Time for math! For the past few weeks, students have been diving head first into algebra on all levels, and have been doing so well developing new concepts. At MCS, we love breaking math into parts, and building the problem first so we can make the bridge into symbolic thinking. Students get to create a visual representation of the math, using categorizing and executive functioning skills to organize like terms. By learning this way, students can explore different approaches to math, and decide which way helps them the best. Some students even walk away loving math! It's awesome!
It's happened again! Once again, it's time for Science Fair for our students to dive into the Scientific Process! Our integrated STEAM curriculum lets our students get into detail with collecting data and building graphs in Math, working on our Scientific Writing in Language Arts, and presentation and composition in Art. Through all their hard work and studies, our students were able to place in 2nd and 3rd, out of over 100 entries, in the San Francisco Science Fair this year!
This year, one of our featured students chose to focus her project around the effects of sugar on the human brain. She conducted research by survey, inviting test subjects to participate in the No Sugar Challenge for a week. After analyzing her data and comparing results, she found that out of her sample, most test subjects reported feeling overall less foggy and more focused after not consuming sugar for a week! Congrats to her, and all our students for all their incredible hard work on their projects - You guys are amazing!
The cells in our bodies do amazing things! They run our organs, repair skin, and keep us healthy as we grow. This week, we got to investigate the workings of our own cells and the scientific makeup of human beings at the Exploratorium.
It's not enough to just read about what's going on microscopically inside us; you've got to see it in action to really witness the magic. We saw our skin up close, got to study the differences between our facial structures, and even saw cells in a living heart! Students also noted different skin types and the bacteria found there (gross, yes. Interesting? Definitely!)
Our cells are impressive, but the way our senses help us understand the world around us is also incredible. Students dove into exhibits about perception, sound, and the physics of color and light to discover how our brains make sense of the world! So amazing to see the incredible machine that is the human body at work!
It's a beautiful day in San Francisco, so why stay inside?! MCS headed out to our local lake to help the Parks and Rec Department clean up an island. With help from our P&R Rep, students learned which plants were invasive and which ones should be left to flourish. We spent hours removing long plants of ivy and meddlesome grasses to make sure native flowers and plants had room to thrive. Our students had so much fun getting down with the soil, some of them even asked to stay longer!
Everyone can make a difference! Contact your local Parks and Rec Department to volunteer and help make our world a litter greener :)
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!
We love our planet! It's the only home we have, and at MCS, we like to spend time with others helping to take care of it. This month, students worked with the Parks and Rec Department to clean up our community playground and re-multch the land for new flowers and plants. Together, MCS students did hours of work, sweeping out gutters and pathways, clearing the area of leaves and debris to make our space a safer cleaner place for everyone in the neighborhood.
We even got to see the dumptruck in action!
Get involved! Our world needs more ambassadors, and you can help! To become a volunteer and help wildlife in your area, visit your local Parks and Recreation Department. You can find out more about the San Francisco PR Department here. Happy Volunteering!
They've returned! This month, MCS is happy to welcome back a new group of students from University of Tokyo to our Learning Lab. These students are on their way to becoming new teachers, and MCS is proud and grateful to be asked to share our teaching styles across the world with growing minds!
Through hands-on math, our visitors were able to experience learning in fashion similar to how our middle school students learn throughout the year. Each group of TSU students were given a math problem and instructed to use the Four Pillars of Learning to solve it together. Using this process, students had to build their math problems from manipulatives to show what they were thinking visually and explain it to others, all before using numbers and equations to show their work. By thinking about math this way, it helps learners who do not think using symbolic numbers, but rather in applied real world math. This process also addresses categorizing and labeling skills, which are commonly impacted areas in Executive Functioning for LD learners. Our visitors did a great job with this challenge, and even created some beautiful artwork to show their math! We're so impressed!
Thank you so much to the teachers are students at TSU! We're so happy to work with you and share our thoughts on LD learning - Can't wait to see you next year!
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!
Hello again, everyone! We've been away for a summer, and are happy to return for the new 2019-2020 school year! This first week, we've been diving in head first by getting organized and creating personalized structures for our work throughout the year. To further strengthen our Executive Functioning skills, students worked together to build the tallest, most secure structure in their groups using only a limited supply of tools. We saw all sorts of creative thinking and teamwork; the tallest structure got to be almost 2 feet high!
We can't wait to do more building this year, and are so excited to share our progress with you! Check us out here throughout the school year to see a little bit about how we learn and grow! Happy Building!