5th Grade – Chemistry as Art

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!

Want to know more about our approach to science at The Learning Center Charter School? Fill out the form below.

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Kindergarten Visits Apple Orchard

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.

Want to know more about how we use field work to enhance our classroom studies? Fill out the form below!

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Murphy PD & EMS Visit

In September, both the Cherokee County EMS Department and the Murphy Police Department visited our Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten students.

Thank you for visiting our young students and telling them about your important community function and answering all of their many, many questions!

Want to know more about how our school works with our community partners? Fill out the form below.

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3rd Grade Science – Body Systems

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.

Want to know more about Project Based Learning (PBL) at our school? Fill out the form and we will get back to you shortly.

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Mark your calendars! Monster Mash & ARTrageous

Have questions about either?

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2nd Grade Explores Math

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!”

Have a question? We’ve got answers!

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6th-8th Grade CREW “Sorting” Ceremony

Sixth through eighth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School are divided into four multi-grade CREW groups at the beginning of each school year.  This year the process mimicked the sorting ceremony from the popular Harry Potter book series.

The CREW selection process was like the Harry Potter sorting ceremony where each student wore the hat and it was revealed to them which CREW had been selected for them.

Each CREW meets weekly throughout the school year and are designed to build relationships and a sense of community.  CREW allows students to have a safe place with peers to share both triumphs and defeats.  CREW encourages peer facilitations wherein students take active leadership roles and teachers serve as moderators rather than leaders of the groups.

Ms. Jessie said, “Our CREW concept is based on the idea that we are all in the same boat.  We work together like a crew of a ship.”

After the sorting ceremony, each CREW participated in get-to-know-you icebreaker games.  As the school year progresses, each group will work on goal setting, community service and social development.


Kindness in the Classroom

Keep an eye out for these bear paws popping up all over campus. . . maybe even in your child’s backpack!

What are they? They are part of a new program we are kicking off this year at The Learning Center called Kindness in the Classroom.  On the reverse side of each paw print, you’ll find the following:

Teachers and staff are implementing a Kindness in the Classroom program that addresses and teaches important life skills such as assertiveness, caring, compassion, fairness, gratitude, integrity, helpfulness, perseverance, respect, responsibility, self-care and self-discipline. These concepts are presented in ways that are differentiated for each grade to account for students’ developmental levels.

This will be an on-going campaign.

Be sure to ask your student about what they are learning!

Charter School Students Play in the Dirt


Students at The Learning Center Charter School regularly play in the dirt.Students at The Learning Center Charter School regularly play in the dirt.  Whether working on the school’s vegetable garden, building miniature homes in the school’s Outdoor Learning Center, taking soil samples for science class or turning the school compost pile, being in the dirt is a regular part of any school day.

Garden based learning at The Learning Center Charter School.

Kindergarten through eighth grade students at the school do everything in the garden from weeding, planting, watering and harvesting fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Director in Training, Ryan Bender, believes that gardening engages students by providing a living environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn. “Gardens are living laboratories where our students learn everything from team work to food production and lessons can be taught across the curriculum,” says Bender.

Emily Willey, elementary science and outdoor learning coordinator at the charter school, makes gardening a regular part of the daily routine for students at the school.

“Playing an active role in food production teaches young people everything from agriculture to nutrition. These kids love seeing the fruits of their labor and are willing to eat unfamiliar vegetables as a result.”

Willey also has her first through fourth grade students continuously engineering, building, trouble shooting and redesigning miniature houses out in the woods for imaginary fairies and trolls.

“It is helpful for students who are intimidated in a classroom setting to be outdoors and have unstructured play and creative freedom while interacting with nature,” says Willey. “There is no wrong way to build these miniature homes and to watch students who may be timid in class slowly come into their own as they get to build outside has been nothing but inspiring.”

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How Teachers Spent Their Summer Break

Teachers and staff at The Learning Center Charter School have spent the last several weeks prepping classrooms, campus and curriculum for the start of the new school year this week.

Annual Parent Fair at The Learning Center Charter School

Ryan Bender, Head of School in Training, pointed out all the steps necessary to get ready for a new school year.  “Building and site maintenance is crucial during the summer months,” said Bender.  “More importantly, however, our teachers spend much of their summer break attending training in order to be sure our school continues to offer an outstanding academic program.”

Bender said that some of the most exciting training teachers experienced this summer was OWL trainingOWL stands for Open Way Learning and is the brainchild of local educators Ben Owens and Adam Haigler. This way of teaching/learning has been the foundational approach at Tri-County Early College High School. 

According to openwaylearning.org, “Open Way Learning (OWL) offers a set of principles that can transform schooling through leveraging the power of open communities. It is a framework that encourages educators to create, tweak, and share best practices to help education keep pace with a rapidly changing economy, society, and environment. OWL encourages educators to prioritize shared vision, distributed leadership, collaboration, freely exchanged knowledge, and innovation in creating customized solutions for their learning communities.”

“Tri-County Early College High School has an impressive and proven track record of success,” said Bender. “We are here to take this revolutionary educational model to the kindergarten through eighth grade level.”

To learn more about the Community of Learners at The Learning Center Charter School, visit www.naturallygrownkids.org or call 835-7240.

#OpenWayLearning  #OpenUpEducation