Read below about happenings in November and December. We’ll see you in 2017!
Birthdays! (And how we celebrate them)
In Diane and Jeri’s group we like to celebrate birthdays. On or near your birthday, you may bring in a treat for the whole class. We sing “Happy Birthday”and give the person “word gifts.” Word Gifts are little notes we write for the person about a small moment, or a compliment about them. We also give the person their birthday candy or their favorite treat. We do this because it is important to tell the person what we like and appreciate about them. Celebrating their birthday is celebrating them. Everyone in Diane and Jeri’s group who has a birthday can celebrate their birthday if they want to. If your birthday is in the summer, then you can celebrate your half birthday. Birthdays are important ways to connect; that’s why we celebrate them.
Diane and Jeri’s group are doing pollyannas this year. We have been doing pollyannas for the past couple of years. A pollyanna is a gift exchange where you pick somebody in your class for a pollyanna and you give them a gift. When you pick the name, you can not tell anyone beside your parents.
This year we have a five dollar budget, so you have to make sure your gift is five dollars or under. Some people choose to make a gift, too. When we do pollyannas, the gift is supposed to be thoughtful, something you think the person will enjoy. You need to observe the person to see what they like for a week. Then, on the 15th of December ( which is a Thursday) we will be exchanging pollyannas. Happy Holidays everyone!
Every year our school does a winter assembly. In winter assembly every class performs a song on instruments, sings, or sometimes even performs a play. Winter assembly is hosted by Diego Maugeri, who is our music teacher. Our winter assembly will be at the Methodist Church in Germantown. The performances will be starting at 10:00, but we are supposed to be there by 9:30.
This year our class is performing a piece called “Sandstorm.” I’m on soprano recorder. Recorder is really fun to learn. It took about 11 classes to learn the piece. Our class and Lynn and Mark’s 5th and 6th grade class will be singing a song called, “Shenandoah.” The Kindergarten and Nursery perform a song every year called, “One Small Voice.” (It is so cute.) The staff and the teachers sing “Ring It In” at the end.
Last week, in art class, every kid in the school made candles. This was done in the classic dipping style, in which one dips a wick (the part that you burn) into wax, then cools it in water, repeating that until it’s the right size. Also, the fifth and sixth graders in our group helped the nursery kids make their candles. This was one of the highlights of the year in art for me, and I had a lot of fun.
Choice and GoB (Good of the Building)
Choice is Miquon’s version of “recess.” It is the time when the kids get a break from school work and just have fun in 30 minute periods of time. The first period of time happens at 10:00 for the 1st and 2nd graders, and 10:30 for the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders. However, the second choice-time happens at 12:15 for everyone (except the kindergarten and nursery).
Recently, 5th and 6th graders have been having problems with a game they can play in their boundaries. The game is called “All Campus Tag.” The game is played by first having two starting people to be “It.” Those people have to tag other people, who tag other people, and eventually everyone would be it.
Good of the building (GoB) is a time when all the 5th and 6th graders, who are in the same building, talk about problems or a specific problem that is going on. The issue of All Campus Tag has been going on for quite awhile. There have been some suspicions of people hiding out of our bounds, and that is getting talked about a lot.
Make and Play
Every choice we have the option of staying inside. There are so many different things you can do. My favorite is Make and Play. In Make and Play, the creativity is endless. One of the the things I like to do is make Elf on the Shelf stuff with my friends. You can make all kinds of scarfs and cute little tissue beds for them. We also did something that we made up called “Cork Hospital.” There’s a big bin with an assortment of corks. We usually cut them open, then we would draw with red sharpie to make the “blood.” (We would always fix them…eventually!)I’m making a big maze from Alice in Wonderland. I’m using colorful acrylic rods. My friends are making Christmas cards for their parents. There’s glue, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, pretty tissue paper,wood,etc.
I really want to make a popsicle stick model of a house.
Diane and Jeri’s class goes to library class once a week. For the last couple of classes, we have have been researching topics. Whether the students have been studying about sports players or places around the world, everybody has been doing a stupendous job with very interesting topics.
First, Amy, the library teacher, handed out check-out sheets to get a basic outline of the topic. Once the topic was chosen, the class members started google slides, made a cover slide, then started listing questions. For example, one student listed questions about nudibranchs: “What do nudibranchs eat?” “How many species of nudibranchs are there?”
Amy then introduced us to a website called SIRS Discoverer. The website is very helpful and gives lots of great information. The website gives several browse subjects to make the research easier such as people, arts, health, science, history, social studies, language arts, sports, math, and technology. Students can add pictures as well. Everybody works on their presentation after school and at school.
Book Group Presentations
In Diane and Jeri’s class this year, starting in late October, we got sorted into book groups. It’s been less than two months now and the book groups are coming to an end. Now the four different book groups are ready to put on book group presentations.
