Friday, October 24, 2008

Buddy Walk

The Buddy Walk is a highlight of Robert C.Parker Day. After an assembly of songs, skits, posters, a jazz band and lots of merriment, we all headed out together into the meadow.

One funny skit at the assembly highlighted Bob's love of proper grammar with Cade translating Ben's lazy speech. Ben, "He liked walkin up mountains 'n stuff." Cade with an English accent, "Robert loved hiking up the breathtakingly beautiful Adirondack mountains."

It was a spirited tribute to the spirit of Robert C. Parker!

Visit from the Ark's sixth grade

Sixth graders from the Ark Charter School in Troy visited middle school yesterday. It was a great chance for our 5 Murnane Scholars in seventh and eighth grade who went to the Ark Charter School, to show their friends around. The guests got a flavor of Parker so they can decide if they would like to apply for the program. The current Scholars are funded by past parents. We hope to raise enough in continuing funds to bring more Murnane Scholars next year.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thank you for a great day!

Fall Festival was lots of fun. One of our new teachers said, "The parents here care so much! They work so hard to make it great!" It is true! Parents made the day fun for all - memorable and a child's delight. Our Open House brought many new families to see the school - in short the day was a big success! Thanks, everybody!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Spatial intelligence

Grade 4 math class was trying out and critiquing three different sets of instructions for building a cube structure. Then they wrote instructions for a buddy to build and evaluate. Now they are analyzing which instructions are effective and why.

The greenhouse construction crew is building tables and benches from wooden pallets.

Skills: cooperation, coordination, planning, three-dimensional design, trial and error (hammer and saw operation and safety...)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Scientists and builders

Predicting, weighing, measuring, counting, observing, building. 2-3's use pumpkins for math and science and build a shade garden for ferns.

Salem witch trial

Prosecution, defense, judge, jury. Witches? Not guilty!

Fire safety and jamming

In K-1: The firemen visited AND the class made grape jam. And they gave me some! Yum.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall soccer

Soccer exhibition game. Skill, grit, and heart on the field. Wild enthusiasm from the crowd. Final score: 4 to 4. Go Parker!

Monday, October 6, 2008

On Monday

Creating images of sunflowers in the style of Van Gogh. Calculating the percentage of energy sources used annually in the U.S.: kinetic, potential, renewable, and nonrenewable. Composing an essay on Holes.

Apples all ways

Pre K went apple picking, apple weighing, and apple cutting. They visited with Buddies, too.

Both Lynn and Lynne in 2-3 are maintaining blogs about class life. Check it out on the link on this page!

Friday, October 3, 2008

"We need to be smart."

Excitement is high here! I guess it is most weeks, but this week I have been especially aware of it.

There was a Pre K trip to pick apples. K-1's wondered why spiders don't stick to their own webs - and they did an experiment with sticky tape and oil on their fingers to do some testing. 7th grade Spanish class is translating a menu and planning a trip to a Mexican restaurant. The soccer team is planning an exhibition game for Monday at 4 PM. Come!! In Assembly, 4 duos from health class performed raps or poems about the human body - Wow! They were great!

We launched our new on-line newsletter! I think it looks wonderful and reads well. We want your feedback so we can improve as we go. I thought the contrast was a little low on the text, and the pictures a little small - what do you think?

Middle School teachers launched a website for information about social studies, language arts, math, science and art. There are homework assignments and photos. Please check it out! The link is on this page under Parker Links - Middle School.

The teachers have a goal this year to each communicate via email newsletters, blogs, or websites. The life of the school is now being sent out there is so many ways. I will try to link it all to this blog.

Bob Carey, Vice President of Resettlement at the International Rescue Committee spoke to both middle school students and to teachers and parents on Wednesday. He is a college friend of mine and came to Albany just to speak here. He headed off to Washington after his presentation to meet with the State Department as chair of the Refugee Council USA - a group that coordinates all the refugee agencies in the US.

His talk and video clips were riveting. The problems of refugees around the world came into much better focus for all of us. We heard the stories of individuals and now their plight and struggles have a personal face.

4-5's were wondering why this year they have math every day of the week - in particular Fridays. Cade said, "If we want to expand the circle of caring, we need to be smart!" That is it, exactly.