"Can you believe we made this?!" said Ella before we appreciated the aromatic minestrone soup we prepared and cooked from Kelsey's farm. Under the direction of Chef Eric and Jill, each student washed vegetables, chopped onions, rolled meatballs, kneaded dough, jotted down the evolving recipe, cooked on the stove, etc.
When the soup was finished, a few children shared words that are said around their dinner table. And then it was quiet...
Kara introduced a project that involved many elements of design: contrast, value, composition, patterns into today's class. Though there were some similarities in these vibrant pieces, each student interpreted the basic idea very differently.
Walton and Madison spoke eloquently about their role in the design of the Burke Community Park in front of approximately 30-40 members of the community which included neighbors, seniors from Frasier Manor, architects, educators, and officials from the City of Boulder. After their presentation, they help lead a workshop on designing aspects of the park: environment/wildlife, pathways, nature/activity play spaces, and community gardens.
The ideas from this meeting will be incorporated into a third and fourth year landscape design class at the University of Colorado Department of Environmental Design this spring. Within the next few years, ideas of the students at Horizons, neighbors, and CU students will take shape in the form of a space we can all enjoy.
We spent part of this morning, remembering the veterans in our lives. Many students shared stories of their grandfathers or uncles who have served in past conflicts and wars. Part of this activity included walking down to the Arleigh Burke Memorial north of the school. Each student read the plaque about how a farm boy from Baseline Road rose to become an admiral in the Navy, climbed the anchor, and responded to what they read in their writing journal.
In a matter of three hours, we traveled back 1 million years when dinosaurs roamed the area around Morrison, Colorado. On the eastern side of the Dakota hogback, we examined tracks and impressions of plant life in the sandstone and theorized the type of dinosaurs, what they ate, how fast they traveled, and with whom they trekked. During the second half of our field trip, we traveled to the western side and looked at Brontosaurus depressions in the layers in the sandstone then walked down to touch the remains of 1.5 million year old bones.
During writer's workshop this week, our emphasis has been on literary essays: writing about reading. We've read short stories by Cynthia Rylant as a class and with partners in order to experience the story and read empathetically -- trying to see through a character's eyes. Today, we delved deeply into thinking about a character's traits, motivations, struggles, and changes.
Also today, we started small book groups with each group of three choosing their own books to read and share over the next month. At each weekly meeting, each group member will have a specific responsibility. These include the discussion director, illustrator, connector, summary sage, and literary luminary. Some of the titles the groups chose were Artemis Fowl, Hatchet, Tale of Desperaux, Lemonade War, Witches, and Phantom Tollbooth.
Meanwhile in math, we've examine and created bar and line graphs as well as scatter plots and discussed the uses of each. Of course, we also interpreted the data (votes) for the election and compared how the class, school, county, state and nation voted with one another. Within the next two weeks, we plan to continue number sense by exploring fractions, decimals, ratios, and percents.
8:45 am: The much anticipated Horizons presidential elections are underway. We are one of four precincts with Adam H, Adam B/Ellen, Julie, and Tracy/Janice's homerooms voting in our classroom. Each student has a responsibility as an election official: checking registration, handing out ballots, answering questions, securing the ballot box, and passing out "I Voted" stickers to ensure a fair election. The certainly take their jobs very seriously. Check out the pictures in the gallery:
11:30 am: During a lull in the action, we walked over to Boulder County Voting Precinct 850, 851, and 853 located in the basement of Mountain View United Methodist Church to observe the process there. Two election officials took us through the process and answered many questions.
1:30 pm: With 100% of the precincts reporting, the results for the 2012 Horizons presidential elections are:
Obama/Biden: 282 students
Romney/Ryan: 20 students
Stein/Honkala: 11 students
Johnson/Gray: 3 students
Goode/Clymer: 2 students
Write-In: 2 students
I heard this conversation this afternoon between NPR's Terry Gross and MIT's Sherry Turkle. It's a topic that I've thought about often and was a subject of a Socratic seminar last year.
Pausing in a meadow in the middle of our hike, our naturalist, Alicia Green, suggested that each student look for "the story in the rocks and landscape." Over the next two hours, we theorized about the formation of the Flatirons, examined rock samples with loupes, viewed illustrations of what the area may have looked like millions of years ago, and just enjoyed the time we spent together on this beautiful Friday morning.
Many thanks for Bevo and Lauren Sundstrom for chaperoning. Perhaps one of the highlights was sharing a cup of hot chocolate and playing together at Carson's house. Thanks Carson and Lucy for hosting this after hike gathering!
This morning we continued to write inside the story. Starting with an excerpt from Summer's perspective, each child used the mini-lesson on writing with empathy to:
-sense through a character's eyes, ears, nose, and skin
-check to make sure that lines from the story provided a rationale for their writing
-further create the setting of the story based on the clues given in the story
More about Wonder: