School News

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The clinic is currently full.  If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please email Mollie Williams, mwilliams@scmds.org.

Mollie Williams, Head of Middle School, will be offering a Spring outdoor field hockey clinic for Middle School girls during the months of March, April, and May. Field hockey is one of the oldest sports in the world. You can find evidence that Egyptians played a sport very similar to modern day field hockey as long as 4,000 years ago.  There are several key differences between indoor field hockey and outdoor field hockey.

Field Size

Team Size

Stick

Strategy

Indoor

Between 40-50 yards long and 22 yards long

5-6 players

Lighter and more flexible. Made for a faster surface

More like ice hockey–use of sideboards for passing

Outdoor

100 yards long;

60 yards wide

16 players

Made of hardwood or composite for power

More spread out. No use of sideboards.


Payment

There is a $50 fee for the entire clinic, payable by check, made out to:

St. Michael’s Country Day School
Attn: Mollie Williams
180 Rhode Island Avenue
Newport, RI 02840

Equipment

Participants must come with the proper equipment. All players must have an outdoor field hockey stick, shin guards, a mouth guard, and a water bottle. All of these items can be found on Amazon.  Space is limited, players will be accepted on a first come; first served basis.

Pre-registration and Payment are required to secure a spot in the clinic.  Please use the form below or email Mollie Williams, mwilliams@smcds.org

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STUDENT OF THE WEEK: HELLE GUNDERSEN

by Colin Howarth | Newport Daily News Staff Reporter

NEWPORT – Whether it be in her studies, food, language or afterschool activities, for 12-year old Helle Gundersen, the differences are apparent between Newport and Norwegian cultures.

Helle, who’s in the seventh grade at St. Michael‘s Country Day School, moved from Norway to Rhode Island on July 4, 2016, with her parents Per and Trude Gundersen after her father was stationed in Newport.

The transition hasn’t been too difficult, Helle said. Learning English was a little bit of a struggle, although she was already studying the language in Norway. Learning Spanish remains a greater challenge, she said.

On top of language, Helle has noticed a difference in her studies. For example, she was surprised to learn she would be studying science in the middle school in Newport. The classes are smaller at St. Michael‘s too, she said.

“I really like the teachers here,” she said. They’re all very friendly.”

Helle, whose family often hikes and skis, has also noticed the differences in the mountains as well. When she visited the White Mountains and Green Mountains in northern New England with her family in the fall, Helle said they were really pretty but more difficult to climb.

As far as skiing goes, she said the mountains in New England seem smaller, the sport is more expensive and there are more skiers on the slopes.

She has had the opportunity to do some traveling since she’s been in this country. Her family visited Puerto Rico during Christmas break and Orlando, Florida, during Thanksgiving, where they went to Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

Near the end of June, Helle said, her father might be stationed in Washington, D.C. If not, the family is thinking about visiting California before heading back to Norway.

She said she misses her friends in Norway a lot and often talks to them through video chat. However, she said she doesn’t “get that feeling” when she’s not with them.

The head of the middle school, Mollie Williams, said Helle’s teachers “consistently comment on her excellent work ethic, focus and engagement, and her determination and willingness to take risks.”

Helle plays basketball at her school and in the summer and fall she played soccer. However, her favorite sport is handball, which she played in Norway growing up.

Her dream job is to work in or own a clothing shop. That way, she can buy more clothes and a pretty house.

“Helle is the complete package: bright, compassionate, talented and involved in the community,” Williams said. “She approaches every challenge with optimism, determination and her famous charming smile.”

 

The Newport Daily News solicits suggestions for Student of the Week from Newport County principals.

ABOUT HELLE

Favorite subject: English.
Favorite sport: Handball.
Favorite food:
Tacos or sushi.
Favorite music genre:
Pop.
Favorite movie:
‘High School Musical.’

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Toys for Toddlers: A Design Thinking Project

In their Design Thinking class with Bobbi Jarvis, the third graders were challenged to design and build a push or pull toy for a toddler with at least one unique feature. They used the design process as they  brainstormed, created concept sketches, and built prototypes which required testing and revision. They made models and  product illustrations and then had a lot of fun third testing their toys with their preschool buddies.

With the help of technology teacher, Mrs. O’Boyle, they also made commercials about their toys featuring their buddies at play.

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Presenting to Hasbro

On Friday the students presented their final designs and commercials to a panel of expert judges. Mrs. Jarvis and her colleague Tina Beecher, who both worked as designers at Hasbro were joined by Tim Moulton, a mechanical engineer and father of Finley in prekindergarten. The judges were very impressed by the imaginative and creative designs of our students and the poise and confidence they showed when presenting their toys. It looks like we have some future designers in our midst!

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What is a Random Act of Kindness?

Kindness starts with one-one person, one act, one place, one city, one county, and one movement with one goal in mind: To make our world a kinder place one act at a time. And, every single one of us can play a part in this mission.
St. Michael’s took part in Random Acts of Kindness week, giving our students space to get creative, be challenged, and take part in the initiative that it only takes one simple act to create a chain reaction of kindness.

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Kindness Connection

In recognition of Random Acts of Kindness Week, second graders watched an inspirational video about paying kindness forward. We were so moved by the video, Ms. O’Boyle suggested we make one of our very own!  The second graders sprung into action by brainstorming a list of classroom situations and scenarios where they might show kindness to a friend.  They also invited the first graders to join in. Under Ms. O’Boyle’s direction, the children collaborated with a partner and acted out each scene using body language to convey their message.

