Saturday, April 27, 2013

This week culminated in our Grade 7/8 Math and Art Festival, and the collaborative middle school dance at Friends School of Portland.  The dance was of course a really fun event.  We are lucky to have such a gracious and talented group of young people!

A few specifics to ask your young person about
  • We continued work with our Afghanistan studies.  Ask about making a music video in Kabul, and about the clash between tradition and change in modern culture.
  • Thursday afternoon was our annual Breakwater Variety Show to benefit the backpack project.  Sabrina and Simon were top-notch MC's for the event, Sydney and Carl along with some help from Owen (one of our pals from first grade) sold out of snacks before the show even started, and Izzie and Elsie were aces from behind the scenes.  Our 7-8 performances included singing from Thalia and Alicia.  
    The money we raise at this event goes toward the Backpacks for Refugees project, which helps young refugees settle into academic life.  The School holds a Giving Ceremony where we donate many backpacks filled with school supplies. The backpacks are donated to the Catholic Charities Refugee & Immigration Services, which provides refugees in Maine with the opportunity to improve their stability, independence, and overall quality of life.
    Throughout the year, bottles & cans are collected from the local community (that big bin you see as you walk through the main entrance) to raise money for the project, though the biggest source of fundraising comes from the Variety Show!

  • Our Math and Art festival included the Playing Card Platonic Solids featured earlier, along with three huge cardboard dodecahedron made during the event.  There were also tessellations, Notan designs exploring balance and negative space, Mandalas exploring radial symmetry, Photography with explanatory notes exploring the math of pictures, cuisenaire rod fraction work, "Math Faces" made by graphing, and fraction and percentage work around geometric designs.  Students examined each other's projects, and left a question for each of the other groups.  Check out the work, which will be up in the front hall for the next weeks.  
  • In Art, students are continuing a project based on Art&Math connections. They are creating clay puzzle boxes that involve precision in measuring in both two and three-dimensions. Ask your student to tell you the dimension of his/her box.
  • In Tinkering this week, the 7th/8th graders were given a challenge of thinking about what their culminating project should be for Tinkering. After some discussions and ideas, groups began the design stage by drawing out plans and making shopping lists. One group began to plan the building of a playhouse for the toddlers and preschoolers, another group began to design wooden dolls that could be dressed in different outfits for preschool/kindergarten, another group started designing stools to make for the Tinkering studio, while some individuals looked to do more independent projects for their culminating idea. Ask your child which idea for a culminating project they chose. Why did they choose that?
  • In Science, we are working on preparing a proposal about our year-long Nason's Brook project to the property owners on the edge of the brook. None other than the vice president of Bill Dodge Auto Group will hear the  proposal next Friday. In June we will build the Biochar berm and plant to eliminate run-off from their vast parking lot within 12 feet of the brook.  The kids will each state an important benefit to them, the brook and to Bill Dodge Auto Group. Stay tuned for our story of the event next week.
  • Work on our Grade 7/8 Yearbook will begin this week.  We'll have regular lunchtime meetings for the next few weeks to keep this moving.  
  • Flatbread Pizza's Fundraiser for Breakwater Tuesday, 4/30.  Click HERE to see details for this event and more at Breakwater's Calendar