1st Grade STEM — Bears!

First grade teacher, Ms. Katie Beaver, and elementary science teacher, Ms. Emily collaborated on a huge ecosystem unit that covered deciduous forests, rainforests, and coral reefs.  In addition to covering an entire wall with trees to represent deciduous trees found in each season, students also were given a STEM activity where they created bear caves for the bears to hibernate in using nothing but marshmallows and toothpicks to engineer their designs.
Each student was given 10 marshmallows and 15 toothpicks. The students were instructed to use these materials to build a bear cave (shelter). The shelter needed to fit a paper bear that was about  4 inches wide and 3 inches tall.

Additionally, students delved further into their studies by designing and constructing underground burrows by connecting small paper bags to model beneath the ground shelters of animals in the deciduous forest.

1st Grade — All About Birds

First grade students recently spent time studying birds across the curriculum. Their bird STEM project incorporated reading, math, writing and a hands-on art project.

The students studied and gathered information about six different types of birds — Penguins, Eastern Blue Birds, Birds of Paradise, Hummingbirds, Golden  Finches, and Blue Jays. They learned how to draw and label diagrams with specific bird body parts/ field marks, create graphic organizers of bird facts, use bullets to organize and record data, write detailed sentences of bird facts, and use a ruler to measure the actual height of each bird.

To gather this information, the class read non-fiction books and read online articles about each of the six birds during Guided Reading.

The students also made suet feeders out of peanut butter, seeds, and dried corn.  Student especially liked gathering sticks from The Outdoor Learning Center to serve as a perch for birds at their feeders.

Speaking of School Maker Faire . . .

The last post was a recap of this year’s awesome School Maker Faire that we hosted on March 14th. Did you know that in the weeks and months leading up to the School Maker Faire our students eagerly work on all sorts of projects that they plan to display at the Faire?

From the very first day of school, teachers and staff remind students of all the ways that they can participate in our annual School Maker Faire. Whether it be with the costume they craft for our Halloween Monster Makers event to a project that sparked their imagination as part of their course work, students are encouraged to always be looking forward to School Maker Faire.

These photos are all of the second grade students busily working on their patriotic themed School Maker Faire projects in the weeks leading up to the Faire.  Hopefully while you were on campus you swung by the classroom and checked them out.

Scenes from Our 4th Annual School Maker Faire

The Learning Center Charter School celebrated making of all kinds at our 4th annual School Maker Faire on Thursday, March 14 from 3:30 – 6:30. Imagine a science fair, craft show, tech conference, and county fair, all rolled into one and you can picture a School Maker Faire.

Makers – from Learning Center students to community members – had booths featuring their own unique Maker project. There were hands-on activities, demonstrations, delicious homemade food and live music.

A special thank you to our wonderful community of Makers that made this event possible. The School Maker Faire proved to be an inspiring and educational evening for everyone who attended.

National Junior Honor Society Induction

The Learning Center Charter School inducted 13 new members to National Junior Honor Society on February 28, 2019.

Membership qualifications are based on the five pillars of NJHS:

  • Scholarship
    Per national guidelines, at a minimum, students must have a cumulative GPA of 85, B, 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent standard of excellence. (Each school chapter is allowed to require a higher cumulative GPA.)
  • Service
    This involves voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, done without compensation.
  • Leadership
    Student leaders are those who are resourceful, good problem solvers, and idea contributors. Leadership experiences can be drawn from school or community activities while working with or for others.
  • Character
    The student of good character is cooperative; demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability; shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others; and generally maintains a clean disciplinary record.
  • Citizenship
    The student who demonstrates citizenship understands the importance of civic engagement; has a high regard for freedom and justice; respects democracy; respects the law for all citizens at the local, state, and federal levels; and demonstrates mature participation and responsibility in activities such as scouting, community organizations, or school clubs.

 

5th Grade Science — Catapults to Study Force and Motion

Fifth graders have recently learned about force and motion as part of their science studies. They have learned about trebuchets, catapults, and balistas.

The students were tasked with researching each of these launching devices and then designing their own.  They then build prototypes of their designs using popsicle sticks, straws, rubber bands, hot glue, tape, cardstock, and coffee stirrers.

Some realized their original designs would not give them the momentum needed to  effectively launch their items, so these students immediately started adjusting their original design. Ms. Jay commented that watching the students go through the problem solving process of trial and error (some as many as five times) and not giving up was fantastic.

Entrepreneurship Taught Here!

Students at The Learning Center Charter School held their annual Mini Mall on January 31st.  This popular event is made possible through a program called Middle REAL.

Offered to 6th through 8th graders, Middle REAL (Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning) provides curricula, training and resources to help rural students grow through hands-on entrepreneurship education and small business creation.  The school also has a Mini REAL program that serves kindergarten through 5th graders. Both programs are a part of the North Carolina REAL program which is dedicated to helping bring entrepreneurship and small business creation to our state.

The Mini and Middle REAL programs work together to hold the annual Mini Mall, an event that has students in kindergarten through fifth grades “shopping” at the Mini Mall with “bucks” they’ve earned in their classroom throughout the school year.  Middle school students are responsible for creating all the goods and services available at the Mini Mall.  These students create their business from the ground up doing everything from business plans, market surveys, and product design.

“This Mini Mall saw everything from a photo booth to a variety of carnival type games,” said school Director, Mary Jo Dyre.  “Although the day of the event was very much fun and games, the skills these students learned creating their businesses are valuable and will serve them for years to come.”