A four-day week, and so much ground covered! As Maria and I left CELC HQ Friday afternoon, we both were in disbelief – it felt like a month of days, with all the new learning and activity.
Our classes are back into swing after the holidays. Science classes sorted their rock samples into categories: sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous, based on their characteristics. The “math-sketteers” jumped right into exploring magnitude of decimals and fractions, working with variables, while algebra students examined absolute value inequalities and equations. The Literature Circle groups got new books – A Call of The Wild, and The Sea-Wolf. Spanish class: conversing, conjugating –er and –ir verbs, and translating a song from Spanish to English. Mystery writing commenced, as students worked toward final drafts; peer conferencing conversations blossomed.
The Tuesday outdoor education class was entitled “For Goodness Snakes”. Ranger Russ at Meigs Point shared with us his vast knowledge as we observed and held many reptile friends; later students drafted blogs about their experiences. Thursday brought us into New Haven. We hiked Edgewood Park with Ranger Joe as he led the group on a tracking expedition. Hard to believe we were still within city limits, surrounded by woods along the Mill River.
In music students improvised on drums, worked on reading music notation, and discussed the next instrument to be built. Why Cook? had the group preparing Shepherd’s Pie. Peace Studies involved a continuation of a study of the Bill of Rights, and a beginning activity to determine what students already know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That was just a Friday morning.
To top it all off, Friday afternoon students attended the first in a series of art classes with Ken Rowe of Krowe’s Nest Studio in Durham. A master craftsman, wood turner, and more, he introduced the group to the world of woodworking. So many varieties of wood, some bright yellow, some with a special oil and scent, others with a grain like a zebra – one might not even imagine the assortment.
Safe use of tools was paramount as he toured the group through his shop, which included a lathe, table saw, band saw, drum sander, and much more; this is a professional shop, well organized and very user-friendly. From measuring to cutting with a table saw, courage and determination played a part as students each began to work on building their “swivel boxes”, a project that will last a few weeks, and in the process will include much new learning.
Oh, the places CELC goes … what a journey!