Our first day back was quite exciting as we rode the bus to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for our World of Rocks class. Students were excited as the entered the classroom of the museum. At each table rock specimens had been placed for us to examine. Our first task was to determine if the rocks were sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic. After we labeled our rocks, we began learning more about each rock type.
We learned about two different types of volcanoes and the differences in their eruptions, and how this causes different rocks to form. At the end of our class we identified over 10 rocks by their scientific names. Students were both amazed and intrigued by all the differences between rocks.
The day back in the classroom was extremely focused and meditative in an unusual way as if the students missed working in the classroom fervently. Walking on the line was near perfection and students settled into work immediately. It was a day of extremely productive, self-chosen work along with more exploration of the Timeline of Human Beings and some new dance moves for our up-coming Christmas show. Students also completed 100 bags for the church to fill with food to donate to the homeless with unique decorations and up-lifting messages to bring happiness to others who may need our support.
Friday, our students had fun eating lunch together and showing off their favorite sport in the form of spirit wear during our celebration of winning the Box-Tops contest. Brandy ran a mini-contest for the kids on a trivia question about her apparel that the kids had a blast guessing. Thank you parents for making this happen!
Even though our students attend specialized classes for various subjects, all of those subjects are available and on-going throughout the week as students are interested. This week, a focal point on music and art came in the form of a book from South Korea, “The Yellow Umbrella”, which is a book read in dramatic music [as opposed to words] and is the journey of umbrellas and rain. Some students were inspired to start creating their own books by sketching out ideas of pages to paint. Also musically related, students worked hard on their articulation of words to improve their Run-DMC song’s speed and clarity. Be prepared to see their literary skills at work!
Students really seemed to feel the winter break coming and were extremely focused on Mastery and finishing projects. Every student achieved Mastery in at least one or more lessons this week. Also, the props for the Christmas show were made by the students along with the cute sewing project the students took home to give as Christmas presents. The weather did not deter the students from some heavy duty physical exertion during recess as tag and basketball have become extremely popular in the gym. They really seemed to be relishing their last bit of school before leaving.
Even though most of the week rotated around preparing for Friday night’s show, students also worked on lessons. Wednesday, the students spent the morning attending the Latin Festival. Students broke into teams and played Latin festival games, competed in Limbo and enjoyed a special feast together. All had a great time. Friday, the students had a pajama day complete with popcorn, movies and a special sharing time with friends. Everyone rested all snuggled in their pajamas, covers and pillows relaxing before the “Big Night”.
This week, students really took a close look at all of their performance pieces they were preparing for the school performance and stepped up their individual focal points while practicing with friends. Each Elementary student had a special part in the program focused on them and also, a diverse part in all of our group performances. Students put their best foot forward showing their newly honed skills of dancing to various song styles and eras, acting, speaking, playing piano and also, playing hand bells. The Elementary students were phenomenal Friday night.
In December both Latin classes focused on the Roman festival of the Saturnalia.
After learning how the ancient Romans celebrated this holiday, the students participated in activities related to the festival. For example, they learned to gamble with knuckle bones, a favorite game played by the Romans. The students also constructed and arranged boughs in the custom of the ancients. In addition, they designed and decorated Saturnalia cards. Finally, on December 17th the classes participated in a re-enactment of the Saturnalia by playing various games and enjoying Sigillaria, dolls normally exchanged during the feast.
Week 17 – 18
Happy Winter Break! See you in the New Year: 2015!