We're off to save the ocean! For the past month, MCS students have been working so hard on their Ocean Ambassador projects, and this week they finally got to showcase their work! The Ocean Ambassador Program at the Marine Mammal Center in Marin helps to inspire middle school students to become spokespeople for the environment, and jumpstart a new generation of young scientists. Our students, along with students from other local middle schools, created a variety of projects focused on saving marine life around us to share with others, and inspire them to stand up for our animal friends!
By inventing new things, fundraising with handmade novelties, and even building board games, students at MCS were able to share their concern about the ocean with other schools and students. Collectively, our students raised over $400 for the Marine Mammal Center, which will go towards researching environmental conservation and providing homes for many of our displaced animals. MCS even caught attention from other schools with one of our students' Ocean Fact Mad Libs, which will hopefully be used to teach kids in other places about protecting the environment! We are so proud of these guys, and all their hard work! Yay saving the environment!
It's time for education outreach, and this time it's worldwide! This Spring, MCS is proud to announce that we were invited to make our first trip to the 21CLHK (21st Century Learning Hong Kong) conference, and what a trip it was! At the conference, attendees “come together to learn, share and discuss current and emerging topics in education with thought leaders, technology, and learning experts," and aim to discover what other educators are developing in the world of specialized learning - the perfect place for MCS! We are so thrilled to know that there are so many others in the world who truly wish to focus on the quality of education across schools internationally!
Over the week, we discovered a great community of people who wish to make strides in teaching techniques, and schools who are striving to make a shift towards the type of education that My City School provides and advocates. One speaker, Andy Hargreaves, who is a great researcher and speaker on education, spoke to the point that a learning environment is important for both academics and social development:
"...schools are not only places where students acquire academic skills; they are also social environments where children can develop the social and emotional competencies they need to thrive. Well-being is needed to support achievement, especially where children come from backgrounds that present them with great challenges."
Our teaching model strongly supports the concept of making a workable environment like this, and uses a Wellness class to address different forms of wounding and triggers that can influence a student's ability to learn. We're so excited that this model, and others, are being touched on in the broader spectrum of learning!
Our experience at 21CLHK was truly inspiring, and we can't wait to start working with other schools to help spread ideas and continue to work towards changing education! Here's to more learning (and teaching) abroad!
Our natural resources are drastically depleting, and MCS is taking steps to help preserve them! This past week, students and teachers when on a Marsh adventure to study the world around them and plant native greenery to help restore the environment. Knowing the difference between native and non-native plants is extremely important, as planting non-native plants in an already struggling environment could cause drastic damage to the ecosystem. By planting and replanting native plants, MCS students were able to maintain the marshlands without disrupting it's natural ecosystem.
While working in the marshlands, students also learned a lot about the animals and other creatures living there. The Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, which only lives in the San Francisco Bay, is slowly going extinct because it's habitat is being neglected and in some cases demolished. Currently, there are only 2000 of them left! Hopefully with our help, and that of other concerned biologists, we can save this little creature from extinction. Get involved and sign up to help preserve our wetlands here today!
We've done it again! This last month, students jumped head first into the Scientific Process to complete their SF Science Fair projects, and came up with some excellent results. With our integrated STEAM curriculum, our students focused on executive functioning to collect data and build graphs, incorporated scientific writing in Language Arts, and learned about presentation and composition in art to make a full-fledged applied learning experience. Through months of work and dedication, our students were able to place 2nd, out of over 100 entries, in the San Francisco Science Fair this year!
This year, our featured students chose to create a project which focused on human interaction with animals, and how our pets affect our levels of stress. As a group, they conducted in-person studies with a test population of over 20 people and recorded the levels of stress for people of varying ages. After collecting and analyzing their data, building various graphs to depict different patterns they observed, and hours of discussion, they came to the conclusion that cuddles with pets lowers stress levels across the board! Congrats to these awesome students for all their hard work - you rock!
Wow, it's been busy this week! With SPARK Projects quickly approaching and Science Fair experiments to finish, our students have been going full throttle to learn as much as possible in class, and it's awesome :) This week, we cleared hurtles in Language Arts as students used grammar games to approach finding the subject in complicated sentences. Games help to better ground the concept, and give our kids a fun and visual way of understanding new ideas.
For our PE class, we worked on connecting our minds to our bodies in Yoga by practicing our balancing and rhythm using different sizes of yoga balls - super fun and very tricky!
Our 5th, 6th, and 7th graders even made huge progress by completing an 8th grade level math worksheet addressing Transformation, and pre-learning for Algebra! So excited for these leaps and bounds our students are making! Let's keep learning :D
We're constantly using energy in our everyday lives; from when we wake up in the morning, to writing a paper or playing on the playground. Today MCS made sparks fly by taking a trip to the Exploratorium to experience what gives different objects in our world that unique electric kick.
Through our work in Physics and applied sciences, students were able to discover new forms of energy that flow all around us every day. We learned about gravity and how it is affected in black holes, wind and water powered mechanisms, and even how sound waves travel! Who knew our planet was so energetic!
Not only did we jump into Kinetic Energy, but students also got to experience the travel of various wave energies and their forms. From ocean waves to radio waves, we're saying hello to each and every one! Now that's what we call Physics!
Woah, hang loose! This week, MCS students took science outdoors to use all five sense to explore their environment and dive deep into the land of physics. We discovered all kinds of amazing things at the beach (including the a couple big fish off the shore and a clever way to keep our feet sand-free!)
For us, the ocean isn't just relaxing - it's a great teacher as well. Being out in nature, students got to physically learn and observe the moon and tides, water as energy, and even sound waves! Who knew you could get more than just a tan at the beach!
What are some ways you learn outside the classroom? Let us know how you catch your waves!
As the days grow colder and we start bundling up, it's the perfect time to get a head start on helping out our parks for Spring! At MCS, we spend a lot of our time outdoors, and care a lot about the world around us. This week, MCS students got down in the dirt to help the local Parks and Rec Department clean up Golden Gate Park in preparation for making paths for pedestrians. Creating these paths will help keep foot traffic off the greenery, and preserve the nature of the park for years to come!
Ready, set, blast off! MCS takes on the big blue sky at the Chabot Space and Science center in Oakland. We had a great time exploring the night sky, and learned all about the cosmos around us. Students got to get up close and personal with the universe, studying how stars are made and even using real telescopes to view objects in space!
Did you know the moon is the fifth largest moon in our solar system? On our journey through the stars, we also learned all about the moon's relationship to our sun, and what happens during different types of eclipses through a wonderful planetarium show. What's your favorite thing to learn about space? Tell us below!
It's Election Day, so of course it's the perfect time to take a class trip to the Capital! MCS students got to experience traveling as a group out to Sacramento to take a tour of the Capital building. Students took time on the bus to play learning games with each other, and read their pleasure reading books. Once in Sacramento, the class got to learn about traveling on public transit, and how to navigate getting around a new place by using the train system. It was a long journey, but eventually we made it to the Capital!
On our tour, we learned some excellent facts about California, and how our system of government works. Students discussed how a bill becomes a law, the differences between the House and the Senate, and how our judicial branch functions. We also learned a lot about the physical architecture of the building, and the importance of color coding in House and Senate. Did you know the California State Senate is decorated in red to symbolize the monarchy, but the 2 thrones heading it remain empty to demonstrate our rejection of that system? Who knew those colors were so important!
All in all, we had an awesome day learning, and it was great to explore part of our government first hand. We had a long day, but it was worth it! We encourage you to investigate more about your government too, and become informed as well! You never know what you might discover! Remember, your voice counts - Happy Voting Day, everyone!