March 20, 2014

Snapshots from a Dynamic Community

Teacher Candidate Trevor McGill teaching the song
"Mathematical Pi" to 4th and 5th graders
As we enter into the last day of school before spring break, I would like to share with you several of the many amazing things that have been happening at Friends’ School in just the last single week.

Last week, I posted my 100th essay for this column. Readership for Among Friends’ has surpassed 30,000 since I began the blog two and a half years ago!  Each week, I generally focus on one aspect, achievement, belief, or highlight of school life here at Friends’.  This week there was simply too much going on to zero in on just one.

Erika Norman as Pi
So, a few snapshots….

Pi Day:  Monday was a day in the elementary school dedicated to the celebration of the irrational number π.  Multi-aged buddy classes shared various activities concentrating on circles and π.  Classes held contests on who could memorize the most digits of π.  Students and teachers ate pie together. And, in a weak moment, I somehow agreed to be part of a contest prize – 3rd grader Teddy W. won the honor of throwing a cream pie at his Head of School.  (He unfortunately has a good arm – photo below!)

Destination Imagination: Our fifth grade class, calling themselves the “Guacamole Monsters”, earned 1st place at the Destination Imagination Challenge on Saturday, and the 3rd grade boys (“The Micro Chips”) earned 3rd place. The 5th graders will be going to the State Destination Imagination tournament on April 12. Congratulations!

Book Making: In the preschool, kids and teachers were busy making their own books. In one class, after teacher Christie Stanford shared a book she made about her dog Duke, many children announced, “I want to make a book too!” Quickly, tables filled with children making
Our 5th grade D.I. team
their own books, adding details and talking about their work as they compiled their books.

Brains: In 1st grade, students from the University of Colorado Neuroscience Department joined Beth’s class for a discussion on the brain and how nutrition, exercise, and other factors contribute to a healthy brain. The next day, our 1st graders took a field trip to the Denver Aquarium. Apparently, they left right before the mermaids showed up! 

Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius: Wednesday morning, our intrepid 2nd and 3rd grade teachers Tyler and Diane once again donned their Roman garb to celebrate with students and parents the eruption of a huge Mt. Vesuvius volcano and the subsequent destruction of a model Pompeii that the kids had built. They topped it all off with a re-enactment of sea battles in the Coliseum. It was a sight to behold.

Preschoolers enjoying the book fair
Book Fair: Amazing parent volunteers, led by Carolyn Arras, Lisa Lund-Brown and Parent Council Chair Missy Gill navigated a hugely successful Scholastic Book Fair.  It was great to have so many preschool families join in the fun.

Much Ado About Nothing: Our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade were treated to a wonderfully abridged performance of Shakespeare’s comedy from CU’s Shakespeare Players, followed by a workshop on how the themes in the play relate to bullying.  Good lessons were learned about anti-bullying.

Storytelling for Teachers: Former Friends’ School teacher Julie Hart was back this week presenting an intriguing workshop for all our teachers on the science and art of using storytelling in the classroom.

4th Grade Energy: Mary’s 4th grade class is hard at work studying the science of energy.  Her students conducted a web-based scavenger hunt to discover the differences between renewable and non-renewable energy.  They have also been studying energy consumption in the U.S. and how it’s changed in the past 40 years.

Ants in Kindergarten: Laurie Kindergartners found themselves acting out roles as ants in an activity to build community and work together.

Auction Projects: Many classes were wrapping up their fabulous auction projects, with help from wonderful parent volunteers. We look forward to seeing them all on display at the Friends’
School Auction on April 26: it’s going to be Totally ‘80s!

Team Lunch: Thursday was our monthly multi-age team lunch where kids wore their team colors and connected with friends from all classes.

Marine Life:  Ist graders had a special visit and presentation on Marine Life from CU Science Discovery on Thursday. CU has had great representation at Friends’ all week!

Yup, that guy, getting pie in the face!
Spirit Day:  Today, Friday, is another Student Council "spirit day."  Your child has the option of dressing in snow-themed clothing.  We will participate in snow-related activities with buddy elementary classes. 

Zoo: And the animals are coming.  Today at 12:40, join us for a Gathering from the Denver Zoo.

Part of Friends’ School’s mission states that we are “a supportive, dynamic community committed to educating the whole child”. I think we’ve shown that this week.

Have a wonderful spring break!

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