Around the Campus School

December 3, 2014

First grade Insect Study

INSECTS AS ENGINEERS: Our first graders are studying how insect adaptations solve problems within the environment. Insects must build colonies, cut leaves, haul materials, and defend themselves from predators. Our budding scientists study how insect bodies resemble the meshing parts of simple machines in order to fly like mosquitos, zip across water like a water strider, tunnel like ants, and cut, carry and chew vegetation. In addition, they are studying the insect drawings of the German artist Maria Sybell Merian and then studying insects and creating their own sketches.  In learning about Merian’s work they also learn about her contribution to etymology, which entailed disproving a long-standing belief that insects reproduced by spontaneous generation from decaying matter. Her careful observation skills and aesthetic prowess led to a powerful scientific understanding.

November 21, 2014

Theater Explorations

AFTER SCHOOL DRAMA, IMAGINATION & STORY TELLING: Students enrolled in SCCS’s newly expanded after school program participated in a theater arts program. They wrote their own plays, designed costumes, assembled props, and then performed a short piece. The prompt for this small-group experience: The Road Not Taken: Imagine that you’ve come to a fork in the road. Which way should you go? You choose a direction, confident in your path. What about the road you did not choose? Your challenge is to create a play that features two original stories— they begin the same way, but the split along the way and have different endings. Cindy Naughton and Jenny Sturley, a Smith student,  led this activity, which is adapted from an organization called Destination Imagination http://www.destinationimagination.org/. Jennifer will be teaching a session in our spring after school program. The directions included this bit of wisdom: the most important goals are to be creative and work together! 

November 18, 2014

First Engineering
DESIGNING A CRAFT TO LAND ON THE MOON— FIRST GRADE STYLE: Gina Cowley’s first graders partnered with Anjali Desai— a Smith College engineering student on a project simulating how to land NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The project started by watching video footage of the LRO trying to land in a moon crater. With a context in mind, the project focused on the math and science needed to guide a craft to a target. Hands on part included guiding a paper cup attached to a zip line to a target and using marbles to vary the weight of the cup on its way to reaching the target. The "minds on” element involved working with Newton’s First Law— as the cup travels down the zip line, the marble builds forward speed until a force acts on it— such as hitting the ground. Other ideas that come into play: acceleration, trajectory, energy transformation from potential to kinetic. All that learning— and more than that— it was FUN! And, most importantly, they learned the motto of the Smith engineers: “Fail often so that you can succeed.” That was the best part!

November 13, 2014

Potental Smith Students tour the school
PROSPECTIVE SMITH COLLEGE STUDENTS TOURING THE CAMPUS SCHOOL: Twenty prospective Smith students who aspire to study education and child development visited the Campus School on Tuesday as part of Smith’s Fall Preview Day. They toured classrooms, spoke to teachers, and our education and child study faculty. Upon leaving, one dad of a high school junior said, “Wow, this would be a special place to learn to teach!”

November 11, 2014

Fifth Grade Falconry
Our 5th graders meet a peregrine falcon as part of a presentation and demonstration on the art and magic of medieval falconry. You can see them craning forward in anticipation of meeting the fastest animal in the world. Falconry fits into their investigation of the historical forces that shaped medieval life. My favorite moment was hearing about how for medieval lords, owning a peregrine falcon was a signal of high-born status.

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First Graders study insects
News & Notices:
Open House has been rescheduled for SATURDAY, JANUARY 31st, from 9:30-11:00 AM. All prospective kindergarten through sixth grade students and their families are welcome! For more information - click here

The community assembly we have each year on the Friday before MLK Day  is a poignant assembly that is planned each year by the faculty. This year, teachers chose to focus on Dr. King’s words of compassion and what it means to hear and imagine another’s perspective. They focused on elements of Dr. King’s words, “Compassion and nonviolence help us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear their questions, to know their assessment of ourselves.”  Click here for more.


Printable 2014-15
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