Friday, March 22, 2013

Here are a few highlights from the week
  • In preparation for next Friday's Academic Adventure Trip (see below), we finished the week with "garbology," an analysis of what we throw out and where it goes.  Students divided up items from the trash into "luxuries" and "necessities."  We had a very lively discussion around this.  Ask whether a cell phone is a necessity or a luxury!  We followed this discussion with a viewing of Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff.  I've included a link to this in case you'd like to check it out.  It's about 20 minutes, and very worthwhile.  We'll be analyzing both the information she discusses, and her masterful use of persuasive techniques to convince viewers of her point of view.  
  • In Spanish, we learned how to cook fried plantains, and made Latin smoothies called Batidos.  The fruits we used included mango, parchita, banana, frambuesa, fresa, piƱa y jugo de naranja. (Mango, passion fruit, banana, raspberry, strawberry, pineapple and orange juice)  Ask about which fruits they liked the best, and ask if they've memorized the catchy tune " Yo Quiero Taco Bell" yet.  Why do they think we are asking them to memorize this song?  And did they share their own catchy Spanish tunes with their famIlies?  Also, ask if they can name their favorite radio station in Spanish - and don't switch the station until they do it!
  • Return of the travelers: ¡Bienvenidos a Los Estados Unidos!  We heard some wonderful stories from the trip, and shared what we have been working on from home today.  Below is a link to a note from Sari detailing some of the highlights of this incredible trip.
  • The 7th Graders have captured highlights from the week in Graphic Novel Form.  Ask about the death of Balloony.  
  • 7th graders worked on their original blues stanzas in music.
  • Senbazuru: Students completed research and presented their work on four aspects of the 1000 cranes: the history, cultural significance, folding and hanging techniques, and the story of Sadako Sasaki (We also read Eleanor Coerr's book based on this story).  We plan to donate these sometime in the coming weeks.
  • Art: With the 8's away, sevens went out into the community to view some art and sketch. We visited the graffiti wall, Portland Public Library's gallery, and the ICA at MECA. At the ICA, the exhibit was an installation of three whale skeletons. Ask your student how the display was different than one might view bones in a Natural History Museum. How did the lighting and the sound enhance or take away from the visual aspects of the show?  
  • Spring Gala tomorrow night!
  • Next week's All School Meeting: The 3rd and 4th graders will be leading the school in a "Lion and Dragon" dance as part of their study of ancient China.  The whole school will meet in the Dan at 1:35 on Wednesday.  After the dance, we'll all move to the Jessie auditorium to see a slide show of highlights from Costa Rica.  We'll then split into our Learning Buddy Groups to hear some tales from the trip from the 8th graders.  Please join us if you can for this festive event!
  • Next Friday, 3/29: Academic Adventure Field Work.  Our next big unit in Science and Social Studies is all about sustainability, and we're using this day to kick this off.  Bridge is planning some exciting curriculum, including a visit to Eco-Maine.  The facility is unheated, so please make sure that students are wearing long pants and closed toed shoes.  Stay tuned for a letter from Bridge detailing our agenda for the day.
Thanks for reading this far.  Enjoy the weekend.  I hope to see some of you tomorrow night.