EM Outdoor Education: In the beginning of the quarter the trip group focused on getting ready for their 1 week wilderness expedition. Students were asked to learn about and complete projects about the Leave No Trace policies, how to set up camp and tear down camp and learn how to properly pack a backpacking backpack. During this time the group also performed various team building exercises to build trust, communication, problem solving, being a part of a group and emotion regulation within the classroom setting. Although the class did not go on the one week trip the group continued to learn about various skills in the outdoors that included canoeing, fishing, and going on hikes to identify plants and animals. To finish up the quarter the group started their primitive burn bowls.
Language Arts: To kick off the quarter, 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. Prior to reading the novel, students learned about the history, development, and impact of the Mississippi River as well as some background information about Mark Twain.
Math: The group 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 also worked on calculating and estimating distance, using the distance equation to find time, distance and rate; both their own walking rate and problems based on the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. We also explored the circle as it related to using a compass, solving various problems using degrees to find out which way we ended up facing. That activity was followed up by learning how to read topographic maps, map intervals, designing a mountain range, and making a topographic map of it. Students also worked on statistics this quarter. Students generated their own data using two different challenges to develop and understanding of mean, range, median, and mode.
S.T.E.M.: Quarter 1 focused on applied math and science concepts related to the wilderness expedition. Students learned how to use pacing to measure distances in feet and fractions of a mile while hiking. Orienteering activities challenged students to find their way using a map and a compass. Students also improved their plant and animal identification skills by exploring a variety of ecosystems and using a dichotomous key to identify native tree species. Weekly field trips that integrated STEM and Outdoor Education provided students with opportunities to practice wilderness skills such as Leave No Trace, canoeing, and fire building, while also practicing teamwork, respect, communication and problem-solving skills. At the end of the quarter, each student began researching local hiking trails and planning a hike for their group.