As the movie shows, kindness is indeed a Change Reaction. After viewing the completed video, the students had a heartfelt discussion about kindness. You don’t show kindness because your teachers are watching or because you are told to behave a certain way; “you show kindness because it’s the right thing to do.” Now we are thinking of ways to spread our message and start a kindness movement! We believe random acts of kindness can make the world a better place.

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It’s a Chain Reaction!

Our students show kindness to each other each and everyday. For RAK week, Mrs. Abraham challenged the Lower School students to take notice of the kindness all around them and record 100 Acts of Kindness.
Students took note of when someone was kind to them or when they saw someone else being kind, by adding a link to their class’ kindness chain.  All of the classes then came together at the Lower School Morning Meeting this week to connect their chains.
They exceeded their goal and created a 153 link Kindness Chain which is now on proud display in the lobby of the Mason House. It was so inspiring for them to see their acts of kindness reach the top to the stairs and the students are determined to keep it going!

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Middle Schoolers Acts of Kindness

On Monday, 8th graders volunteered in the Lower School and Early Childhood, helping out teachers and interacting with students.

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The first and second grade students joined forces to solve an ‘unplugged’ coding activity which correlates closely with our STEAM challenges. This lesson, Building a Foundation, taught the children that failure is not the end of a journey but a hint for how to succeed. The lesson objectives included:

*Outline the steps to complete a structural engineering challenge
*Predict and discuss potential issues in structure creation
*Build a structure based on a team plan
*Revise both plan and structure until they satisfy challenge

In this challenge, the children worked together to construct towers that were strong enough to hold a textbook for at least 10 seconds using everyday materials which included 30 toothpicks and 30 gumdrops.

 

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Persistence was the Trait for Success which we tied into this activity. The children learned that trying again and again, if something is very challenging, helped them learn and achieve a goal. When you fail at doing something, you get a hint at what went wrong. The students recognized that mistakes are chances to learn how to do something better the next time.

At the end of the activity, we had a wrap up called Flash Chat. (Flash Chat questions are intended to spark ‘big picture’ thinking about how the lesson relates to the greater world and the students greater future.) We discussed the following:

*What did you learn?
*Were you proud of what you made?
*Do you think you could have made it better?
*Was there a time you thought about giving up?

The first and second graders are looking forward to collaborating with their partners on the next challenge!

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Fakes and Forgeries: an SMCDS Tradition!

5th grade English students got a taste of some exciting art mystery novels this week! Mrs. Michelson and Ms. Huth’s 5th grade English classes are beginning their Fakes and Forgeries project, a SMCDS tradition. While reading an art mystery novel in literature circles, students will choose a famous artist to learn about. In English class they will research and write about their artist’s life and influence, while in art class they will choose one of the artist’s most famous works to recreate.

To begin the process, teachers hosted a “BOOK TASTING” to get students interested in the books they will be reading in literature circles. Literature circles provide students with self choice as well as cooperative learning. The children are able to generate meaningful discussions and make connections to novels through group discussions.This also promotes interaction among the students and personal responsibility to their learning, giving students more ownership in their education and engagement to the reading experience.

Their English classroom was set up like a restaurant, with menus on each table that provided the summary for each book. “Napkins” were provided for the students to respond to questions about the books they were viewing and rate their choices for reading. Each book sat on plates for individual viewing, and “guests” traveled from table to table to “taste” each book and find their favorite. All students used their best restaurant manners and found an exciting book with which to kick off this unit!

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Congratulations to the Cast and Crew!

The students of the St. Michael’s Theatre Ensemble had three amazing performances of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, this weekend at St. Michael’s.  Congratulations to the student cast and crew for their hard work, dedication, and stellar performance with this collaborative program!

Thanks especially to our production team: Christy Johnston, Jessica Reeg, and Ellyn Eaves-Hileman. Directors brought their unique talents to bear and produced a show that was thoughtfully acted, and pleasingly choreographed. The set and costume designs were outstanding, and allowed viewers to experience what it might feel like to be in Narnia!

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is based on C.S. Lewis’ first book of The Chronicles of Narnia, in an adaptation by Adrian Mitchell. While staying in a remote country manor to escape the London Blitz, the four Pevenzie children discover a magic wardrobe that allows them to pass into Narnia, a world inhabited by talking animals and ruled by the White Witch.  Since coming into power, the Witch has held Narnia in an eternal winter, never permitting Christmas or spring, and turning her enemies to stone with a wave of her wand. All of Narnia has been waiting for the return of Aslan, the Lion and Lord of Narnia, to overcome the Witch and reawaken the land. The children join together with Aslan, as they fight to outwit the Witch and restore peace to Narnia, learning the power of love and loyalty along the way.

 

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A visit with the Preschool and Prekindergarten

Mark from the Norman Bird Sanctuary came to the preschool and prekindergarten for our monthly visit .  He read Bats at the Beach and talked about mammals.  Mark also showed the children an African spikey mouse named Mo and a bunny named Andre, who is a lopped eared mix.  All of the children loved petting Andre!

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The 4th graders exhibited their “electric” structures for their parents on Wednesday morning in their classrooms. This was the culminating project of learning about electric circuits in science that they started the unit in September. They partnered up to create a structure of their choice (igloo, treehouse, medieval castle and Star Wars’ “Deathstar” to name a few).

Following a rubric, they had to have four switches that carried electricity to light bulbs inside a well planned out and designed cardboard structure. Not only did this project show persistence in getting all the circuits to work, but collaboration with a partner and positive thinking in making it all come together.

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