The end is here???
Endings make everything seem dearer,
more packed with meanings...
At the 8th Grade Graduation, I whispered to my colleague, asking how she characterized this 8th grade Class.
And she told me, quickly,
"They care about each other".
And for the next hour, I listened to the spokespersons testify to this.
If there was one unifying theme it was the relationships,
caring for each other, was the most important thing that had happened to them at Waters.
They spoke of love for each other,
for kids they had grown up with,
and newcomers, for teachers,
for their parents.
I watched the 8th grade teachers, watching their students, as the kids spoke and sang.
And I noted how they were "with them",
It was a lovely graduation.
"First Grade Takes a Test" is the name of an awesome picture book by Miriam Cohen about the lameness, the fruitless, hurtful regime of high-stakes tests. Read it!
We had our own 1st Grade takes a test in ecology.
Classroom by classroom, we divided the kids into table/teams and quizzed them about our local trees with 40 questions: clues, running from leaf shapes to flowers type to scent. The kids answered by team, but the classroom was tallied up all together.
Here are the results:
Room 211 answered 38 of 40 questions right, making them Tree ID Champs.
Room 205 answered 38 of 40 question right making them Tree ID Champs.
Room 108 answered 39 of 40 questions right making the Tree ID Champs.
I told them that if they got on 30 out of 40 right they were not really champs.
But they took it serious,
sweated cold beads from their little brows,
and they one.
Some one once said that we should never give kids a test to pass, that we ourselves could not pass.
This test would have been too hard for 90% of our adult community.
Which is only to say, it makes one reflect on what is important in the long run.
I would love to find some time to do this project with adults (and kids):
the trees of our neighborhood.
5th grade came out to learn about Monarch butterflies,
the "canary in the mine" species that is calling to us that there is a problem out there in agriculture-land.
We had kids scrutinizing milkweed plants, the larval host plant for monarchs;
and ID-ing nectaring flowers available in our gardens.
I went out to set up the stuff, and saw my 1st monarch of the year.
She settled on a common milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca), not yet in bloom (so, it was not feeding) and proceeded to do something I could not make out without glasses.
We found more than 30 species of flowers blooming, and three monarch eggs on milkweeds. No caterpillars. But, it has been a bit cool.
Our results will be reported to the International Monarch Butterfly website and data base, that helps scientists track the migrations of these beautiful creatures.
Each and every one of our flower investigators discovered the Service berry bush heavy with fruit. They devoured these lovely berries like they where red-hot cheetos.
Later we had a refreshing drink of ice-cold red currant lemonade!
This Saturday, June 20 is the Summer Solstice.
We will celebrate at the River and Berteau Street at 12:00.
It is pot lock and will be great fun.
If you would like to sweat before you party,
join us at 9:00 for a variety of riverbank work-tasks.
Many thanks to all,