7th Grade Renegotiates the Treaty of Versailles

Recently seventh grade students participated in a lively debate where they renegotiated the Treaty of Versailles.

The Treaty of Versailles was one of the most important peace treaties that brought World War I to an end.

After spending time studying WWI and learning of it’s historical importance, students then got a first hand education on all the important factors and country interests in securing a peace treaty. This process allowed students to better understand what factors were at play that caused the war and the difficulties in ending it.

6th Grade Makes Board Games as Part of Language Arts Study

Sixth grade students recently just finished literature circles. Literature circles like book clubs. The intent of a literature circle to allow students to practice and develop the skills and strategies of good readers.

After the books were finished, students created original board games based on the novels they read.

Calling All Makers for Our 5th Annual SCHOOL MAKER FAIRE March 12th

Last year’s School Maker Faire featured over 75 makers from across the community at The Learning Center Charter School.

The Learning Center Charter School is celebrating making of all kinds at their 5th annual School Maker Faire on Thursday, March 12 from 3:30 – 6:30.

Maker Faire, an official brand and trademark for this worldwide phenomenon, is a celebration of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. It’s a place to show what you’ve made and to share what you’ve learned with others.  Schools host Maker Faires because they are a perfect combination of part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new. School Maker Faire exhibitors, or “makers,” are primarily students—either as individuals, clubs, classes or groups. And Maker Faire exhibits can be from any discipline — from science to art to gardening to engineering to craft.

Makers within the community are invited to have booths featuring their own unique Maker projects.

Additionally, there will be hands-on activities, demonstrations, and delicious food available for purchase.  Students in 4th-8th grade will be selling spaghetti dinner tickets  to raise funds for their respective class trips.

Ryan Bender, organizer for the School Maker Faire, said “People in our community are inherently curious and creative. Given the space and opportunity to build and create, they do and we invite you to come out to witness the awesome things they make!”

Bender added that having makers from the community sharing and interacting with the young people make the event truly special.

The Learning Center is an official host of the fifth annual School Maker Faire open to the Murphy area and is looking for Makers to join the festivities. The event will be held at the school on Thursday, March 12th, from 3:30 – 6:30 pm. Visit www.naturallygrownkids.org/school-maker-faire to learn more and sign up to be part of this event.

High Tech Electives

Every semester, we present a different choice of electives to our 5th-8th grade students. Offerings can vary wildly, but our focus in electives is always to give students a place to apply the skills they are learning during the academic day in a fun way. 

Offerings have included Aquaponics, Pottery, Art & Design, Web Design, Drama & Theater Arts, Knitting and Crochet, Hiking, Forest Management, Puppetry, Primative Skills, Coding, Chess, Cooking, Robotics, Choral Singing and many more.

This semester we offer Coding as an elective. Beginners started with Scratch and more advanced coders began using Microbit/JavaScript. Students started with learning the language then creating cat art. Afterwards they moved on to creating a dinosaur dance party. The advanced students worked on programming a robot to walk around in a certain pattern.  

Students Use Technology Daily

Students at The Learning Center Charter School are no stranger to the use of state-of-the-art technology as part of their every day learning experiences.   The school has 3D printers in several classrooms, Smart Boards in every classroom, computers and laser printers available to every student, and more.

The school has cultivated an E-STEAM environment where students learn using a variety of methods, tools, and techniques.   E-STEAM stands for entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts & agriculture, and math.

Head of school, Ryan Bender, said, “We use technology as part of our inquiry-based learning approach and have found that students gain a deeper understanding of a subject by means of experimentation with it.”

Bender pointed to a science class as an example of technology enhancing student learning.  “By giving our students access to technology and tools, we allow our students to “do” science instead of just “learn” science.”

For example, third grade students studied conduction, friction and heat transfer on January 20, 2020.  They conducted an experiment using infrared thermometers.  Students experimented on how the properties of different objects affect friction when rubbing with a cloth. Temperature was taken with the infrared thermometers and measured at different times through the course of the experiment.  Conduction, convection and radiation were all concepts that student learned as a result.

Bender added, “Using technology not only helps young students learn the skills required to operate the newest devices and latest software, but also allows them to research and solve problems in a collaborative and cooperative manner with their peers.”

Perfect Attendance Recognized & School Meets Expected Growth

Under the direction of Ryan Bender, Head of School in Training, students at The Learning Center Charter School were recognized for perfect attendance for the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year.

“It’s important to honor students that have perfect attendance,” said Bender.  “So much happens each and every day at school and missing days or even hours can be disruptive to a student’s learning.”  Bender added that attendance is important because students are more likely to succeed in academics when they attend school consistently.

Also, the school as a whole was recently awarded the Academic Growth Award Certificate from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for achieving expected academic progress during the 2018-2019 school year.

Academic growth is an indication of the progress that students in the school make over the course of a school year.

“Our philosophy of education is built upon the idea that young learners need to be exposed to a broad array of rich learning experiences,” said Bender. “Our teachers and students work hard every single day and we celebrate that success.”

Gingerbread Collaboration Between 5th Grade & Kindergarten

Back in December, fifth grade students worked with Kindergarten students to design and construct gingerbread houses. The classes joined forces for this fun engineering project and the collaborative effort was enjoyed by all.

Collaborative learning has been shown to not only develop higher-level thinking skills in students, but boost their confidence and self-esteem as well.

Plus, collaborative learning has been shown to:

  1. Enhance problem solving skills
  2. Inspire critical thinking
  3. Improve social interactions
  4. Support diversity
  5. Aid in the development of self-management skills
  6. Improve and develop oral communication skills
  7. Foster the development of interpersonal relationships

Clearly the students were building gingerbread houses. . . and so much more!