Monday, January 11, 2016

Maximizing brain power

On a recent visit to 4-5 science I came upon a happily buzzing classroom where small groups were deeply involved in exploration and filling notebooks with information, diagrams and drawings. They are learning about a big topic - energy.  As a start to the study, their activities involve several ways to find out information, process and use it.  From simulating coal formation (above) to explaining how a hydroelectric dam works or drawing a house that uses 3 forms of alternative energy, students are asked to: Read it; Sort it; Match it; Tech it; Draw it; Explain it; Analyze it; Create it!

This is an example of using the variety of ways that our brains process information, moving from making connections by sorting and matching to the complex skills of analyzing and creating.  Later this winter these students will design and test wind turbines and make solar ovens.  I am definitely coming by on the day they bake brownies!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Feeling thankful (for friends, food, and fun!)

Fourth grader Liam R. was thinking about things he was thankful for.  Over the break he typed up his list and shared it today with classmates.

20 Reasons I'm Thankful for Robert C. Parker School

1. Amazing Faculty
2. The amount of good fundraisers
3.  Great friends
4.  Fun clubs, activities and competitions
5.  Awesome summer camps
6.  The great organization
7.  Buddies
8.  Just the fact that there's a pond
9.  Education
10. 70 acres of land
11. The amount of fun!
12. Spaghetti lunches
13. Pizza lunches
14. Pellegrino lunches
15. Nature hikes
16. Studying of continents and countries
17. Good projects
18. Teacher-student interactions
19. Friendships
20. Awesome physics