks, I am going to introduce the concepts of page layouts, features of headers, footers, inserting tables, listing and sorting features, find and replace, smart art, chart options, and so on. On another note, I do want to put emphasis again on improving the keyboarding skills. Learning keyboarding skills is vital for today's learners and tomorrow's earners. I want to give a special mention to Brooke B. and Riley H.(4th grade) who are doing a great job at it! We use www.typingclub.com in the technology lab as it's a great resource in assisting with this skill.

Respectfully, Mrs. Chauhan Technology (K-5)

Week Ending November 7, 2014

International Studies
At Lutz Prep, it has been our mission to provide a rigorous, individualized learning experience for its academic community in order to cultivate and inspire worldly scholars. We are proud to offer our students unique opportunities outside that of a traditional public school. In order to instill our mission, Lutz Prep is developing an International curriculum focus, which we refer to as "Internationalization." This approach will grow our students to develop a rich understanding of other cultures, meaningful real world application to Florida Standards, and broaden their perspectives of the world. By using an interdisciplinary approach, Lutz Prep will be providing lessons to students that have international dimension. Themes have been purposefully created and developed by grade level to have a specific focus that targets different historical time periods from around the world and aligns with necessary standards. The Lutz Prep "Internationalization" Program will provide our students a unique awareness that will help them gain knowledge for their future education, social development, and enrich their lives. We are excited to see this unique program grow and develop!

  • Kindergarten... has been working hard on our International Studies. In September, they learned about the seven continents and completed a continents project. The students had a guest speaker from the country of Korea come to the classes and present information on the Korean way of life. In October, the students discussed the continent of North America and the nocturnal animals that live there. They also learned about some of the states and capitals in the United States. The Kindergarten students are truly becoming International Scholars!
  • First grade... is completing an in depth study on maps. They are looking at where we live in relation to our city, state, country, continents and especially Asia. The students will be learning about Asian holidays in December and the Chinese New Year in January. They look forward to discovering many new things about the world around us.
  • Second grade... completed a unit of study on Greek Mythology. The culminating activity was the Lutz Prep Olympics. Students created a game for their classmates to compete in. In the spring, the students will study the Renaissance. Our culminating activity will be a trip to Medieval Times.
  • Third grade...looks forward to completing a unit of study on the explorers of the new world, the one and only brave Vikings. Students will be utilizing a variety of strategies that they are focusing on in Social Studies, such as how to read maps, directions, and trade/economy. To ensure a cross-curricular understanding we will be reading a variety of fables and myths that the Vikings created and followed. A culminating activity will be a Viking celebration called a Joltplot. Look out Lutz Prep, the Raiders are coming!
  • Fourth grade... looks forward to starting the International Scholars enrichment activities in the spring. Our activities will focus on Europe and the Middle Ages. The activities will allow students to showcase their knowledge across all subject areas while delving into the history of Europe and the Middle Ages.
  • Fifth grade... will begin their unit on international studies in January. The classes will be learning about English, French and Spanish Explorers across the curriculum. The unit will span different subject areas including social studies, ELA and SMATH. The cross curricular lessons will allow students to read and write about the topics and use what they know to help them with the design challenges in building a watercraft that can help them carry all of their supplies as if they were explorers themselves.
  • Sixth and seventh grades...have a number of project opportunities that will be completed throughout the 14-15 school year. Students are required to complete a project each quarter by the deadlines in order to be designated "International Scholar". These enrichment opportunities will help broaden and enhance their understanding of the diverse people and cultures in the world around them and are tied to the middle school curriculum topics of United Nations and World Religions. Some of the selections for children to choose from include the creation of a compare and contrast for the UN preamble and the United States preamble, creating a scale model of a UN building, research of the architectural styles affiliated with building design at the UN, and creation of Buddha's story. The middle school team is excited to end our year with a cultural fair which will feature many of these amazing projects in addition to addressing other aspects of world culture. To view the full Lutz Prep Middle International Studies Guide please visit the Middle School Curriculum tab of our Lutz Prep website.

Bat Presentation
Tampa Bay Bats will be coming to Lutz Pre-Prep November 12th and 13th. This is a rehabilitation and educational organization in Hillsborough County. They will help bring to life our hibernation and migration theme this month. The children will have the opportunity to view at least four bats and watch them eat.

Science Olympics
Elementary students recently completed their first design challenge of the year during the Science Olympics. Our 3rd grade students spent their science blocks brainstorming, building, and collecting data to design a racer that is powered by a single balloon. Each homeroom had a team represented in a grade level competition We are very proud of all the effort that was put in by our junior scientists! A big congratulations to Emerson H. and Keenan P. from Ms. Kottmann's Homeroom who represented Lutz Prep at MOSI this past weekend! They will go on to the finals held at MOSI on November 18, 2014.

The Arts
The past month has been a delight with your children in the art room! We got past all of the introduction and review work that we do with the kids at the beginning of the year and now we are enjoying more complex, multi-step, meaningful art making. Our 1st - 5th graders are working on a building project making mobiles. The sculptor, Alexander Calder, invented the use of kinetic sculpture and the work was coined a "mobile" by Marcel Duchamp in 1931 to describe Calder's early, mechanized creations. It was very rewarding to hear how well versed the 5th graders are with the term "kinetic" because of their recent projects in science! The children will be challenged to create visual balance when they begin to put their mobiles together.

The room is full of gorgeous work right now! We have welcomed a new group of 6th graders this quarter. They have already completed their Urban Sketch drawings, are currently putting together their Coptic Stitch Journals, and their craftsmanship so far has been wonderful! The 7th graders, as well as our last quarter 6th graders, recently finished wood block printing. They researched mythological creatures (an extension from their International Studies focus) and then designed their own mythological creature. They transferred their creation to wood by painstakingly carving their design into the wood using tiny chisels. They created a series of prints from the wood block and edited their prints at the end, becoming their own portfolio curators. The craftsmanship and effort are really beautiful! We are quite proud of them!

Our sweet Kindergartners with Mrs. A have been really working hard!! She has done a few color projects with them, ensuring they get the opportunity to learn about color in a way that resonates with each of them. This past week she introduced reading as a way to launch into art making and they will be discovering what sea glass is and how it is made. They will also be building mobiles which will be made from sea glass. They have done an amazing job with this project so far!! She loves their excitement and willingness to jump right in and learn about wrapping their pieces of sea glass. We can't wait to see the finished mobiles!

Check out our blogs to see the many exciting things happening in our art classes including a short, collaborative stop-motion animation video created by Mrs. Williams' students using their hand made pom poms:

Thank you to all of the parents who supported our program by bidding on our class projects at the Bolts Fest!

Sincerely, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Slats, and Mrs. A

Week Ending October 31, 2014

Glazer Museum Field Trip, Pre-Prep
Our families had a great time Monday at the Glazer Children's Museum! With over 170 fun and challenging 'interactivities' in multiple themed areas, there's so much to explore, discover and do. Activities included piloting a cruise ship, building a noodle sculpture, designing a city, flying an airplane, painting with light, sliding down a fireman's pole, and so many other fun and exciting things!

Kindergarten Owl Pellet Dissection
To conclude our study of nocturnal (night) and diurnal (day) animals, all four Kindergarten classes dissected owl pellets. Based on the evidence we found in our pellets, we held discussions on what the owls must have eaten for dinner. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

7th Grade Field Trip
On Wednesday, October 29th, the entire 7th grade visited The Florida Holocaust Museum in downtown St. Petersburg. Students had the unique opportunity to meet and listen to the story of Lisl Schick, a Holocaust survivor who rode on the Kindertransport with her younger brother at the outbreak of WWII. After listening to her captivating story, students were taken on a tour of the museum. The field trip came at the conclusion of our 6 week study of the Holocaust, WWII, and Elie Wiesel's Night

Memorable moments of the trip from students:

  • "One of the most fascinating moments was when we saw an actual boxcar used to transport Jews to concentration camps. In a display case was a child's ring found in the boxcar."
  • "There was a monitor with a running number of how many humans die every second due to genocide."
  • "An entire wall of the museum, which seemed to go on for eternity, was covered with portraits of Holocaust survivors."

Week Ending October 24, 2014

Kindergarten's introduction to Johnny Appleseed
For the past few weeks, Kindergarten students have been learning about Johnny Appleseed. Recently all five kindergarten classes rotated through each classroom to participate in various apple themed activities! Students practiced making patterns by stringing cereal necklaces; tasted different types of apples and charted which type they liked best; and made "stained glass" apples along with other fun art projects. They all even made homemade applesauce! Many thanks to our parent volunteers who helped out in the classrooms as well as our creative Kindergarten teachers for creating such a wonderful learning experience for our students

2nd Grade Olympics
The inaugural 2nd grade Olympic Games were hosted last week. Each student created his or her own event and leveraged critical writing skills in documenting directions. The classes took turns facilitating and participating in the events. This project was the culmination of the 2nd grade Ancient Greek International Studies Unit. Great fun was had from learning about the first Olympic Games to designing and playing games such as Hermes Run, Zeus's Jewels, Apollo's Bucket Challenge and the Olympic Bean Bag Toss.

