Why does our school put an emphasis on gardening?

Back in May, third graders got outside to continue working on their fairy houses, condominiums, resorts, and playgrounds. Students choose to work in groups or alone to refine their architecture. These are fluid and change over time as their ideas evolve. In the process students discover unique ecology in the woods like weird charcoal growths on dead sticks, salamanders buried under the dirt, tree nuts sprouting into seedlings, winged queen ants, etc.

Students at TLC aren’t strangers to getting their hands dirty.  Why?  Because gardening engages students by providing a living environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn.

Gardens are living laboratories where our students learn everything from team work to food production and lessons can be taught across the curriculum.

Gardening encourages students to become active participants in the learning process.

The beautification of our campus is a happy result of hands on learning!

Spring 2018 Annual Plant Sale Success

Each Spring, TLC holds it’s annual plant sale. All plants are supplied by local grower Sunshine Mountain Farms. Perennials, annuals, hanging baskets and shrubs are all sold with proceeds used to benefit class trips funds and playground improvements. Thanks for making this year’s sale a success!

5th Grade Science — Ecosystems

Earlier this spring, fifth grade students learned about biomes and had to recreate a biome of their choice.

They did these at home while the class worked on a PBL project (Project Based Learning) on Ecosystems in the classroom. Some students chose biomes based on what they worked on in class, while others created something completely different.

They had to include five animals, from carnivore to decomposers, three plants, and were encouraged to be as creative as possible.

Scenes From Field Day 2018

For 18 years, Field Day has been the hallmark event signaling the end of the school year at The Learning Center Charter School.  This year’s event was held May 18th on the campus of the school.

Always thinking out of the box, the school’s Field Day is water based and includes events such as water brigade, slip n’ slide,  and everyone’s favorite, mud pit tug-of-war.

This year the school’s parent organization, Parents Involved, rented inflatable water slides that students in kindergarten through eighth grade fully enjoyed. There was music, bubbles, water, mud and fun had by all.

Physical education teacher, Shelley Farmer, who organizes the annual event said, “We introduced water activities to Field Day several years ago and it was such a huge success. I can’t imagine Field Day any other way. Our students have a blast!”

5th Grade Learning About Real World Jobs

Back in May, a student’s dad visited the fifth grade class to talk about his jobs.  He’s both a mechanical engineer and a pilot in the Air Force Reserves. This was in line with a science unit the class did earlier in the year about force and motion.

He works for Snap-on Tools as well as serving in the AF Reserves flying the C-130.  He brought components he helps design for Snap-on and talked about how he became both a pilot and a mechanical engineer.

The kids were really impressed and asked great questions.

Living History Museum 2018

Back in May, upper grade students “opened” a Living History Museum to the younger grades. These older students each selected a historic figure and not only presented information about that person, but dressed like them as well. They essentially became that historical figure.

For this project, these upper grade students had to synthesize the information they learned to create an exhibit representative of their subject. In order to select pivotal events or recreate significant circumstances in an individual’s life, students had to research the person but also critically evaluate the people, places, and events surrounding them in order to develop a powerful exhibit. Deciding on a format, selecting key material for younger students to understand, and putting it all in context required active learning and encouraged creative interpretation. As they worked, students needed to understand the subject and the world in which he or she lived.  Additionally, this Living History Museum introduced younger students to subjects relevant to their history studies beyond their reading ability.

Students Raised $722.72 for Hurricane Harvey Relief

After Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas last September, and later Hurricane Irma made US landfall as well, students at The Learning Center Charter School were moved to help. They started a penny drive to raise funds to send to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

Over the course of the school year, students raised $722.72, mostly in the form of pennies, to benefit hurricane victims.

“Our students stepped up in a big way and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Mary Jo Dyre, Executive Director of the school. “These kids saw a need and decided to do something about it!”

A Closer Look at the GrowZone Players Spring Musical 2018

The GrowZone Players are our troupe of actors.  Students in 5th-8th grades have the opportunity each year to choose the drama elective and, as such, audition for roles in the annual fall one-act play and the spring musical.

In Oh, Horrors! It’s Murder!, the Hamilton museum opened an exhibit entitled, “Monsters, Murderers, and Madmen.” Professor Johann Vanderveer invited world renowned Egyptologist Dirk Carlton to speak about his recent trip to Egypt and the discoveries he made concerning the ancient Tomb of Menkaura. However, during the presentation, something went awry and someone ended up dead. It was up to Lt. Dani Morrow to crack the case.

This play was appropriate for all ages with hilarious comedy and toe-tapping songs throughout.  Some audience members even got a chance to accuse characters in an attempt to discover the truth.

In addition to the perplexing mystery, there was a live exhibit from the display of Monsters, Murderers, and Madmen both before the show and during the intermission.  At intermission of the Friday, May 4th show, North Carolina Poet Laureate, Shelby Stephenson, read some of his poetry and sang a few songs.

The musical was laugh-out-loud funny, well performed and pure entertainment for all in attendance.

The ever growing and changing list of members of our GrowZone Player troupe never cease to amaze audiences with their performances. They manage to take a script and bring it to life in a skilled and professional manner far exceeding their individual ages.

Be sure to take every opportunity to see the GrowZone Players’ productions. They are not to be missed!

Middle School Students Plant Pollinator Garden on Campus

In early May, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students spent two days planting pollinator gardens in their garden plots. A pollinator garden is a garden that is planted predominately with flowers that provide nectar or pollen for a wide range of pollinating insects.

The flowers include sunflowers, zinnia, dahlias, marigolds, bachelor buttons, cosmos, and four o’clocks. The students weeded, raked, planted, labeled, and watered their new plants.  They look forward to seeing the seeds sprout and grow all summer long.