From September’s opening day to June’s closing ceremonies, we document and share events from all over our campus in an attempt to continuously communicate all the diverse goings-on at The Unquowa School. From school-wide events, assemblies, visiting presenters and other highlights from around campus, here’s a sample of what’s happening…
Posted by Carlene Gordon
The theme for this year’s Earth Day celebration was ‘endangered species.’ When a species is lost, it is a sign that the ecosystem is slowly falling apart. The loss of one species triggers the loss of other species. These losses deteriorate the delicate ecosystems that ultimately provide humans with clean air and water. Education is the first step to saving these magnificent creatures, many of whom have roamed the Earth for far longer than humans. Our first through eighth grade students teamed up in the morning to learn more about the polar bear, whooping crane, humpback whale, Florida panther, the American alligator (Unquowa’s mascot!) and many more. Together, students played a game of ‘endangered species’ charades and created missing species posters. Then we loaded the buses and headed for the Beardsley Zoo to observe these species and learn more about their habitats and threats. At the zoo, students completed scavenger hunts and chose one or two species to investigate further and add details to their own flip books. In between our zoo investigations, students enjoyed a picnic lunch, time to enjoy the beautiful October day and several impressive karaoke songs in the zoo’s outdoor stage, Peacock Cafe. Thank you to all of the outstanding Unquowa faculty who made this day possible for our students to gain a deeper understanding of the plight and hope of the endangered species that we share this planet with.
Posted by Betsey Young
Oh what fun we had “acting out!” Ms. Karen, and sidekick Chester, came to visit our early childhood classes and tell her tale of “Leaf Soup.” Hungry soldiers galloped through town and villagers shared their vegetables to cook up a pot of laughter and, well, leaf soup of course!
Posted by Jessica Wood
A new school year always brings the excitement of sharing recipes discovered over the summer. This year, the Unquowa kitchen staff took our love of learning and sharing to a whole new level when we brought in Rob VanKeuren of Flour Water Salt bakery to teach us his sourdough method. After two days of intensive training, the bread and dough used for our pizza and stromboli have been converted to sourdough.
Many think of sourdough as bread that has a sour taste, but true sourdough, is bread that is risen from wild yeast and has a long fermentation period. After testing many procedures over the first several weeks, with lots of trial and error we have accomplished a stellar product. Crisp and crunchy on the outside, tender and flavorful on the inside. We may be cooking for kids, but we never underestimate their appreciation for wholesome, made from scratch, food.
Posted by Craig Knebel
Eighth graders put the scientific method to the test by comparing three different brands of products in a chosen consumer product category. The students devised two tests relevant to the products they chose to determine whether paying full price or choosing the discounted item is the best choice. Products ranged from batteries, lint removers, thermoses, shoe cleaners, and paper towels among the many categories chosen this year. The project followed up several labs on dish soap and laundry soap to see if the top brands were “worth” their top price. Mr Knebel
Posted by Faith Barbuto
This week both sections of 5th grade came to meet their new kindergarten buddies and get to know them. We spent some time acclimating ourselves and then did a simple opening activity writing what we liked about our new friends. The 5th graders wrote observations of their kindergarten buddy based on this brief encounter. For them, this activity will be a springboard for their upcoming unit on the interaction between the early colonists and explorers and the Native American people. We were hoping to impart that first impressions can often be deceiving and are always influenced by your perception of the world. As we come together this year to study topics of world culture, history and social justice we plan to keep this in mind.
Posted by Vincent O’Hara
Tone and mood – same thing, right? Not at all. While their separate meanings addle the layperson, the 7th-grade Humanities students have a clear understanding of their differences. The tone of a text is the author’s attitude toward the subject, and the mood is the overall feeling or emotions experienced by the reader or viewer. Upon learning this, the students were put to the test. Mr. Snow played movie trailers for the students to identify each film’s tone and mood. But, wait, there’s more! Then, the kids had to watch a re-mixed/edited version of the same movie trailer and determine the differences in tone and mood. For instance, they first watched the original preview for the movie Elf and identified the tone as playful and light, while the mood was silly and cheerful. However, when they saw the re-mixed version of Elf as a thriller, the students discovered the tone was more threatening or sardonic with a foreboding mood.
It is not every day that students lobby to receive the same lesson as another class, but that is what occurred following this humanities class. Passersby couldn’t help but notice the 7th-graders hooting and hollering, laughing and learning. Kids are experts on fun, and those not in the 7th-grade wanted in because the tone was studious yet lighthearted, and the mood was joyous and scholarly. It is safe to say both the students and Mr. Snow nailed this one.