The Art of Basketry: A Cultural Study

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This past Friday The Learning Center! was proud to host Chuck and Peggy Patrick as they demonstrated the process behind Southern Appalachian Basketry and the sustainable harvesting of the materials used. The talented artist couple demonstrated each of their basketry skill: Chuck split both white oak and river cane while Peggy demonstrated the actual making of a basket.

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Additionally the Patricks have much to share with our students about the “Old Time Way” of life here in the Appalachian Mountains. Their varied art forms include Damascus Knives, Shoe Making, Bead and Leather work, Old Time Music and more. Chuck’s humble beginnings have lead to his becoming one of the nation’s leading expert bladesmiths and metallurgist. Among Peggy’s many accomplishments in addition to making baskets are fiddle and guitar playing. Both are regulars on the John C. Campbell teaching staff and in other venues that focus on ancestral and heritage primitive skills.  For more information:  http://chuckandpeggypatrick.com

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Pottery Elective for Grades 6-8

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Our pottery elective hosted special guest star Rob Withrow last Friday Feb 1. He told us fun stories about the history of folk pottery in North Carolina and showed us how to make face mugs!
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Rob is an amazing potter and one super human being. He was trained at the John C. Campbell Folk School and now runs his own studio: Smoke in the Mountains Pottery. He specializes in 6 foot tall face jugs, fired in community-built the wood-burning kiln at his studio in Brasstown.
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Students had fun listening to Rob’s wacky stories and learning the fine art of the face mug.

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Pacesetter Staff Visits TLC for Goal Day in 5th-8th Grades

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Recently, Western North Carolina Pacesetters helped run a Goal Setting Workshop for our 5th – 8th Grade students.

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Each student spent 30 minuets in each of six stations, designed to teach them strategies useful in being a successful Goal Setter. Our goal was for each student to walk away with a better sense of how to take the steps necessary to set a goal and follow through with it.
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Three stations were hosted by our TLC! teachers. Our wonderfully well-organized teachers executed these stations so well that every student in 5th – 8th grade was able to get an individual conference with each teacher in each subject area. That means a 6th grader, for instance, visited Mr. Ryan and Mrs. Judy to review their progress in Language Arts, Ms. Emily for a talk about science, and Mrs. Cheryl for a look at Math. Teachers and students together reviewed their MAP test scores in each subject area and worked together to set attainable goals for growth in each area.

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In between teacher sessions, students played a game with Pacesetters staff that helped reinforce their teamwork, communication, and goal-setting skills. In the “Toxic Waste Removal” game, for example, students had to figure out how to transport a wiffle ball balanced on a ring of electrical tape, suspended from 5 foot long ropes held by each person. In order not to tip the whole rig before getting the ball in the “waste removal silo,” the group had to make a plan, communicate it everyone in the group, check for understanding, and execute it together.
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Our students enthusiastically tackled these challenges with impressive skill. To debrief our workshop, each class worked with their writing teacher to draft a letter to WNC Pacesetters staff, thanking them and reviewing the games they liked best and what they learned from them.
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After our last round of MAP testing, in late March, we will take 5th-8th out to the Pacesetters Adventure Center. Here students will have a chance to revisit the goals they set down for themselves in our Workshop, whether it was a MAP score increase or a resolution to turn in homework on time, and have a personal check-in with themselves about their work getting there. It will be a day to celebrate the hard work that they have done this spring, and hopefully give them a little extra umph to keep pushing themselves to do their best through the Spring Fever that April will bring. We hope they will embrace the idea of taking personal pride and accountability in their goals whether they are academic, social or personal.

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NYT Best Selling Author Peter Jenkins Coming to Murphy

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Peter Jenkins, celebrated travel author, who is traveling the country working on a new book, will make a return visit to MURPHY, NC for a PUBLIC speaking engagement on MARCH 21, 2013. The Learning Center! Charter School will be offering tickets for the much anticipated event starting on January 22.

Jenkins is the author of three New York Times best sellers. Walk Across America has been used in schools across the country and was the inspiration for The Learning Center’s Venture Out Program, a cross-curricular Appalachian studies program combining education with travel.

The students have been following Jenkins’ travels on his FaceBook page. “It has really added a new dimension to read and study about his adventures in a book and then follow his recent travels via social media,” said director of the school, Mary Jo Dyre.

Tickets for the event, to be held at the Henn Theater must be purchased in advance, first come first served and seating is limited. (Ticket prices are forthcoming…. details on Tuesday)

Tickets will be sold through three locations:

1) The Learning Center! Charter School Office (828-835-7240 and tlccs@naturallygrownkids.org for questions).

