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!
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!
This October, we got the best treat of all: an amazing Open House! Thank you so much to everyone who came out, and participated in learning with us! We had a great time, and we hope you learned a little bit about our world and how we teach here at MCS :) Also a huge thank you to our students who shared spoke about their journey through learning with us - we're so happy to have you with us!
Here's a little bit of info on our Open House, for those who weren't able to make it:
Part of what makes MCS a unique and engaging place is that we get out into the world, and approach learning hands on. This year, part of our Open House included exploring the 4 Pillars of Learning (Build, Draw, Explain and Write) to solve a math problem! This way, we not only give the information, we can give the experience as well. In small groups, parents and educators were taken through this process to solve a math problem, and in working on it together, were introduced to some of the ways our students look at learning. The answers we received were awesome - check out some of the building and the experience below!
In addition to our building, we also heard from current students about their experience at MCS, and how they have developed strategies while learning with us. We're so proud of all our kids, and are thrilled about how far they've come on their learning journey!
If you were unable to make it this time, have no fear! MCS is offering another Open House event in January 2019. Feel free to get in touch on our Contact page for more information. We'd love to hear from you!
It's the spooky time of year, and we're celebrating by getting up close and personal with the Winchester Mystery House in all it's spookiness! Being a woman who greatly believed in numbers and superstition, Mrs. Winchester held digits - especially the number 13 - in high esteem when it came to building her beautiful mansion, and used them mathematically throughout her home. Our students felt the ghostly chills as they investigated the house, measuring the strange angles of her miniature stairs, the odd dimensions of doorways, and even found the total number of windows in her 13 bedrooms with multiplication! This house was definitely not a place for those afraid to take a prime plunge into math and explore the infinite possibilities!
What are some interesting ways you've studied math? Let us know below!
At MCS, we are always focused on sharing and extending teaching tools to all who wish to make a difference, offering strategies to help improve the world of education and professional development through learning. This week, we were lucky enough be able to reach across the world, and host a group of 40 young teachers in training, from Tokyo Seitoku University! In teams, these student teachers acted as MCS students for 1 hour, accessing the 4 Pillars of Learning - Build, Draw, Explain, and Write - to solve a math problem.
Each team worked together through the 4 Pillars of Learning, and experienced each stage as an MCS student. TSU students first built their math problem, using 3D manipulatives, to help visualize what the problem was asking. They then drew out their thinking on paper, using images and symbols. Once their problems were drawn out using pictures, students could explain their thought process, and write down in words how they solved it! This system is one of many MCS uses when helping students access their learning and thrive as hands-on learners.
MCS is so happy to have the opportunity to share with our fellow educators. Thank you so much to the TSU students for coming all the way to MCS to learn! We had a great time, and hope to see you and other future educators again soon!