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 Faith Barbuto
Kindergarten has been exploring lots of different ways to measure. We have been using standard and nonstandard units of measure depending upon what is being measured. Students are getting familiar with measurement language like height, width, weight and volume. For a an active math lesson we buddied up to measure each other. You can’t measure yourself after all! Students used links to measure parts of their buddies’ bodies and recorded that data. In a cross curricular activity, we set out to measure the largest animal- a blue whale! We used the arm span of a kindergartner- approximately 3 feet- to stretch out to the massive 90 feet of a whale! Now that’s big!
Posted by Sharon Lauer
This morning our students experienced the second of six sessions of “clusters” – multi-grade, interest-based classes that are teacher initiated but the outcome of which will be student guided. From Heroes and Villains and Wilderness Survival to Filmmaking and Critiquing and Colonial Chemistry, the paths of these school-wide enrichment sessions will be guided by student research and their subsequent decisions about products and performances. Teachers are there to light the spark and support, but kids are in charge of determining outcomes.
Our clusters program is based on the concept developed by The Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education and Talent Development at UConn, whose summer Confratute program, founded and run by Unquowa grandparents Dr. Joe Renzulli and Dr. Sally Reis, has inspired our cluster work here at Unquowa. Our entire faculty and staff, under the guidance of our deans, have been preparing for and tweaking this program since last spring and are happy to have finally launched it.
I spent the entire hour of this past Friday’s first session popping into clusters and was thrilled to watch the sparks fly. I’m looking forward to seeing the results and know that the clusters mentality will inform practice throughout our school in ways large and small.
Posted by Craig Knebel
The 8th grade chemistry class has wrapped up their half year chemistry exploration by studying the difference between covalent and ionic bonds. The students demonstrated their knowledge with a media arts project about a compound of their choice. Here is an example.
Posted by Carina Blackwell
In our Mandarin classroom, students are introduced to new topics every two weeks. In these two weeks, there are many activities involved such as: Mandarin songs, flash cards matching games, hands-on crafts, group conversation practice and worksheets practice. The students also have culture classes such as Mid Autumn Festival, Dragon Boat Festival and Chinese New Year. We talk about the story, food, customs, traditions and decorations. This September the third graders made lanterns to celebrate Mid Autumn Festival. This December holiday season, third, fourth and fifth grade made a christmas tree by tracing their hands. In January, our third & fourth graders wrapped dumplings for our Chinese New Year feast. The teacher explained that Chinese people eat dumplings as part of their new year celebration because of the shape, like the ancient silver and gold ingots, which symbolize wealth.
All the students are having fun while learning Mandarin!
Posted by Ann Palm
Every Wednesday afternoon PreK has a Mystery Guest. It can be an Unquowa student, parent, neighbor or any family member. When they arrive it’s a huge surprise. Mystery guests do a variety of things: read books, bring a snack, make a craft, tell us about their profession, or even perform a science experiment. This week Aria’s mother surprised us with a Mad Hatter’s party. We drank hot cocoa out of real cups and had French chocolate cake. To make it extra special we made our own party hats. What a fun afternoon!
Posted by Eric Werner
Upper Schoolers in 7th grade are hard at work preparing math lessons for TK, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade. On alternate Fridays, my 7th grade students travel across the school to work one-on-one or in small groups to teach a math lesson to their younger peers. Ranging from addition and subtraction to pattern recognition, these lessons are developed entirely by 7th grade students who have researched curriculum and designed a lesson to inspire younger students to learn and to get excited about math. This program will continue throughout the year with every 7th grade student having the opportunity to design and implement a lesson.