Ah, Cal Academy - learning hands-on at it's best! For us at MCS, the California Academy of Sciences is a perfect place for our students to explore scientific concepts first hand, and marvel at our world in an extremely experiential way. This week, our students headed out to the Academy to investigate how genes work, and the different ways animals adapt to their environment to survive. By studying animals that change markings over time, or adjust their colors to warn other predators, students were able to trace the genealogy of these animals and discover which traits were successful enough to pass down to future generations! Students then dove deeper and connected this to dominant and recessive genes, discovering which eye color was passed down in their families, how various physical traits are passed, and which features humans have retained after our first migration across the globe. Way to go to our Genealogists for being so investigative!
At MCS, we are not only focused on helping our students find their pathway into learning, but sharing these roadmaps with the educational world as well. This week, MCS got to once again work with one of our partners at Benetech to help develop technology for young learners. As a local non-profit, Benetech works to create software that makes it easier for impacted students to read and learn. MCS students got to test out reading software designed for similar learning types, and aid developers in collecting research for designing programs. Thanks to Benetech and people like them, more students with learning differences will have tools available to make learning more fun and accessible!
We are so happy to be able to connect with other non-profits and help them serve the LD community! This partnership has been ongoing for a few years now, and it's so wonderful to see the progress they've made :) To learn more about Benetech and their work in Education, visit their website here. Happy Learning!
As our world gets warmer, slowly consumed by trash and negative human impacts, it is more important than ever that we take a stand for our planet. This month, our students wanted to make sure their voices were heard by attending the Climate Crisis March in downtown San Francisco. Together, they joined thousands of passionate students from all over the Bay Area (and the world) to march in a fight for the future of our environment. Calls for action and responsibility were made throughout the streets as students carried so many handmade signs and flyers. It is so important that we work towards a better future, and so dire that students stand up for theirs - we are so proud of them!
With the world in its current state, we are quickly running out of fossil fuels, and are digging a larger and larger whole in our ozone. Our environment needs help, and won't be sustainable without appropriate action from humanity. As our Science class discussed when talking about energy, the current system of fuel is insufficient for producing what humanity needs long (or even short) term. By protesting in solidation with the powerful Greta Thunberg for renewable energy, our students are hoping to bring about action towards saving our world and their home. Visit the Climate Reality Project to learn about what you can do to spread awareness and help protect our planet today!
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'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!
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!
MCS gets moving on our Human Impact studies with an adventure to the Marin Museum of the American Indian. With our wonderful guide, Alicia, we learned about how the Miwok people treated their environment and conserved the resources around them. We are hoping to bring back some of these ideals and practices to help continue to save our dwindling natural resources!
We also got to learn about the houses, called kotchas, where the Miwok people lived and slept, and the importance of baskets and tools to the tribe. Students were even given a chance to use handmade drills and practice drilling the way the Miwoks would have to make holes to build!
Thank you to Alicia and the Marin Museum of the American Indian for giving us a great experience. We learned a lot and are looking forward to next time!
We've had a busy week so far! Students studied outdoors at Muir Beach, improved their Executive Functioning skills in Math and Literature, and even looked at Art History at the Legion of Honor. Check out our adventures in learning below!
MCS students explore geological processes in the real work at Muir Beach for Science!
Field trip! MCS dives into History and Art with a visit to the Legion of Honor to study works from the Middle Ages.
In Math, students create strategy sheets and separate strategy cards intended to be mixed up and paired back together. This separates and supports the visual, language/verbal/symbolic and written portions of learning, which is great for working memory challenged students or for students with attention challenges.
Our wellness classes this week focused on working through situations with friends in need, and how to best communicate in a positive way with one another.