Homework, Due Thurs., 2/26. : I’m asking all the kids to learn about the nervous system of one animal, so that we can all share and compare what we learn with each other. My hope is that the kids will all be able to come up with a diagram of their animal’s nervous system (either drawing by hand, or by printing out an image from the internet), and some information. We’re interested in finding out how similar/different the animal’s nervous system is compared to our own. Some questions to investigate are: How are the nerves are laid out in the body? How is the brain is structured? How does the animal see, hear, smell, or feel differently from humans? Attached is the list of which animal your child chose out of the bag. If any of you have the time/motivation do get it done for class this week, that would be great. That is a short timeline though. I’m not expecting most kids to finish before next Thursday. This is an informal sharing of information, not a formal report. Please use whatever format is comfortable for you and your child.
Math Tutoring with Victor: Wednesdays, 1:45pm-3:00pm.
Rosicrucian Museum Field Trip: Wednesday, 2/25/15. 9am-2pm. So far I have 10 kids worth of permission slips for the field trip. If your child is planning on attending, please send me an email to that effect, and let me know what transportation you need or can offer. Siblings are invited to attend on this one as long as they can adhere to the museum rules.
Paperwork Party: Thursday, 2/19/15, 1:45pm-3:30pm. All are invited to use the CRMS class space to connect with other parents and receive support in completing month 6 attendance paperwork. I’ll provide support and refreshments.
Month 6 Attendance Paperwork Due: Friday, 2/20/15. As usual, please turn in your paperwork to the Charter Office in Ben Lomond.
Planner Sheet Error: Here’s how to change the year error in the online planner sheets, mos. 6-10. If your child used the online planner at school, they did this with me for Month 6:
1) Go to the first day of the attendance month (e.g. first day of week 1, mo. 6 is 1/26/14)
2) Click on the cell with the date.
3) Change 2014 to 2015.
4) Click off of the cell. The rest of the month will automatically populate with the correct year.
5) Repeat for months 7-10.
Marin Headlands Overnight: Wednesday, 3/25/15. I braved the traffic this weekend and made the trek up to the Marin Headlands. While there I connected with a park historian and arranged with him to take us out to the Point Bonita Lighthouse and the restored Nike Missile Site (where, apparently, we actually get to touch the missiles). Our room at the hostel feels a little like a bunker, though I think it was originally a hospital building. There is a big common room, a rec. room downstairs, and a large, open field out front. I think we’re going to have a great time!
Master Agreement Reminder: I still haven’t received everyone’s. Please make an effort to fill one out next time you’re dropping off or picking up from class. Thanks!
Parent Help Schedule: Katie Snyder has agreed to send out reminders about your parent help/snack help days. Thanks Katie!
Summary of the week:
Plant Medicines: The kids researched the need for light, water and soil of their plants and created a to-scale drawing of their plant which identified those needs for landscape planning. Afterward, the kids worked in the garden with Bruno. We hope to start planting this week.
Art: The kids made more progress on their cross stitching. Having bigger needles and smoother thread helped a lot!
The kids evaluated each other’s Cornell Notes from the week before.
We reviewed the brain anatomy learned the previous week and then filled in a diagram from the dorsal (top) view. Here is some new vocabulary for navigating around the body: Rostral/Anterior, Dorsal, Caudal/Posterior.
We continued to talk about how, even though our entire brain is active in everything we do, different senses tend to activitate different parts of the brain. I showed the kids two short segments documenting how researchers are looking into just how much the sensory-brain connection is “hard-wired” and how much influence culture (specifically language) has on brain and sensory function. Researchers are finding that other parts of the brain can be used for usually non-associated sensory functions, but the senses don’t function as well. They are also finding that culture and language can have a significant effect on our sensory experience. One of the selections was the ferret research shown later in the PBS documentary link I sent you in the last update: The Secret Life of the Brain: Episode 1: The Baby's Brain. The second video is from a BBC documentary on the brain: http://www.boreme.com/posting.phpid=30670#.VNrG7_nF98E
The kids participated in sensory research being done at the Florida Institute of Neuroscience, which is looking at patterns of sensory sensitivity in large number of people. http://www.maxplanckflorida.org/fitzpatricklab/homunculus/. If they haven’t shown you yet, have your child show you their homunculus, which changes shape depending on which parts of the body tested the most sensitive and therefore would be associated with a greater number of neuronal connections in the brain. Besides the basic sensory data, the study did not require that the kids reveal any person information.
P.E.: We played Cops & Robbers.
Happy Presidents Day!
Coast Redwood Middle School