Mrs. Orihuela's 5th Grade Gifted Class
Reading The Lions of Littlerock, a historical fiction novel by Kristen Levine, left fifth graders with many unanswered questions about segregation and integration. Allie Pramberger's grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Fernandez, joined our class to help bridge understanding. Their candid first hand experiences were shared with students through stories, Q & A, and memories. Students walked away with a deeper knowledge of this turbulent time in our history and more questions that will surely lead to more research!

Week Ending October 17, 2014

Science Olympics at Lutz Prep

The Olympics events provide an exciting atmosphere for students, teachers, and the community to demonstrate the knowledge and skills students have acquired through the science process. The events are designed to strengthen a student's investigative and problem solving skills.

2nd Grade... Students were up to the challenge for the Science Olympics, they had three minutes to create an airplane that would travel the farthest based on arrow engineering concepts. Congrats to Grant W. (alternate David H.) as the student who will represent LP at the MOSI Competition.

3rd Grade... Recently completed their first design challenge of the year: Balloon Racers! They have spent their science blocks brainstorming, building, and collecting data to design a racer that is powered by a single balloon. Each homeroom had a team represent and compete for a grade level winner. We are very proud of all the effort that was put in by our scientists! A big congratulations to Emerson H. and Keenan P.from Ms. Kottmann's Homeroom as our Lutz Prep representatives at MOSI in November!

5th grade... In a team of two engineers, our 5th graders constructed a marble roller coaster, according to planned blueprint specifications, that allowed marble to roll down the roller coaster, hit a paper cup at the end of the coaster and move the cup. The coaster was required to have one hill, one loop and two tunnels. The coaster that moved the cup the farthest won. Congratulations to Will D. and Caden M. who will represent 5th grade at the MOSI competition.

Kindergarten Goes International

The Kindergarten students were fortunate to have Lutz Prep Parent, Mrs. Lee, come speak about different customs and traditions from South Korea. The students were excited to immerse themselves in the presentation and Mrs. Lee even wrote each student's name in Korean.

Week Ending October 10, 2014

1st Grade Science Experiment - The Properties of Matter
Students in Mrs. Jeffer's 1st Grade class are learning that matter all around us can be described in scientific terms. They learned that matter can be classified and sorted into color, shape, size, texture and buoyancy. After reading the book "Why Do Some Objects Sink," they made their way to the Science Lab to test what they learned about buoyancy. The purpose of the experiment was to allow the students to manipulate materials such as aluminum foil to create a boat that would hold weight (marbles). They are learning that objects can sink or float depending on their weight and density and were able to test their boats to see how many marbles would cause it to sink. They also learned that diferent strategies of boat building affected buoyancy!

Kindergarten Field Trip
Lutz Prep Kindergarten classes enjoyed wrapping up their study on farm animals by going on a field trip to McMicky's Farm on Friday. The students learned where milk comes from and were able to milk a cow. They also had hands-on experiences with goats, rabbits and pigs. They enjoyed visiting a chicken coop where they were able to see chickens laying eggs. The students were even allowed to pick up the chickens if they could catch them! Many of the students love horses and today was their first time riding one. The students concluded the day by going on a hayride and singing songs. This first trip was very a memorable experience!

Cereal Box Book Reports
First Graders went all out preparing their first book reports of the year! Students were instructed to read a fictional book and then create a cereal to report on the book. Characters and setting were described as ingredients, prizes demonstrated the problem and solution, and pictures and games helped describe the summary. Many students even dressed in costume to help portray the story of their book during their in-class presentation!

We will continue to focus on cardiorespiratory exercise and will be adding in agility movement patterns including sliding, form running, and grapevines (karaokes). We will be using movement patterns in numerous chase and flee games, including capture the donuts, sharks and minnows.

Week Ending September 3, 2014

Johnny Appleseed
First grade has enjoyed learning about colonial times and Johnny Appleseed. Mrs. Miller's class was excited about making homemade applesauce.

The role of computers plays a big part in our lives. Technology serves a major function in the classroom to collaborate and connect across the globe. Safety and proper usage is very vital for the classroom to be successful in its implementation. In the past month, we have been putting emphasis on internet/online safety. On your laptop, at your desk, or on your smart phone, the Internet now plays a huge role in our daily lives. Although the Internet is a great source for research projects and other information, there are also dangers involved with surfing the Web. By talking to students about potential online dangers and monitoring their computer use, we will help them be safe online.

The kindergarten students were introduced to the basics and parts of a computer. They were really excited to see the technology classroom for the first time!! Our focus was on parts like keyboard, mouse, monitor, CPU, and headsets which were discussed in detail. Our primary focus is to help kindergarten students in developing their mouse skills. I have also introduced Microsoft Paint this week and the students are working really hard to draw a picture using paint tools and their mouse skills. In the first and second grades, we discussed the computer, basic parts, and its use in day to day life. I introduced the concepts of icons, status bar/task bar, and wallpaper. I have also given them steps to change the wallpaper and screensaver, and the students are delighted to show their skills to me. I want all the students to ask their parent's permission to do the same at home.

In the coming weeks, we are introducing MS-Word in the classes at a primary level. In the third, fourth, and fifth grades, we started from the basics again. I believe it's important for the students to understand the concepts very clearly. If they have a good foundation conceptually, technology is so much easier! I love the fact that students are always participating and asking questions to get their concepts right. In the last few weeks after completing their windows lessons and terminology, students started changing the wallpapers and screensavers. They mentor each other which gives them confidence and promotes team spirit. I am so proud of them for doing that. Last week, we discussed companies like Microsoft and Apple, their founding members, and the products & programs these companies make. I have already introduced Microsoft Word and in the coming weeks, students will be learning several areas including: □ make/save a file □ opening the same file and work on it □ formatting features □ coloring □ alignment features □ bullets and numbering □ strikethrough □ superscript & subscript □ clipart □ smart art □ charts □ word art □ header & footer □ signature □ screenshot □ creating labels & envelopes □ page layouts □ find and replace □ spelling/grammar and thesaurus On another note, most of our assessments this year are computer based. I would really like to encourage students to practice typing at home. In the technology classroom, students are practicing typing as well using the following website: www.typingclub.com.

Thank you for entrusting me with teaching your children and helping them to discover the confident young person they can be. Regards, Mrs. Chauhan Technology (K-5)

Fifth Grade Greek Mythology
Fifth graders in Mrs. Mazzole's language arts class researched and composed poetry based on their favorite god or goddess. Hera, Athena, Apollo, Hades, Zeus along with others presented their poems in front of a second grade audience who was also learning about Greek Mythology.

Week Ending September 26, 2014

Kindergarten is Getting Ready for the Farm
The kindergarten team is getting ready for an exciting field trip to Old McMicky's Farm! This week the students learned about cows and bulls. On Friday, they enjoyed participating in shaking a jar full of cream until the liquid turned into a solid and made BUTTER! It was delicious over a cracker! They're also examining how strong eggs really are! It has been an exciting few weeks talking about farm life and farm animals.

Cracker Country
Could your children imagine growing up without electricity, running water and grocery stores? On Thursday our first graders visited Cracker Country and got a glimpse of how life for our early pioneers really was. The students participated in chores such as washing clothes with a washboard, dipping a beeswax candle, churning butter and making rope. They also assisted in creating cane syrup and observed how an old train station operated. The students had a great day and enjoyed touring this "living museum."

Timeless Tales Theater
Timeless Tales Theater entertained our Pre-Prep students this week with their performance of "The Tortoise and The Hare". They used this classic children's story to teach a very important lesson. When the Hare starts teasing the Tortoise because he is slow the Tortoise is quick to stand up for himself by challenging the Hare to a race. Not only does the Tortoise win the race, he teaches everyone that teasing and bullying are wrong. All the students enjoyed the show and the message.

Week Ending September 19, 2014

The Science of Skateboarding
In middle school science classes, students are evaluating claims that steeper ramps affect the impact of a skateboarder's crash by using a scientific model. Students reviewed a reader's theater where characters experienced first hand injuries associated with the sport of skateboarding. In class, we reviewed math concepts associated with evaluating evidence which included graphing and calculating a mean. Students will be writing about their claims to create a scientific argument and will include the evidence and commentary to support their claim

Week Ending June 6, 2014

Vietnam Spotlight
Our Lutz Prep team is home from the Cultural Exchange in Viet Nam. Students attended school back at Lutz Prep for the past week. They were honored to preside over a post-trip wrap up presentation to share their knowledge and experience with their peers and teachers. Parents and students are recovering from the time change. Plans are already in the works for next year's Cultural Exchange.

