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News and Notes Email - Oct 30, 2009


The week that was - Wolf Ridge!

You have most likely already heard quite a bit about our adventures from your child, but in case you'd like to learn more here is a bit about each of the  classes (your child had 4 or 5 from this list - we are split into 10 groups and the classes we get are based on Wolf Ridge staff and space accessibility).  Hopefully this will give you more to ask questions about.

Adventure Ropes - High in the air - a challenge of courage, balance, and persistence

Earth Works - Learning about the art of Andy Goldsworthy and making works of "temporary" art out in nature

Ojibwe Heritage - Learning about these native peoples and how they lived and survived in the Lake Superior region by using the natural resources found nearby.  Wild rice and raspberry leaf tea for treats in the tipi.

Voyageur Life - Learning about how these Frenchmen interacted with the indigenous peoples for trade purposes  - a really cool canoe ride

Geology - exploring the what, how, and why of the land formations in the region

Stream or Lake Study - learning the importance of water quality, how to measure water quality, tromping around in cold water with rubber boots to collect critters for observation, lots of wet feet and clothing

Climate/phenology - learning how observations of the natural world inform us about past and future happenings

Small mammals - learning how little critters such as mice, moles and shrews are an important part of the food chain and how they survive in our MN climate

The kids have most likely already talked about the bus ride up and back, the dorms and friends, the food, and hopefully their evening activities and Naturalist presentations.  If not, ask.

We had FANTASTIC parent chaperones - thanks to all of you who were able to accompany us!!   Kevin K. has already posted a preliminary slide show to "show" you our Middles trip.  Viewing this together with your child
will  help them relive the experience with you and allow you to see how your child's time was spent and appreciate the beauty of the Wolf Ridge environment.  (Currently this slide show features the pictures he
personally took and he will add more photos, featuring more kids, as he receives them from the other adults on the trip.)

There are still quite a few Wolf Ridge "lost and found" items - if you are missing something have your child check the box outside my room.

Here is the link:

Thursday and Friday were relatively low key - we finished and cleaned up one science planting experiment and started another.  We are also working on Wolf Ridge reflections and spent time reading our author study books.

Thanks for sharing treats for this afternoon/"dress-up" day.

The week to come:

Word Work: This will connect to non-fiction reading practice they'll be doing in our National Geographic magazine.  Topics in the reading: satellites and their unique role in Earth's systems, creepy and fearsome animals found around our planet, and Yosemite National Park.

Science:  Working on water tolerance experiments with four different plants.

Writing:  Writing "sprees" and descriptive writing from personal memories

Reading:  Continuing with our author studies - each child should finish their first book by this week for sure.  I'd appreciate you checking at home on how this is going and helping to set aside reading time as needed.

5th graders will have vision screening by the Phillips Eye Institute folks.

Options classes start on Wed. afternoon.

I am hopeful your child's Homework Project (Environments) is coming along by now with research and project planning. With Friday (11/6) as a no-school day for kids perhaps this day can be designated as a  "focus" time for work on this.

Enjoy a wonder-filled weekend - the extra hour of sleep will do your child good after this week.  (Me too.)


Kathy Scoggin
Barton Open School

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science."
 - Albert Einstein