2nd Grade Has Gone to the Birds!


Second grade students worked on a “Birds” PBL (Project Based Learning) unit in which the children learned all about birds through literature, writing, interactive construction of birdhouses, and art. The students used texts and technology to research their favorite bird and write a bird report. The students presented their final projects during our School Maker’s Faire on March 9th.

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Community Members Visit Kindergarten


Recently, Dr. Mitchell and student Dr. Noah visited the kindergarten class to talk about what they do as doctors and working in the community. Students got a chance to ask them questions and listen to their heartbeat. Kindergarten sends a special thank you to both visitors!

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Scenes from Third Grade Science

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Those industrious third grade students learned so much about land formations and bodies of water found on Earth through this project. The building of the forms using salt dough made the gigantic concept of Earth easier to relate to and understand more completely. Plus, they had fun in the process!

4th Grade — Making Animal Habitats and Environments


If you’ve been following along over the past several weeks here on the blog, then you’ve seen these fourth graders learning about animals and their habitats. You’ve seen them create imaginary animals and understand what their habitats would have to contain in order for them to survive. These photos are of these students now creating these habitats for their animals. This ongoing project has touched on studies in science, math, reading and social studies and has kept these students engaged in the learning process.

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1st Grade — Traditional Dress of iNupiaq


Our first grade teacher, Ms. Leslie, is from the Artic Circle in Alaska. She has been bringing in one thing from there each day to share about the ecosystem and culture of the native peoples there. On this day she brought in a whale vertebra, a parka, whale baleen and an example of native clothing of iNupiaq people.



Students Learn Topography by Making Salt Dough Maps


Science teacher, Emily Willey’s third graders at The Learning Center! Charter School have been studying the features of the earth in February. Her lesson in topography included various landforms, continents and water bodies across the globe. They observed many maps, images, and diagrams of Earth’s surface, and discussed their locations.

Upon completion of the unit, Willy challenged her class to create their own landform and water body model using homemade salt dough She made 20 pounds – enough for the entire class. Salt dough, made from three basic ingredients: water, salt and flour is used to create crafts.

“We coordinated with art teacher, Carrie Dyer to borrow her paint supplies for our final creation,” said Willey.  “We invited 4th grade to view salt dough models since they had just finished learning how landforms and water bodies change over time in their science classes.”

Willey added, “one of our school community members, Mr. Jeremy Lauten, was traveling abroad during this time to Switzerland. This was a great opportunity for him to get an up-close look at landforms and water bodies from here to Europe.” Mr. Lauten, who occasionally volunteers at The Learning Center, sent them pictures of his stay in Geneva. Students observed Switzerland’s location and discussed Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps. They learned that some mountains are higher and rockier than the Appalachian Mountains and discussed how these differences were indicative of the age of the mountains. Students were surprised to learn that we live in what scientists calculate to be the oldest mountains in the world.

Willey’s class also learned that Switzerland is known for its chocolate and is where milk chocolate was invented in the 1800s. As a special treat, Mr. Lauten brought Swiss chocolates for the whole class to enjoy as they were making their land and water salt dough models. “They were quite delicious and the students really had fun” said Willey.

3rd Grade Fieldwork — Economics and Local Banks


Recently, students in third grade visited Entegra Bank as part of their studies on economics. They were given a tour of the bank including the vault, the drive-thru window, and behind the teller desks. They saw demonstrations on how security features protect the bank, how the drive-thru window works, how deposits are posted to accounts, how to write checks and deposits, how to use ATM cards, how savings can add up quickly, and how bills are counted quickly with the use of a machine. Entegra Bank gave each student a goody bag and encouraged all of our students to make wise decisions about saving money.

Visiting Artist Plans Recycled Art Project for Campus Gardens


Back in March, Ashevile based artist, Jeff Menzer, visited The Learning Center to plan projects he and students will be implementing on campus this spring. Mr. Menzer specializes in creating “Re-Art” Sculpture, figurative sculpture, and environmental installations using found objects and industrial discards.  This spring he will work with our students to turn discarded trampoline parts into art pieces that will become part of The Outdoor Learning Center.


This large scale art piece project serves to involve students in the design process, involve students in collaborative problem solving of environmental issues through the creative process, and to complete two art sculptures, one a shelter and one large bug, that will be permanently installed on campus.

2nd Grade Fieldwork — Study Water Conservation at GMREC


On Tuesday, February 28th, second Grade visited The Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center for a water conservation program. Students were taught the importance of being a water conserver rather than a water waster. Students participated in hands-on and interactive activities where they learned about frog life cycles, water pollution and the affects on our waterways and animals as well as the water cycle. Students created a frog life cycle replica, saw the water cycle with an up close demonstration, participated in a water cycle play, made rain gauges, and participated in an interactive water pollution demonstration.  It was an amazing learning experience for everyone.

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Tickets on Sale Now for Pirate Themed Musical, “Fearsome Pirate Frank”


The Learning Center! Charter School’s drama group, “The GrowZone Players” is “battening down the hatches” in preparation for this year’s upcoming spring musical, The Adventures of the Fearsome Pirate Frank.” The school will offer 3 performances; Friday, May 5th, Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, 7th. Performances begin at 6:30pm.

Tickets are on sale now at The Curiosity Shop Bookstore, downtown Murphy and at the school office, call 828-835-7240. You can also purchase tickets on the school’s website.

The musical will be performed in the auditorium on The Learning Center campus. Those attending the Saturday, May 6th performance will be treated to a special ceremony during intermission honoring the life and legacy of Jacqueline Marie Ward, 1950-1997.

After-Event Celebration and Fundraiser

Following the play on Saturday May 6th, make plans to attend a ticketed event celebrating the life and legacy of Jacqueline Marie Ward at The Murphy Arts Center, 33 Valley River Ave. This event includes entertainment by stand-up comedian, Karl Snow, a raffle, hors d’ oeuvres and cash bar. Proceeds from the musical will be used to purchase a multi-use stage and riser system for the school’s auditorium.

Want to Go?

The musical will be performed in the auditorium on The Learning Center campus 945 Conahetta St, Murphy, NC. Three performances (6:30pm); Friday, May 5th, Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, 7th. Purchase tickets now at The Curiosity Shop Bookstore, downtown Murphy, online or call 828-835-7240.