On our last night in Ha Noi before heading to the airport for our 11:50 PM flight, Jerry Martin asked each student to express what the trip meant to them. The students were all very eloquent. One student said, "I had no idea how poor people can be. I am so grateful for what I have." Others said they were able to see a completely different way of life that they had no clue existed. The walk through the village in Sa Pa with the terraced rice fields and kids with no shoes had an impact on everyone.

As the trip moved from day to day and city to city, the students' view of the world grew minute by minute. The learning is almost impossible to measure. Our faculty and administration face a future challenge of immersing the learning and experiences for those students who travel on the Cultural Exchange back to the students and faculty at school who do not travel. We also need to look at create ways to make it possible for more students to take advantage of this wonderful learning opportunity.

Suffice it to say, there was tremendous learning in this year's Cultural Exchange for every student whose classroom participated.

Please click here to review all the incredible sights and learn about the educational trip on Dr. Murray's blog.

Charter Elementary District Battle of the Books
Last Friday, our Lutz Prep 4th Grade Team, The Lightning Readers, competed at the Charter District Battle of the Books. The competition was fierce among the 10 teams. Despite their best efforts, our team was eliminated before the final Battle. Each Lightning Reader received a medal to recognize their participation. Our students had a great day and even had their shirts autographed by Barbara Rooks. Special thanks to the Battle of the Books Faculty Sponsor, Mrs. Dillinger.

VPK Graduation
Wild About Learning was the theme as our VPK graduates attended a ceremony celebrating their hard work in preschool. Graduates sang songs, danced, and accepted diplomas from Pre-Prep Director, Mrs. Hume. The highlight of the ceremony was when the students made their way to the center of the of the stage to speak into a microphone and tell the audience what they liked about VPK. Families were brought to tears of joy and laughter following the comments. Thank you to all the teachers and volunteers who made the event a wonderful memory for our graduates.

EC3 End of Year Performance
As part of the end of year festivities, our EC3 classes treated their guests to a singing performance followed by light refreshments and an opportunity for classmates to sign yearbooks. The children had a fun time performing a short collection of songs including, "The Alphabet Song by Dr. Jean," "Counting by 10's," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," (in Spanish) and the "End of Year Song."

Kindergarten Graduation
Up and Away to First Grade was the theme as our Kindergarten class and their parents enjoyed a "Bridge to First Grade Ceremony." The festivities began with two performances by the students: "1st Grade, 1st Grade", sung to the tune of "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra, and "It's off to 1st We Go" sung to the tune of "Hi Ho, Hi Ho" by the 7 Dwarfs. Each student then received a diploma from Director of Schools Guertin and crossed a small bridge to celebrate the end of Kindergarten and the pre-school years. On Wednesday, students visited 1st Grade classrooms to help prepare for next year's exciting transition.

Fifth Grade Celebration
The 5th grade students celebrated their journey through elementary school with a "glowtastic" party this week. Students visited the glow spot where the could get decked out with all sorts of glow toys, then hit the dance floor or the photo booth to make memories with classmates and teachers. Lunch was catered by PDQ and Blizzards were donated by Dairy Queen. The students presented Team Storm with a Class of 2014 Gift - a wall sized word cloud print featuring words of advice and adjectives that describe their 5th grade journey at Lutz Prep.

Sixth Grade Luncheon and Awards Ceremony
Our 6th graders enjoyed a casual luncheon, candy buffet, and an awards ceremony. The ceremony recognized students with perfect attendance, straight As for the year, and a special 'Comeback Kid' award.

The Adelphi Project
Follow Mrs. Williams' blog, Adelphi Project, as she highlights art projects the students have worked on throughout the school year. She works in conjunction with the students' home room teacher creating extension projects in order to weave learning from the main classroom into the art classroom. For example, first graders learning about Colonial Times in Mrs. Miller's class stitched American Flags in Mrs. Williams class. Third graders learning about the different countries around the world were taught time zones representing those countries in Mrs. Williams class. Fifth graders learning about the math standard symmetry in their home room created symmetrical artwork with Mrs. Williams.

Third Graders Celebrate End of Year
Candyland was the theme for the third graders end of the year party! They were surprised with a candy wonderland where they rotated between the four classrooms creating customized T-shirts they will wear on the last day of school, enjoyed treats from a candy bar, and played games and trivia.

Lutz Prep Poets
For the past few weeks, our 2nd grade students have been learning about the various poetry styles: Cinquain, Haiku, Biopoem, and Color Poetry -just to name a few. To culminate the end of their unit studies this week, students in Mrs. Janicki's class were given the opportunity to recite their poetry collection in front of their family and friends. At the end of the reading, the students - as a group - wrote a poem about Natalia and read it aloud to her in unison.

Week Ending May 30, 2014

Second Graders Try Their Luck in the "Shark Tank"
Mrs. Wagner and Mrs. Mitchelson's 2nd graders paired up in groups and designed a new invention to present to the "Sharks" (the judges). Similar to the TV show "Shark Tank" these entrepreneurs had to convince the sharks to invest in their product. Special thanks to our Sharks for helping this lesson come to life.

Vocabulary Bowl
The 3rd grade classes participated in a Vocabulary Bowl! One team from each classroom was represented in this Battle of the Books styled competition using the Wordly Wise vocabulary terms learned throughout the school year. This was a wonderful event that we hope to hold annually within the third grade classes!

The placement of the teams were as follows:

  • 1st Place - Mrs. Neptune's (green) "Wise Potatoes": Freddy B., Gavin G., Ethan C., Brooklyn Y.
  • 2nd Place - Mrs. Gordon's (red) "Gordon's Vocab Kids": Zoey C., Ashlyn R., Raina M., Emily E., Maheer P.
  • 3rd Place - Ms. Klein's (blue) "Sonic Boom": LeAnn H., Devan P., Will D., Madison R., Megan K.
  • 4th Place - Mrs. Floyd's (yellow) "Vocab Destroyers": Ashley K., Tyler C., Alex N., Ava W.

Week Ending May 23, 2014

Science in Action with Mr. McGuinness, the Science Guy!
How many breaths would it take to blow up an 8 foot long air sock? The air sock can quickly inflate because air from the atmosphere is drawn into the bag along with the stream of air from your lungs. This is positive air flow. Firefighters use this principle to force smoke out of a building. Our fourth grade scientists had the opportunity to have a hands-on exploration of this concept last week. By inquiring and experimenting, they determined the effects of air flow.

6th Grade Charter Middle School Battle of the Books
On Wednesday, May 21st, our Lutz Prep 6th grade team traveled to the Children's Board to compete in the District Charter Middle School Battle of the Books. Congratulations to 6th graders Logan A., Daleyna A., Sam C., Sarah T., Ashley T., and alternate Terah N. for competing in our first Middle School Battle. The team worked hard and earned 4th place, just one point behind the 3rd place team! The students learned a lot which will benefit us next year and will help us become a stronger team. Middle School Battle teams can include members from 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Lutz Prep's Team was the only one made up entirely of 6th graders! Special thanks to our 6th grade Battle of the Books faculty sponsor, Mrs. Allen, for all her support and encouragement to this team!

Current 5th and 6th graders can try out in August for our "Battle Club" which will compete in next year's Middle School Battle. The finalized middle school book list will be available soon. Good luck to our 4th grade team which will compete Friday, May 30th at the Charter Elementary District Battle of the Books!

Study of Life Cycles
Our 2nd grade classes have been studying life cycles! Mrs. Mitchelson's class watched as a tadpole became a frog through metamorphosis. They also cared for chicken eggs which, after 21-28 days in an incubator, hatched into baby chicks. After just one week, their baby chicks started growing wing feathers. Mrs. Schaer's class learned all about the 4 stages of the butterfly life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and butterfly. They eagerly came to class every day to observe the activity and see the metamorphosis through a large pop up tent set up in their classroom.

Duke TIP Awards Ceremony
The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving academically gifted and talented youth. In order to qualify for the program, students must score in the 95th percentile or higher on a grade-level standardized achievement test or score 125 or above on an IQ test. We hope to have many more students enroll in this wonderful program in future years. Duke TIP has programs for 4-6th and 7-8th grades. Our Lutz Prep 4th-6th graders who enrolled in the Duke Talent Identification Program were honored Monday with a ceremony presided over by our Director, Mrs. Guertin, and our faculty sponsors, Mrs. McLeod and Mrs. Orihuela. Students were presented with Duke TIP certificates and enjoyed light refreshments.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Lutz Prep Kindergarten and 3rd grade students participated in field trips to visit Winter and Hope at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium this week. Students learned about turtles and dolphins through educational shows presented by aquarium staff and interacted with sea life through open tanks where they could touch stingrays and crabs. They also enjoyed a short boat ride to Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure where they viewed scenes and props from the movie and had the opportunity to check out the Hurricane Experience Exhibit.

