School News

dsc00947The third grade has been busy learning the importance of the role of bees in our environment. A local  beekeeper and accredited organic land care specialist, Sanne Kure-Jensen, recently visited Lisa Pritchard’s science class.

In class the students grew “Wisconsin Fast Plants” and are learning why flowering plants need to be pollinated to complete the full life cycle. Using “bee sticks”, the students simulated natural pollination that would occur with living bees. Ms. Kure-Jensen’s presentation demonstrated why honeybees are vital to the environment and the food supply. Among the topics covered were how to maintain a bee yard, what plants bees like best, and why organic farming is important to sustaining the bee population. The students also had the opportunity to don a beekeeper uniform, handle parts of a hive, and sample honey.

dsc00826The Student Leadership Board at St. Michael’s Country Day School recently organized a food drive to collect items for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center’s Thanksgiving baskets.  These baskets are distributed to local families in need and contain the food items necessary to create the traditional holiday meal, plus enough food to feed the family during the holiday break.

dsc00267This month St. Michael’s Country Day School sixth graders received iPads as part of the school’s overall plan to integrate technology into the curriculum.  Mobile devices, such as iPads, are increasingly viable as learning tools. iPads provide access to online resources that support and augment student-centered learning, critical thinking skills, and alternative forms of assessment such as digital portfolios. Teachers were given iPads over the summer and received training and support on how best to implement lessons in all areas of the curriculum. The school will assess the efficacy of this pilot program with the goal of expanding implementation for the upcoming school year.

trinityandcabbageSt. Michael’s Country Day School fourth grader Trinity DiNunzio was recently named the Rhode Island state winner of the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Growing Contest. Trinity participated in the contest during Lisa  Pritchard’s third grade science class at St. Michael’s. Since 2002 Bonnie Plants, a supplier of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, has distributed over 11 million free cabbage plants to third grade classrooms nationwide with the objective of teaching young students the value of growing food. Teachers submit a class winner and one student is chosen by each state’s Director of Agriculture.  Bonnie Plants awards the winner with a $1,000 scholarship. Trinity’s prize-winning cabbage weighed in at an impressive 19 pounds and was grown in her family’s garden this summer. She attributes her success to the research she did on cabbage farming methods. Trinity will be presented with a $1000 scholarship by RI Director of Agriculture Ken Ayers at a school assembly on November 17th.

In culmination of their study of the famous inventor Benjamin Franklin, the third grade at St. Michael’s Country Day School recently hosted an Invention Convention. Parents, faculty, and students stopped by to see the unique creations on display.

Michele Evans, a third grade teacher at St. Michael’s, said her students learned a great deal from the creation of their invention. “They learned that not every idea makes a great invention. They also learned that many steps are involved in designing and building a unique invention.” Evans, along with fellow teacher Lori Loughborough, asked their students to think of problems around their house that might be solved by creating an invention. Brainstorming led to discussions where ideas were tossed around. The design and construction of a prototype, was conducted at home using as many recycled materials as possible. “The Invention Convention showcases their talents as thinkers and creators,” Mrs. Evans added, “I am always amazed at how many different inventions we have each year.”

dsc00228The Studio Art class at St. Michael’s Country Day School brought their creative efforts to Easton’s Beach this week. The students were tasked with creating a large-scale group piece, using the sand as their canvas. The artists relied on gathered materials at hand; such as shells, rocks, seaweed and grass. Using simple gardening tools their creations came to life. Inspired by Andrew Goldsworthy in a tradition of site-specific outdoor artwork, fifty students in grades 5 through 8, along with their teachers Leslie Fisk and Robert Kalaidjian, worked on this project.