Middle schoolers at St. James (4th, 5th, and 6th) are about to spend some time studying the weather. KTAL television's meteorologist, Todd Warren, recently paid a visit to our school. We are going to participate in a regional contest among schools to accurately predict the weather. Mr. Warren came to help us learn how to study temperatures, weather patterns, fronts, and other things that affect our weather and determine temperatures. He really helped us understand condensation and evaporation by using groups of us to act out the physical processes. It was a very fun and interesting way to study. We learned a lot from Mr. Warren and we look forward to practicing our weather analysis and prediction skills in the month of February. Wish us luck!
The sixth grade recently finished reading the novel "Hatchet" by Gary Paulson. It's about a 13-year-old boy named Brian who finds himself stranded in the Canadian wilderness. Brian has to rely on his survival skills, both physical and mental, to stay alive. To celebrate the completion of the book, our class took a field trip to Mudcreek in New Boston, Texas. Our gracious hosts were Gary and Mary Ted Mayo (my parents) and our activities director was Gene Joyce (my husband). We began our day by going on a hayride and touring the property
After our tour, we came back to the cabin and did our first "survival" activity. We built fires using flint and steel kits. We learned from our novel how important it is to have just the right types of brush and kindling, and practicing this skill was challenging.
The Mayos treated us to grilled burgers for lunch, cooked by Joe Mayo.
After lunch, we headed for the woods to begin our next activity - a shelter-building contest. We split up into 3 teams. After receiving some tips on where to find certain wooded materials and discussing how Brian improved his shelter in the book...the contest began!
After lots of bamboo-weaving, cedar brush gathering, and problem-solving...we had a winner!
We wrapped up the day with an ice-cold popsicle back at the cabin. It was a beautiful day to be outside and enjoy nature. We had a great time and made some amazing memories.
WHAT AN AWESOME DAY!!!
Thanksgiving has come and gone. It's hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner. The Middle School had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with lots of family and friends.
The sixth grade held its annual Egyptian Fair recently. The fair is the culmination of our Ancient Civilizations unit on ancient Egypt. We studied this ancient culture in many subject areas. We researched and wrote in Language Arts, including the study of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. One of Egypt's most well-known rituals was mummification. We mummified apples in Science, hypothesizing on which combination of various salts mummified the best. We studied ancient artifacts, such as the pyramids, and learned in Math how skilled the ancient Egyptians were in this subject area.
For our Egyptian Fair, each student chose an ancient Egyptian occupation or profession. The students researched and wrote paragraphs about their occupations of choice. Then each student was asked to come up with a business regarding their profession. They had to create a business name, a slogan, a logo, and business cards. Each student wrote a persuasive paragraph about their business and constructed a tri-fold board to display elements of learning.
The fair consisted of an Ancient Egyptian Marketplace, an Ancient Egyptian Food Court (with lots of good snacks), and an Ancient Egyptian Museum. The museum featured some interesting artifacts, as well as King Tut Death Masks painted by each student in Art class. The younger students and adults alike all enjoyed their time visiting the fair.
My students all worked very hard and I'm extremely proud of their efforts. The Egyptian Fair was a huge success!!
Please enjoy the slideshow below; clicking on the picture will show the next one.
St. James classes were offered the opportunity to do a community service project with the residents at Cornerstone Retirement Community. We painted all different types of rocks with the residents, which will then be placed all over the community. This is part of a larger "Spread the Kindness" project, and each rock has our school hashtag and instructions to post a picture of the rocks on Facebook. The kids thoroughly enjoyed painting with the residents. They showed impressive creative skills as well as practiced their manners and social skills with the residents. Everyone had a really great time!
Another fun October activity for the 6th grade has been our unit of study on ancient Egypt. Our Egyptian Fair is coming up soon, and I will save most details of this amazing event for my next post. However, since today is Halloween, I will share one fun science activity we did in our Egypt unit. Mummification is one of ancient Egypt's most well-known rituals. In studying the reasons behind this, the process, and the procedure, we mummified apple slices in different combinations of salts. We applied the scientific method and went through the process of hypothesizing, researching, observing, and concluding. Most of the class felt that iodized salt and Epsom salt preserved the apples the best. What a fun and hands-on way to study something that's actually kind of gross!