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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

Welcome home, Frenchboro style.

More Monhegan Fun

Talent show. Jesse and Quinn hamming it up with someone else's arms as their own. Hilarious.
T. D. Sheridan shipwreck. Miraculously, all 14 crew members survived this wreck. Amazing to explore.
At one point, Bradley called out..."This is the best time ever!"
Cadin emerging.
Group photo on top of the wreck.
Cody introducing our presentation to the group.
The best sliding rock in the history of mankind happens to be right in the schoolyard. Much fun to be had here!
Circling up to say our goodbyes and share our favorite memories of Inter-Island Event.
Becky and Cadin circling up.
Leaving Monhegan with our bagged lunches.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beautiful Monhegan

IIE Activities

Every IIE is different because the local talent provides the activities, so whatever parents or community members want to run a workshop sign up to help out. This year there was blogging.
Bagel making. (my personal favorite...and Seth's)

Capture the flag. Always a high point for the kids.
There was also candle-making and improv. It's always so wonderful to meet the locals at every island. There is so much talent on these outer islands, that you never know what kinds of workshops will be available. Us adults enjoy them as much as the kids.

Let the Games Begin!

The ferry ride was the only blip on an otherwise exceptional Inter-Island Event. We arrived in beautiful Monhegan and our bags were ushered up to our campsite by several helpful volunteers.
Frenchboro village.
True to IIE tradition, we had a lot of outdoor games like kickball and capture-the-flag.
And lots of snacks! Homemade french fries and applesauce!!

Monhegan, Here We Come

This was the amphibious vehicle that ferried us to Monhegan. I wish.
Austin and Cadin sitting on the gargantuan bag that Nate packed. Doug said he thought that Tyler was hiding in there. He certainly could have. And Kohl, too!
Here's the dock at Port Clyde. Looks pretty tame, doesn't it? Little did we know what adventure awaited us. The seas were...ahem...rather large. Surging. Sending our Elizabeth Ann ferry up and down with childlike abandon.

Note the lack of pictures. That's because everyone was puking over the side. It just didn't seem fair to take photos. Nearly everyone was at the back of the boat, "getting air." Yeah. Air. That really helped. Everyone was a pasty color and I was shocked that several of our kids managed to hold in the cookies, muffins, hot cocoa... 'Nough said.

Then there was the disembarking. Monhegan doesn't have a protected harbor, and even with a protected harbor, sometimes getting off any boat in rough seas is an adventure. After using every rope on the ship to keep the ferry as stable as possible, we were told to leave everything so that our hands were free. Hmmm. Basically we were thrown off the boat. It was eventful.

IIE 2010

Don't adjust your screen. This is us at 5:45 bringing our gear down to the town dock for our early morning departure on Wednesday.
This is Dylan, sleeping with his eyes open on the ferry. Notice it's still dark. After I took this photo, I curled up in the fetal position on the bench.
Just kidding. I couldn't sleep because it was a gorgeous sunrise. Fare thee well, Frenchboro style.

FRO presentation

We had an advanced viewing of the first ever FRO newscast on Tuesday after school. We wanted the parents and community to get a chance to see what the kids created, before we headed off to Monhegan for Inter-Island Event. Dylan did an excellent job introducing the video and giving some background on how it all came together using iMovie.
There's next year's kindergarten!
Our next iMovie project is for everyone to do an artistic video that they storyboard, film and edit themselves to share during our first ever Frenchboro Film Festival. I cannot wait to see how they incorporate the various sound effects. I think there will be a lot of walrus/chicken combinations.

Thanks everyone, for showing up to support our kids!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Guest Bloggers

We've got some guest bloggers posting, so make sure and comment to them on their great pieces of writing/reporting!

