Thursday, May 31, 2012

The tools of childhood creativity

The Five Best Toys of All Time!  This is a great article about what kids really need for creative play: sticks, boxes, string, cardboard tubes, and see if you can guess the last one...

Pre K 4 teacher Michele says:

I have great respect for the stick, especially since Muddy Boots Club. The children measure the stick, carry it along, carry things on it, whack things but not too hard, poke, drag, but never hit each other, and then discard the stick at the end of the trail.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A rainbow of learning

4-5's animated autobiographies; 2-3's study of India; K-1 Sonoran Desert and bird studies; Pre K butterfly release. Of course there was a rainbow!

Communication skills - and how!

Project Night: Each eighth grader gave a 10 minute talk on his or her thesis topic.  Students were poised and informative, confident and interesting!  Middle school cigar-box art was also on display.  Afterwards: great relief and many congratulations on this impressive culmination of several month's efforts.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Busy day

Learning a golf swing with the help of our Phys Ed teacher's grandparents; researching and writing about Mexican food or animals of the Sonoran Desert; and putting the finishing touches on an animated version of an autobiography.  The variety in any one day at Parker is astounding!  Other activities today: MICE Teams (Make it Clean Everywhere), birthday cupcakes for Natalie, creek exploration in science, recycling by middle schoolers, Buddies, fractions, India projects, practice for thesis presentations, Muddy Boots Club.  Whew!  We're ready for the weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Heads for the Day take over

Guest Bloggers
Julian and Bailey were Head for the Day today. 

Bailey says: We had lunch at Alexis Diner.  I had pancakes, a milkshake and ice cream!  Julian had chicken fingers and a milkshake.  Julian held his nose when he made a phone call to his Dad.  "Is this Dr. Wenacur?"  We held the door in the morning and we are going to give popsicles to everyone in the school.  I like Meg's little hammer with the screw drivers inside.

Julian says: Pulling the fire alarm for the drill was fun!!!  I love the flip book on Meg's desk.  I flipped it 20 times!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Parker kids say "Thank you!"

Thank you teachers, parents, trustees and friends for everything you do to make Parker wonderful!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bee swarm

See the swarm of bees clinging to the tree trunk?
Tony poured the bees into a nuke box
I think our bees wanted to come to the Bee Bop!  They swarmed today - but bee keeper and mentor, Tony Antonucci came to the rescue, returning the bees to a nuke box.  He said that sometimes in the spring the queen worries that the hive is too crowded and she bolts - taking the gang with her.  But not to worry - there is plenty of room for everyone in the hive.  Then again, the swarm might be some neighboring bees just stopping by while house hunting.  They're all boppin' in the hive now!

For some truly amazing honey collectors, look at these photos from Nepal and the world's largest honey bees!  Honey Hunters

Bee Bop

Parker parents and teachers made scrumptious desserts for the Dessert Auction

The Bee Bop benefit auction was a huge success!  Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the evening wonderful!

Friday, May 4, 2012


It turned into a beautiful day for a rocket launch!  All rockets were successfully sent skyward and then retrieved.  The showing of students' video ads for space tourism was another highlight of a great week of science, technology, engineering , arts and math.

They're back

Eighth graders had a great time on their five day curricular trip to Philadelphia!  They all pitched in on cooking and cleaning duties at the hostel where they stayed.  They toured the sights of colonial America and didn't want to leave The Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Thank you to the chaperones: social studies teacher, James Lizardo, art teacher Susie Merrett, and parent Joe Braun!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rockets, part II

On to the next phase...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Making babies and spitballs

Two projects have caught everyone's imagination this week: 6-7's Rockets and 4-5's animation.

STEM week in 6-7 (or STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) involves students forming Space Tourism Companies.  Goals are set and pathways to success agreed upon: "consider all options" and "learn to work with others."  Each company develops a budget and a rocket model for space tourism.  They will create an ad to attract customers and at the end of the week present ads and launch their rockets.

Each day there is a discussion of ethics.  Today's socio-scientific topics concerned ethical implications of space pollution, who owns space, and terrestrial currency (in case space becomes privatized).  Engineering and math skills came into play as students calculated angles of launch via projecting a missile at a target  - in layman's terms, shooting a spitball.

4-5 students are animating their autobiographical timelines.  I think their teacher is as excited as they are - devoting her weekends to figuring out the animation program.  As you can see from the photo, the kids are pretty good at creating animated versions of themselves.  What's harder is making a younger self.  Students were discussing, "Tomorrow we're learning how to make babies."

Meanwhile in 6-7, I rhetorically asked with wonderment, "In what school is shooting spitballs an assignment?"  With a smile, Hannah said, "Parker."