Our examination of Chewonki Neck in the third and fourth grade classroom has led us to the creation of our very own maps of Chewonki. After a brainstorming session of the important features of Chewonki Neck, we sat down to do the hard work of mapping out the coastline of this beautiful peninsula. In addition to this project, I have been conferencing with students about their hopes and dreams for the year and helping them to articulate a goal for themselves. We have started to create postcards to our future selves, with a message on the back explaining our goals for the year and an image on the front representing that goal. They will hang in the classroom until the end of the school year when we will send them to ourselves to revisit the goals we have made.
Every day there is something special and amazing to do, see, and experience together, but we are still grounding ourselves in each other and the work ahead of us. Time on the farm, harvesting vegetables, and the colorful leaves all around us tell us that fall is near. Thursday brought us an examination of seasons and the autumnal equinox, which we are celebrating at Morse Mountain today. With our minds on our community and Chewonki Neck, we are diving deeper into the work of getting to know more about “our place”.
– Emily Bell-Hoerth (Grades 3/4 teacher)
We started making Chewonki maps and we did our presentations of the maps of ourselves. We also traveled to most of the points on Chewonki Neck. On Monday we went to Ideal Point and compared two totally different leaves and put them in our nature journal. In art class we used charcoal and we got really messy. In farm we harvested carrots and washed them. We also got to eat carrots.
-Elementary Student (Grade 4)
This week we have really focused on our salt marsh studies. A couple of days ago we went to the salt marsh and studied the different zones, from the upland to the mudflats. We’ve visited the salt marsh at high and low tides to see the how much disturbance there is at each tide. We also did a plot study of a specific area to determine what plants and animals live there. In my plot we had mainly salt marsh hay, also known as Spartina patens, because we were in the mid-marsh. We are now transferring the information and drawings into our theme journals, as well as including important facts about estuaries and salt marshes.
-Elementary Student (Grade 5)
At times this week it was difficult to tell what students were most fired up about, as each day seemed to bring a new smattering of offerings that had everyone giddy with excitement. Unlocking the mysterious rules of divisibility, learning how to write biopoems, and standing knee deep in the salt marsh analyzing cordgrass were certainly highlights of our academic realm. Just as exhilarating though, were the unique activities led by other talented individuals, including weeding and carrot washing at the farm on Tuesday, a mindfulness session on Wednesday, and music and art classes on Thursday. Within these ‘specials’ classes (which also includes outdoor skills), students are finding out more about themselves and gaining an array of skillsets. They have the opportunity to move their bodies, contribute to the community, express and challenge themselves in numerous ways, and explore centering and focusing techniques. Possibility for individual growth abounds as students are exposed to new things, and I look forward to witnessing the impacts.
By Kat Cassidy (Lead teacher / Grades 5/6 teacher)
Considering our canoe trip last week, this week felt like our first full week at school where we were able to dig into our curriculum. We began working in our Eureka math curriculum with a review of ratios and proportions. We explored how proportions are used to convert units from one system to another and how to compare ratios to see if they are equivalent. In literacy we began working on editing for proper conventions and agreed upon ways to mark each other’s work when we edit each other’s writing.
High activity sports have taken over our outdoor play time. The 7th graders have been leading rounds of penalty kicks on the lower field soccer goals and hurling our new super soft squishy balls around the tennis courts in frantic games of Star Wars and Free for All. The week started with our first farm time as a class, harvesting more carrots than you can imagine. Today we wrap up our week as we head to Morse Mountain for some all school together time and a celebration of the autumnal equinox.
By Trevor Slater (Grade 7 teacher)