Following their week in residence at Impression 5 Science Museum, Sharon's class has been studying the science of sound. Students learned about sound waves, frequency, vibration, and pitch. They have had extended opportunities in the classroom to work with tuning forks and a Tibetan spouting bowl. This was a wonderful follow up to their week of science immersion.
Using only natural lighting, Vanessa Koch, our lead toddler guide has captured her classroom "at rest". Vanessa will complete her A.M.I. training in St. Louis this summer and our toddler community will officially open in September. As you can see, the classroom is coming together beautifully. Vanessa has spent countless hours preparing the room so that is will be ready for the children this fall. The toddler program is open to children who are between the ages of 18 and 30 months old by September of 2017.
A group of our students, whose names were selected by random drawing, met with Governor Snyder today to discuss renewable energy. In preparation, they met several times earlier this week to formulate questions that they would like to ask including inquiries about wind and solar energy, programs to encourage usage of renewable energy, and how children can help. This was a wonderful opportunity for them to have a voice and be engaged in their own state government in action. Special thanks to alumni parent Madhu Anderson for helping to arrange this visit.
2016 marks our second year of celebrating Screen-Free Week, a national initiative to "unplug". In the leading weeks, we offered several presentations regarding children and technology to both the parents and students. We also held events every day of screen-free week . We started Monday with a spring cleaning of our school grounds opposite sessions with our naturalist Jim McGrath from Nature Discovery. Tuesday we did a Wildflower Walk at Harris Nature Center. On Wednesday the children spent some time learning and playing "screen-free" games in the classrooms like dominos, chess, jacks, Set, Swish, Uno and many more. Thursday was our spring concert followed by an ice-cream social and we finished off the week by taking in a Lansing Lugnuts baseball game. The entire week was a lot of fun! We all had the opportunity to spend a little less time using electronic entertainment media and a little more time enjoying the company of family and friends!
Mindy's and Claud's third-year science group completed their two-week study of the heart. Parents Molly Lagrou and Becky Wyatt did a presentation of the heart, lungs, trachea, and esophagus and then helped to facilitate individual pig-heart dissections. After some initial squeamishness, the students were all actively engaged in the work. Many students don't have this opportunity until they are in high school, if ever. This group also completed a study of the eye and dissected sheep eyes - all while in the third grade!
Carol Luster and her friends Kiddo and Stella visited with us this week! Carol has fostered puppies for Paws With a Cause for many years. Kiddo is a retired assistance dog and Stella has just begun her training. It was wonderful to see first hand some of the ways that assistance dogs can help those with limited mobility and Carol's pups are exceptionally well behaved. The children loved this opportunity to learn more about Paws With a Cause and these dedicated furry friends. Thanks Carol, Kiddo, and Stella!
We enjoyed the great fortune of meeting Hanna and learning more about her Dream Ride. Born in Germany in 1942, Hanna credits this country for saving her life and the lives of her family. She first visited the States at age 18 and has had a dream to tour rural America by bicycle ever since. She told us that she had to wait until she was "footloose and fancy free". At age 72 she reached her goal and left her home near Rochester, Minnesota in May to embark on her two-year travels. She is such a wonderful example of courage and conviction and her "joie de vivre" is unmistakable, a lovely breath of fresh air!
Guided by parent volunteer, Julie Cooper, the Upper-Elementary students have been working on this adorable owl pillow! They are learning all of the steps involved in a project like this including both hand and machine sewing. The finished products are "owl"fully cute! Stay tuned for news on a summer sewing camp!
Today we had the special privilege of having Sonja Melander visit with the extended-day and elementary children. "Sonja is a geologist, educator, author, and an illustrator. She’s worked as a science educator on the island of Montserrat and at Mount St. Helens (WA) and Craters of the Moon (ID)." She shared her slides, the book she has written, and more. To find out more about Sonja, visit her website sonjamelander.com.
Many thanks to her and to Candy for helping to coordinate Sonja's visit!
The cakewalk queen!
It was wonderful to see so many current and alumni families at the auction this year! There was a great selection of items donated and purchased. We raised over $17,000! Thank you all for your participation!