Faces in Baseball
This year we are studying baseball and we have a wall dedicated to famous people in baseball like Buck O’Neil and Honus Wagner. Kids researched and posted information about the famous people like Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth. The wall is in Diane and Mark’s classroom.
This year Diane and Mark’s group is studying play in the fall and work in the spring. Our particular focus in the category of play is Baseball. We are doing all kinds of things in our study of Baseball including the Faces of Baseball wall and playing a game of Town Ball. Town Ball is an ancestor of Baseball. It follows a very different set of rules than regular baseball. For one thing, the pitcher now is one of the most important positions in the game. But back then, the pitcher was undoubtedly the least important position in the game. He had to throw the ball the exact way the batter wanted it. Another big rule change is that you don’t even have to hit to get on base. If the catcher doesn’t catch three balls, you must run as if you hit the ball.
Good Of The School
So what is Good of the School? Good Of the School is something we have been doing for quite a long time; it’s like a tradition, something that is very important to us. It happens once a month on a Friday morning instead of assembly. If you are somebody who is new, you probably didn’t know that this happens in the Moore Building. The Moore Building is a reasonably large space that can fit the whole school. (It is also the space where we have P.E.) You may be thinking: so why do we have Good of the School?
That is a very good question. One of the reasons why we have Good of the School is so children can have a safe space to share their ideas, questions, concerns, and solutions. It is also a good tool to improve the children’s leadership skills. So how do we do Good of the School? In the beginning of the year, all of the sixth graders have a meeting at lunch time. In this meeting we assign three children to each session, and also the people who are doing the skit for the assembly. Then the day before the assembly, the three children meet with Diane, and she explains how the assembly will work. Good of the School consists of three roles: the note taker, the questioner, and, last but not least, the chooser. Diane helps children choose these roles because if they didn’t, the whole thing would be a complete mess!
On October 13th, the whole school had picture day! This year we had a different photographer. Many people say this guy was great, and I could go on and on about my opinions, but I guess you wouldn’t want to hear about that!
Normally on picture day around 9:00ish, the whole school goes down to wherever we are taking our school photo. The place sometimes changes. For example, when I was in 3rd grade, we took the school picture on the play barn steps. The next year we took the picture at the red playground, and the same with the year after that. This year we took the picture in between two trees in the main area of Miquon. All the younger kids sat in the front on quilts, while the older kids stood around them, or some of the older kids climbed up the trees so they could be seen. (I was one of them.)
Closer to lunch, each class takes turns going down by the creek to get their class and individual pictures taken. I noticed that this year the new photographer really liked to have a lot of light highlighting the person’s face. In years before, the photographer liked to have calm, natural lighting.
Every year, once a year, kids of the 5th and 6th grade classes do a project we like to call Life Skills 101. Life Skills 101 is a series of 3 weeks when we individually pick one skill we are not absolutely perfect and amazing at or just a skill we want to learn (e.g. cooking, laundry, pet care). At the end of each week in Life Skills 101, all students must write a small journal page of how that week went, along with what will happen next.
Life Skills 101 works in a timeline kind of way. In week one, you set a goal for what you wish to accomplish or achieve. The next week add something, and in week three make it completely impossible to do what you want and consume as much time as possible. Just kidding. For week three you should set a goal that marks your peak performance and a true step up of the project. I myself enjoy this project a lot and I hope other students do, too. I always learn a new skill, or at least, improve.
By Nico (fifth grade)
The Terra Novas take place the week before Halloween. The only people who do the Terra Novas are the kids in the ⅚ building. The room is very quiet, and the teachers recommend going to the bathroom before the test starts. Why do they tell you to go to the bathroom in the beginning? It’s because they don’t want you to get up during the test.
There are six parts to the Terra Novas: social studies, two math parts, language, reading, and lastly, science. They each take different amounts of time. If kids finish early, the teachers tell them to have a book under their seat so they can read quietly once they have finished.
