Monday marked a return to a more normal schedule for the Grades 4/5/6 class, moving from canoeing and sleeping in tents, to daily math, literacy, and theme lesson times. Students have been diligently working on completing their identity work, including poems, identity maps, and articulating their hopes and dreams for this school year.
Some standouts of our week include time cooking in the kitchen for the fifth and sixth graders, and a lunch for the whole community in the Wallace Dining Hall on Tuesday. We also had the opportunity to work with farm manager, Megan Philips, on Wednesday afternoon. She led students on an exploration through time, looking back on the history of Chewonki’s land use, specifically the land that is now the Eastside Pasture. Students tromped around and explored this burgeoning new ecosystem, finding evidence of its use in the past, and generating questions about how Chewonki will use it in the future.
With economics on the brain, students asked about the costs and benefits for Chewonki of the land clearing, and acted as dedicated ecologists as they also inquired about the different plants that have started to take root there. Kat and I look forward to delving into these parallel lines of questioning as we move through the Fall, exploring the ecology and economics of being a farmer.
By Emily Bell-Hoerth (Grades 4/5/6 teacher)
This week we have been working on a lot of projects, but one thing that we especially thought was super interesting was an article about squirrels. Haven’t you noticed there have been a lot of squirrels lately? It’s because last year we had a really good acorn year. There were so many acorns that more squirrels had babies and more of them survived because the parents were healthier and the babies had more food. That’s why you’ve been noticing so many squirrels that have been run over on the side of the road. After we read the article we created a food chain about squirrels in our small groups, and then converted it into a drawing of an ecosystem of our choice. One of the requirements was that you needed 5, 7, or 10 vocabulary words, depending on your grade. I chose an aquatic ocean ecosystem, and I thought it really made me realize and learn a lot about the place I chose.
By Student- Grade 6
This week students have been busy polishing up their final drafts of projects. They have worked hard to create interesting and beautiful finished products that reflect the curriculum we have worked on since the beginning of the year. We used graphs to analyze the water quality monitoring data collected on our wilderness trip, which led us to want to see all of the data graphed together, so a poster was designed that shows all parameters on one graph.
In our Jr. Maine Master Naturalist class this week (with Anna Hunt) we discussed the definition of phenology and then trekked through the new pasture to the east-side of the neck to locate our personal “Phenology Spots.” The first assignment was to identify, define and map their 24 ft. diameter phenology plot. We will visit these spots once a month with a specific assignment to focus our observations and reflections. Next week we will have special guest Emma Balis come to teach us about Birds of Prey. Coreysha will support this lesson by introducing how to draw birds.
By Annie Nixon (Grade 7 teacher)
This has been a busy week, as we have been preparing for the open house and making rough drafts of our work into final drafts. Even though its been busy, it’s been refreshing to be home from our canoe trip and back in school. We get to see family and do schoolwork like math and writing. I am really looking forward for today’s and next week’s music ensemble.
By Student- Grade 7