Getting back into the SWING of Things

Greetings Families! This week has been pretty awesome. The kids are getting back into the groove and working hard.

This week we have been studying the behaviors of gases, memorizing poetry, and looking at the development of the Constitution’s idea of freedom. Also, we have been discussing our Spring trip, and are almost ready to solidify the location.

Thank you all for supporting your child’s reading habits at home! It has been fun to listen to them when they are excited about what has happened in their books!

Below are some pictures of the students solidifying the memorization of their weekly poems.

This entry was posted on January 13, 2023.

Happy Holidays

I cannot believe that the first semester is over. Please enjoy a small yet special performance your kids prepared over the last week of school :

The Night Before Christmas

Wishing you the brightest and jolliest of holiday breaks!

This entry was posted on December 17, 2022.

Sparklejollytwinklejingley

Greetings Families! Phew! Last week was a whirlwind of activity. The kids ran the holiday store, helping all the younger students pick out gifts for their families. I am always impressed with how kind and calm the middle schoolers are when assisting the little ones!

We also spent a good amount of time practicing their performance last Thursday night. While I know it was a little hard to hear their words over the drums, standing up in front of a huge crowd was nerve-wracking for a few of them, and they soldiered through with grace!

While there wasn’t too much time for serious work last week, we limited the jobs to the necessities. For the last couple of weeks, the students have been focused on reviewing grammar. They write sentences for each of their 20 vocab words and then label the parts of speech. While we may not find ourselves naming the parts of speech in everyday life, having this information at one’s fingertips is important when learning how to write, and manipulate sentence structure. This process has been excellent to watch. They are supporting each other and discussing the questions they have. It is excellent to see them engage in group work in a meaningful way. I have seen a definite improvement since we began.

Have a wonderful week! I know the class is excited that break is quickly arriving!

This entry was posted on December 12, 2022.

Friendsgiving

Good Morning, and HAPPY BREAK! I hope you all have a restful and celebratory week planned.

This week, the kids finished their history presentations where they answered an inquiry question of their own making. The creativity was excellent, and we identified some holes in research and synthesizing information that we will work on throughout the rest of the year. I hope that by the end of the Spring semester, these kiddos will know how to chart their map and keep track of their progress when a research project is at hand. We are on the right track.

Also, after seeing some troubles with proofreading in their writing assignments last week, I asked the students to refocus on their Butter and Egg “moment”. Many of the students had creative breakthroughs in this writing, finding that simple descriptions of action really did paint a clearer picture than a list of adjectives. It was awesome hearing them celebrate each other’s work: “Wow! This sounds like poetry!” However, proofreading is still a hangup for many of the kids. As we move along this year, I will try to be more careful to let parents know when a writing assignment is due. I think it would be a good idea for you all to check in and see what your child considers finished when turning in a final piece of work. Having your eyes to help support them, and help them proofread, is important to show them that clean writing is important, both in and out of school.

Of course, we finished up the week with an excellent Friendsgiving celebration! Thank you for sharing some good food with us. We had a wonderful time. Below are some sweet pictures.

Again, have a wonderful break (and if the kids are bored… encourage them to finish the novel they are reading for class. They will love me for that! *wink wink*) Take care!

This entry was posted on November 20, 2022.

Butter and Egg

Hello Parents! It has been a busy past couple weeks. I cannot believe that we are almost to Thanksgiving break! While we returned from our retreat last week, I want to share some pictures and tell you about the kids’ experiences.

Our time at Butter and Egg was split into three categories: Zip-lines and Ropes Courses, Team Building, and Leisure Time. Each piece enriched the other and it was fun to see the kids grow over the few days we were there.

When we arrived at Butter and Egg, it was lunchtime. The kids dropped their bags in the bunkhouse, then headed to the cafeteria for from burgers. After everyone had enough to eat, Ms.Susan led the students in a variety of team building exercises. I wont lie, the first couple games got the kids loosened up and having fun, but as the challenges got more complicated, I think most of us would agree that the experience pretty rough. The kids were anxious to jump on a zip line, and not as concerned with learning the ropes of working as a group. Many were not used to listening to one another and respecting each others’ ideas. It seemed that because they were all friends, each felt confident to share, but instead of taking turns listening, voices got muddled and feelings were hurt. I only mention this struggle, because it was a merely a starting point. Learning is not easy. Life is not easy. Middle School is awkward and kids are trying to figure out the balance between childhood, and awareness of their community. It was obvious that each truly cared about assuming responsibility and helping, but it was difficult to find each others’ boundaries, and, maybe mostly, take a breath and listen.

After a bit of frustration, we headed to the main building and suited up for the first day of zip lining and ropes course. As a whole, these activities came easier to many of the students as they were challenging themselves. Their responsibility to the other was being a cheerleader. Your kids are wonderful in the fact that they are not shy in lifting each other up. They shouted words of encouragement, and also comforted those that struggled. Young friendship is beautiful to watch in action. Judging by their fierce support of each other, I have no doubt that many of these kids will keep in touch through out their lives.

