Working with our community partners and larger “Community of Learners” is important at our school. Tapping into the expanded knowledge that folks in our community can offer our students enables our teachers to expand their classrooms beyond four walls.
A perfect example of this is when last Spring, Dr. Mitchell visited the kindergarten class and discussed how he is a community helper by being a doctor. He talked to the students about what he does and even gave each student a pair of gloves and mask. Students got to listen to his heartbeat and ask loads of questions.
Thank you Dr. Mitchell for being a fantastic community partner!
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.
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.”
On April 6th, Second Grade visited the Cherokee County Historical Museum. The children were able to learn about our local history and they were able to see many artifacts that relate to Cherokee County and the surrounding areas.
The children also learned about the Trail of Tears and the hardships Native Americans faced at this time in history.
The children asked a lot of relevant questions and had a great time seeing and hearing about our local history.
In early Spring, our middle school students immersed themselves in local history as they strolled though town as they learned of the unwritten stories and significance of many local landmarks and memorials.
Lead by the Cherokee County Paranormal Society, the historical tour started downtown at the Charters for Freedom monument on the square. The students were treated to lively stories. Stops included The Miners & Planters Bank (now Cruise Planners), Cherokee County Courthouse, the Episcopal Church of the Messiah, Harshaw Chapel and Cemetery, and “Angel Eye.”
Interested in learning more? Contact the Cherokee County Paranormal Society to schedule your own tour.
High school students at Tri-County Early College High School (TCEC) work on large scale Project Based Learning (PBL) projects throughout each school year. During the third quarter of this school year, that large, school wide project was termed the “Hometown Heritage” project.
TCEC students worked individually or in groups with local residents who know skills, crafts or have specialized knowledge of our geographic area and cultural history. Students took up to ten weeks to plan, research and create their projects. In total, there were 47 different projects ranging in subject matter from natural remedies, Cherokee bow making, hide tanning, to canning, folk songs, weaving and more.
One group, seen here, focused their studies on Appalachian quilt making. In addition to learning about how to make a quilt, these high schoolers also learned about the necessity of quilts, supplies used in times of economic hardships and the social aspect quilt making encompassed.
An additional component of their project included finding a way to encourage young people in our community to become interested in our local heritage as well.
These TCEC students decided to present to our third graders about interesting things about our local heritage and asked each student to create their own quilt block representing something important to them and their unique heritage. Those quilt blocks were then sewn into a quilt and presented to the class.
The quilt is now a beautiful artifact of what the high school and elementary students learned and helped bridge the gap between older and younger generations. The quilt will ultimately be displayed permanently on campus.
Recently, kindergarten students spent time making art as part of their social studies lesson on Africa. Working across the subjects in this manner develops a deeper and wider understanding of the subject at hand. The students loved learning about the geography, animals, food and culture found in Africa.
You might remember that Kindergarten students are cooking their way around the world (click here to read more.)
Their social studies continued recently and the next stop was Asia. The students learned about the Philippines and how to make spring rolls with the help of an awesome parent volunteer.
In addition to cooking and eating, the kids had the chance to ask questions and found out many facts about the continent of Asia. They were especially surprised to learn that in Philippines, if someone knocks at your door, they must be invited in and given coffee or tea. In fact, if it’s meal time it is expected that they will join you.
Second graders spent a week completing a cross curricular unit where they learned the history of US Presidents. Through the use of technology, literature and writing, students completed many activities learning about our presidents. The students completed a Lapbooks project to go along with their studies.
Back in January, second graders spent a week completing a cross curricular unit on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Students completed a Lapbook Project as they learned about MLK, Jr’s impact on the Civil Rights Movement and the history of our nation. The students were fascinated as they learned that MLK, Jr. led peaceful boycotts, gave speeches and wrote books to try to get unfair laws changed.
Students now understand how MLK, Jr. helped change our world for the better and why we celebrate his life every January.