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 Megan Kirk
Today was a very exciting day for PK4! Today’s lesson was about high vs low sounds. We started with moving our bodies. When I played high notes on the piano students had to reach to the sky and tip toe around the room, when they heard a low note they had to crouch down to the floor as low as the could. Then when I played notes in the middle, they were to walk around the room. As I switched between the sounds, students quickly learned the difference between these pitches. The giggles and smiles were wonderful as they moved their bodies to the music. Especially when I switched quickly between the sounds! Next students showed their understanding by playing the high and low notes on the xylophone. Playing this orff instrument was extremely exciting for these students! I also loved how beautifully they took turns and were proud of each other for their performances on the instrument!
Posted by Carlene Gordon
What is a triple beam balance and what does it measure? Should I use a hand lens or a microscope to look at an object? How does getting down to eye level help me measure water in a beaker or a flask? Fourth graders have been busy discovering the answers to these scientific inquiries and more. In the classroom students travel between science stations exploring many of the tools scientists use to collect data, measure and compare. We also looked at tools for safety including goggles, gloves and lab coats. We are ready for a year filled with safe discovery and exploration!
Posted by Chandler Wiegand
The coral reef tank installation, located in the upper school science lab, is finally complete. This was a months-long process that began in August 2021. Once the basic equipment was set up, the whole system needed to sit idle for over a month in order to allow for temperature, salinity and beneficial bacteria to cycle and stabilize. The beneficial bacteria is necessary as it is responsible for feeding on the ammonia (waste) produced by the tank inhabitants. In the tank, we currently have a pair of Ocellaris ClownFish, or Nemo’s as the students call them, a variety of coral species, a sea anemone, and an invertebrate clean up crew. These reef inhabitants not only live together, but demonstrate to our students the importance of many different symbiotic relationships. For example, our sea anemone (which stings) offers our resident clownfish protection from predators that they may come in contact with. The clownfish are covered in a mucus that protects them from the anemones’ powerful sting. And in return, the clownfish ‘attract’ other reef animals towards the anemone which they then sting and consume.
We also watch our invertebrate (snail, hermit crabs, anemone crab) clean up the tank on a daily basis, offering the fish and corals a healthy environment to live in. These clean up crews eat algae and help sift the sand to stir up decaying matter that can be then filtered through our system and cleaned.
The ability to explore the 5 main symbiotic relationships of mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, predation and competition first hand in the classroom helps to reinforce course materials with real life examples that the students can monitor throughout the year. We look forward to incorporating new organisms as the tank becomes more established throughout the year.
Posted by Craig Knebel
The 6th grade science class took the lesson outside to come up with a definition of Erosion without looking at a textbook! They investigated evidence of erosion in our own Horse Tavern Brook on the The Unquowa School campus. Students sketched what they saw, then investigated the areas they had drawn. They were encouraged to just be kids – to discover, to ask why and how! Sometimes, a science lesson can purely just be about exploring!!!
Posted by Sarah Pollex
Our athletes know that best times are the ultimate prize. They are running against themselves and setting short-term and long-term goals to monitor their progress. On September 30, our Gators raced their first meet of the season at Penfield Beach. The tide was in but that didn’t discourage them! It only motivated our athletes to attack the course with more determination as they raced to the jetty and back again! We had a record number of runners place in the top five:
-Grade 5 girls: Dahlia 1st; Sierra 2nd
-Grade 5 boys: Oscar 1st; Jack 2nd
-Grade 6 girls: Emily 5th
-Grade 6 boys: Ryan 5th
-Grade 8 girls: Madison 3rd
-Grade 8 boys: Bryan 3rd
Congratulations to these individuals for placing in the top 5 and to the entire team for achieving personal best times!
Posted by Faith Barbuto
Although it may sound gruesome to the mind of an adult, there is nothing more exciting or more memorable to a PreK child than the thought of catching, cooking and eating a Big Bad Wolf!
After weeks of reading every version of the story we could find and comparing and contrasting them we finally finished our unit by doing just that. Along the way we learned that not all wolves are bad, revealing that there is always two sides to a story. Or that sometimes a Big Bad Pig scares little wolves, signaling that things are not always as they appear to be. We also learned story versions from other cultures, such as the The Three Javelinas, inspiring us to add a Spanish flavor profile to our cooking. The Big Bad Wolf story provided the backdrop for lessons on sequencing and patterns in math and of course, we made puppets to act it all out. Over the past weeks, my preschoolers became experts on all things wolf but the real excitement came when we made our own wild stew! As students arrived in school that day, they excitedly peeked into the pot, one by one they helped to cut up some par boiled potatoes and carefully add them in. One child suggested tomatoes, so a can of those went into the stew too! I had brought some onions and garlic from home which the young chefs eagerly smelt. Another child thought we should add green beans, so off to the garden we went to grab some. Everyone helped snipped the ends. We waited all day while the aroma filled our classroom. Everyone tried the wolf stew and there was plenty left to bring home to share!