Welcome to our first edition of “The Insider’s View.” This is a series of blog posts written by the children in the group. They are working to include information about who, what, where, when, why, and how in their posts at the moment. There is a lot of enthusiasm for including images and videos down the line. Look for a new volume every month or month to six weeks!
The First Day of School
The first day of school is one of the most important days of the year.
This remarkable event took place on September 6th, 2017 (the day after Labor Day).
What is the first day of school? It is when we come back after summer break and get to see our friends and start school! We start school on the 6th and Kindergarten and Nursery start on the 7th. Why we do this is because when we start school, as some of you may know, we are extremely excited! If Nursery was starting to arrive and the first thing they saw was a squealing 6th grader, the little three year old would probably be horrified! So that is why we don’t come on the same day. How do we get to school? Some children take the bus or have parents drive them. Van is also an option. Some even take the train!
5/6 Sing: A Long-Standing Tradition
The ⅚ sing has been a long-standing tradition that’s been going on for decades here at the Miquon School. (Ed.: In it’s current form, it’s just a few years old.) And we’re keeping it alive this year. On Wednesdays, 8:30 through 9:00, we gather in Diane and Mark’s room and sing songs. We sing favorites like “Passing Through” and “Love Potion No. 9.” My personal favorite is “The Redheaded Stranger” by Carl Stutz and Edith Calisch.
In terms of instruments, we have many. Diane sings and plays guitar, Mark plays the bass, Mike provides backup vocals and plays guitar, and we the kids contribute our voices along with the teachers next door .
On Mondays after school, a group of ten or fewer kids build and program the Lego robot. We program the robot to do tasks and to get points. Our team practices in the office basement and we will go to the contest at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. You compete by completing challenges and getting points. It is super fun! It takes a lot of work to program the Lego robot. We program the robot on a laptop.
A Night of Baseball
On September 9th, 2017, half of Diane and Mark’s class went to a minor league baseball game.The home team was named the Lancaster Barnstormers. A lot of people filled the stadium. The other team was the Blue Crabs! I don’t know where they are from, but I do know their name. There was a lot of scoring in the start; that made everyone pretty happy! The final score of the ball game was 6 to 10. After the 5th inning, neither team scored. The winner was the Blue Crabs not the Lancaster Barnstormers. The reason we went to a baseball game is because we are studying baseball this year for one of our projects.
I was kind of surprised when I noticed a small playground near third base. Personally, I thought the stadium was just as cool as any major league stadium, maybe cooler. At the very end there was a ton of fireworks; right when you thought it was over, BOOM!!!! More would shoot out, and the fireworks were being launched right outside of the stadium!! One firework landed in the middle of the field, and for a second I thought the stadium would light on fire, but instead it sputtered to a halt.
Personally my favorite part of the stadium was the small playground or the food. And my favorite part was the fireworks!!
Chorus and Instruments
At Miquon we’ve always have different teachers who specialize in certain subjects: physical education, music, art, science, library. None of these subjects have experienced major change over the course of the past few years. However, the music teacher at The Miquon School decided to pioneer a new approach to teaching music — having choral and instrumental groups.
This was a bit of a shocker, as music didn’t have this much of an organized, restricted grouping before this. Half of Diane and Mark’s group and half of Louis and Jeri’s are merged into one full group and sent to practice in the music room every Thursday afternoon.
I personally am in the choral group, so I am not completely informed of what happens during the instrumental music practice. The instrumental group is a fully woodwind ensemble, involving flute and clarinet. The choral group started off with very simple melodies to practice the solfeggio, and now has started with songs by the greats — John Lennon, Brian Wilson, and the guy who wrote the donkey song.
Diane and Mark’s ⅚ group are buddies with Ben and Celia’s ½ group. In the first week of school, we took our buddies where they need to be to go home, like down to the bus or to the after school room, or down to the rock if they are parent pickup. When we meet with our buddies, we usually meet at the red playground or at their class or our classroom. We first found out about our buddies on the first week of school, but we didn’t even get our particular buddy or buddies yet. The teachers usually have a conversation at the beginning of the year, but ⅚ usually has ½ for buddies. We got ½ as buddies so they can have role models.
