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Advanced Learning with the Eagles

by Abra Kessler


As the oldest class of Red Fox students, Eagles take this important status seriously. You can see an Eagle comforting a younger student or playing with someone who may not have a play partner during our outside time at that moment. If there is a disagreement between younger students, an Eagle will step in to help mitigate the situation, explaining why talking things out is the best way to solve a problem.  

There are several events that make the second half of the year at Red Fox fun. There is always an upcoming event to prepare for and enjoy! For Read Across America we had a weeklong celebration of reading books that were: silly, global-minded, promoted activism, embraced kindness and ended the week with the whole school community sharing their favorite book. We even dressed as one of our favorite characters for the event and then had a “read in” with our families. Our graduating Eagles take on prestigious roles during these events, like being the MCs for our Open Mic celebration. Open Mic is a great event where a student or group of students get up to perform for the school community. This year we had 18 acts, ranging from a talk show that goes awry with SpiderMan appearing, several singing and dancing groups, a mime act, a puppet show, a magic act, joke telling, and a piano performance! Our 100 Day celebration is another fun event. Each student thinks of making 100 of something and shows how they know it is 100 by coming up with an equation that proves their project has equaled 100. The Eagles’ projects were: 100 God’s Eyes, displayed in 10 rows of 10; 50 sports players and 1 fact about each of them (50 + 50 = 100); 100 paint swatch poems; 100 origami creations (one person created hearts, another made foxes); 10 facts about 10 football teams; 100 soccer players from 100 countries, 100 bookmarks with a widget on each of them, and 100 favorite Pokemon cards ranked from top to least favorite. The range of projects allows each student to create something they are interested in, some involving research and others involving hands-on creations. Another project we are all excited for is our school play. This year’s school theme is water, so our play is being formulated to be fun but also informative of what we’ve been learning throughout the year. Red Fox students, with the guidance of the teachers, create the play from start to finish and it is performed in front of the Red Fox community in May. 

As part of our water study, the Eagles are taking part in the Trout in the Classroom program. Red Fox is one of 24 area schools participating in this program. This rich curriculum integrates Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Art. 100 brook trout eggs arrived in January and since then we have been learning about the trout life cycle firsthand, watching the trout develop from egg, to the alevin stage (the eggs have hatched into tiny, baby trout), then advancing into the fry stage (they are swimming up to the surface to feed on fish food). The class monitors the quality of the tank water by testing the ph, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels and siphons out 20% of our 55 gallon tank (after figuring out exactly how many gallons that is) and exchanges it with water they treat. The class had an opportunity to dissect trout and learn which organs and other body parts they were seeing. We then charted up all that we learned and made a book to teach the information to others. We took a trip to a fish hatchery and learned what happens there, as well as fed much larger trout than we’ve seen before. Along with learning about trout, we have also learned about macroinvertebrates, which the trout feed on and the presence of these creatures are indicative of water quality. We have had many opportunities to be creative artistically with this study. With each stage, we look at our trout under a high quality digital microscope and draw detailed sketches of what we see. We have made a river mural and will soon be starting to make quilt squares for a quilt exchange program through Trout in the Classroom.

Cassia - Ginger
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Ella - Open Mic
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Gabriel - Red Fox Cooking
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Killian - Trout in the Classroom
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Narissa - Books Made By Kids
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Nuala Spanish project
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Mack - Greek Mythology
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Sammy - Gorilla Tag and It's Ghosts
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In Language Arts we start our week with a Quick Write. The students have five minutes to write on a topic of their choice, or they can use either my word prompt or picture prompt. This is a silent time when the students don’t ask how to spell a word or confer with anyone. At the end of the time, the students count up the number of words they wrote. The goal is to see if they can add a few more words each time we do Quick Write. Recently for writing, we read a news article together and then looked at how to write one ourselves. The class wrote an article for our school website themselves. The Eagles brainstormed all the ideas they could write about on their topic, then started getting their ideas down. Once finished, they did peer editing, making suggestions on their classmates’ articles to include more information. Finally, they worked a good deal on editing for complete sentences, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling on their own work. For our reading groups, we did a unit focused on fables and Greek myths. We looked at the character traits and what the moral of each story was. We are now reading Flush by Carl Hiaasen together. Great questions of morality come out of our reading, such as is it okay to commit a crime if it is for a good cause? Eagles answer these questions in their reading notebook and then we share and discuss our thoughts.

In Math, we have been working on many skills and concepts in the second half of the year. We started by refreshing multiplication concepts and continue to work on stretching and strengthening these skills. Some students have been working on building the different combinations a number can be divided by. Some other Eagles have been working on reviewing how to add fractions and then multiplying them. We also reviewed recognizing different symbols used for multiplying and dividing and honed place value skills while adding and subtracting multi digit addition and subtraction problems. We have worked a lot on data analysis, creating line plots and looking at median, mean, range and what an outlier is. Much of our work is reviewed when we work on word problems and with these, we focus on figuring out which information is important, as well as how to divide up a given amount of something, and what makes sense to do with the leftovers. 

The year is winding down, but we still have so much to look forward to before the end of the school year. We have several trips planned and we will have a Release Day for our trout, where the whole school will go to a local river and send off our trout into the wild. We have several events planned for the day such as being taught how to fly fish, playing water related games, and enjoying the natural beauty of our surroundings. 


Explore. Discover. Learn

Some of our adventures this spring:

Winter Gathering 2024

Tasting maple sap right from the tree!

Testing our leaping skills on Leap Day!

Open Mic, Winter 2024

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