Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

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Making Lemonade From Lemons
Peter Glynn

It goes without saying that the 2017-2018 academic year was a challenging one for everyone. Teachers were intent on making the student experience away from our beautiful campus as positive as possible.  

It goes without saying that the 2017-2018 academic year was a challenging one for everyone. Teachers were intent on making the student experience away from our beautiful campus as positive as possible. At the McCormick House, where the fourth and fifth graders were housed, we were fortunate to be close by to the urban gem known as Alice Keck Park. We spent many recesses at the park giving the kids an opportunity to get some exercise. It was really special to watch them play old-school games such as tag. 
Alice Keck Park is renowned for its beautiful gardens and lily pond, replete with turtles and fish. The fifth-grade teachers and I decided one day to do a turtle count. I did an assembly on turtles to set the stage. There are three species of turtles that live in the pond; the red-eared slider, the Western painted, and the Pacific pond. The red-eared slider has red stripes behind its eyes and is an invasive species. The Western painted turtle has yellow stripes on its head. The Pacific pond turtle has dark mottled markings on its head and no stripes. Students were grouped into small teams and methodically counted turtles according to the species they identified. At the conclusion of the turtle count, we reviewed results. We discussed the differences in counts and decided that computing an average of turtle counts per species using all of the data was a good way to capture the overall results. 
The turtle count was an example of many activities teachers designed for students that took advantage of our setting. Historical walks, outdoor art projects, a tour of the Sonos facility, and building robots at the art museum come to mind. I was impressed with the positive attitude and resilience our students exhibited throughout or brief exodus. Our fourth and fifth graders chose to make lemonade from lemons. Hurray for their choice!
Peter Glynn
Math Specialist

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