The Village of the Phantom

One summer night three boys, Erich, Dylan and Chase were in a tent in Erich’s lawn. Erich and Chase came out every summer, but Dylan lived here all year. That night in the tent Dylan told them stories about different spots on the island they were on, Frenchboro. But the one they found the most appealing was the one on Rich’s Head. Rich’s head was a small spot on our Island, and here’s the story Dylan told.
“ A long time ago on Rich’s head there was a village, with a few houses, farms and what not. Well the village that was on Rich’s Head soon moved to where we are now, only because Lunt Harbor is the safe zone. Rich’s Head was haunted. Some of the children died from bad water they got out of the ground there, and haunted their parents for letting them drink it. They say now that you can still hear the sheep from the farms, and the girls screaming, “Why?’.”
“ We should tent out there some day,” said Erich. The boys thought about it, and went to sleep. A few days later they ran to there parents and asked them the question,
“ Can I sleep at Rich’s Head?” They all got the same answer. The parents thought they were crazy but ended up saying yes. Dylan ran to his house and got bread and water, Chase and Erich ran to Erich’s and got candy, crackers, flashlights and his flip camera.
As Dylan went back to Erich’s house to see how they were doing, he ran into Joe Lunt, a 20-something year old man who was their taxi/helper/friend. He was helping them get the tent down, and he put it in the back of his jeep. He started up the car and they all jumped in. They saw a huge puff of smoke come out of the muffler. Then Joe drove off. They went up a few hills and on the dirt road.
At first they thought Joe was going to stop when the dirt road turned into boulders, but he kept on going. They went till they couldn’t go anymore. So they hopped out and walked on the trail, to the Rich’s Head. They found a grassy spot near a few trees, to keep out of the wind. Joe started a fire near the rocks, and showed them where the only birch tree was. They collected some of the bark, as it was like paper and they could use it to get the fire started. Of course the only birch tree was a long way away from them, so they got as much as they could each trip.
Soon it was the time for Joe to leave. It was getting dark and Dylan and Chase were constantly getting drift wood for the fire. As Erich took his flip camera out and began video taping them. As they stopped for a minute on the driftwood bench they made next to the fire, on the rocks, they heard a bark from a dog. Everyone was wide eyed, then looked to where they heard the howl. They saw nothing. And it was getting harder and harder to find drift wood, so they finally gave up. It was time to head to the tent. The boys got on their sweat shirts, as it was getting cold with the harsh wind. Chase, Dylan and Erich looked at the waves. They were huge. They unzipped the tent door and one by one, crawled in, trying to keep the bugs out. Dylan told them the scary story once more, and they went to bed. Chase fell asleep fast but Dylan and Erich didn’t.
“ You’re hearing that, right?!” asked Erich getting a little freaked out.
“ And seeing it,” said Dylan. Erich nodded, as whenever they closed their eyes they saw girls, crying, and some laughing. Then they heard a man, but couldn’t see him, yelling at the girls to stay back! Dylan and Erich jumped back up! The tent was shaking, It was like some one was picking it up! Plus what they heard and saw when they closed their eyes was so realistic! But soon it happened no matter if their eyes were closed or not! They suffered all night, hearing the zipper unzip! The girls laughing and saying, “Who are they?”
Once dawn hit, the noise stopped completely. They had no sleep. Chase, who was asleep for most of it, was lucky, and they packed up the tent, and were ready to leave. The fire was out, everything was packed. But something was drawing them back. So they walked on the beach, and found a cool place to make a fort! It ended up as a little shack, an awesome little shack. And when they were done they headed to leave. Before they were in the woods they looked back at the beach...and saw the farmer.

The End

By Dylan

blue hill fair

We went hors bak riding. I rode a tan hors. It was fun. Thur ar tuns of games. We plade darts and went on rides.

by Jayde

FRO Channel 7

Thursday, September 16, 2010

FRO Newscast

We're still working on compiling our newscast for this year's InterIsland Event. Dylan is the head newscaster. Have you ever wondered what newcasters are wearing on the bottom half? Well, here's a perfect example of what might be going on. Peter Jennings surely wore flip flops, right? Of two different colors. And Katie Couric must be wearing cutoff jeans. Definitely. Dylan uses the call letters FRO which I find immensely amusing as he introduces each segment. Since it required silence to do the filming, everyone had to stop what they were doing periodically to get a good take. Thank goodness for digital media as we had MULTIPLE takes (and I mean multiple) of everything and it was so easy for the kids to just delete what they didn't want straight out of iMovie.
They worked with their partners to cut and paste all the snippets of clip that they wanted and then they pieced it all together, removed the audio they didn't want and replaced it with voice overs...which also required silence. There was a lot of "Quiet on the set!" sort of shout outs all afternoon.

We're pretty close to the end product for most of the on scene news reports, but then we've got to somehow export them to one computer so we can string them all together. That's Mr. Finn's domain. Thank goodness for external hard drives. I find that kids are naturally gifted with technology, having been raised around it all their lives, and us teachers have to catch up and get to a place where we can give them enough information to let them explore and learn at their own pace.

Hopefully we'll get this all done in time so we can share it with the community before we leave as it's looking pretty awesome so far. I'll try and post a short clip if I can. Well. Maybe I'll have Mr. Finn teach me how!

IRW Visit

Sometime I lament that the island kids don't get the same opportunities that kids on the mainland get, but then there are some times, especially when Island Readers and Writers is concerned, that we get even more opportunities. Jan Coates brought out a few visitors on Tuesday. They were board members and donors for IRW and they wanted to meet the kids that they affect through their programming. Susan came all the way from New York City! AND...get this...she is an independent scholar for the Metropolitan Museum of Art !!
She did a wonderful presentation on Japanese pottery, focusing on the cultural and historical significance of different time periods. Susan was so generous to put together slides and notes to share with our students, knowing that they've been spending some time doing ceramics. What an incredible opportunity. I think it even made my dad jealous!

