Tenacare Country Day School
Student Council provides Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Graders the wonderful opportunity to be leaders in their school. Each child serves as part of Student Council for one-third of the school year. The Sixth Graders are assigned the responsibility of being co-presidents, treasurer, secretary and school reporters for their “term in office.” Parliamentary procedure keeps the Tuesday lunch meetings running smoothly, as all the students offer suggestions as to what projects to take on, and how to organize, advertise, and, implement them. Activities can range from sponsoring a winter coat collection for those in need, to a beautification project in connection with Earth Day that includes a fundraiser to buy flowers for the whole school to plant on campus, to promoting less waste in the lunchroom via posters and announcements. A perennial favorite is organizing a “Grub Day” - the opportunity to dress outside of Tenacre’s dress code (celebrity day, pajama day, beach day) in exchange for bringing in $1 to be donated to a charity. The children are enthusiastic and creative, and thoroughly enjoy their opportunity to make suggestions which can impact school life.
Big Friend Little Friend
In 1980, two former teachers started the Big Friend/Little Friend Program – a tradition of pairing first and sixth graders together, throughout the year. Students interact by reading to one another, by celebrating holidays together or just by being with one another during lunch or recess. This program ensures that older students help younger ones feel welcome and secure.
Big Reader Little Reader
Our younger students in pre-kindergarten are paired with fourth graders and the kindergarten class is paired with fifth graders for reading together and holiday projects. These associations help build a strong sense of community and true respect among the children at the different grade levels.
Clubs are developed around specific interests and allow students to work and play together in activities that they especially enjoy. Clubs meet either in the morning, before classes begin, or after school.
- Environmental Club (RAG): The Environmental Club, called RAG (Random Acts of Greenness), was started in 2011 for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. The mission of RAG is to energize students about taking care of the earth and helping the community while learning about some of the most important environmental issues facing our world today; to make environmental improvements locally and globally; to bring awareness about environmental issues to our community; and to provide students with a leadership and collaborative extracurricular opportunity.
- Bird Club: Bird Club takes place before school on six Friday mornings in the spring and is open to fifth and sixth graders. The emphasis is on learning to identify common birds by sight and song. The group usually walks on the Tenacre campus and to the conservation land across Benvenue St., but there are also walks to the nearby Charles River and to Lake Waban on the Wellesley College campus.
- Book Club: Each year, the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students are offered the opportunity to join an after-school book club. The Book Club is an optional activity and is a fun way to read an interesting book and talk about it with other kids in the school. The teachers and students decide together which book the club will read. The school purchases the book for the kids to read and, about one month later, the book club meets to discuss it. Books that have recently been read by Book Club include: Crash, by Jerry Spinelli, the Harry Potter books, by J.K. Rowling, Holes, by Louis Sachar and My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George.
- Chess Club: During the months of January and February, Chess classes are offered after school in Wells Playhouse. An outside instructor and chess master conducts beginner and intermediate/advanced classes. The beginner classes receive a twenty-minute lecture and demonstration followed by a half hour of play. The intermediate/advanced group receives instruction followed by tournament play to sharpen their skills and strategy in a more competitive environment.
- Math Clubs: Math enrichment clubs have two "flavors" at Tenacre. Math Mania is a program designed for any student in grade two through six with an interest in math. Age-level groups meet one morning before school each week to investigate ideas and play with mathematical skills. We play games, read books and conduct investigations in number, measurement, geometry, statistics and probability.
Fermi Club is a very different experience from Math Mania. The program replaces the computation-based Math League with a greater opportunity to develop 21st century skills such as reasoning, communication and modeling, all while applying mathematics to exciting problems. In Fermi Club, students will work in teams to answer challenging estimation and computation problems known as “Fermi Questions”. Each Fermi Question is really a small project. A typical Fermi Question at this level might be, “About how many tennis balls would it take to fill up Wells Playhouse?” In order to make this estimate, students must devise a logical series of assumptions or estimates to sub-questions such as, “How many tennis balls fit inside one cubic foot?” and, “What is the volume of Wells Playhouse?” Fermi questions involve rigorous research, estimation, calculation, communication and reasoning. Student teams will present the logical sequence of their calculations and defend their reasoning to their peers. Fermi Club will also be offered in the Winter and Spring terms. This math enrichment experience is designed to challenge those children with a very high interest in mathematics, and may include additional work outside of school.