A Window to 5th and 6th Grade

Thanks to Ms. Ingrid for providing the opportunity and Ms. Erica for putting this together we have a snapshot of what this class is up to.

Ms. Ingrid’s 5th and 6th grade class has enjoyed several trips to the farm property. During one recent trip, they pressed apples for fresh cider, which they promptly sold all 11 ½ gallons that afternoon at pick up time! Another trip featured the student’s first bus ride of the year! The Hillsboro School District has agreed to transport Swallowtail students once a month from the main campus to the farm.

The class has finished reading “My Side of the Mountain”, and they made pancakes wilderness style! They attempted to replicate Sam’s methods for cooking the pancakes, as described in the book. With found rocks, they ground filberts into a flour (adding a tad bit of spelt flour) and mixed in some spring water. They picked and mashed wild berries for toppings, and then over the fire, fried the cakes to a golden brown in sizzling coconut oil (which resembled the animal lard Sam would have used). Their utensils were from nature as well: an abalone shell as a mixing bowl, a stick for spoon, a flat wooden slat for spatula, and large leaves for plates.  The students were pleasantly surprised at how tasty their filbert pancakes turned out to be!

The students are learning about decimals and their relation to fractions in their current Math Block. The inspiration accompanying this Block is based on a legend of lost treasure mines in the desert southwest and the Spanish explorers who searched for them. There is a mystery, however, and local legends claim the mines are haunted. Three young investigators are determined to find the truth about the lost mines!

Ms Ingrid’s students, along with the 8th grade class, will be getting a preview of their Olympic Training! The children will practice working with the discus, javelin, and some Greek Wrestling techniques over the next few weeks. This is a taste of what is to come in the spring, when their real training begins!

The students will embark upon a 4 ½ week block study of Ancient Greece.  Last year the student’s Greece study focused on the mythological stories from this golden culture. This year, in addition to continuing with some of the formative mythological stories, the students will begin to look at causality of important events in History of this great influential culture and how they affected people of that time and into our world today.

Looking For Bugs

I happened to be there while the first and second graders were catching bugs! Here are a few lines from Mr. Kris followed by some pictures:

The First and Second Grade class came together during “Outdoor School” through exploring the farm and building a space together.  We had experiences with all of the elements at the farm.  We felt the cool water and the mud between our toes as we harvested clay, and worked with the earth to form dwellings for insects.  We fired our creations in a sawdust kiln and used the air itself to study some of the critters that live all around us. The children were able to use their own breath to capture and view our small friends using their “Pooters”.  This was great fun and our explorations led us to meet many different insects in many different places around the farm.  These experiences created a great foundation to build our class upon and helped us to ease our way from summer into the school year.

 

Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

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Outdoor School

Early September the beautiful new school year started in the Swallowtail’s gorgeous 26 acre property. Here are a few lines from Mr. Justin followed by some pictures:

Each September at Swallowtail we begin the year at Outdoor School.  For the first two weeks the students engage in projects, both artistic and practical, on our 26 acres of farmland in Hillsboro.  This has been such an amazing way to usher in the new year for students and teachers alike.  The children are not expected to go from the outward, fluid nature of the summer directly into their little desks and the more rigid form of the classroom setting.  It allows the children to breathe together as a class upon entering the new school year.  It allows them to play together and to experience the phenomena of nature.  It allows them to remember why they love coming back to school each fall.

 

Start of a great day

 

Early Childhood

 

Early Childhood enjoying a nice walk in nature

 

Getting ready for another fine day

 

A great start for a wonderful day

 

Learning while being in nature

 

School and nature combined. Can it get any better?

 

Making a path to the yurt

 

Preparing another path from the barn to the yurt

 

Looking for more bugs

 

Enjoying the fresh air

 

Everything always looks better when you are off the ground