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!
2, 4, 6, 8 What do we appreciate?! Math class, of course! Working with so many different kinds of learners, we've developed some amazing ways of teaching math at MCS. From Geometry in architecture to hands-on Algebra, we've been making math come alive in the real world - not just on the page! Learning math as a part of real life helps keep students engaged, and really see what numbers mean and do. Math is so much more than counting - it's what helps us build and grow!
This past week, we were thrilled to have Fran Kane, the Assistant Principle from St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Australia, visit to observe the way we use youcubed in the classroom. She shared with us an amazing text, Extending Mathematical Understanding by Ann Gervasoni, that helps to deepen the conceptual understanding of math, and we talked at length about educational resources internationally and their shared ideals. It's truly amazing to see how similar some of these approaches are, even across the world!
What is youcubed you ask? Developed by Jo Boland at Stanford University, youcubed is a program which provides open-ended questions that have an easy entry point but extend to deep levels of mathematics. Using this approach has helped our students become creative thinkers in math and gives them rich opportunities to practice talking about math with each other. Because of it's versatility, we've also been able to integrate the youcubed philosophy throughout our classes at MCS. Check out our adventures in Math Class below!
Welcome back, everyone! We've had an amazing summer, and are looking forward to an even more amazing year at MCS. At orientation, teachers walked through lessons with parents, and demonstrated what their classroom lessons will be like this year with hands-on activities. We have high hopes for 2019, and are excited to announce our expansion into another learning pod come next year!
During our first week of class, our students created and expanded on our classroom values as a group, and helped to form the structure that we will be working in this year. We're all very excited to start on our learning journey with our new students!
In our world, we know it can be hard to navigate the land of LDs, and that sometimes finding the right pathway is difficult. That's why, teachers at MCS are also pleased to announce our line up for professional development workshops this year! Our learning specialists offer multiple workshops over the course of the school year for parents and teachers alike, to help strengthen skills in Executive Functioning, Building Number Sense, Anxiety Reduction and more. Check out our workshop schedule on our Events Page, and RSVP today!
Happy Learning, 2018!
It's that time again! This school year has been a wild ride here at MCS, and we could not be more impressed with the hard work and dedication each one of our students has exhibited all the way through! We are so grateful for all the parents, educators, and sponsors who worked with us to make this year amazing! This week, we were happy to announce our 2018 graduates at our year end ceremony, and showcase their SPARK projects, Human Impact efforts, and more as we celebrate their accomplishments this school year!
Over the past 6 months, students rehearsed scenes from the Shakespearian classic, A Midsummer Night's Dream to perform at graduation. The play was first introduced in our Literature class, and expanded into Drama, so the students could begin to embody the characters both analytically and physically. Our kids not only performed wonderfully, but created beautiful backdrops, scenes, and props all on their own! Round of applause to all our actors in the making!
As part of our ceremony, students also presented their year end SPARK projects, and shared their work with parents, educators, and representatives. These projects focused on human impact in the world, and how we can innovate to create solutions to environmental issues, such as littering, deforestation, pesticide use and more. Each student chose a topic that was important to them, and chose to either raise a call to action or create an invention to help the cause. The kids did such a thorough job, we actually had representatives from the WildCare Rescue Service, and Friends of the Urban Forest attend our ceremony to receive donations, collected by our students, in person! Way to go guys!
To represent breaking through barriers in both learning and life, students broke boards using self defense skills taught by Delonzo Pope in our PE classes.
Overall, we are just so proud of our kids this year, and look forward to another year of growth and learning this Fall! Have an excellent Summer everyone!
Human Impacts continued! Students have been working incredibly hard to complete their SPARK Science projects on various topics of human impact in the environment over the past few weeks, and now they're ready! Using our integrated learning method, our class created their own math problems to represent their scientific cause in the real world! Since each student thinks about math differently, they each have their own unique way of representing their math process too, which was absolutely amazing to see! Check out their environmental math problems below - more about SPARK to come!