2) through the school’s website: www.naturallygrownkids.org

3) The Curiosity Shop Bookstore

Want to learn more about Peter Jenkins?  Follow him on FaceBook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/peterjenkinswalks and read this USA Today article about his latest venture by clicking <<<HERE>>>.

Best-selling author Peter Jenkins to speak in Murphy. Save the date!

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“Make the world your classroom.” That is what award-winning travel author, Peter Jenkins urged of students during his 2012 visit to The Learning Center! Charter School. The celebrated author, who is traveling the country working on a new book, will make a return visit to the school for a PUBLIC speaking engagement on MARCH 21. The Learning Center will be offering tickets for the much anticipated event and more details are to come so make sure you save the date.

Jenkins is the author of three New York Times best sellers along with a list of other must reads.  Walk Across America has been used in schools across the country and was the inspiration for The Learning Center’s Venture Out Program (a cross-curricular Appalachian studies program combining education with travel.  Use the category selector on the right hand column of this blog to select “Venture Out” for a more extensive description of the Jenkin’s inspired program.)

“We are so excited and honored by his exclusive speaking engagement to our school and expect a sellout crowd,” said director, Mary Jo Dyre. “Our students have been following Jenkins’ travels on his Facebook page. It has really added a new dimension to read and study about his adventures in a book and then follow his recent travels via social media.” If you would like to follow Peter Jenkins adventures please click  <<<HERE>>>> to visit his Facebook page.

We will post updates on his visit on our website at www.naturallygrownkids.org and right here on the blog.   Additionally we will be working with local Curiosity Bookstore to make copies of Jenkin’s work available to our community.

Greenhouse Update

A few lucky fourth graders recently assisted Tom Willey in setting up the new greenhouse for TLC!  Tom has donated time and supplies to enable us to begin our garden to cafeteria program.  In these pictures he is showing the students the basics of soil preparation.  He explains the variety of organic and inorganic matter needed to germinate and grow greens.

Thank you Mr. Willey!

Computer Guts and Other Stuff

Recently Jim Bell, TLC Board of Directors member, visited 3rd and 4th graders to show them the guts of a computer.  He happens to have a computer housed in a clear case so he was able to show the students the contents of the computer and explain how it all works.  This was an excellent way to kick of some basic computer training and Internet safety instruction.

Thanks Mr. Bell!

The Learning Center! brings “top shelf talent” as part of curriculum

 

In February, The Learning Center! fourth grade students welcomed VIP guest writer and best selling author, Dr. Gloria Houston. They got to spend several hours listening to her stories, asking questions, and being inspired by her books. After reading one of her books called, Littlejim, teacher Ashley Tate assigned a project to her fourth graders, incorporating creativity and writing skills. Students had several options to choose from, or they could come up with their own. Some students made models or dioramas of a scene from the book and had to write a description along with it. Tate said, “Students got really creative. One made a board game, another made a poster, there was a PowerPoint presentation, some wrote a sequel to Littlejim or a children’s version of the story; some wrote letters or poems to Littlejim or Gloria Houston, herself.” Ms. Tate reports that she even had a couple of students make food that was mentioned in the book.

Earlier this year, the school also invited Peter Jenkins, author of three New York Times best sellers including the classic, A Walk Across America. In addition, as part of a strong writing curriculum, The Learning Center! is organizing and supporting The Cherokee County Middle School Poetry and Essay Contest in May through the Jackie Ward Foundation.

Director of the school, Mary Jo Dyre pointed out that “As part of our mission to promote Academics and Arts at The Learning Center, we bring in ‘top shelf talent’ then maximize the experience by incorporating curriculum-linked projects into what they learned from the visit.”

For more information visit www.naturallygrownkids.org. Visit our blog: TLCGrowZone.org/blog/ or FaceBook: TLCGrowZonePage.

Academics & Arts 2012 Photo Review

4th grade working with artist Jo Kilmer on an arbor for The Outdoor Learning Center.

 

 

Clay turtles as part of Academics & the Arts Week!

 

 

Creative writing around the fire pit during Academics & the Arts Week.

 

Writing contest winners!

 

Writing contest winners!

 

Writing contest winners!

 

Writing contest winners!

 

Writing contest winners!

 

Kindergarten and First Grade perform "Squirm" for the choral spring concert.

 

Second through Fourth grades perform "River Child" as part of the spring concert.