Time for Art – Professor Mark A. Menendez

Last Friday fourth through eighth grade students had the opportunity to meet Mark Menendez.  Mr. Menendez is a local artist and “Professor” who travels through time to meet the great artists.  He learns their techniques and then shares them with others.  In this particular presentation he introduced students to Leonardo da Vinci and showed them how da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. 

Professor Mark A. Menendez and his time traveling machine!



It is safe to say that students and staff alike learned much about perhaps the most famous painting in the world and about it’s painter.  To find out more about Professor Mark A. Menendez visit www.timeforart.com

International Friday in 2nd grade

Every Friday is International Day in second grade.  Recently those second graders celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month.  The day incorporated ALL content areas including music and art. The students had the opportunity to create their own maracas, listen to Latin music and get to play with the beat of the music.  They also got to taste a Hispanic treat—a Senorita.


First grade STEM project #1

{First grade teacher Ms. Darea wanted to share how she is using The Outdoor Learning Center in combination with her classroom and technology to implement Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) into first grade studies.  She provided these photos and the explanation below.  Sounds like awesome stuff!}

Amazing things happened in my classroom this week!  We went to The Outdoor Learning Center for two days practicing our observation and recording skills.  On Friday, during my integrated math/science block, we organized the data we collected, made a pictograph on the Mimeo Board, and analyzed the data!  There was so much math going on it was ridiculous!  The kids were totally engaged for the entire hour and a half!  First, they circled all of the plants they observed and recorded in their science journals in green.  Then, they circled all the animals in blue.  They then counted these in cooperative groups of five.  Each person had a job.  There was a recorder, a plant counter, a plant counter rechecker, an animal counter, and an animal counter rechecker.  I recorded these numbers for each group on the two column chart.  Then, I put a calculator under the document camera and showed them how to add the large numbers.  They counted 100 plants as a whole group and 96 animals.  We then took the difference of the this and talked about the numbers a little.  We even broke it down a little further into how many spiders and birds were observed.  Most kids got to come up to add their group data to our pictograph.  It was truly an amazing experience.  Look for more STEM projects coming up.  I’ve allotted time to be able to do this each Friday.  Our work through the week in science will culminate in a big integrated project like this one on Fridays.  It’s encouraging that this one turned out so well!






5th grade celebrates International Dot Day

5th graders displaying their dot paintings for International Dot Day.

Ms. Christy’s fifth graders celebrated International Dot Day  last week.  They read the book  The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds and then were given the assignment to create their own mark.  Ultimately, they had to watercolor a dot without trying to create a dot.



Visual art and language arts together in one lesson?  Awesome!

More on the primitive skills elective offering

Mr. Josh and the primitive skills crew

Mr. Josh and his primitive skills crew are putting The Outdoor Learning Center to good use!


Trying to start a fire with a magnifying glass.


A travois or stretcher



Using a magnesium stick to start fire.

Geography Scavenger Hunt . . . and so much more!


Those on the far left in red are made in USA. Those in far right in blue are made in China. Various countries are represented in the middle section.

Each Friday grades 5-8 are participating in a Geography Scavenger Hunt as part of their Middle REAL program.  The students are divided into teams and each team is lead by a different middle school teacher.  During the first week the teams were each sent to search for items on campus that had information about where the item was manufactured.  Each team kept track of their findings and listed where each item was made.


For example, a box of Saran Wrap was made in USA.

As the weeks have progressed each team has been responsible for tracking the information, organizing the information, and finding the countries on a world map.  This project continues!  The next time you see a 5th-8th grader be sure to ask them what they are doing now with their Geography Scavenger Hunt!


Kindergarten and Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed!

On Sept 8, 2011 the Kindergarten went to the Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center in Blairsville, GA to visit and learn about Johnny Appleseed, growing and harvesting apples in our region, and the cycle of life in an apple orchard.

The books and stories read prior to the fieldwork really paid off.  Our students were able to recognize the parts of the plant, knew the proper technique to pick (and not injure the apple tree or other apples), and could discuss the interdependent relationship of insects, animals, and plants, and how weather effects farming and production and costs of food items.


A special thank you to our wonderful parents for joining and driving this class on this fieldwork.  They have since used the apples they picked in several projects, including graphing, cooking applesauce, and a Country French apple pie.


More happenings in the classrooms and around campus

5th grade doing Guided Reading in The Outdoor Learning Center.


Fourth grade using personal white boards to solve problems in Investigations Math.


Fourth grade weighing, measuring, scratching, and testing floating ability of different rocks in science class.
Second graders displaying kites they made during their studies of reading, math and science.



Third graders playing CAPTURE 5 in Investigations Math.
Third graders learning about the legend of the hummingbird in Guided Reading.


7th grade outdoor motion lab, exploring variables that affect pendulum swing in science class.



6th grade outdoor transverse wave modeling in science class.


Honoring 9/11 with a TLC Day of Service

Today every student at TLC! fanned out across our community to “pay it forward.”

Beginning at 8:30am the entire student body and staff congregated in our front school parking lot for the Kickoff Ceremony.

All were present . . . from preschool through eighth grade.
Pledging to the flag.
Honoring those that died on September 11, 2001.


Mayor Hughes was our special guest.


Students then ventured out to local non-profit organizations to give back to our community.  They visited Murphy Medical Center Nursing Home, the Murphy Police Department, Murphy Public Library, REACH Thrift Store, Project Creek Bank, Murphy River Walk and a local food pantry.

At Murphy Medical Center Nursing Home


Murphy Police Department



Murphy Public Library


REACH Thrift Store



Murphy River Walk


Local food pantry

Additionally, students also worked on campus with construction, repair, garden and beautification projects.






This day not only honored those who gave all on September 11th, but helped develop the character of our students.  A special thank you to Ms. Ashley for suggesting this day of service and making it happen at TLC!

Second grade teacher Ms. Ashley