ARTrageous 2018 Recap

On November 8th and 9th, 2018, our school hosted our third annual art celebration and fundraising event — ARTrageous 2018.

This two night event featured a live and silent auction on Thursday. Former North Carolina Poet Laureate, Shelby Stephenson, was on hand to entertain the crowd.

On the second night of the event, art was celebrated in all forms from food, dancing, live music, written and spoken word, to gallery art and live drama performances.

Our fabulous TLC! GrowZone Players  performed a one-act play. These young actors always steal the show and give audiences a great preview of the spectacular performances you’ll see at our annual Spring Musical. This year’s play, The Wolf Who Was a Vegetarian, and Other Slightly Bizarre Stories featured the work of North Carolina Playwright Susan Steadman,  seen in the photo above.

5th Grade Muddy Sneakers — Studying the Weather

You might remember that our 5th graders participate in a program called Muddy Sneakers each year.  The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude.  Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.

As part of their ongoing Muddy Sneakers experience, in November students worked with the field educators to learn all about weather.  They used the Scientific Method to measure weather changes between two different points in the day.  Throughout the days adventures, students learned about cold fronts, warms fronts, stationary weather fronts. They played weather related games, acted out weather related skits and generally had a blast being out and observing weather first hand.

1st & 2nd Grades Visit Murphy Mayor

Back in October, students in first and second grade visited the Mayor of Murphy, Mr. Ramsey. They got to tour his offices and ask all sorts of questions about what a mayor does on a daily basis. Learning about roles within a community are important academic standards for these young students and visiting Mayor Ramsey cemented in their minds the importance of the job. Thank you Mayor Ramsey!

8th Grade Students “Venture Out” into Mountain Region

8th Graders are seen with Macon County Historical Museum curator Robert Shook during their Venture Out trip to Franklin, NC in September.

Venture Out is a cross-curricular travel and study program for fourth through eighth grade students at the school.  It weaves literature, science, history and art with travel and real life experiences.  The Venture Out program promotes trips to places and people of interest across the mountain region. The annual upper grades class trip branches out to include travel destinations such as New York City, Coastal NC, Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans and Atlanta.

Students in eighth grade experience a robust Venture Out travel schedule that began with the trip to Franklin in September. Students toured the Macon County Historical Museum that is housed in a 1904 building in the town center. They enjoyed a guided tour with special emphasis on Franklin’s unique Civil War history. Students also visited a gem and mineral museum housed in the old Franklin city jail. They enjoyed viewing the expansive mineral, gem and fossil collection housed there.

On October 9th, these students traveled to Rabun County, Georgia and explored the Foxtire Museum and Appalachian Heritage Center. They enjoyed the demonstrations from craftspeople, hands-on activities and learned how people have lived in our mountains for centuries.

Julie Johnson, Expedentiary Learning Coordinator at our school, said, “Our goal at The Learning Center is to create life-long learners who know that there is always something to learn from the world around them.”

The Venture Out activities are chosen to closely align with what students study in the classroom.  Venture Out is not a day out of school – it’s a day where school happens off campus.

Johnson added, “Through travel and exploration, we are making our great community our classroom.”

Pennies for Patients

From October 8th to October 26th, the entire student body participated in Pennies for Patients.   Pennies for Patients is a special program sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s School and Youth Program.  This is a service learning program that gives students the unique experience of working together to raise both awareness and funds in honor of thousands of children and adults fighting against blood cancer.

Each class raised funds towards the school wide Pennies for Patients fundraising goal. The total raised was $935. The third grade class raised the most at $208.82 and earned a pizza party as a result.

During the Pennies for Patients event, students held a fundraiser where anyone could dress like a superhero for the day. The students in the following photos dressed as various superheros including as our own science teacher, Ms. Emily.

Muddy Sneakers and 5th Grade Part II

Fifth graders have begun participating in The Muddy Sneakers program and will have several excursions throughout the school year.  The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude.  Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.  Be sure to scroll down and read Part I in of series of 5th Grade and Muddy Sneakers in the previous post.

The second Muddy Sneakers excursion had the students trekking to Fires Creek to learn about Aquatic Ecosystems. The class was divided into two groups and Muddy Sneakers leaders Kiersten and Alex each took a group to the river to check the water quality.

The students had fun hiking their way through the trails to reach the water destination. Once there the instructors took out the collecting materials and explained to the students how to collect animal specimens without hurting them. Each student was partnered up. One of the partners went into the water first with a bucket, small fish net, and a small paint brush sponge.  The other student stayed on the bank to separate the different species into separate containers.

Afterwards, the class came back together to discuss what they found. Depending on what kinds of micro-invertebrate species they had found, they could determine if the water was healthy or polluted. Students were pleased to discover that the water was good quality.

Then, students hiked up to the waterfall and we discussed what they had learned from this expedition.

Muddy Sneakers and 5th Grade Part I

For the second year in a row, fifth graders at our school are participating in Muddy Sneakers.  The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude.  Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.

Students had their first excursion to learn the rules and procedures during these field work expeditions.  Students learned things like how to identify poison ivy, what to do if they see a snake in the woods, how to use compasses and magnifying glasses, and how to behave around stinging insects.

This first day was spent walking the trails in our own Outdoor Learning Center.  During the lessons and hikes, students found some really cool fungus and discussed it as the group. They found Cobalt Crust, Stinkhorn Mushrooms, and a blanket of white fluff on a tree branch that they identified as Beech Blight Aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator), a species that lives off the sap of beech trees.

The students really are excited to learn more on future Muddy Sneakers expeditions!

Kindergarten Makes Applesauce

A special thank you to a parent volunteer that visited the Kindergarten class and helped them make applesauce. This fun seasonal activity included teaching the students about apples, the importance of eating local foods that are in season and how to read a recipe. Plus, the resulting applesauce was delicious!