Seussical the Musical
Thank you to all who joined us this week for Seussical the Musical, presented by the cast of Show on the Road enrichment program. The entire cast, made up of Lutz Prep and Pre-prep students, entertained and the audience with their wonderful skills and talents.

Vietnam Spotlight: Following the Journey
On Monday, 5th graders connected via Skype with the students traveling in Vietnam. They told tales of crazy motorcycle drivers riding on the sidewalks, and making connections in a coffee shop with a local who was playing Clash of Clans just like them -- and he was "REALLY GOOD!" Mrs. Orihuela couldn't resist throwing in some math, and the kids went back and forth trying to convert dong and U.S. dollars.

During the week, students received a conical hat and marker from from the principal which they used to get signatures from SIS friends and fellow travelers. And one afternoon was spent introducing the game of baseball to their new friends. Please click here to view and follow Dr. Murray's blog which includes pictures and the team's daily activities.

Week Ending May 16, 2014

4th Graders Day at MOSI
Our 4th graders toured MOSI on Thursday for an education filled day of fun. Students explored the Myth-Busters exhibit, watched an interactive show on Myths and Mysteries, viewed the IMAX movie, Great White Shark, and explored many other exhibits.

Battle of the Books
On Tuesday, May 13, Lutz Preparatory held its 2nd annual Battle of the Books. The Battle was a friendly competition that consisted of three rounds of questions with escalating point values in each round. It was an exciting competition with the Lightning Readers Team of Courtney T., Taylor B., Genevieve K., Parker T., and alternate Gabi S. earning the top spot. The Lightning Readers will now represent Lutz Prep at the District Charter Battle of the Books on Friday, May 30!

Congratulations to all our 4th grade Lutz Prep students. They are all winners for accepting the challenge to read some of these Battle Books. The following 19 students earned the title of "BoB Master" because they read all 15 books: Javier A., Benjamin B., Taylor B., Caitlin B., Emma B., Shianne C., Hannah D. Jaden H., Genevieve K., Ella M., Ryan M., Kristal M., Jaiden M., Lawson M. Alyssa P., Payton S., Garrett S., Parker T., and Olivia W.

Special appreciation to 4th Grade Teacher, Mrs. Dillinger and LP parents Mrs. Toso, Mrs. Brooks, Mrs. McCallum, and Mrs. Auman for coordinating our school event. To prepare for next year, check out the 2014-1015 Battle of the Books listthat was just announced; it makes a great summer reading list.

5th Grade's Feeding America
Mr. Ward wasn't the only one impressed with our 5th Graders. We all are. This is what they accomplished for Feeding America: • They sorted through and packed 363 boxes of food; the equivalent of approximately 12,000-15,000 lbs of food. At Feeding America, 1 meal equates to 1.2 lbs. Therefore, with their combined teamwork, provided between 10,000 - 15,000 meals! AMAZING! Thank you to Mr. Ward, all the parents that volunteered and to our awesome 5th graders!

Pre-Prep's Visit to the Florida Aquarium
Lutz Pre-Prep had a great time at the Florida Aquarium on Monday! All of the students got an up close look at some cool and exciting creatures. There were also "touch tanks" where students got to touch stingrays, horseshoe crabs and some cool sea anemone. Pre-Prep split into two groups for a fun classroom presentation called Nakita's Nook. The instructor read an interactive story about the different animals that live under the sea alongside Nakita, the octopus. After the story, the students got to see and touch a sea urchin and hermit crab. We had such an exciting and fun filled day at the aquarium!

1st Grade Enjoys Sweetfield Farms
This past week, the first graders enjoyed a field trip to Sweetfield Farms. They learned how important bees are to the ecosystem, how helpful it is to our environment to recycle, planted sunflowers to take home and participated in relay races after playing on the tree house fort. The students watched pig races (and cheered for their favorites), fed chickens and goats, and learned interesting facts about cows and the milking process. The lesson on bees proved important because in order for the kids to navigate through the giant sunflower maze, they had to answer questions correctly to ensure no wrong turns would be made! It was a beautiful day, much was learned, and fun was had by all.

Kindergarten Masterpiece
Mrs. Cataldo's Kindergarten students, in collaboration with Art Teacher Mrs. Williams, created non- fiction books. They learned the process of how to write a non-fiction piece then published their stories. Mrs. Williams also taught the students how to use a print-making technique to produce the cover of their books. They all thoroughly enjoyed making and designing their own books!

Safety Patrol Year End Celebration
As the year ends we'd like to recognize all of our courteous students that served as Safety Patrol this year. We'd also like to extend our appreciation to Mr. McGuinness, our Safety Patrol leader, and to Megan Edmonds-Pillai, Denise Durrance and Karen Corscadden for their assistance as Safety Patrol Moms. Another Safety Patrol Mom whom we'd like to recognize is Erin Brown. Mrs. Brown not only helped coordinate the patrol's end of the year celebration, but she also volunteered her time ALL YEAR to stand outside and monitor the patrol. Thank you to all of our Safety Patrol Team!

Vietnam Spotlight
Following the Journey: After 27 hours in a plane or airport our Lutz Prep travelers have arrived in Vietnam exhausted and excited. The students already were commenting on the things they were seeing at 11 PM Thursday night that we had discussed in class. Tomorrow we will explore Sai Gon by foot. The adventure has started for real. We encourage each Lutz Prep family to view the blog each day with their children and discuss what they see. To integrate the international concept into your discussion, allow the students to creatively explore the pictures, videos and journal writing from the other side of the world. Allow your children to develop critical thinking skills by asking simple questions, such as, "What do you see?" and "What do you think is happening?" Please click here to view and follow the blog.

Week Ending May 9, 2014

Budding Paleontologists
To kick off a unit on dinosaurs, Mrs. Grenon's Kindergarten class used their inferencing skills to guess what was inside of an egg found in the woods. They also practiced their paleontology skills by excavating chocolate chips from a cookie using special tools.

3rd Grade Poetry Café
Ms. Klein's 3rd grade class wrapped up a study of poetry for April's National Poetry Month. Each student created a poetry anthology including Cinquain, Couplets, Haiku, Ballads, and Free Verse categories. The class ended the unit at a Poetry Café with jazz music, dimmed lights, a stage and an 'open mic' atmosphere. In honor of a true Poetry Café, audience members snapped their fingers to show their appreciation. Even the parents joined in the fun by reading their own favorite poems.

Printmaking with Marbling
Mrs. William's art students have been engaged in an investigation of marbling techniques. Marbling is a printmaking method that happens when ink or paint is floated on top of water. Along with studying the history of marbling, the students marbled paper with ink, fabric with paint and even invented their own tools to use during the process.

The students created a special scarf for Mother's Day with their marbling technique knowledge. Mrs. William's wants to give an enormous thank you to Alicia Parekh, Jennifer Agustines, Lara Slatnikse and Janette McGovern for helping immensely with this Mother's Day project!

Battle of the Books Teams
Our Battle of the Books teams are hard at work, practicing before school and during BoB lunches!

Week Ending May 2, 2014

Sixth Grade Battle of the Books Team
Congratulations to Sam C., Logan A., Ashley T., Delayna A., Sarah T. and Terah N. (alternate) for becoming members of Lutz Preparatory's VERY FIRST Middle School Book Battle Team, led by 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Allen!

The Middle School District Charter Battle will take place on May 21, 2014 at the Children's Board of Tampa, on Palm Avenue in Ybor. The event is scheduled to run from 8:30-1:30, and parents, family members, and friends are welcome to come cheer on our team!!

Students will be practicing on Tuesday and Friday mornings before school and will also do a few "lunch and learn" sessions along the way.

Fourth Grade Battle of the Books Team
Congratulations also goes to our 4th grade Battle of the Books teams! These teams were determined by scores on a qualifying test that students took this week. These 4th grade teams will compete in our school Battle of the Books on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. The winning team will then advance to the District Charter Battle of the Books on Friday, May 30, 2014, led by 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Dillinger.

Team 1 Courtney T. Taylor B. Genevieve Parker T. Alternate: Gabi S.
Team 2 Shianne Rachel M. Kaylee W. Sydney R. Alternate: Bella B.
Team 3 Olivia W. Lawson M. Javier A. Kristal M. Alternate: Keira B.
Team 4 Caitlin Alyssa Madison M. Ryan M. Alternate: Ted S.

Week Ending April 25, 2014

VPK Blueberry Farm Trip
This week Ms Shannon and Ms Tina's VPK class enjoyed a trip to the Blueberry Farm. The children had a great time picking blueberries and deciding what they plan to make with their treasures. Lots of blueberry pancakes, muffins, pies etc in the works!

First Grade Habitat Studies
Our first grade classes have been studying all about living and non-living things this month. Last week, they visited the Lowry Park Zoo to observe different animals in their habitats. Each of the students then created a diorama of an animal in its habitat, complete with its predators and food sources. Last Friday, the students presented their projects to their class and created a living habitat museum for their guests.

