EM Outdoor Education: To start the quarter, the group focused on performing various team building activities that were outdoor and adventure based. During the activities students were asked to show they can be a part of a group safely by demonstrating communication, trust, problem solving and handling negative emotions and negative thought patterns. After the class was able to show trust inside of the classroom, the group was able to start engaging in nature observations and nature exploration through hikes. At the end of the quarter they were able to learn about fire building and completed various primitive outdoor projects such as burn bowls and campfire cooking.
Language Arts: Students completed a warm up to help them transition into class. Warm ups included quick grammar exercises, self-reflection questions, descriptive writing, word jumbles, and cryptograms. Students participated in a spelling program that focuses on application rather than being able to spell the word from memory during a test. Students were introduced to the idea of having a growth mindset. This concept empowers students to challenge themselves and be confident because it revolves around the idea that dedication and hard work allows them to develop their skills and abilities. They reflected on their talents, skill, abilities, challenges, successes and goals. Our theme for first quarter was the Mississippi River. Students read an abridged version of the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and completed a variety of comprehension and analysis activities.
Math: Students started the quarter learning about units of measure such as time, length and distance, and units of measure in the kitchen. We went on a scavenger hunt to review geometry and arithmetic vocabulary. Students used basic math skills and operations daily through a variety of games and activities in our math warm ups. Students have also been studying statistics, generating their own data with a cup stacking challenge and studying the flippabilty of various bottle shapes. We also looked at rate and flow using gutters and took an in depth look at water parks, making models of slides, measuring height of the slide, and comparing the speed of the marbles that went down the slide. This activity gave them an opportunity to work on group problem solving, and extending their tolerance for frustration with academics and peers.
S.T.E.M.: Students became citizen scientists by studying a local pond. Students learned how to identify aquatic macroinvertebrates and use a biotic index to calculate the overall health of an aquatic ecosystem. Each student selected an invertebrate to research and present in a poster format. During this project, students discovered the many interrelationships among plants and animals in an ecosystem. Students also practiced responsibility and teamwork by caring for several aquariums and preparing the garden beds for winter.