The Friday afternoon outing block has been a great success so far. We have seen our kids go to multiple spots, some starting an ongoing relationship and others for a one-time visit. The different grade levels spent roughly three weeks with either Caryn or Julia, before swapping focus. We will continue to bounce the groups between Julia and Caryn every two to three weeks, with the occasional all-school outing interspersed.
The sixth-grade spent three weeks focusing on Science with Caryn at Shelburne Farms. They practiced event mapping (using your senses to map what you see, feel, hear, and touch to learn about a place). They spent two of the weeks working with Dana, the woodlands manager, to collect data regarding their management practices in the forest to encourage new growth. As part of that, they toured the farm and saw areas that were being harvested to encourage forest regeneration. On Friday, October 24th, the sixth grade class did their first Humanities trip with Julia. They enjoyed a trip to the Fleming Museum where they viewed a collection from Joseph Becker and his colleagues who served as artist-reporters for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. These documented Civil War drawings included battlefields, military encampments, and other pivotal moments from the Civil War Era. After learning about these drawings, the children selected an image of their choice to draw and write about.
The 7th/8th graders had a Humanities focus with Julia for their first three weeks. They started looking at the Art on the Campus at Middlebury College the first week, followed by a trip to the Middlebury museum, which had various historical collections, such as Tibetan Art and their permanent collection on ancient Roman and Greek art. The last week, they went the Vermont Folk Museum, which had a new exhibit on "Greening Vermont." Students learned about the environmental trends in Vermont livestock, housing, farms, cars, and cows from 1960-present. Some students were able to create graphs with their data comparing these figures. When the 7th/8th turned their focus to Science, they also went to Shelburne Farms initially. They met with Holly Kreiner from the UVM Watershed Alliance,to study best management practices at the farm to limit the amount of phosphorus that travels into the lake. They also did water testing along the watershed to see what the rates of phosphorus were after a few days of rainfall and therefore runoff. They were pleased to find that the levels were only slightly elevated and lower than expected.
For Friday, 10/31, we will be staying on campus to do the Halloween event with the toddlers. And Friday 11/7 is reserved for Endeavour parent Cristalee McSweeney, who will present an interactive unit on Online Safety. After those events are done, Julia and the sixth grade will be visiting Shelburne Museum and learning about their Civil War exhibit. And Caryn and the 7th/8th grade is tentatively scheduled for a trip on the UVM water studies boat to see how they take data on Lake Champlain.