Sunday, March 8, 2015

We HEART Four Day Weeks!

A four day week is definitely a good thing, but this one comes right in the middle of a solid groove in Room 110, so I have decided that we should probably have school on Friday to keep that good momentum going. ... Just kidding! We have become Zen masters of handling transitions, interruptions, and curve balls, so there is no doubt in my mind that we not only will we rock a funky week, but we deserve that three-day weekend, too. Developing our flexible thinking and nurturing a growth mindset are always front and center in what we do and it really shows when kids can cruise back into or headlong towards a break in our routine. Hot-cha!

Case and point: Emmy Harvey joined us on Friday afternoon to do some movement and team-building activities and watching from the sidelines (and taking pictures, which I will share tomorrow when I am back at school with iPad in hand), I was just amazed at how open and groovy everyone was with each other. Emmy encouraged the kids to partner up with classmates they don't usually connect with and presented activities that really pushed for self-control and communication. I must say that everyone really stepped up to the challenges and had a LOT of fun doing it! Emmy and I are working on scheduling another visit, which reminds me to remind you that if you have a talent or expertise that could further our mission, please let's see if there's a way for you to share it with us!

Genius Hour this week brought to my attention that I haven't shared our current makerspace challenge with you (or, maybe I have but can't remember?!). Either way, in preparation for the first ever Monkton Mini-Makerfaire (taking the place of our traditional spring Science Fair), I have asked students to pick an invention from the past 100 or so years (following and connecting to the American history we have been studying), try to figure out a part of the technology, and then replicate all or a portion of it with maker materials. The key to this is in the research, note-taking, and design and all of our Genius Hour and makerspace work to this point has been leading up to this. One student has chosen the typewriter and I am looking for one that she might be able to study or take apart. Knowing that these devices are being snapped up by hipsters everywhere, I figured I'd put out the call to see if anyone has one dwelling in their basement or attic that they would be willing to lend to us for observation or full-on donate for full-on maker magic. If you do, shoot me an email or feel free to drop it off. We also have students building radios, telegraphs, duck boats, clocks... So if you have a spare 19th century communication device or amphibious military vehicle kicking around, we'd take that too. No? Well, how about maker kinds of skills? If you have those and some time and ever want to come by for Genius Hour to help your student or anyone in the Gang on this project, let me know.

Thanks to MCS's awesome PTO, we will be able to swing an overnight trip to Camp Common
Ground in scenic downtown Starksboro. The kids are super-stoked! We will begin planning with Ms. Pierpont's class (as we did last year), probably after April Break. The dates are June 8th and 9th and we will be needing overnight chaperones to say in the cabins with groups of 3-4 students (your child and 2-3 others, usually close friends or class buddies). As was the case last year, we will be looking for students to earn their place on this trip through hard work, respectful behavior, and personal responsibility.

The Fun Fest is upon us this Thursday in the Gym and Library from 3:30-5:30 and we have a fair amount of sign-ups for bake sale goodies. More are always welcome, as are chaperones. If you can contribute time or cookies, please click here to sign up.

Report cards are going home on Thursday as well, so please do some backpack diving when your kiddo gets home. I have been in touch with all of you recently, so there shouldn't be any surprises. If you ever need to talk or get clarification, you know where to find me.

...What ho! Methinks I see a bright orb of heat and light in yonder sky, causing warmth to spread across the land. I'd best go investigate!

Have a great week!

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