By the second day, the team building challenges came easier. I think many of the students enjoyed the competitive aspects (these activities were team challenges), but also the listening and management of tasks seemed less painful. When one team would finish, they would support the other, waiting patiently and cheering them on. Team Pepper (the reigning champions) were careful to show Team Salt that they would not be left behind, and often empathized with the challenges their friends faced.

By Saturday afternoon, the trip just flowed. Following team challenges, students tested themselves by climbing the pamper pole, and the climbing wall. I think we may all agree that the pamper pole was aptly named, pushing many of us to our limit. Then, in the evening, we enjoyed s’mores, games, and a movie. Laughter abounded. Groups joined, and became one unit.

As always, thank you for trusting us with your kids. I love Butter and Egg because it is a short trip that yields deep reflection and growth. I hope they shared their dynamic experience with you. This week, we worked on writing descriptive moments of their journey. I think the time was meaningful because after very little push, it is the best narrative writing I have received across the board all year. While they don’t know this yet, I will push them to edit and proofread next week, because the paragraphs are so good I want them to have these moments polished for their keeping.

Please enjoy some of our pictures. I will try to send out more as I sort through them all. Have a wonderful three-day weekend, and as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.

This entry was posted on November 11, 2022.

BOO!

Hello Parents! Apologies for the delayed post, but I am glad I can post pictures from our fun morning. The students showed up excited to enjoy a day of festivities. After the school parade, we gathered around the fire pit and read some spoOoOoky horror stories. The students have worked hard over these three weeks to polish their stories. I am blown away with how much so many of them have grown in their writing over the last two months. Now, we are enjoying Coraline, bellies full of Zaxby’s and S’mores. I apologize in advance for the sugar rushes. Hopefully, they will walk it off tonight (as they gather oh-so-much more)! Please enjoy the pictures of our festivities below.

This entry was posted on October 31, 2022.

Fall is here!

Greetings Middle School Parents-

This week has flown by. I am looking forward to getting into the second quarter, and the cooler weather. The kids are gearing up for their history project on the First Nations of the United States, and I love the effort I am seeing. Students have built dioramas, collaborated on handouts and speeches, and even constructed an Osage game. These projects will help the students understand the vast diversity of the Indigenous Nations of the United States.

Furthermore, it was a fortunate coincidence to study Columbus’ arrival on the exact day he hit land back in 1492 (October 13th). We have been looking at Columbus’s complicated legacy and will continue to explore the complex angles of colonization that solidified the English presence in the early days of the United States.

While I am short on pictures today, please come and celebrate our Fall Festival on Sunday. You will see an excellent set of pumpkins the kids worked hard on today. Fingers-crossed for first place! 😀

This entry was posted on October 14, 2022.

A message from our class:

This week we made the robot Roz from a book that we are reading in class called The Wild Robot. Ms.Hallie encouraged the middle schoolers to push their creativity into building Roz. When we brought in our Roz project on Thursday, she was proud of us because we did a good job. We also did blackout poetry. A lot of them got very cool blackout and unique poetry.

This entry was posted on October 6, 2022.

Writing is Rewriting

Last week in Middle School, the students worked diligently on their wax museum music presentations. Much to many kids’ chagrins, this assignment meant a commitment to writing and rewriting… and rewriting again! It is HARD to learn that sometimes we have to throw away a section we have worked hard on, or that our organization isn’t as clear as we had hoped. Still, they fought through, drafting and redrafting. I loved to watch them work together to support each other’s success. At the presentations, the hard work paid off. The students looked polished in their costumes as they presented their final drafts.

The growth in your kiddos continues to impress Chris and I. It is awesome to observe how they have developed into a community. We watch them take care of each other. They celebrate each other’s successes and support one another through failures. Most of all, they enjoy each other, and the life they are living. They smile; they sing; they play; they learn; and sometimes, they get distracted- and it is all a wild whirlwind of wonderful.

PS- I do have pictures but I am having trouble converting them from my phone, so I will have to add them later.

This entry was posted on October 3, 2022.

In the Science Lab

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful evening. In this week’s blog, Ms.Chris and I have asked a student to share what the students did this past Thursday in Science!

“This week we had our first science lab, and we learned how to use a triple beam balance. Each group had three different objects: a large metal hooked cube, a rectangular prism, and a small cube. However, in each group, the objects were made out of different materials. We figured out the mass of each object using the balance. Then, we answered the questions on how much they weighed.

Next, we measured an empty beaker, then filled the beaker with 50 milliliters of water, and measured that. After that, we had to figure out how much the water weighed, and how much 1 milliliter of water weighed by subtracting the mass of the empty beaker from the mass of the full beaker and dividing the result by fifty. 

Next, we measured salt. We had to put an eyeglass on the scale and measured it, then we had to set the scale to five more grams, and put the salt on, we had to keep adding more salt, or taking away salt until the scale leveled out, which means that we had five grams of salt. We then filled out a sheet of paper with lots of questions.”

Here’s to many more experiments that help us answer many more questions!