Friday, September 10, 2010

QotD: 10/10


"Johnny, you are little, but you can sure fit a lot of pizza in your belly."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Largest Sunflower in the World

Look at what Teressa grew in her plot of the community garden.


This is the biggest sunflower I've ever seen in my life.

I'm agog.

IIE project

This year's InterIsland Event is going to be on Monhegan. Never been. Can't wait! Our 'assignment' for this year is to do a presentation about what makes our island special. We wanted to focus on some technology standards, so we're having the kids do a news cast using our Flip video cameras. They started by writing down all the things that make Frenchboro great on sticky notes which they put on the white board. Then several students pared the list down by grouping them into categories. This is called an Affinity Diagram.
After they got the categories down to a managable number, they Power Voted on which ones they wanted to focus on until we were down to five categories: Businesses, Trails, Locations, Museum/School/Library, and Lobstering.

Then they did a mock script about what they might say during the 2 minute newscast about their topic. They also came up with what video they would want to include and where they should shoot it. Then we split into two teams and headed out to site check.

They won't start the actual video part until they have a script and have rehearsed enough to know it by heart, but I'm anticipating some interesting gag reels.

Morning Meeting

This year we're working on letting the kids have a lot more autonomy and responsibility. We have been working on SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) and making flowcharts to streamline our transitions and classtime. The kids have always had flag duty with a partner, but now they have Morning Meeting duty, too. This week it was Saylor and Myron.
Usually, Mr. Finn does calendar, news, and checks the NOAA forecast. Now, Saylor and Myron took over and ran the entire thing. They even checked for hurricanes on NOAA. They also ran calisthenics. Which switch between yoga (seated and standing) to calisthenics (seated and standing) and today was seated calisthenics. They have a list of things that we've done last year, but they could choose the routine. Myron was leading killer amounts of crunches! Personal trainer, here we come!

It was awesome to see the kids own routines that they learned last year. Next week, a new team will try their skills up front, but a shout out goes to Myron and Saylor for being the first ones, which is always the hardest! Great job, kids.

Quote of the Day 9/9/10

While making flowcharts for independent math practice, there was a discussion about what they could do if they had nothing to do.
A student suggested we could do a crazy dance.
Mr. Finn "Well, if you start doing the crazy dance, then I'll want to do the crazy dance and so will everyone else and we won't be getting any Math done."
Cadin raised his hand. "But Mr. Finn, we'd be doing Science, looking at forces."

He's 7.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quote of the Day

Mr Finn, projecting the NOAA forecast on the screen: "So, Seth, what does the weather for today look like?"
A picture of grey clouds is on the screen.
"Good. What do you think that might mean?"
"It's time to go to sleep."
"....and brush teeth."

I love kids.

First Day 2010

The first day of school FLEW by! It was so so so great to be with the kids again. We have one new student in kindergarten, Seth. Welcome to our newest addition. And though we didn't lose anyone to graduation last year, we had two students more off island (sniff...sniff...sigh) to a new school. We hope Amber and Elijah have a great school year on the mainland.

We reviewed our Shared Vision from last year and worked on a new Code of Cooperation. We had our regular first and second hours and then in the afternoon, we got a quick walk in to check out all the wonderful work that Maine Coast Heritage Trust has done to the trail system behind the library. Our steward, Terry Towne, donated a fantastic resource to us this year...a field guide to the plants of Mount Desert Island. It is chockablock with gorgeous color pictures and has all of the plants that we'd find here on our island in one book, so it makes identification that much easier.

The kids also got to read their letters to themselves that they wrote at the end of last year. They had big plans for themselves over the summer and got to reflect on all that happened over the past few months in their journals.

After school, Mr. Finn and I took a long walk around Yellow Head and talked about our hopes for the year. Let's make it the best one yet.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Things to Look Forward To! everyone ready for school to start? I know I am! As Hurricane Earl is bearing down on us, I find myself holed up in the schoolhouse, getting everything ready for September 7th. It's nice having a four-day week to start the school year as it's a little easier on us who are not used to waking up early. Not me, I've been up since 5, which is why I'm going home to promptly take a nap in a few minutes.

Some dates to remember:

September 7: First Day of School (bring the cameras, ladies)

September 22-23: InterIsland Event in Monhegan

October 1: NECAP testing window begins

October 11: No school, Columbus Day

I've been seeing some of the kids around town and yesterday ran into Johnny, who hid behind the door. When I finally coerced him to come over (using cookies) I asked what was up with him not talking my ear off and why was he acting all shy. "You know, sometimes Ms. Finn...sometimes I get nervous." I told him he finished his summer reading, so he had nothing to be nervous about!