After our successful snowflake growing venture, the third and fourth grade class has been investigating different kinds of mixtures. This week we learned about homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures. Heterogeneous mixtures (which Mira will tell you more about below) were created by the class on Tuesday using different nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and even some chocolate chips. Students mixed up their snack and then had to separate out and find the mass of the component parts before they could sample it. On Wednesday we made a heterogeneous mixture, or solution. We trekked out to Club Point. With impressive speed and efficiency, the students started a fire and heated up water (the solvent in our solution). Hot chocolate mix, the solute, was given to each in a mug and students created their own delicious solution! The class is excited about more delicious and edible mixtures to come.
By Emily Bell-Hoerth (Grades 3/4 teacher)
This week was a very exciting one. We explored many things about mixtures and embraced the pond for skating. We learned that there are two different kinds of mixtures: heterogeneous and homogeneous. For those that don’t know, heterogenous mixtures can be taken back apart and homogeneous mixtures cannot be taken back apart. We got to make a heterogeneous mixture with nuts and dried fruit. After making our mixtures, we got to eat them. We even found the mass of each ingredient. The next day we went on an adventure out to Club Point to make a homogeneous mixture of hot chocolate. We had a very tasty week! When we weren’t exploring mixtures, we spent our time skating on the pond. By the end of this week, I had purple knees from all the bruising. It was very fun, though!
(Student – Grade 4)
The main focus of our week was on wrapping up historical fiction stories, which meant that some other equally important content needed to take a back seat. We will return to our human body and history studies next week. I think we can all agree that focusing in on one thing and doing it well, is usually better than trying to accomplish many tasks at the same time. We are so close to the end! Students keep wanting to sneak back into their story drafts and change, “‘one more tiny thing, please Kat!”, and I’ve finally had to cut them off. Yesterday, we moved on to choosing the perfect title, and publishing our works- adding title pages, dedications, and covers. Some students chose to carve their linoleum block in art class with a symbol related to their story, so that they could use it for the cover. I would say that at this point these stories have grown to take up a sizable part of their authors’ hearts, and long ago surpassed the role of ‘assignment’. The revisions and changes that individuals made to allow the reader to identify more with the protagonist, or to make the story that much more believable or historically accurate, were done with painstaking care. This project has been one of those ideal examples of having an end product in mind, but focusing acutely on the process of learning. Each step of the way we were able to identify areas that could serve as prime ‘writing mini-lessons’. Now we all know that much more about how we will tackle our next story, poem, essay, letter, or whatever we choose to write. And yes, if you’re wondering, we will share these stories with the larger community very soon!
P.S.- We also got out skating every single day, and had a great map and compass navigation lesson with Olivia last Friday!
By Kat Cassidy (Lead Teacher/Grades 5/6 Teacher)
Throughout the week we haven’t had a lot of snow, so we’ve turned to skating. We’ve skated every single day this week! We have a wide range of skating abilities within the school. Some people have been skating since they were two or three years old, and are very experienced. Others started a couple years ago, and can skate fairly well. We also have some people who have just started this year, and are figuring it out as they go. We have a place called the Frog Pond that we love to skate on. It is the perfect size, but sometimes we have to shovel it off. Sometimes we also play ringette. This is a game in which you have a stick and a ring, and you use the stick to drag and pass the ring around, similar to hockey. Skating is a very enjoyable sport and is fun to learn!
(Student- Grade 5)
Did you know that the tank track was invented in Maine? We learned this and many other interesting facts about logging and the textile industry in Maine in the early 1900’s on our trip to the Maine State Museum. This week we have focused our study on learning about the political and economic landscape that existed prior to World War I. What we have found is that many of the same issues that are being debated today were being debated then as well. We looked at the rise of unions in response to poor wages and working conditions, the subsequent push for child labor and safety regulations, and new roles for women in the workforce. We also investigated the consolidation of wealth by the Rockefellers and other corporations that led to a feeling in the country that our democracy was being taken over by big business and the wealthy elite. Next week our focus will shift back to our science investigation with an exciting trip on Monday to the composites laboratory at UMaine Orono where we’ll see and hear how our understanding of physics is pushing our ability to invent and engineer new solutions to modern problems. We will also be starting our experiments to calculate the conversion of energy from potential to kinetic and back again. We will also find ways to use this knowledge to engineer solutions to real work-related problems faced by our very own farmers here at Chewonki. On Thursday we were also treated to a fantastic performance of ‘Wiley and the Hairy Man’ in which our very own Zoe Brush and Vernon Smith starred.
By Trevor Slater (Grade 7 teacher)
This week at the Elementary School at Chewonki we had a very fun and exciting time filled with field trips and learning. We learned about the multiple “isms” that contributed to World War I. We examined examples of capitalism, socialism, nationalism, and militarism in Europe and the United States. Before this week I never knew about the terrible conditions workers were in during the early 1900’s and how that pushed the U.S towards socialism, or how the U.S was not always a military superpower. Then we went to the Maine State Museum and learned about how Maine contributed to World War I. Apparently you had to sacrifice a lot more for the war effort in the early 1900’s then we do today to support our foreign wars. There is no draft today, war rations, or call to buy war bonds like there was in 1917. Personally, I really enjoy this topic and thought that this was a great week.
(Student- Grade 7)