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.

Checking in on 1st Grade Fairy Houses

First graders have been working on their fairy houses in The Outdoor Learning Center busily since school started this year.  This ongoing project affords rich educational opportunities for these young students.

Imaginative play, self-directed skill building, sharing spaces and cooperation, engineering and construction, are just some examples. Plus, Ms. Emily is always sure to include science as part of the exploration.

This spring these students have been learning about Earth materials. They have used the opportunity to go to the woods check on and repair their fairy houses.  Students are finding granite to use as countertops and floors. They have also found interesting organisms like gobs of slime growing on sticks.

Kindergarten Continued to Cook All Year Long

You might remember prior posts describing how Kindergarten students have been cooking “around the world.” As part of their social studies, they have invited guests to cook native foods from different parts of the world.

Most recently, a special guest made Finnish cinnamon rolls with the class. She read them a Finnish story, taught them how to say hello and good bye in Finnish, talked about the geography of Finland and answered lots of curious questions from the students.

3rd Grade Science — Life Cycle of Plants

Recently, third grade students learned about the life cycles and needs of plants. While working in the garden, students excitedly learned about a larval insect they discovered while digging.

Gardening engages students by providing a living environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn. Plus, it’s really fun!

 

4th Graders Hunt for Four Leaf Clovers

Recently, students in 4th grade hunted for four leaf clovers as they learned about variation and adaptations in science. The students love learning science in The Outdoor Learning Center (TOLC) where they explore natural processes in the woods and learn agriculture in the gardens.

All About Bugs in 2nd Grade

Second grade teacher at The Learning Center Charter School, Stephanie Hopper, wrapped up a cross curricular unit on insects with her class earlier this month. Found online, Eddie the Entomologist sent the class friendly letters each day that included clues. Using the clues, the students then guessed what creature was the bug of the day.

Hopper was able to bridge the study of insects across all subjects in her class. In science, students learned about insect life cycles. Numerous books and interactive online reading texts were used by students for research and reading comprehension.  Plus, the daily letters from Eddie allowed the class to review and reinforce what they had previously learned about the composition of friendly letters.

In math, students used measurement standards to compare different types of insects as well as jumping distances.  Additionally, students put their STEM skills to use when tasked with designing and building their own insects.

Plus, these industrious second grade students wrote acrostic poems using descriptive words to describe insects, wrote a sequence paper on the life cycle of an insect, made terrariums with appropriate habitats for insects to live and did a drawing activity where they were guided, step-by-step to draw, label and color a realistic bumble bee and butterfly.

At the end of the all encompassing insect unit, students earned an “Entomologist Expert” badge from Eddie.

Hopper said, “These students could hardly wait each day to read the letter from Eddie and use the clues to figure out the bug of the day. Using their excitement about bugs across all of our studies engaged them thoroughly in each subject.”

Earth Day River Walks

In celebration of Earth Day back in April, Tony Ward of Hiawasee River Watershed Coalition (HRWC) guided the studets on a walk of Murphy’s Riverwalk and explained the difference in native and non-native species. Students also explored why it is important for plants to grow on riverbanks to prevent erosion as the kids learned that dirt is the number one polluter in our rivers. Students learned about many local trees and shrubs and how they all had different methods of spreading their seeds.