Learning Center Visits Asheville, Chattanooga

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The Learning Center! Charter School’s sixth, seventh and eighth graders hit the road on March 14 for a three-day end-of-year class trip to Asheville, NC.

At the same time, Learning Center fourth and fifth graders went the opposite direction and headed to Chattanooga, TN for their class trip.

The Asheville trip, led by teachers and staff including, Ryan Bender, Julie Johnson, Heidi LaCentra, and Cheryl Catuto, started with a visit to Conundrum Escape Room where students participated in a challenging escape room, working together to solve the puzzle of how to “escape” in under an hour.

Next on the agenda, braving the snow and cold, students explored downtown Asheville and Grove Arcade where they enjoyed unique shops and architecture.

Highlights of the trip included The River Arts District for a tour of potters and a painters studios, and a visit to the opulent and historic Grove Park Inn, built in the early 1900s. Students also enjoyed a variety of cuisine. Some restaurants they enjoyed included Ichiban Hibachi Restaurant, Indian delicacies at Mela, and an Asheville institution, The French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

Students found time for exercise at Asheville Fun Depot, an Arcade & Adventure outpost. Members of the group scaled the climbing wall, played laser tag, drove go-karts, played mini golf, and tested skills in the arcade.

Meanwhile, not to be out-done by their counterparts, fourth and fifth graders enjoyed their class trip in Chattanooga with a visit to the Chattanooga Aquarium and IMAX theater. Students toured the aquarium and attended a fun classroom activity called Plankton Power. They watched an Imax presentation about our incredible oceans.

TLC Celebrates Earth Day

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Students across The Learning Center campus celebrated Earth Day in April by taking a walking tour with Restoration Coordinator, Tony Ward, of the Hiawasee River Watershed Coalition. He taught students how our town monitors and improves water bodies in our area.  Students learned about environmental issues and our local ecology along the river including the efforts being made to stop erosion along the rivers, the benefits of trees, and native and evasive plants.

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Pathfinder Crew Paints Rocks as Part of Earth Day Activities

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The Pathfinder Crew painted rocks as part of the Murphy Rocks movement and then hid them with care along the River Walk.  This was in conjunction with learning about native trees and water quality as part of their Earth Day activities with the Hiawassee River Watershed Coalition.

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Fire Department Visits Kindergarten and First Grades

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Before school let out for summer break, Mr. Cody from Murphy Fire Department came and talked to students in kindergarten and first grades about fire safety. Students learned what an important role the firemen play in our community. Each student got to try on equipment and squirt the hose. Thank you Murphy Fire Department for this special and informative visit!

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3rd Grade Fieldwork — Economics and Local Banks

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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

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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.

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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

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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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3rd Grade Science — Understanding the Movement of Earth

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Recently, students in third grade went outside to observe their morning shadow.  They went back outside at noon and traced their shadow to see if it had changed. At 2:30pm Ms. Kathleen took them out again for final observation and data collection. Students were amazed that their shadow changed both shape and direction throughout the day. This helped these young scientist understand how Earth’s movement throughout the day causes the sun to be in different positions in the sky.

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4th Grade Visits Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center and Learns About Fossils

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Recently, students in fourth grade were invited to attend a special presentation and exhibit on fossils presented by Jane Brechbill and the Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center. Coinciding with North Carolina science standards, students learned about the three types of rocks, plate tectonics and fossils. They were also given the opportunity to handle and examine many rare fossils dating back millions of years.

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