I think a lot of the book groups are going to do a skit, not to give it away, but tell a little bit about the
story. The different book groups are: A Bone from a Dry Sea,The Same Stuff as Stars, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, and My Side of the Mountain. The groups that are doing skits picked out their costumes from the loft (where we have lots of costumes, including wigs, hats, and other accessories). The presentations should only give the group a little taste of each book.
Sleeping Beauty: The Pantomime
A couple weeks back our 5th and 6th grade class went on an exciting trip to People’s Light Theatre. First thing in the morning, we packed our smiles and set off on a 20 minute van ride to Malvern. When we arrived at our destination, I wasn’t so sure. It didn’t look like much of a theatre. It didn’t look like much of anything other than some random person’s house. When I started to walk up to the building I listened to classmates tales of watching the most incredible things. It sounded interesting, but they also sounded like lies.
The class were all excited when we walked into the main building. I read programs of past and future performances. I was intrigued. As my class walked into the auditorium we talked and laughed and made jokes, but in a couple minutes the actors were doing their jobs.
It was amazing! The actors looked like they were made for the performance — insects and birds sang and played instruments, stars jumped, and everyone contributed to a battalion of new jokes, each funnier then the last. There was a cast of a grumpy old king, whose only kingly attribute was his white shirt with a picture of a crown on it, a “beautiful” queen wearing a little too much of everything, a princess who was more nerdy than the average princess, and an ogre, boy, fairies, and many other truly talented people who made a wonderful performance.
Group Trip to McKenzie’s Brew House
After the trip to the Sleeping Beauty panto, Diane and Jeri’s group went out to lunch at McKenzie’s Brew House. At Mckenzie’s Brew House, kids ordered different varieties of food from the kids menu. For example one kid ordered pizza and another chicken fingers, with a ten dollar budget. Some kids grouped up to share their money to buy a bigger dish to share among themselves. Overall, McKenzie’s Brew house was a great choice made by Diane and Jeri’s group.
There are many parts of elections that we learned about and one of them is voting. We learned about it through a doughnut election. We started with choosing the doughnut types from Yum-Yum bakery. The eight finalists were: coconut custard, French apple, jelly, lemon, pumpkin cruller, raised sugar, sour cream and strawberry-iced.
Then we designed the ballots. There was the borda count, the simple one-choice vote, cumulative vote, the single transferable vote, the approval vote and the Condorcet vote.
Then we voted! The winner was French apple, followed by raised sugar and then coconut custard in most of the ballots. (A few went French apple, coconut custard, and then raised sugar.)
After that election, the top three went to the whole school. It came down to one vote between French apple and raised sugar. Raised sugar won! Then on the Monday after Thanksgiving, everybody got a raised sugar doughnut.
This took place from Nov.14-Nov.22 and it was quite fun.
The End of Fall Mini Courses
Every year there are three mini-course sessions. The first one is for 5th and 6th graders only. It happens until winter break. The second mini-course session is in the winter, and it is for 3rd-6th graders. The final mini-course session happens for every grade except kindergarten and nursery.
Most of you know that winter break starts on December 16th, so the fall mini-courses are ending. There are seven different mini courses. There is an open workbench that Lynn supervises and Kate sometimes assists. The second mini-course is scoring baseball games, taught by Diane. There is “stuffing and stuff” that Nicole provides. Mark teaches card games with Jeri. There is a movie making mini-course with Amy. Lisa runs a rock climbing mini-course and Diego teaches Italian and Italian cuisine.
At the end of a mini-course, the teacher usually brings in some kind of treat or we play a game that everyone likes.
I am in Mark’s mini-course, playing cards, and in our last game we played a card game made by a teenager called “Trash Can.” It’s long, but entertaining.
I am writing about blog entries. A blog entry is what I am writing. This is a blog entry. Blog entries started 5 years ago. The idea for ours was thought up by teachers Diane Webber and Jeri Whatley and has been a success.
The blog’s job is telling the outside world what goes on in class. When we write an entry we try to incorporate who, what ,where, when ,why, and how. We write the entries (about stuff in the month before or in the coming week) at the start of another month. Thank you for reading my last entry.
Saying Goodbye to a Student…
At the beginning of this school year, we met a new classmate, and his name was Navid. He only stayed for the first semester, but he sure did make it count. He interacted a lot with people, made corny jokes, and played the ⅚ famous game, All Campus Tag. All that I know is that he is moving back out of the country, heading to Dubai. Seems like a beautiful place to live, despite the heat. He is moving back on the 17th of December, right after the Miquon Winter Assembly. So it’s goodbye to Navid, but I’m betting he’ll stay in touch, maybe via FaceTime or Skype. I’m just betting on it.