Fifth grade students recently completed a science project related to their study the properties and changes of matter. The class conducted an experiment called “Chemistry as Art.” The experiment involved mixing different types of matter together to make paint.
Students created their own egg tempera paint and used it on poster board and clay. They enjoyed making their own paint and observing how you can mix egg yolks and liquid water color or food coloring to make paint. They were also surprised to find that this method has been used many years by artists as a paint medium. And, they created some amazing paintings as a result!
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On September 10th, Kindergarten students at The Learning Center Charter School took a trip to the apple orchard at 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.
Prior to the field trip, Kindergarten teacher Stephanie Wilson read many books to the students about apples. As a result, 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.
Wilson found creative ways to use apples across the curriculum upon their return to school. Students added and subtracted apples, learned the science behind what makes an apple grow and even made wonderful apple art.
“Math, science, language arts, guided reading and visual arts studies were all enhanced with this special field work at the orchard,” said Wilson.
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At the beginning of the school year, fifth grade teacher Ms. Gina planned a get together with her students and their families at a local pizza place. Ms. Gina does this each school year as a way to get to know her students and set the stage for a wonderful school year.
Third grade students have studied bones, muscles and skin systems of the human body as part of their science curriculum. Ms. Kathleen and Ms. Emily co-taught the unit and kept students engaged with an extended Project Based Learning (PBL) approach to the subject.
Students played games, made art, made graphs, made models and read a variety of material on the subject as part of the extended project.
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At 8:10am on the morning of September 11, 2019, students and teachers at The Learning Center Charter School gathered in front of the school to remember and pay tribute to the victims of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. After observing a moment of silence, the students mobilized into groups and performed acts of kindness and service across campus and the community.
This was the ninth year in a row the school has performed community service as a means to honor the lives lost on 9/11.
Students fanned out across the campus and community with a spirit of helpfulness. Some picked up litter along the River Walk while others scoured Conahetta Park for trash and debris. The Fifth Grade class volunteered at Nantahala Regional Library where they cleaned and organized books.
“Our annual day of service not only honors those victims, but develops the character of our students as well,” said Ryan Bender, head of school in training at the charter school. “Children’s television host Fred Rogers famously said that when he was a boy and saw scary things in the news, his mother would tell him to ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ Our annual day of service instills in these kids to become those helpers.”
Bender added that in addition to the day of service activities, teachers use the day to encourage dialogue and education in the classroom to this young generation of students who weren’t alive during the 2001 terror attacks. “Our goal is to ensure that these students understand this day and its significance to our history.”
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To celebrate, our nutrition staff is planning a week of “cultural tastings”. New foods and recipes will be introduced to students from around the world. Some of these new items will become regular features on our breakfast and lunch menus as well.
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Second grade students at The Learning Center Charter School have wasted no time getting familiar with the math tools that they will be using throughout the new school year in Guided Math.
Guided Math is the approach the kindergarten through fifth grade classes take each day to math. Class begins with a math warm up and is soon followed by a whole group mini lesson which focuses on a specific math standard. After that, students work in smaller groups following a rotation schedule according to STACK. STACK stands for 1) Small groups with the teacher, 2) Technology, 3) Apply what they have learned, 4) Create using critical thinking skills through math journaling, and 5) Kinesthetic, or in other words, hands-on games and activities.
Stephanie Hopper, second grade teacher at the school, said “Our Guided Math approach allows students to experience direct instruction as well as student-centered activities and hands-on learning.” Hopped added that she is able to work with small groups of students to further enhance the direct instruction and work closely with those who are both struggling and those who are ready to be further challenged.
“After the daily rotation is complete, the class comes back together as a whole and reflects on the lessons of the day,” said Hopper. “Guided Math allows me to monitor each individual student and provide differentiated instruction. It’s a win-win learning experience!”