This week in science found the 8th graders finishing up their insect unit. They collected or captured 25 insects and classified them according to the order they belonged. The students also made 3 observational drawings where they got up close and personal by looking at various insects under the dissecting microscope. All month I have heard exclamations such as “No way, check this out!” or “Shane, why do you think this bug has three horns on it’s back?” or “This is the grossest coolest thing I have ever seen”. Additionally, each student chose to research a certain aspect of an insect. What we learned from Zach’s research is that the Katydid has co-evolved with a certain tree so that this insect’s wing venation matches the tree’s leaf venation in order to camouflage itself. Wow, how seriously awesome is that?! The first graders came by to check out the collections and talk to the big kids about their findings.
The first graders stopped by to learn about insects from the eighth graders.
Sabrina sharing her project
Checking out insect acrobatics
Ally made an iMovie for her insect report – check it out!
Ally’s awesome insect report – Pathfinder style!
The seventh grade is exploring the function and purpose of plants. They conducted a botanical scavenger hunt and posted their findings on a Glogster. This is a new kind of online poster creation software. Using their personal phones – with permission of course :)– the students traveled campus-capturing images assigned by me with their camera phones. We are all just learning what this software can do but check out Noah’s creation!
Noah’s Plant Glog
Ecoliteracy and Gardening
The gardening MIAD cleaned the beds in the hoop house and planted them with savory salad greens. Various lettuces along with arugula seeds were sowed after being purchased from Johnny’s Selected Seeds with money generated from our salad greens sales last spring. While the initial plan was to plant and weed the hoop house and butterfly garden we got caught in a torrential downpour and were forced to play Apples to Apples to bide the time before we could venture outside and get to dismissal. Dancing in the rain took on a whole new meaning !
Students feeling the energy of the rain.
Planting the bed with lettuces
Passion Based Learning
An In-Depth class offered at Pathfinder is called Passion Based Learning. Students may chose to do a semester long project based upon a passion or interest they have. This semester we have one student exploring photography and the Apps available for editing, another student is exploring the history of ballet and choreographing a dance to be preformed along with a Glogster, and a group of 4 is creating an advanced grammar game which includes a hand drawn board and instructions. One student loves painting and along with help from Duncan has chosen to dive into painting. This is what she painted this week.
Mona Lisa by Arie
We ended the week with our annual Fall Festival. This a joyful school community event where we celebrate just how awesome it is to live and go to school at Pathfinder in autumn. The students ate powdered donuts hung from strings with their hands clasped behind their backs, played pumpkin bowling down the driveway hill, got their faces painted, watched the Lord of the Gourd carve intricate pumpkin faces and restocked the loom with fall color. I unfortunately forgot my camera during the event but did manage to snap a few later. A special thanks goes out to Roz for helping clean up the donuts!
Loom woven with gathered fall foliage
Roz offered her artist input
Be sure to tune in next week! The seventh graders are planning to explore the alleopathic poisoning of plants. They will be mixing up some scary potions in time for Halloween.
FYI – the middle school will not be traveling to Grand Rapids this Friday, October 18th to visit the Ford Museum because of the government shut down.