Friday, May 17, 2013

Hi all,

NWEAs don't make for an event filled week, but we did manage to fit in a few interesting moments:
  • In Artstudents are glazing their clay puzzle boxes. Ask your student how many coats of glaze go on a surface to make it look like the test tile. There are some surfaces of the box we had to be careful not to glaze. Ask your student about these surfaces and why they need to be free of glaze.
  • In Spanish 7What kinds of Mexican foods are you making for the cooking experience and fiesta on May 20th
  • Spanish 8: What do you think of the vignettes you have read thus far in "The House On Mango Street"? Would you like to read this in English?

  • Our field work at Camp Agawam was a great success.  When they thanked us for coming to help them clean up the camp, our students thanked them for the opportunity to volunteer.  So nice to witness the grace and joy in this group.

  • Nat's Math group has completed our four 4's project - we managed to create every integer between 1 and 100 using exactly four 4's and all sorts of mathematical operations.  Ask what was the wildest math we used.  
  • In Science we examined the three most common non-rewable energy sources, They presented to each other and decided which was the best source in their opinion.  Ask which of the three natural resources that he kids discussed did they decide had the smallest environmental impact.  Ask also how this process of extracting this resource can be modified to make it even better.
  • Tinkering update from Bridge: this week, the seventh and eighth graders continued to work on their culminating projects. The large group building a playhouse for the toddlers/preschool continued to hammer the 1”x2” studs for their walls. A sickness to one of the group's leaders made all the members of the group have to step-up this week. The group building the dollhouse encountered some of the challenges of building with plywood – namely, the need for a small wooden skeleton to attached the plywood walls onto. The group wanting to make wooden dolls suddenly became aware that shaping wood is harder than it sounds, especially if there are not any great wood carving tools. The individual working on the probe got a retired globe, which he spray painted silver and mounted on the flexible legs of a former lamp. Now he is confronted with figuring out how to attach the pvc pipes to his statue. And the individual who is creating a painting, she finally had acrylic paints to mix and match for her work. Ask your tinkerer what they hope will be the impact of their culminating project.
  • A PE message from from Mr. J: This week we have been enjoying the warm sunshine by playing one of the most popular sports on the planet, soccer.  We have been practicing our big power kicks when we want to get the ball way down the playing field, and have been practicing our accuracy by taking shots on goal without a goalkeeper.  We have been talking about the three distinct ways to kick a soccer ball:  toe kick, lace kick, and side kick.
Next week we will continue with the soccer, and will also be developing our familiarity and skills with a variety of lawn sports that might be available at various family outings this summer, particularly croquet and bocce.  

Ask what word do other countries use to describe the game we know as soccer.  Ask which kick your young athlete usually chooses for a big power kick way down the field.  Ask which kick your young athlete usually chooses for accuracy when taking a shot on goal.  Ask what type of sporting gear your young athlete thinks would be used most by your family, a soccer ball or a frisbee.  Ask your young athlete if they would like to find a mutually agreeable time to go outside and play an active game.

Thanks, and remember: be a sport!
Get Out and Play!

Your friendly PE teacher, 
Alex (a.k.a., Mr. J.)


  • Spring Conferences begin Monday
  • Genre-Fest this Tuesday, May 21
  • MDI Trip, next Wednesday-Friday, May 22-24
  • Capstone presentations May 28 and 29