The Spring 2013 facilitators (Jayne, Angela, Susan, Sally and Kim) would like to thank the students and families of Mosaic Freeschool for another successful semester!
The following is a collaboration of words and images from our final day together this spring.
What a day! Filled with so much creativity.
History of Science Fair
by Jayne Besjak
For the 11-13 year old group, the day started with the science fair in the dining hall. Students set up their projects on tables around the room. Each student explained their project, how it worked, and then
demonstrated it in front of a judge. First, second, and third prizes were awarded. A special thank you to our science fair judges -- Ed, Sally, and Pastor Matt of Lamington Presbyterian Church. We would also like to acknowledge the parents that came out to support their students -- it was a very festive turnout!
For most of our students this was their very first experience at a science fair. I would like to express my pride in the students' efforts put forth to determine a topic on their own, and then bring it to completion. Our fair was less traditional science, and more of a "history of science" exhibition, highlighting many of the historical developments in science we have covered this semester. Students could chose any topic that interested them, including the work of any scientist, philosopher, or mathematician of the ancient era. They came up with a great variety -- water clocks, the use of Hero's simple machines, catapult design, astronomical monuments, history of time keeping devices, Aristotle's geocentric universe, Phythagoras' development of music theory, atomic theory, astrolabes for celestial viewing, and the three great philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle). I truly commend their creativity and hard work, and hope they have enjoyed and grown from our time together in class and our journey through Aristotle's world!
A Midsummer Night's Dream
by Susan Martz and Angela Harris
After the science fair, everyone headed upstairs for the Mosaic Freeschool Player's performance of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Again, special thanks go to Susan and Greg Martz for prepping the room with lights and music and darkened windows to evoke the feeling of a theatre -- the room was transformed!
The Players filed into the room with very low light and sat on their chairs. The lights came up and they performed. When they were done the lights faded out, then up again, and they stood up and took a bow, then filed out again. The students did a fantastic job and we were pleased to receive such positive feedback from the audience!
After the performance, we had lunch and then resumed for the final session of Reader's Theatre. We talked a lot about how they felt about their projects and performance and what hurdles they had to jump through emotionally to get through it all. And, how they felt once it was over! Lots of great dialogue and processing. Then Susan guided them through more pantomime and acting exercises to release all that pent up energy and tension that had built up during the day. Congratulations to the 11-13 year old group for a job well done!
by Kim Rodgers
With all the rain over the weekend our special spot across the street was going to be a muddy mess. I’m not one to avoid the weather, but I was picturing boots getting stuck in the mud and kids slipping in the muck. So, I brought nature indoors!
Our tables were full of wildflowers, pieces of bark with moss, segments of branches from trees full of leaves. I reminded the students that all of the specimens were from my yard. We don’t normally go out in nature and pick whatever we want!
The students spent time going around to any item that stood out to them. Once they found something they wanted to focus on they used their senses to describe it, using words or drawings. After all the describing the students went through the field guides to try and identify what they were studying.
With all that information at hand the students wrote a Cinquain poem about their specimen. Before we could read them aloud to the class we quickly went next door to watch the older class perform a reader’s theater version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Wonderful! When we got back, the students read their poem aloud. How creative! What great descriptions! Ask your child to share theirs with you.
Have a wonderful summer, full of outdoor adventures! Our family has a six week adventure planned, driving around the country and camping in many beautiful areas. I hope you have a chance to spend some time in nature, relaxing and spending time with your families. I hope to see you next semester!
Maps & Stories
by Sally Zeiner
It is hard to believe that Maps & Stories is over! I feel as if we just got started, and there is so much more we could study together. If you are interested in continuing to explore geography together at home following the research approach that we used in class, take a look at Around the World in 180 Days.
Using this approach, the children learn the skills to find information for themselves in books, as well as leading them on a fascinating journey around the world. Another favorite book is Children Just Like Me. We have had this book at home for years and still love to read it. Every page offers a glimpse into the life of a child, including their family, their housing, their food, and their thoughts. It reveals how alike and how different the lives of children around the world are.
For older children, or a family read-aloud, I recommend Outcasts United (adapted for young people), which brings geography and politics to life in the true story of refugee children from around the world who are building a new life after settling in Atlanta. We have fallen in love with this work and the way it brings the world to us. To learn more about this community, check out Fugees Family.
I know that your very smart and creative children will enjoy continuing to learn about geography with you at home. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to get to know them all. Their final presentations were wonderful, each as unique and interesting as the children who shared them. You would all be very proud of the way that they have blossomed into confident public speakers and writers in the course of this class.
Have a great summer! I hope to see you in the fall.
Fall 2013 Registration Coming Soon!
We plan to post course descriptions by the end of June and will be opening up on-line registration to existing students first -- so sign up early to secure your spots! We will be offering three age groups in the fall (6-8), (9-11) and (12-14). An email will be sent to all current Mosaic families when the new class lineup is posted.