Monday, May 30, 2016

Mountain class studies NC animals

For the past three months, Mountain class students have been studying animals native to North Carolina. We kicked off this major project with book and web research on a self-selected NC animal. After reading about their animals and taking notes to synthesize their reading, students wrote informational reports including a physical description of the animal, habitat, diet, impact on our world, and more.

Students also designed and created models of their animals using recycled materials such as plastic bottles, cardboard, and cork. For an added challenge, students found ways to make their animals move in preparation for the upcoming group video.

With reports written and animals built, students were then divided into small groups to write and produce animal documentaries inspired by the Amazing Animals series by National Geographic. Each student completed a storyboard first, including a script, transitions between videos, and ideas for background images. Most students filmed their videos using a green screen, then substituted the background for a Creative Commons-licensed image they found using this library link. The final step was to put all of the individual student videos together to create a cohesive group animal documentary. Enjoy the videos below!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Life before/after Harry Potter

Open in a new window.

Click here for a printer-friendly book list.

Happy reading!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Take them home - and don't bring them back!

For the past three weeks, the Book Swap Shop Interest Group organized and promoted a Lower School Book Swap by making signs to post around the school, a video to show during Monday settling in, and announcements in their classrooms. They got a little taste of event planning and, of course, first dibs on the books on the big day!

We opened the Book Swap Shop this past Friday during Interest Groups and invited students who had brought books these past two weeks to come shopping for new (to them) books. 

Because many students brought more books than they took home and others wanted to donate their books to Book Harvest, we ended up with over 100 books at the end of the swap. While the original plan was to donate all of the leftovers to Book Harvest, a student suggested that we first offer them up to the rest of Lower School. So we set up some tables at dismissal and let families browse! We had a great turnout and lots of positive responses. And we still have two boxes of books that we will donate to Book Harvest!

Happy reading, 

Search for books