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Friday, April 16, 2010

Field Cam

We're such tech geeks here at Frenchboro School, but we're also really into nature. So, what a perfect combination to have the opportunity to play around with an animal cam. Terry of MCHT loaned it to us for a little while and Mr. Finn was so psyched to try to get some otter pics. There are a couple places that we know are good highways for the little critters and this place in seriously reeks from all the scat and the slides, trails and den are everywhere. After a few unsuccessful attempts, we finally had a nice showing. So exciting!
Day and night shots. And then, my favorite:
Look at this cute little guy! What a great surprise. I didn't even know we had saw whet owls on the island. Don't you just want to scoop that up and take it home? So parents, if your kids come home with a mysterious box that makes scritchy noises....just a heads up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Camp Beechcliff Rocks!

Sooooo, it's not every day when you get invited to attend an all-day field trip to an outdoor learning center...for free! Thanks to Rob Benson and the wonderful folks at the Maine Seacoast Mission, we got the chance for our entire school, and even some NISY (not in school yet) kids to have a fantastic day at Camp Beechcliff on Mount Desert Island.
Since it was quite cold and rainy, Kevin, our fearless leader, had a lot of indoor activities planned. We started out doing some fun warm up activities where we had to try to grab our neighbor's finger on one side while simultaneously trying to pull our other hand away from our neighbor on the other side.
It was tougher than you might think! And hilarious.
There were team building activities, replete with problem solving challenges and chances to share ideas.
After lunch it was on to rock climbing.
We had some very serious active listening going on as Kevin explained the procedures. The kids were a little nervous, but get this: EVERYONE tried it and had great success. Mr. Finn and I used to be pretty into rock climbing so it was very exciting to belay the kids while they scrambled up the wall.
Cody was our test subject. Since he's the oldest. I think about a half hour older than his twin, Dylan.
And he's off!
All the way over the mountain and into the sunset! We're looking forward to another chance to go back to Camp Beechcliff and check out the outdoor ropes course. Thanks to Rob and Kevin. what a great day. (I think I'm still sore from that wolf/deer game.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

charcoal art

We're gearing up for our visit from Island Readers and Writers, a wonderful local organization that brings authors and illustrators from Maine out to the island schools to share their expertise, stories, and engaging lessons.

This time it's Rebekah Raye who did the artwork for the recent Big Read surrounding The Call of the Wild. She did two beautiful charcoal drawings with watercolor and we're really looking forward to working with her on Friday.

Food Chains and Webs

K-2 working on designing a food web. We've mostly focused on Life Science this year. It's easier to have a high school type schedule when you have so many grades in one classroom, with a focus on one distinct branch of science all year rather than Life, Physical, and Earth all together. Last year we did a lot of Earth and Physical Science, so this year our focus was on ecosystems, energy levels and transfer of energy, life cycles, etc. We love science!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ceramics with Jessica

We had a great ceramics class on Tuesday. Jess came in and had a terrific powerpoint to recap on what the kids had learned, some examples of different styles of pottery and some information about pit firing, which we'll be doing soon with the pieces we're creating.
Jayde's table decided that they were going to make volcanoes with their clay. They started by creating a slab. Then they cut out a circle and began working on the coils to build the sides.

No volcano is complete without lava shooting out of the top.
Everyone had great, unique ideas and experimented with different styles and techniques.
There were some crazy faces.
Even a frog with a fly stuck on its tongue.
and of course... a lobster boat. maybe even three.