Friday, March 15, 2013

Hello everyone,

The week has become a little quieter here at home, and some voices here have become a little more prominent.  The 7th graders are very sentimental about the 8th grade - they are adamant about not erasing one of Lizzie's drawings from the whiteboard, calling it "Sacred Lizzie Drawing," and they keep looking at the itinerary, noting, "...what the 8th graders are doing right now," and talking of "...what the 8th graders would say if they were here."  It has been very sweet to see.

Here are some items from this week in and out of our classroom
  • SENBAZURU!!!  Ask your kids what that means (1000 cranes).  7th graders really wanted to fit in some community service, so in collaboration with Kelly in art class, we're in the process of a 1000 cranes project.   We researched the history, cultural significance, and technical aspects of this project, and we plan to donate these in strings of 25 to a local hospital.  From Kelly: Ask your seventh grader to show you how to fold a paper crane.
  • 8th grade sendoff: In case you weren't there, the whole school community showed up to wish them a great trip.  The Rainforest Bus was on the blacktop, and they were sent off with pancakes and a Breakwater cheer. 
  • 7th grade hike to Jewel Falls: It was a little slippery (...and there was a little mud), but it was beautiful!  Ask your young person what they learned from our walk (...we had some academic discussion on the way, and debriefed about some of the ways that we need to support each other, both socially and academically.)
  • Milestone work: we honed our ideas for the upcoming State of the Classroom addresses.  Ask what your young person appreciates about the classroom, and what they have chosen as a place for improvement.
  • Outdoor Classroom: We made some plans to renovate our side yard to make it into a usable academic space.  Ask which ideas they liked the best.
  • Nat's math class spent time questioning whether the makers of Orbeez were accurate in their claim that Orbeez grow to 100 times their volume when they're soaked in water.  We also studied radius, diameter, surface area, and volume of spheres through graphing data from balloons inflated with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 breaths.  Ask if their predictions matched the data!
  • SPANISH: How was your experience at Tu Casa? What was the most interesting thing about the the lunch? Would you like to go back there someday and order in Spanish again?
  • TINKERING: In Tinkering this week, the seventh and eighth graders continued to work on finishing two projects - their toothpick bridges and their shelves from the Scott Nash visit. The toothpick bridge project is nearly finished. The students have designed and built a bridge out of toothpicks and glue that had to be tall enough for a toy boat to pass under and a toy car to drive over. They have been recording the costs of the materials needed to build, and we may test a few to see how much weight they can hold when we're done. The groups that are finishing their shelving units are continuing to practice with a screw gun to countersink their screws effectively. Also, both groups are learning how to make their shelves more stable. Ask your child about the bridge building project. What has been the most challenging aspect of it? I would guess waiting for the glue to dry! Ask them if they'd drive over their own bridge? Ask them about their shelves/egg displays - what was the most challenging part to that project?
  • 7th graders will be working more on our senbazuru work next week, and we hope to solidify our plans of where they'll end.  If we can set it up, I hope to meet in person with a volunteer coordinator on Monday. 
  • Next Wednesday 3/20 is a half day
  • Costa Rican Adventurers return late Wednesday night.  They should plan to take off Thursday, and be back at school on Friday.
  • Spring Gala on 3/23.  Click on this link for more info.
  • Academic Adventure on 3/29.  Stay tuned for devious and educational plans in Collaboration with Bridge and Mr. J.
Have a great weekend everyone!