Each year, our fifth grade students spend the year doing field work with Muddy Sneakers. The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude. Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.
Spring is here and students had a wonderful spring expedition with Muddy Sneakers in April. Students compiled a list of various indicators that spring has arrived.
Third graders at The Learning Center Charter School are immersing the pop culture phenomenon of graphic novels into their everyday studies and are learning language arts, science, and art as a result.
A graphic novel is a full length story published as a book in comic-strip format. In other words, graphic novels are book length comic books and subject matter can range from mysteries to superhero stories.
Teacher Kathleen Shook noticed student interest in graphic novels and decided to embrace it as a means to teach subjects across the curriculum. In addition to fully embracing graphic novels as a means to learn topics in language arts, students have also created their own graphic novels as part of writing assignments, illustrated them in art class, and included science lessons as part of the novels.
“My class has been really into graphic novels outside of class,” said Shook. “Bringing that excitement into other areas of study has been a fun way to engage my students and deepen their learning in other areas.”
Shook added that students have even been writing comics at home and bringing them to school to share with the class. Plus, Murphy Public Library loaned twenty new novels for the class to enjoy.
“Learning should be fun and my students have been having a blast weaving graphic novels throughout their studies each day,” said Shook.
Starting in the 2021-22 school year, The Learning Center Charter School will be participating in the Amazon Future Engineer Program. This program provides resources and support to teachers and students in the field of computer science.
The school is expanding to include high school grades. For the upcoming school year, ninth grade will be added. Tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades will be added in each subsequent school year.
“The engineering program offered in partnership with Amazon will be a valuable tool we offer both our high school and middle school students,” said Ryan Bender, head of school. Bender added that the partnership will allow teachers to introduce students to a variety of technological resources.
“This will allow us to introduce the basics of computer science including Scratch coding language,” said teacher Jessie Adams. Adams is the current sixth – eighth grade science teacher. However, with the addition of ninth grade next school year, she will be the seventh-ninth grade science teacher. Adams added that the curriculum provided through the partnership will also allow students to explore robotics, artificial intelligence, app development and more.
“We are excited that our middle and high school students will develop these skills and have amazing experiences like virtual visits with Amazon engineers, field trips to Amazon facilities, and ongoing opportunities for real-world experiences,” said Adams.
Students in first grade worked together on a School Maker Faire project all about birds. They had been learning about the building and nesting of Cardinals and Vogelkop Bower birds and took what they learned and ran!
First, students each build a cardinal nest. They learned that the birds use pine needles, weeds, twigs, tree bark, and roots to make their nests. They collected nesting material outdoors and used their engineering skills to build replica nests.
The second project was Vogelkop Bower bird nests. Students learned that this bird uses sticks for the nest roof and moss for the floor. The male bird collects colorful and shiny items to present on the “bower”, or stage, to attract females.
Third graders recently studied plant needs and life cycle. They were so excited to germinate seeds in their desk, dissect and label parts of the seed (seed coat, epicotyl, radical, embryo, and cotyledon) and then learn the parts of a flower by dissecting daffodils.
Third graders have been studying plant life cycles. Ms. Emily took advantage of the warm sunny days to take students outside to look for fibrous and taproots from living plants among our many campus gardens.
Fourth grade students helped prepare the spring garden as part of science lessons. Students studied the rock and mineral cycle and learned and observed how that relates to soil quality. There is so much to learn in the garden!
Are you sharing your projects with us via Facebook? We sure hope so! Remember to tag us using BOTH @TLCGrowZonePage AND @TLCSchoolMakerFaire. Don’t forget to check our page on March 17th to see all the projects and give encouraging shout-outs to all our Makers!
This is a reminder that our 6th Annual School Maker Faire is going on now through March 17th via our Facebook page. Anyone that wants to participate is welcome! Share your project and tag us using BOTH @TLCGrowZonePage AND #TLCSchoolMakerFaire. Then be sure to stop by on March 17th to view all the projects and share encouraging words with our fellow makers. W cannot wait to see how YOU help us make this online School Maker Faire a success!