Week Ending April 18, 2014

Insects and Transformation
For the last month, Kindergarten has been learning about all kinds of bugs including mealworms, butterflies, painted ladies, praying mantis, and even a walking stick bug! They learned the differences between insects and other types of bugs and how to label the parts of an insect. They also studied the life cycle of several insects by observing the process "live" in their classrooms! Last week, Mrs. Roberts' class released their monarch butterflies and their painted ladies. Many students commented on how much they would miss their butterflies but were grateful they still had their mealworms to enjoy for one more week!

Understanding Habitats
Our first grade classes learned about living and non-living things this month. They visited the Lowry Park Zoo to observe animals in their habitats. Each child created a diorama of an animal in its habitat, complete with its predators and food. The children presented to their class which was followed by a living habitat museum for their guests.

Pre-Prep Field Day on 4/11
Last week our VPK and EC 3 students participated in Field Day. Activities engaged their balance, coordination, concentration and of course, emotion. A great time was had by all! Thank you to all the volunteers that helped make the day a success!

Fun Just A Block Away
More blueberry smoothies, blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins were made this week thanks to our Kindergarten students. Thank you to all of our classes and to our blueberry farm neighbors for the delicious and affordable fresh berries.

Viet Nam Update
The trip planned to the Singapore International School (SIS) in Da Nang, Viet Nam is a month away. Seven students are traveling on May 14th to Sai Gon. One 1st grader, three 4th graders, two 5th graders and one 7th grader (a sibling at CDS) are traveling to explore the culture of Viet Nam and actually attend school with students at Singapore International School an English language, International private school. Each student will be accompanied by at lease one parent or grandparent.

The trip starts with a set of three flights taking a little over 27 hours to get from Tampa to Sai Gon. The group will arrive in Sai Gon near midnight on Thursday night. They'll enjoy the city of Sai Gon for two days then fly to Da Nang on Sunday to meet SIS families during their Family Fun Day. The Family Fun Day will take place at a beautiful resort on the South China Sea.

The following Monday the group will attend school at SIS. They will go to school with the SIS students for four days and participate in field trips. Our students will be "Reading Buddies" to the younger SIS students and prepare a PowerPoint presentation on life in Tampa and at Lutz Preparatory. Students will blog about the trip and keep a journal. They'll also use Instagram. As often as possible, the group will SKYPE back to Lutz Prep classrooms. The Lutz Prep traveling students have already started email communication with SIS students.

On Thursday afternoon they'll say goodbye to their new SIS friends and drive to Hue. From there they will tour the Imperial Capital for two days then fly to Ha Noi, the current capital. From Ha Noi they'll take an overnight train to SAPA. It is said that SAPA is where the earth meets heaven. It's the home of many ethnic tribes. They'll stay and trek SAPA for two days and then return to HA Noi, again by overnight train.

The last few days students will enjoy Hai Long Bay. On the final day they'll have the opportunity to visit the USA Embassy to meet diplomats and get a group picture.

This will be a 17 day trip of a lifetime for our parents and students. The travelers will arrive home with a week of school left to share their experiences with their classmates.

Email exchange started between Lutz Prep and SIS students this week. Here's the link to our blog for all of our families to see and read - http://vietnameseamericanepals.wordpress.com/

Week Ending April 11, 2014

Bananas, Books, and Pancakes
Last week the 3rd grade classes went to see the play "Bananas, Books and Pancakes" at the Wesley Chapel Performing Arts Center. The play was created by the Fantasy Theater Factory to encourage listening skills and develop a greater interest in reading. The performers brought a selection of stories to life from award winning children's authors. Music, mime, acting, comedy and costumes enhanced each story. Thank you to Mrs. Gordon, Mrs. Floyd, Mrs. Neptune, Ms. Klein and the chaperones for making this field trip a success!

Sixth Grade Students Partner with Second Grade AGP
Dr. Tompkin's 2nd grade AGP class recently wrapped up their unit on the human body. To extend their study of organs with a hands-on activity, they observed two dedicated 6th grade students, Logan A. and Herman W., dissect a frog. As the 6th graders removed organs from the frog, the second graders were tasked with discussing their knowledge of the organ from their research. This was a great learning activity for both the 6th grade mentors and the 2nd grade group. Thank you to AGP teacher, Dr. Tompkins, and 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Titus, for partnering to share knowledge across grades.

Pre-Prep Students Visit Blueberry Farm
This week, our EC3 and VPK students enjoyed a wonderful trip to the Blueberry Farm located next door to Lutz Prep. Each student was given a bag and allowed to collect as many blueberries as they could carry! The children learned about plants and seeds and had an educational experience. Since the field trip, our teachers have been hearing about all of the smoothies and blueberry muffins the students have been making at home.

Week Ending April 4, 2014

5th Grade's Underground Railroad
Mrs. McLeod's 5th Grade Social Studies classes participated in an Underground Railroad simulation as a culminating activity to their recent studies. Their journey began with an in-depth study of slavery and the history of the Underground Railroad. This week, they took part in a simulated journey, mirroring the journey of slaves seeking freedom. Students were assigned roles including bounty hunters, patrol officers, conductors or escaping slaves. They traveled from "station" to "station" throughout our school, with the ultimate goal of reaching freedom in "Canada," which was set up in the back field. Special thanks to Mrs. McLeod for creating a wonderful learning environment for our students!

4th Grade: Pulley Systems
Budding engineers in Mr. McGuinness' 4th grade classes tested their knowledge of scientific concepts like force and lift to design and develop their own pulley systems. Working in small groups, students used wood, wheels, rope, and screws to design and build a pulley system that would lift 5, 10, 15 and 20 pounds. Through trial and error, they designed, tested, and reworked their pulleys based on their results in lifting the weights. Students enjoyed furthering their understanding of these concepts through this hands-on activity!

Pre-Prep LEGOLAND Field Trip
Our Pre-Prep students traveled to Legoland on Monday. Students, teachers, and chaperones enjoyed the numerous attractions throughout the park. To enable the students to interact with their teachers and classmates, each teacher was assigned a different colored LEGO to hand out to the students throughout the day. By the end of the day, each student collected nine LEGOs. For homework that night, their assignment was to build something with the LEGOs and bring it to school to share with their class.

Germaine the Germ visits Pre-Prep
We were excited to have instructors from St. Joseph's Children's Hospital come in to teach us about hand washing. The program is called "Germaine the Germ" and is designed to correlate with Sunshine State Standards and to assist the classroom teacher with health related instruction. The instructors were here Tuesday and Wednesday, April 1st and 2nd, and the students enjoyed learning all about clean hands and stopping germs!

Week Ending March 28, 2014

2nd Grade's Wax Museum
Our hard working second graders created a Wax Museum of famous people who have contributed to society in a positive way. The students researched, wrote a speech and created a costume with props to portray their historical person. Parents, teachers, and peers strolled through the museum seeing all the characters and listening to the stories of their lives. Included were Henry Ford, Taylor Swift, Bill Gates, Shirley Temple, Walt Disney, Betsy Ross, Juliette Gordon Low, Amelia Earhart, Kristi Yamaguchi, Sally Ride, famous athletes and many more.
Special thanks to our 2nd grade teachers: Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Janicki, Mrs. Mitchelson, Mrs. Schaer and Mrs. Wagner for an educational morning filled with fun. It was a great way to wrap of the study of biographies; the students did an amazing job!

Lessons on Recycling
Ms. Devon and Ms. Amanda's VPK class wrapped up their study on Reusing and Recycling with a hands-on community service project benefiting Lutz Pre-Prep. The class previously painted old tires and 'signed' their work with their hand prints. This week, the students worked hard raking mulch, pulling weeds, moving dirt, planting flowers and learning how just how beautiful recycling can be. Visitors to the Pre-Prep building now have an earth friendly garden display to enjoy as they enter school.

Week Ending March 21, 2014

Ellis Island Immigration Simulation
Ms. Klein's 3rd grade students have been involved in a cross-curricular focus on immigration. They gained background knowledge from their History Alive textbook and other resources about the lives of immigrants and the process to become an American citizen. This week, the students wrapped up the unit with hands-on lessons that included research, student conducted interviews, and a play that simulated the Immigration System of Ellis Island. The class worked hard to memorize their lines, and were naturals in front of an audience that consisted of parents, teachers, and their 5th grade peers.

Caldecott Medal Mock Review Committee
The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Mrs. O'Sullivan, our Library Coordinator, brought this real world process and review of picture books to our first and second graders. The students evaluated and studied the art work very carefully in fourteen books and then voted for the book they thought should win.