In Diane and Mark’s class we have writing workshop. There are three writing groups right now: Suspense is lead by Diane, Mark leads Poetry, and Jen (the reading specialist) leads the Creative Nonfiction group. Writing workshop happens in the afternoon half groups. We started last week (25th of September) and we will do it for about six weeks. We meet on Mondays. We all got notebooks to do our work in. When we are in the groups, we learn how to use our topic (Suspense, Creative Nonfiction, and Poetry) when we write. We do writing workshop because it expands our knowledge of writing and it’s a fun way of learning.
This year we are reading “Pinocchio.” We started reading it in the beginning of September. Pinocchio is a wooden puppet. We started reading it because it is a toy and and we are studying toys this year. “Pinocchio” was a book made serially (which is made in different parts) by Carlo Collodi in 1881-1883. The class thinks that Pinocchio is gullible. Very gullible. Maybe too gullible. Pinocchio was found as a talking plank of wood. Then a man named Gepetto found him and made it into a boy. So far the book is going fantastically.
At The Miquon School my science teacher, Kate Shapero, did an experiment on the playbarn. Almost the whole school was watching. The experiment was trying to make an explosion with a watermelon and multiple rubber bands. It started at lunch choice (12:15) on September 29th. She wanted to do the experiment because we were studying force. We watched a video on force and it looked really cool in the video.
The “explosion” was a big let down because the watermelon only cracked. Afterward, everybody came and tried to eat watermelon and attacked Kate for it. I just watched in amazement.
Diane & Mark’s 5th/6th group built toys — like boats, dolls, games, and houses. Someone in our class built a galimoto. A galimoto is a toy made in Africa it is usually made of wire and sometimes wrapped in yarn. When you push, it makes the wheels spin, and this makes it move. As you might know we are studying work and play. This is why we are building toys.
We mainly built our toys in our breakout room, in the classroom. We presented our toys at Back to School Night, on September 28th, 2017, and we started learning about toys the first week of school. For this project we used tape, hot glue, popsicle sticks, fabric, and much more. We enjoyed doing this project and we hope you enjoyed reading about it!
New Lunch Sales
For as long as I know, every week at The Miquon School there has been a lunch sale every Friday. There are two types of lunch sales:
-pizza lunch sales
-hoagie lunch sales
Every week, they switch. But this year, with the new ⅚ grade teacher, Louis Herbst, comes a new way of life! (Or sales.) At the beginning of this school year, Louis and Jeri’s class realized that hoagies did not raise enough money. So with some conversation, Louis and Jeri’s class decided that the new sale would be… Fast food/hot dogs! The new sale consists, of nuggets, hot dogs, juice, chips, etc.
While Diane and Mark’s class still does pizza orders, Louis and Jeri’s group is now taking on the job of fast food. So far, their first sale went pretty well. I hope that Louis and Jeri’s new sales will go well. I also hope that our pizza sales will go well too!
One of the many traditions of the ⅚ is Friday lunch sales. In our class we sell pizza, and in Louis and Jeri’s group, they are now selling nuggets and hot dogs.
Every year at the beginning of the year, we talk about the pizza menu and decide if and what changes we need to make. This year we made some minor changes to the menu; after checking the prices of everything, we noticed that the prices of pizza have gone up! So we had to raise the prices of our pizza. We also have a rule that we can only have twelve items on the menu, and last year we only had eleven. We could add one, but we wanted to add two! After looking at our sales, we noticed that the chocolate milk was earning very little, so we took it off the menu and added veggie pizza and Go-gurt.
We sell this pizza as a service to the school and to raise money for our big trip(s). (More about those in later blogs.)
Destination Imagination (D.I.)
D.I. is a sort of sport or contest that uses your brain and creativity! Some time in April there will be a tournament, and different teams from different schools will compete to move on to the world tournament.
Last year, not one, but TWO teams from Miquon (we had a couple different teams) came in first! Unfortunately, it was too expensive to take a trip to Tennessee, so we chose not to go to the world competition. This year we have three or four D.I. teams. On Mondays after school, the D.I. teams meet and do Instant Challenges, a challenge that you will be given and have a couple minutes to discuss with your team. For example, you may have to do a skit explaining how Mr. A made Mr. B late for a party, and have 2 minutes to talk with your team before performing.
Back to School Night
On September 28th, the parents of the students went up to the classrooms while the kids were at after school, spending time with D.J, eating pizza, playing outside, and watching movies. The movie that we watched was “Minions.”
The parents who visited Diane and Mark’s room got to watch a short tour of their child’s room that the kids made. The parents learn about their child’s classroom and find out how their child is learning!