One of the comments I heard this week from the 5th -8th graders was about the fact that they had "no homework". As the staffs of the TCS & Chelsea middle schools worked together to create a week full of "project-based learning" activities, our students were engaged beyond belief. Ecology Week for our 5 /6 grades was put together with many staff hours, several community and statewide connections, and many passionate volunteers helping our students seek knowledge & wisdom beyond the classroom. The Exploratorium for the 7 /8 students was an effort to offer our students something they might not otherwise experience in the course of studies at their home school. Each day for the week was a celebration and accomplishment in and of itself, as outlined below.
Our Tunbridge 5th and 6th were joined by Chelsea 6th graders as they enjoyed incredible experiences such as 1) a day at McIntosh Pond fishing, kayaking, water sampling and nature identification; with assistance from Vermont Adaptive, the Vermont Fish & Game Dept, and Bonner Wheeler each student was able to enjoy all activities 2) a day at ECHO Museum in Burlington, 3) Recycling Raft Regatta 4) visiting two very generous farms and understanding the many facets in each ecosystem 5) a day of activities from our guests: Nancy Chapman & quilting, Heidi Chapman & pastels, Shane Young & his cider press, Lisa Kippen & charcoal art, George White & wood working, Mrs. Bogardus and Mrs. Lober & baking and Marion Lent with fiber arts. Each day, students used their google sites to keep a blog with their impressions, collaboration and new learning.
Meanwhile, in Chelsea, the 7th and 8th graders from each school worked together in an area of their choice. After a day at the Waits River School ropes course, the students chose one of five areas to study for the remainder of the week: documentary film-making, wood-working (saplings) design and stool making, drama & one-act play production, landscape pastels, and engineering design & bridge building. Friday afternoon, students, parents, and staff enjoyed an exhibition of the week's work --- a beautiful culmination of passion, hard work, and a hands-on approach to learning.
(more photos and videos are located on Tunbridge Central School Facebook and our video channel located on our tunbridgeschool.org website.)