Academic Engagement – 4/5 Honors Martin Luther King Jr.
On the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the fourth and fifth grade class engaged in a morning learning about MLK and civil rights and an afternoon doing community service. Knowing that students have had days like this before, we started our morning with a KWL (know wonder learn) chart to start with existing knowledge that could be built off or perhaps corrected or questioned around MLK Jr. Some of their educated questions included “did the dude who shot him ever get caught”, “did he do his speeches to whites or mostly blacks”, and “how many people supported him because so many were against him?”. We borrowed books from the Teton County Library as well as some of our own existing collection at school so that each student had their own book to read and find new interesting information – perhaps answer questions from the KWL chart. After our time with books, we went out to board the buses! We partnered for the day with the senior center of Jackson hole, As we helped with meals on wheels art therapy and general socializing. Students were incredibly engaged and thoughtful as many heard stories and learned facts from some of the seniors that not only intrigued but also surprised them. There was an air of energy that the students brought to the center that was contagious as art class had its highest attendance as many seniors tried for the first time alongside the younger students as if somehow it was more attainable knowing there was a larger and perhaps less intimidating group of peers. At the end of the day a request was made for students to return in six weeks for an oral history project that would once again benefit both parties. We hope to see that project happen!
In Science, 2/3 and 4/5 students have been deep in a unit on snow science! Earlier this winter, we began by taking a closer
look at different types of snow crystals and we have since zoomed out to explore our snowpack as a whole. Students have eagerly engaged in digging their own snow pits to collect data on our local snowpack in multiple locations throughout our community. They will leave our unit on snow science with a better idea of how snow influences the economy, ecology, and culture of our place. Ask your student if they can teach you a game called “Flakity, flake, flake, flake!,” if you want to know more about snow crystals and how they impact snowpack stability. And let’s not forget the K/1 class that has been diligently tracking our snowfall and snow depth totals this season. Ask your K/1 student if they have been surprised by how much snow we’ve gotten!
Community – K/1 Journey to Bradley Taggart Lake Trail
The K/1 Bouncy Banana Bats embarked on a Journey to Bradley Taggart Lake Trail a few weeks ago to explore and learn about our ecosystem. We started our day making sure we were prepared and traveled on our minibuses to the trailhead where we fueled up with a snack and learned about different types of animal tracks. We played a game to practice walking like the
different mammals in our ecosystem to get a feel for how they move through the snow and these students were pretty skilled
at moving like “pacers” also known as bears. Along the way we practiced what to do when skiers or other hikers came along
the path and the students would slide to the left or right to allow others to pass by. They enjoyed greeting other hikers or skiers by smiling and waving saying, “Have a nice day!” It was lovely to see the joy that these Bouncy Banana Bats shared along the way. An exciting discovery were the holes in the snow like Lady, Kai & Harriet found in the photo above. We made predictions about which mammals are still moving during the winter and who might be living under the snow. We learned the importance of taking responsibility for our belongings and packed out any trash that we brought with us leaving no trace behind. We also kept an eye out for any trash along the way and let’s just say these students were great at spotting and taking responsibility for our surroundings. We have been working hard to follow directions and they all stayed safe and on the path, carried their own packs, and practiced staying hydrated which let us know they are ready for more adventures throughout the year. Last but not least we enjoyed the beauty and wonder of the snow even though we got a little wet and cold the students shared their gratitude for playing in the snow just as Max is showing us above. We love the magic of journeys and learning out in the field. These moments bring us together as a classroom community creating deeper connections with each other and the nature and beauty that surrounds us.
Student Corner – What was your favorite part of the first semester of the school year?
“Our Fall Extended Journey and learning about animal tracking.”
“Journey to Boyles Hill where we learned about macroinvertebrates.”
“Getting to be with the whole school at lunch!”
“Learning about research and getting to do our own research are things that
we are interested in.”
“Making our family group flags!”
“Morning meetings and getting to know each other better!”
“Going to the National Museum of Wildlife Art and learning about the wolves
and seeing the beautiful photographs.”
“Community Meeting and getting to sit and talk with the older students.”
“Making new friends in our class and getting to work together.”