Last week middle school covered the world and beyond.
Seventh graders study water this year with middle school teacher, Emma Sears. Water is a a very earthly topic, but some of its life is hard to see. High school science teacher Brent Boscarino brought the Trout in the Classroom program to our school this year and seventh graders got to see trout at their perhaps their most interesting stage of development. After the eggs hatch, a fish like shape eventually begins to emerge. Early on, though, the egg sac is still providing the nutrients. The little hatchlings can’t really navigate under the weight of the sac, but try anyway. The seventh graders got to observe this part of the life cycle and learn about the fish in general, when they visited the biology lab.
Sixth graders are working with second graders and reading the book, The Not Perfect Hat Club. Jena Ball, author of three other books in this CritterKins series, wrote “Hat Club,” to send a message to students that perfectionism is not necessary– being yourself is. Each of her books uses a dog as its narrator to tell a story where compassion, empathy and kindness are the main message. This project has also reconnected sixth grade teacher, Shirley Rinaldi, with Marty Keltz and Karen Lippert, media producers and former PDS parents, who, among other activities, now work with Jena Ball.
Jenna, Marty and Karen used a Skype-like video program called Zoom to conference with all the sixth and second graders. North Carolina and Canada were connected to Poughkeepsie, just like that! Jena introduced her CritterKin series and then read the opening chapter of The Not Perfect Hat Club. The students will have a chance to connect with other classrooms reading the book, through a blogging challenge.
Some middle school students moved out of this world all together, in recent weeks. Eighth graders have presented a visual scale model of the solar system on the length of Boardman Rd. The sun is located near the intersection with Spackenkill Rd, and represented by a circular tube. All the other planets can be found inside a ziplock bag with the name and symbol. Earth is about where the soccer field is, while Pluto is far, far away, near the intersection with Rt.376.