When kids at any point pass the ⅚ building they are asked to be very quiet. The test starts on Monday and ends on Thursday, and no, we don’t have Friday off. The week before the test began, the kids had a discussion on how to do the Terra Novas.
The fifth and sixth graders have different test booklets. Why? It’s because the sixth graders are more experienced than the fifth graders. The Terra Novas happen once a year for ⅚ kids.
As was expressed in the October blog post written by Abby, Diane and Mark’s fifth and sixth grade class has been reading the English translation of Carlo Collodi’s famous story, Pinocchio, in which the gullible and ignorant puppet embarks on an epic adventure throughout the streets and hills of Italy. After a month of morning read alouds we finished with the book, and I think I can say that the class thoroughly enjoyed it.
Every year on Halloween at The Miquon School we have a Halloween parade and skit. The entire school participates and lots of parents come and watch the parade. After lunch, kids get in their Halloween costumes and all the classes walk around the play barn, which is a structure that is like a stage. Each class stands on the play barn for the parents and other classes to see their costumes. Then all the kids sit on the benches in front of the play barn to watch the skit. All the staff put on a skit every year. They always say that they aren’t going to do a skit, but they always do. [Ed.: No comment.] This year they acted out the book: The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything. They normally act out a picture book. We do this every year because it’s so fun to get dressed up and show your costume to your friends and teachers. Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween, it’s fun to watch your teachers put on a skit. This experience is so exciting and everyone looks forward to it every year.
Every year, Diane and Mark’s class does a fundraiser for UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), an organization that helps kids all around the world. We do it in two ways, by donating all the proceeds from one of our pizza sales, and by handing out Trick or Treat for UNICEF boxes. The point of the UNICEF boxes is that the kids take them out on Halloween and trick-or-treat for UNICEF.
We also do a skit for UNICEF, when we tell people why they should trick or treat for UNICEF and where their money will be going. The skit is funny, informative and normally is the highlight of people’s day. This Halloween fundraiser is one of my favorite Miquon traditions, partially because of the part where we collect the money from the classrooms and then we learn how to count and roll the coins.
Even though we only got $1600 dollars last year, this year we are targeting $2017 dollars, and after the size of the pizza sale I think we will make it.
On November 3rd, Ben and Celia’s 1st and 2nd made a Halloween House for the 5th/6th and other classes. I’m guessing that the Halloween house was made because 1st and 2nd graders wanted to scare whoever went in there, and to give some people the chance to be in a haunted house if they haven’t been in one or been in one and don’t remember. The haunted house was made out of cardboard, plastic bags, cloth, furniture (from the classroom).
Every month, our school librarian, Amy, picks a book for book club. She announces the book to us and we read it on a Nook or Kindle.
In November we read The Apothecary. The book is about an apothecary who has a son named Benjamin. Benjamin meets a girl named Janie. Janie is from Los Angeles, California. But Janie has to move to London because her parents are on the list for being watched and Los Angeles is not a safe place anymore for Janie’s family.
This month we had the book club meeting on November 2nd. It was located in our school library. At every book club meeting Amy brings in a treat based on the book. At this book club, Amy brought in scones and made tea. They were both delicious. Amy hosts this book club because it is a fun experience. Amy lets us know about book club mostly by announcing it during library class.
During conference week the 5/6 group did some wood work with the science teacher named Kate and her neighbor, Jay. On Wednesday during Conference Week, Kate’s neighbor, Jay, showed the 5/6 how to soften and bend wood. Jay makes a lot of furniture that involves bent wood and a lot of furniture that isn’t bent. Jay made a really cool chair that fits two people at a time, and you even use each other’s backs as a back rest!
In Diane’s room we learned geography. We learned the 7 continents and the 5 oceans. We did this project last week. It was really fun. We did this on computers.
During Conference Week, on Thursday the 9th from 10:00 to 12:45, the 5th/6th (Louis & Jeri’s and Diane & Mark’s groups) went to North Philly to go see paintings and murals. We went on this field trip because we were studying art during conference week. We went in vans to get to North Philly. The class thought the trip was really fun and had a great time.