What a surprise! The actual 2014 Caldecott winner, Locomotive by Brian Floca, only received one single vote from the students! Way to go 2nd Grader, Patrick M., for voting for the actual winner. Many of the students voted for books that received Caldecott Honor awards: Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle, Journey by Aaron Becker and Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner. Mrs. O'Sullivan was proud of their cooperation and hard work on this mock committee. With this hands-on project, they have developed a deeper appreciation for the artwork in the books they read.

Week Ending March 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2nd - Dr. Seuss's birthday. Kindergarten and Pre-Prep enjoyed a fun-filled Monday morning as they celebrated together with centers based on several Dr. Seuss Books. Each Pre-Prep student was paired with a Kindergarten buddy and they engaged in various learning activities together related to the different Dr. Seuss stories. Each activity was lead by one of our fabulous Kindergarten teachers. The experience gave the Pre-Prep students an opportunity to become familiar with the Kindergarten classrooms and teachers and the Kindergarten students, who took their buddy roles very seriously, enjoyed showing their pals around. Enormous thanks and appreciation from all to Mrs. Roberts who coordinated this fantastic event for all of our students!

2nd Grade Author Visit 
As part of the Read Across America festivities, Mrs. Clark's 2nd grade classes enjoyed a visit from local author, Suzin Carr. Mrs. Carr shared her book, "I Choose", with the students and discussed the message of the book: that we all have the power to make our own choices in life. In addition, she shared the writing and publishing process with the class.

Writer's Celebration 
Mrs. Winston's Kindergarten class had their first Writer's Celebration on Thursday. They all were dressed to impress for this red carpet event! The class has been working hard on writing their 'piece' and presented their stories to a packed room of parents and grandparents. These cuties displayed confidence and pizazz while they read their pieces. Thank you Mrs. Winston for all of your hard work with your 'muffins'

Timeless Tales Theatre 
On Wednesday, Lutz Pre-Prep students thoroughly enjoyed watching the Timeless Tales' production of "Peter Rabbit." The pre-schoolers learned three valuable lessons from Peter Rabbit through his adventures in Mr. McGregor's garden: 1. Don't make the wrong choice just so you can belong; 2. Never take anything without asking first; and 3. Always listen to your mother!

Publishing Party 
On Tuesday, Mrs. Grenon's Kindergarten class celebrated their published writing along with their families and friends in other Kindergarten classes. Since September the students have been writing stories, incorporating new techniques as they learn them. In their most recent writing, the children used proper writing conventions such as capital letters and spacing between words and incorporated crafts; speech bubbles, transition words and non-fiction features. Congratulations to all our new authors!

Week Ending February 28, 2014

Potential Professors 
This week, our fifth grade students were challenged to play the role of professors by teaching their peers about what they have been learning on the Human Body. The Team Storm students broke up into "expert groups" to lead teaching instruction about the Respiratory, Circulatory, Digestive/Excretory, Nervous, and Muscular/Skeletal systems of the Human Body. The groups used various methods to teach their fellow students using Power Point presentations, songs, skits, body posters and other creative ways of teaching. They even checked for understanding by giving quizzes and playing interactive games.

Week Ending February 21, 2014

FCAT 2.0 Writing 4th Grade
Tuesday, February 25th our 4th graders will be taking the FCAT Writing 2.0 test, which measures student writing achievement based on their written response to a prompt. Please see the letter from Mrs. Troutt sent home to our 4th grade families and visit the Florida Department of Education's list of FAQs for details about the test.  To give our students as few distractions as possible, we will not have parents/volunteers in the main building or in the Lutz Landing on Tuesday, February 25th or Wednesday, February 26th.

Mrs. Grenon's Kindergarten Class
In honor of President's Day, Mrs. Grenon's class highlighted Geroge Washington and Abe Lincoln in a literary infused project. Working in cooperative groups the students used Venn diagrams to compare and contrast facts about these famous presidents.

2nd Graders Visit Legoland
Our second grade students traveled to Legoland on Thursday to wrap up their study of force and changes in motion. Each class took part in a hands-on activity at their Education Center to learn more about forces, such as gravity, friction, and inertia. The students worked in pairs to build a model vehicle and then tested the car on the speed ramps in competitions with their classmates. Students, teachers, and chaperons also enjoyed the numerous attractions throughout the park.

Glazer Museum Field Trip
Lutz Prep Kindergarten classes enjoyed the day at the Glazer Children's Museum. They enjoyed dressing up as firemen and sliding down the fire pole, playing dress up in the theatre, pretending to shop and cook in the kitchen and climbing through suspended platforms. After an enjoyable lunch in Curtis Hixon Park, they received a special lesson on energy. Here they helped demonstrate how objects, as well as people, Consume -Transfer and Transform energy. A great time was had by all!

Week Ending February 14, 2014

4th Grade Book Club Project
In Mrs. Dillinger's 4th grade reading class, students celebrated the completion of their book club novels by sharing a novel project and a snack based on the book. Novel projects included scenes from the book depicted with LEGOS or clay figures, advertisement posters and videos, puppet shows, cartoons of a chapter, and written sequels to the book. Students also shared a snack based on the book, including cakes in the shape of characters or scenes from the book and food that is mentioned in the book. Recent book club books included Hatchet, Chasing Vermeer, Beryl: A Pig's Tale, Diadem: Book of Names, and Charlotte's Web. This has been a fun way to share our final thoughts and learnings about each of the books!

Pre-Prep Field Trip to Center for Performing Arts
Our VPK students enjoyed a performance of a MathStart Musical by Stuart Murphy. The show was an interactive tale of adventure, mystery, friendship and math. The Main Street Kid's Club, or M.S.K.C., is a cool kids' club where the friends love using math to figure out all kinds of things. The four characters are faced with several different everyday life lessons and figure out ways to solve problems with math. The overall theme of the musical was "Math Skills = Life Skills!"

Week Ending February 6, 2014

Aspiring Authors
After months of hard work, students in Mrs. Cataldo's Kindergarten class showed off their magnificent writing skills. Each aspiring author published four short stories for their friends and family to see. Each student independently wrote and illustrated four stories, displaying their studies on creative writing, transition words, and adjectives. To culminate the event, Mrs. Roberts' class visited their peers and the authors proudly shared their wonderful written works with their friends.

Week Ending January 31, 2014

Handwriting Without Tears
The Pre-Prep teachers attended Handwriting Without Tears training on Tuesday, January 21. This was an all day training packed with lots of valuable information. The Pre-Prep staff started implementing some of the strategies and hands on activities in their classrooms. They are all very excited about this developmentally appropriate hands-on approach to handwriting that taps into each individual child's learning style. For more information about the program please visit their website.

5th Grade Science

Fifth graders put their expertise of physical science to work in a challenge to build a contraption that would send a marble down as slowly as possible. Students timed and recorded all trials and participated in a panel discussion led by student scientists. We hope you enjoy the photos and Student Panel Comments- Mrs. McLeod and Mrs. Orihuela, grade 5.

Student quotes during trials:

  • Aiden G: "It's like that Honda commercial with all the people that started in a garage...and that's how we started." Referencing that great ideas begin small.
  • Karthik N: "The inconclusive evidence is just as important as the regular trials because you know what changes need to be made to make the experiment better."
  • Sydney H: "My mom and I watched this movie, Jobs, and it was about how Steve Jobs started in a garage with his friends. Over the years....he made it!"
  • Fernando V: "I hope we get to redo this experiment, but this time incorporate a part of everyone's experiment into it." Referencing the fact that there were so many great ideas....and if we work together we can be even better.
  • Anna I: "Did the spring work the first time you tried it?" Scientists presented their projects to a student panel... the students became the teachers!
  • Mrs. McLeod and Mrs. Orihuela asked Nic N, "If you could change one thing about your project, what would it be? Nic responded, "I would add a funnel to slow the marble down."
  • Chloe' G's responds to a panel question: " I would change the angles because they were kind of straight." Reflecting on a project, or work in general, is a very useful tool to grow as a student and scientist!
  • Slowest Marble Winner, Sarah T: "I laughed hard so many times!"

Science is as much fun as it is educational.

Week Ending January 24, 2014

Boosterthon Pep Rally
This year's Boosterthon Fund Raiser kicked off on Wednesday with a Pep Rally to help get students excited about the Fun Run and about living with character. The theme this year is "Camp High Five" and it's all about friendship and includes five ways to be a good friend. Students can also earn fitness rewards as they get pledges.

Lutz Prep Library
The Lutz Prep library is alive with activity surrounding great stories, authors, and illustrators. The Kindergarten classes are enjoying some of "Librarian O'Sullivan's Favorites" including one from a wonderful illustrator, Steven Kellogg. The children LOVED his newest book, The Green Bath. We also enjoyed more from the Llama Llama book series. After hearing these stories, the students shared their favorites and compared the books (setting, characters, how they were alike, etc.). It is so wonderful to see how observant they can be! The 1st & 2nd Grade classes are very busy studying Randolph Caldecott. Ask your students about the Caldecott Award - you'll be amazed to find out what they know! The Caldecott Award is given yearly to the best illustrator. Librarians made their suggestions on the books they think should win this year. Our smart art evaluators are looking at many of those books and deciding on their picks for best illustrator. They will vote next month and we will see if they pick the winner (or possibly a Caldecott Honor book)!

