Sunday, October 7, 2012

Greek Mythology

Grade 4 students have been studying Greek Mythology in English class.  They have read myths, created their own myths, and researched Gods, heroes, and beasts.  The culminating activity of our unit was to dress up as Gods and invite 5th graders to a party on Mt. Olympus.  The 5th graders came as humans or demi-Gods.  As we dined on ambrosia and nectar, all students introduced themselves in character.  They shared their name, family history, special talents, and regaled us with stories of their past adventures.

Candy Buy-back

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Visit to Wolfe's Neck Farm: Grades K and 1

We spent most of the day at the farm, and first, we learned the essential rules:

- Be careful and be safe:
Listen to and follow directions, don't go near the electric fences, wash hands well and often

-Be respectful:
Listen to the teachers, and to the questions and answers of the other children participating
Be respectful of the animals, make sure not to excite them or yell loudly
Respect the environment, paper goes in the trash and we need to be careful of the plantings

-Have fun!

We saw rabbits, turkeys, ducks, a big pink pig, goats, sheep, cows and hens!
We learned that animals are raised for their meat, eggs, milk, wool, and also for their droppings which are used as fertilizer.

After we washed our hands, we got into the tractor trailer for a ride to the fields!

We each got to pick a pumpkin for Halloween!
We learned how a pumpkin grows from a seed to a pumpkin,  and we did a "pumpkin dance"! 

Thanks to all of our instructors at the farm, it was a wonderful day!

Haiti Fundraiser at Trattoria restaurant - Help Elodie help others!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21 @ 1:30 
Trattoria Athena 

One of the great aspects of having such a small intimate restaurant, is that we get to know many of our customers very well. Getting the latest news on "life" or asking for (or providing) advice on any number of topics is something that we look forward to when we see regulars' names on the nightly reservation list. And that's from all of us here: front of house and back of house employees. We know who's a vegetarian, who's allergic to shellfish, who craves the exotic, who likes the "off the wine list" wines, or who loves to be surprised. In that vein, we have become great friends with Elodie LE NEZET, or simply to us, Elo (with an over-exaggerated horrible French accent by me) who is a transplant from France teaching at l'Ecole Française du Maine in South Freeport. 
In our many conversations, it has come out that she is a passionate supporter of the Haitian relief effort, and is planning her second trip down there to volunteer by teaching the French-speaking teachers through grammar workshops, vocabulary, and other pedagogical practices in great need. She has also built a relationship with many of the residents of Terroir Rouge: a town with no electricity. Elo is planning on raising enough money to bring the maximum number of Bogo Lights (solar powered) to Terroir Rouge to help students study and work at night. Extra funds will be used to sponsor students throughout a school year which provides them with an education, a uniform, a hot meal each day and medical care among other benefits. 
To support the above causes, we will be hosting a benefit dinner in which all Trattoria Athena employees will be donating their time and efforts in helping out with the event. The event will feature typical Haitian food using, of course, the best local ingredients around. The menu is still a work in progress as we try and research Haitian cuisine (not my expertise!). I promise as always, everything will be delicious! And, Elo, who is quite the French pastry chef, will also be helping out with the dessert! There is no "set cost" for this event, but rather a suggested donation of $50/pp which obviously includes a four course meal with wine. 

Please call for reservations for this truly wonderful cause!
EFHARISTO  GRAZIE!!! Marc, Tim and the rest of the Team Trattoria Athena 
25 Mill St. Brunswick, ME 721.0700 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Apple picking: les petits au verger

On the 27th of September, the preschool class went apple picking at Sweetser’s Apple Barrel and Orchards, in Cumberland, with the kindergarten class. We learned about the boxes to store the apples and the ladders that are used to pick apples from tall trees. We watched how a machine sorted out the apples according to their size. It was very interesting! We were also able to pick and eat an apple. Some said that it was the best one they had ever eaten! We brought back some apples to school and we made apple sauce. We could not wait to taste it! It was yummy!

Parents' Association holds Yard Sale for Haiti

On September 29, 2012, the Parents Association held a benefit yard sale for teacher, Elodie Le Nezet's next volunteer trip to Haiti. Many school families and friends contributed items for the sale, came by to help out, or made a purchase to help the cause. The School extends a special thanks to Caryn Bickerstaff and Stephanie Brewer for all of their hard work preparing for the sale and for spending the entire day working the sale, despite the rain! In all, we raised $400 which is being put towards Elodie's travel expenses. Thanks to all who made the effort to support this important cause!

Lascaux and Chauvet caves paintings

While studying prehistory and the caves of Lascaux and Chauvet, the students in grades 2 and 3 made their own cave sketches and paintings. Great work!

Mosaics- grades 2 and 3

The grade 2 and 3 students made some beautiful mosaic artwork of animals using of small pieces of colored paper. They worked in pairs and the  came out beautifully. The pictures were displayed in the school hallway for a few days, and then through a decision by a draw of straws, one artist in each working pair was able to tale the picture home. There was a fox, a turkey, a beaver, a bear, a wolf, a coyote, and more.


Visit of Viviane Motard, Pedagogical Advisor of the French Ministry of Education for North America

On October 2, 2012, we welcomed Madame Viviane Motard,  Pedagogical Advisor of the French Ministry of Education (CPAIEN ~ AEFE) for North America from the French Embassy in Washington, DC.  It was an honor to have her come to Maine to share her knowledge and expertise.

Ms. Motard was very impressed with the school, its recent accomplishments and accreditations, and the level of French of our students. She was impressed by the quality of instruction which is thanks to our talented teachers and support staff. She observed classes in each grade level, and met with the Directors to share her observations, impressions and ideas for continued improvement.

At the end of her visit, Vivienne Motard conducted a training session for our entire teaching faculty on visual arts and oral language, and how to use them together for positive outcomes in both areas. Her presentation was very interesting and interactive, and all of the staff left with great ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for integrating visual arts into all we do.

Grade 1 learns about insects and spiders

Our year-long project is based on the study of the animals of Earth. We have begun with the animals we meet up with every day in the playground, meaning the insects and spiders. We fabricated an insect vacuum which we use to look at them more closely.

Within this first unit, we have thought about classification of the animals.

We can arrange animals by:

The way they move, they fly, they walk, they run, they swim...

Next, we went to Wolf's Neck Park to meet more familiar animals

By the shape of their ears, if they can see or not...
By the presence of feathers or fur...

Yassine gave us indicators to use in classification, like real scientists...
Those which have skeletons: vertebrates 

Those without skeletons: invertebrates

Now we begin making subcategories

Within the vertebrates:
There are mammifares , in this group babies are born fully developed and can drink their mother's milk
There are ovipares where the offspring starts out in an egg outside of the mother's body

Within the invertebrates:
There are insects with 6 legs, a head, antennae, a thorax and an abdomen
There are spiders with 8 legs

We have also thought about what the farm animals give to us: milk, leather, feathers, cheese..we also grouped the animals with the products they provide.

Finally, we enter all of this information into our science notebooks.

We learn to study the animals and to regroup the essential information.
Our next step will be to meet and study the animals of Maine.

Grande Section/Kindergarten Piggy faces!

This year in the Grande Section/ Kindergarten, we are exploring the animal world all year long across the curriculum. After completing our unit on insects, we have now moved on to animals of the farm. Among the farm animals, we are learning about the pig, which we like a lot. We are reading stories about pigs, learning songs about pigs, and discovering all about the life of the pig and what the pig gives us.