“I can’t wait to start grammar, Maria!” declares Henry, an eighth grade CELC student. Starting the adventure, CELC year two commences as students gather Tuesday, 7 September. The first days include some get-to-know-you/ get re-acquainted activities, designed to build community and foster respect for oneself and others. Students will design ‘personal treasure boxes’ that will hold items and student writing to document our learning experiences and the places we will go.
This year our social studies theme, entitled Quest for Freedom: Immigration and African American Migration to America, is integrated into all subject areas. We are raising migratory butterflies that we will tag and contribute to the data records for Monarch Watch, an organization that monitors the migratory behavior of these fascinating animals.
A study of habitats and ecosystems will allow students to consider what determines a ‘home” and to explore characteristics needed to be able to survive and thrive in a particular environment. A habitat scavenger hunt asks students to consider important aspects of a ‘habitat’ as they find examples of something biotic, something abiotic, a consumer, and a producer.
Our community service theme this year is conservation and sustainability. Later in September, we begin our work with the Regional Water Authority. Students will become familiar with the importance of watersheds, water quality, and how we can protect this valuable resource.
A special event for us also in September as part of our beginning of the year “launch” will be to sail aboard the Sail Surprise – a tri-maran captained by Corky and Sue Clark, founders and former owners of The Mountain Workshop, and true adventurers. Students will learn navigation, basic sailing technique, and then sail the boat off Mamaroneck, NY, with a special stop at the Garvies Point Museum to learn about the geology of Long Island Sound. When CELC does outdoor education, we really mean it!
While learning beyond the “classroom” occurs on a regular basis, students will certainly get right into all of the exciting academic learning that happens each day. Math will begin with some group activities- specifically a ‘measurement study’ to hone in on building students’ sense of units of measure for solids, liquids, shapes, area, and more. Then, along with brushing up on math facts, we will have a probability fair.
CELC students are an enthusiastic group, ready to take on a myriad of learning adventures, work hard, stretch, and grow. Beginning the year means getting our learning off to a great start – we jump right in! Stay tuned for regular updates … and thanks for reading!