Lutz Prep Safety Patrol
Neither rain, nor sleet....nor really cold temperatures will keep our determined safety patrol team members from manning their posts each morning. Thank you to each of these students for braving the cold weather to help their fellow students reach their classrooms safely each morning.

Week Ending January 17, 2014

Sixth Graders Travel to Nature's Classroom
Our 6th graders participated in a 3 day,hands-on experience studying the complex and dynamic ecosystem surrounding the Hillsborough River. They learned about the role that water plays in shaping the biological communities along the river, the adaptations of organisms to live in these communities, the chemical and biological health of the river, and the role people play in maintaining the river as a healthy, living system. The program at Nature's Classroom consisted of rotating through six hands-on activities throughout the 3 day trip:

  • Animal Compound: students used observation and inference skills to synthesize information on how birds of prey, mammals and large reptiles are able to survive in our local ecosystem.
  • Interpretive Center: students learned about the various types of small vertebrate organisms that live in the Hillsborough River.
  • River Exploration: students monitored the biological health of the river by collecting data on the number and diversity of birds and reptiles and used water test kits to monitor it's chemical health.
  • Upland/Wetland Investigation: students studied the role the physical environment plays in determining the location of biological communities within the Hillsborough River basin.
  • Shoreline Sampling: students actively collected small organisms that live along the shoreline. They then classified these organisms, observed their characteristics and made inferences about the biodiversity of the system.
  • Orienteering: students applied cooperative learning, mathematics and social studies skills to a real life situation as they worked in teams to navigated through a series of stations using compasses and charts.

Mickey Mile

Lutz Pre-Prep had a great time running in the Mickey Mile last Friday and had great LP participation! Ms. Shannon, Ms. Sylvia, Ms. Dilean and Ms. Tricia all enjoyed cheering on our students and families as they crossed the finish line. Congratulations to all our athletes!

Week Ending January 10, 2014

Dissection Lab in 6th Grade

To wrap up the human body benchmark unit, Mrs. Titus' 6th grade classes completed dissections on frogs, grasshoppers, earthworms, and crayfish. The students observed the internal and external anatomy of the specimens, viewed the various body systems, and compared how the specimen's organs are similar to organs of a human.

Cross Country Team - Jingle Bell Arthritis 5K

Over the holiday break, our Cross Country Team and their families participated in the Jingle Bell Walk\Run for Arthritis 5K. Our Lutz Prep community had 72 runners and raised $2,290 that went directly to the Arthritis Foundation

Chorus Concert at Renaissance Village

On December 18th, the Upper Chorus brought joy to the residents of Renaissance Village during their encore performance of their Winter show . The residents delighted in the Lutz Prep's young performers' melodic voices and even sang along during the final song of the performance, Silent Night. Both students and residents hope to have future shared events where we can come together as a community.

LP Students Holiday Performance

The New Tampa Dance Theater performed a production of the Nutcracker at USF's College of the Arts Theater over the holiday break. Three of our very own LP students were part of the talented cast. Fifth graders Julianna M., and Olivia M. and fourth grader Madison G. were part of the talented cast.

Week Ending December 20, 2013

Exploration Is Within Us!

History is alive at Lutz Prep!  The 5th grade team presented an Explorer Expo on Friday as a culmination to their American History Unit.Visitors were greeted by student docents and then traveled to student stations where they learned about the legends and legacies of 13 famous explorers. What a fabulous excursion for all!

Holiday Spirit Lesson

1st grade participated in a lesson on giving. They created blankets for Everyday Blessings, a local children's home.  To help complete the project, Brownie Troop #914 also help make 2 blankets.  All together, 28 blankets were made, 1 for each child in the home.  In the giving spirit, Lutz Prep Cares!

2nd Grade Field Trip

This week our second graders traveled to Crystal Springs Preserve Living Laboratory.  They were given a tour of the beautiful springs and observed the different animals that live there.  They also were educated on how the springs produce 30 million gallons of water per day. The highlight of the trip was when the students created a model of a watershed that represented a real world community with a farm, golf course, mall, and homes.  After the construction of the model, they simulated a river flowing through the center to show the watershed effect.  They learned about pollution and water conservation with this hands on outdoor experience.

Holiday Activities

Many classes have worked together to have fun and celebrate the holiday season.  Rotating centers, class parties, watching The Polar Express in pajamas and special holiday performances all have been occurring this week.  Below are just a few pictures of the fun our teachers and students have had as they prepared for the Holiday Break!

Week Ending December 6, 2013

Around the World in Third Grade

Ms. Klein's 3rd grade class has been doing an in-depth study about culture in social studies.  Students studied cultures from around the world and learned all of the different aspects that make up a culture.  The class as a whole studied the country of Kenya and did a cross-curricular focus on Kenyan animals in science, African folktales in reading, and creating their own African folktales in writing.  Students were then split into groups and studied the cultures from three different countries, which were Germany, Brazil, and China.  Students presented to their families and fellow students a tri-fold board, where they wrote summaries about the different categories of culture including typical food, traditions, arts, holidays, language, and much more! The class dressed up in traditional clothing and then practiced their public speaking skills by presenting to an audience filled with parents, guests, students, and teachers! 

To wrap up the presentations, students performed a Kenyan African tribal dance for their audience! Students then celebrated with a cultural fair, where they could look at items and artifacts from other countries and best of all eat lots of delicious food! Family and students ate food from Argentina all the way to China!

A special Thank You to Renzo's restaurant for donating a sampling of Argentinian food!  Finally, during the cultural fair, families were invited to contribute to the "Our Class Culture" board where they could write about a special part of their own family’s culture!  What a fantastic time! Goodbye! Tchau! Auf wiedersehen! Zài jiàn 再見再见

Dr. Tompkins' Gifted Classes

First Grade

To wrap up their study of Growth and Change, the students completed an examination of butterflies and moths: similarities and differences.  They also brought in examples from home of things that grow. The items were displayed in a classroom mini-museum and grouped together based on classification criteria determined by the students. As an extension activity, students charted the growth of a pair of marmoset monkeys that were brought to the classroom weekly by Mrs. Roa, a LP parent.

Second Grade

The students have been studying the Human Body and the connection between systems in the body and their various functions.  They researched major human body parts and their functions and presented their report to the class.  One recent activity involved the students' using pasta noodles to construct the human skeleton.  As an extension activity, Mrs. Tyson, a Physical Therapist and LP parent, spoke to the students during American Education Week.

3rd Grade

The class has been studying dinosaurs and will investigate the Continental Drift, Plate Tectonics, Fossilization, and Plant Life. They explored some of the controversies about dinosaurs such as how fast they moved and proposed reasons for their mass extinction. Students selected a dinosaur to research and presented their findings to the class. Using a model of the dinosaur they researched, students created a pasta noodle skeleton of their specific dinosaur. Then, they compared their skeleton with the human body skeleton from another class and listed similarities and differences.

Week Ending November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Feasts

In celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, many classes, dressed in costume, presented plays, read stories, sang songs, and enjoyed feasts in the classroom!

Pre-Prep: Our VPK students dressed as pilgrims, Indians, and turkeys as they performed several Thanksgiving themed songs, including "Hello Mr. Turkey". Our EC3 

Mrs. Clark's and Mrs. Vinson's 2nd Grade classes were treated to a fun hands-on science activity to wrap up their unit studying the properties of matter. Lead by parent volunteers Mrs. Green and Mrs. Minnillo, the classes made homemade applesauce. The activity helped the students see first-hand how states of matter can change since the apple (solid) changed into a liquid (apple sauce) as it was cooked. The students were involved in each step of the process. They cleaned, peeled, and chopped the apples; then they measured the ingredients for the recipe. The apples cooked all day in a slow cooker, making the room smell delicious. The students drew and labeled a diagram detailing the properties of apples and discussed the difference in texture and taste between store bought and homemade.

Week Ending November 15, 2013

Science in Motion

Our 5th grade science classes completed their unit on the effects of forces in motion and friction. The students used the new knowledge they gained in several hands-on labs allowing them to apply their studies to real world experiences.

The Incredible Edible Cell

Mrs. Titus' sixth grade science classes completed their study of animal and plant cells. To wrap up the unit, students were tasked with constructing a 3-D model of a cell made out of edible materials. Each student was required to label all the organelles and show the functions between the different parts.

