Scott and Kathy Back from Break

April 12, 2012

Welcome back from Spring Break! We hope you returned healthy and safe. Whether you traveled far, stayed close to home, spent time with family or friends, or journeyed within your own heart and mind, we gather back together as a community ready to complete the research part of graduation projects, delve into the experience component of graduation projects, and take time to summarize and reflect upon academic and personal progress before preparing a final presentation.

Our Early Field Experience student Abi will lead a unit on Historical Geography on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings this week. The unit will begin by looking at these topics: students will be introduced to historical maps and the concepts of nation and state. We will discuss topics such as: Why might maps change? What are the social, economic, and political implications of maps/ the changing of maps? What can we tell from looking at a historical map? What makes a nation? What makes a state? What determines what people belong to a nation or state? These questions and more will be answered over the next few weeks.

Spring is in full blossom, it‘s time to begin our annual Life Skills and Human Sexuality curriculum. We‘ll begin by reflecting upon concepts of identity that we explored in our read aloud series so far this year The Education of Little Tree, The Ledgerbook of Thomas BlueEagle, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Miracle Worker through journaling and discussion. We‘ll explore the concept of successful goal setting, look back upon the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the school year, and establish goals for spring and summer. The topics of identity, self-esteem, and goal setting will segue into our human sexuality theme in April. The core academic curriculum will be augmented through weekly visits from our local expert from Bloomington Hospital Community Health, Shelia Evans.

Spring also beckons a new Bodyworks class in Soccer Skills, preparing for the annual Soccer Challenge with the Middle School. We will enjoy other opportunities to learn outdoors as weather allows with field trips bird watching, hiking, and walking trips to the theater and art galleries. Just before Spring Break we enjoyed several culminating activities relating to our shared reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with field methods teacher, Abi Grose. After reading several editorial articles, viewing a 60 Minutes report, and journaling, the class discussed the controversy surrounding censorship and in Mark Twain‘s literary rendering of American history. Having also read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, we feel quite prepared to enjoy the upcoming field trip to the Cardinal Stage Company‘s musical Big River.

All in all, between completion of inquiry projects, building upon our geography study, life skills, and human sexuality we have a full spring. Along with our many field trips, spring will pass quickly, no doubt, so let‘s enjoy each moment together.

-Scott and Kathy

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