2nd Grade's - JA Lesson

Students in 2nd grade have been learning about communities through their Junior Achievement, social studies and math lessons. They have been learning about needs and wants, goods and services, and the importance of community service. Through these lessons, they gained a deeper understanding of the importance of being thankful for all of the wonderful things they have as well as the importance of giving back to others in the community. To conclude this topic of study, the students took a field trip to Publix for a practical application of what they had learned. They were able to visit the different departments of the store, sample a few snacks, and then use money they earned doing chores at home to buy items for a needy family for Thanksgiving. What a great experience for our 2nd graders!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Our 1st graders watched as three of Eric Carle's children's tales, including "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" came to life during a black light theater production. Our very well behaved students thoroughly enjoyed the performances and afterwards ate their lunches at the nearby Philippe Park.

Week Ending November 8, 2013

Timeless Tales Theatre Presents - Tom the Turkey

Our Pre-Prep students were treated to a gobble-gobble good time with Tom the Turkey as he told the tale of the first Thanksgiving from a turkey's point of view.

Great American Teach-In

Thank you to all of our volunteers who presented to our students at the Great American Teach-In.


















Week Ending November 1, 2013

Character Book Parade

Students in Pre-K - 4th grade enjoyed transforming themselves into some of their favorite book characters. They were able to show off their costumes and creativity during a parade through the gym.

Third Grade Fall Themed Learning Experience

Third grade students participated in various fun fall themed centers all while practicing their math, science, and reading. The kids thoroughly enjoyed this hands on learning experience! Many thanks to the wonderful volunteers and creative teachers for putting these activities together!

Kindergarten Owl Unit

As a culminating activity to their unit on owls, the kindergarten classes dissected owl pellets. They predicted what they would find inside, sorted the bones, and graphed their findings. The kids really enjoyed this hands on activity!

 Week Ending October 18, 2013

Kindergarten Field Trip

Kindergarten had their first field trip this week to see the play Stuart Little at the Wesley Chapel Performing Arts Center. They were great listeners and the little mouse and other actors made them laugh often. All who attended had a great time and look forward to the next outing as part of the wonderful kindergarten here at Lutz Prep!

Fourth Graders Visit Cracker Country

Students in fourth grade stepped back in time to experience the life of Florida pioneers during their visit to Cracker Country. Similar to the Lutz Prep students that visited last week, they participated in chores such as washing clothes with a washboard, dipping a beeswax candle, churning butter and making rope. They also observed how train stations and smokehouses worked, sat through a school lesson at the schoolhouse, and had the opportunity to shop in the Cracker Country General Store. The experience gave our fourth graders a glimpse of how hard our ancestors worked in their daily lives before the modern conveniences we often take for granted today!

 Week Ending October 11, 2013

Cracker Country Field Trip

Students in first grade had an incredible time learning about Colonial America at Cracker Country last week! They participated as a class making a rope, washed clothes with a washboard, made a beeswax candle, observed how train stations and smokehouses worked, sat through a sample school lesson at the schoolhouse, and even shopped at the General Store after playing with some sample toys kids had during that time. It was a fantastic opportunity for the students to see how hard people worked back then before the modern conveniences we take for granted today were available! Our first graders asked a lot of good questions and impressed those working there as well!

Properties of Apples

Mrs. Clark's and Mrs. Vinson's 2nd Grade classes were treated to a fun hands-on science activity to wrap up their unit studying the properties of matter. Lead by parent volunteers Mrs. Green and Mrs. Minnillo, the classes made homemade applesauce. The activity helped the students see first-hand how states of matter can change since the apple (solid) changed into a liquid (apple sauce) as it was cooked. The students were involved in each step of the process. They cleaned, peeled, and chopped the apples; then they measured the ingredients for the recipe. The apples cooked all day in a slow cooker, making the room smell delicious. The students drew and labeled a diagram detailing the properties of apples and discussed the difference in texture and taste between store bought and homemade.

 Week Ending October 4, 2013

Introducing the Lutz Landing!

After weeks of deliberating, for the coming year, the new modular building has a name.....Lutz Landing! Congratulations to Matthew M, in Mrs. Dillinger's 4th grade class, for submitting the winning name and logo. On Wednesday morning Matthew was cheered on by his fellow Lutz Landing classmates as he cut the ribbon leading into the newly named building.

Cereal Box Book Presentations

Students in 1st grade created and presented "cereal box" projects this week. Each student chose a book and created a cereal around that particular story, complete with an "ingredients" list, discussion of the main problem and solution, main characters and the setting, and a creative "prize" to include - all themed around the story! They then presented their cereal boxes in the form of a 30-60 second commercial. What a fantastic opportunity for the kids to use some of their creativity and learn about the different elements of writing!

Lunch with Author Julie Sternberg

Lutz Prep had its first "All-school" author visit on October 2nd. Ms. Sternberg is the author of two children's books, Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie and Like Bug Juice on a Burger. She spoke to all of our students about those books, her family, becoming an author, the process of getting a book published and her future publications. The children were able to ask many great questions and are looking forward to April when Ms. Sternberg's next book, Carrot Juice on a Muffin will be released. Appreciation goes out to Ms. O'Sullivan, LP Library Coordinator, and the PTA/Library committee for planning and coordinating this fabulous opportunity for our students!

Johnny Appleseed Centers

As a culminating activity to their Johnny Appleseed unit, all five kindergarten classes rotated through each classroom to participate in various apple themed activities. Students practiced making patterns by stringing cereal necklaces, tasted different types of apples and charted which type they liked best, and made "stained glass" apples along with other fun art projects, including homemade applesauce. Many thanks to our parent volunteers who helped out in the classrooms as well as our creative Kindergarten teachers for planning such a wonderful learning experience for our students!

Pre Prep Field Trip to Sweetfields Farm

On Monday, Pre-Prep students toured Sweetfields Farm, a small family owned organic farm. They learned about different types of vegetables, fed the chickens, made a small straw scarecrow to bring home, participated in a friendly competition of pumpkin rolling, cheered on a pig race, went on a hayride, visited the pumpkin patch, and walked through a 5-acre Corn Maze. What a great educational experience! Week Ending September 27th

Week Ending September 27, 2013

Sink or Float Experiments in VPK

Despite the rain this week, VPK managed to have some fun inside! Students in Ms. Shannon's class made Lego boats with predictions if they would sink or float. Next, they tried "ice boats" which were frozen water, colored with food dye. Again, the students made predictions if their ice boats would sink or float. They believed the ice boats would sink because they were heavier than the Legos. To their surprise, the ice boats floated too! With the ice boats being made of color, they were able to observe them as they were getting smaller. Eventually they melted away which we discussed as a class. We have some great scientists in VPK!

Lunch with Author Julie Sternberg

Author Julie Sternberg will be visiting with the students at Lutz Prep on Wednesday, October 2nd. She wrote Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie and Like Bug Juice on a Burger. Over the past few weeks Ms. O'Sullivan, LP Library Coordinator, spoke to all of the students about her upcoming visit. She read a portion of her books and talked about the covers, titles and content. Ms. O'Sullivan then challenged the students to enter a "What Should Julie Sternberg's Next Book Be Like" contest. Students were asked to design a cover and tell briefly about the problem the main character, Eleanore, would face. There were so many good entries!

Week Ending September 20, 2013

I Have a Dream...

Ms. Klein's 3rd Grade students just finished a project celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Students discussed the importance of equality and learned about the events that led to the speech. Afterwards, they watched the actual speech and discussed effective strategies on how to be a good public speaker. Students were then asked to create a birthday card to celebrate the anniversary of the speech and each student also wrote a sequential paragraph detailing the reasons why the speech was important to them.

Week Ending September 13, 2013

Global Awareness and Conservation in Art

Ms. Gonzales' Art Classes have been learning about the endangered African Penguin over the last few weeks. LP Students have submitted drawings to Lowry Park Zoo in support of their conservation efforts to focus awareness on this warm weather seabird. The winning drawing will be used on posters and other communications to spread the word about African Penguin Awareness Day held on Saturday, October 12, 2013. Money raised by the Lowry Park Zoo during this day will be donated to SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds). Here are just a few of the many drawings that were submitted to the zoo.


Week Ending September 6, 2013

Light Drawing in Art

Mrs. Williams' students have been immersing themselves into the study of light as a tool in Art. They have been using a photo-graphic process that leaves a camera's shutter open for longer than usual, capturing the light's movement. The students picked a variety of LED light sources and they made movements in the air while photos were taken. Please view Mrs. Williams Blog: The Adelphi Project and the incredible video with more photos she created with her students.


Learning the Five Senses

For the past two weeks, the Kindergartners have been learning about the five senses. In one activity they went on a bear hunt and used their sense of touch to figure out clues that would lead them to the bear!

Mrs. Cataldo's class read the book If You Give a Pig a Pancake and the students made pig pancakes. The students had a blast using all their senses while making, eating and enjoying the pancakes!


17951 North US Highway 41
Lutz, FL 33549

Lutz Pre-Prep

17951 North US Highway 41
Lutz, FL 33549