Tenacre is now into its second week of distance learning. Students are settling into new routines and focusing on learning in new classrooms. Every class, from pre-kindergarten through grade 6, are meeting daily for live homeroom and special subject sessions. Teachers also post recorded lessons, and all teachers have “office hours” for students to ask questions -- or, in the case of one fourth-grader who asked, “Is it ok if I come to office hours just to say ‘hi?’” (The answer was “Of course, I would love it!”). There is time built into every school day for students to break for work time at home, “snack and recess,” and the livestreamed Tenacre morning and lunch announcements.
There were smiles and excitement this morning as Tenacre students reconnected with each other in a new virtual classroom. Students, who have been on spring break for the past two weeks, started the morning with a livestreamed assembly hosted by Head of School Will Crissman. Mr. Crissman followed the usual assembly protocol of saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, giving announcements, and then wishing happy birthday to students who recently celebrated their birthdays. Mr. Crissman even sang a “Happy Birthday” solo (and a cappella!) to those students. After assembly, students went on to meet virtually with their respective classes. The students were so excited to see each other and chat with both their peers and their teachers. It has been a great “first day!”
Four Tenacre fifth-graders were honored for their essays in the 2020 Will McDonough Writing Contest. One Tenacre student earned first place, and three earned honorable mention. Every member of the fifth-grade class at Tenacre submitted a 400-word essay to the contest as part of a class writing assignment.
The Will McDonough Writing Contest, named in honor of the legendary Boston Globe sportswriter, takes place every year. In 2020, more than 1,100 students from across New England participated in the contest. The winners are chosen by Globe Sports Editors. The contest is open to all students in grades 4 through 12.
Second graders traveled to Boston for a visit to the aquarium last week. They spent the day learning about various sea animals, which ties into the second grade sea life unit. The students touched stingrays and sharks, learned about the similarities and differences among penguins, and learned from a museum specialist who worked with the Tenacre students.
A mason by trade with a deep-rooted passion for art, Jason Boucher is a self-taught painter, illustrator, muralist and portrait artist located in the Boston area. Jason presented an assembly to Tenacre students this morning and then worked with fourth-graders in art class. His recent work includes several children’s book illustrations, including Darlene the Drama Queen series, Courage for Charlie, and The Allergy Avengers, as well as large-scale murals for several local institutions and restaurants such as Bar Louie at Patriot Place in Foxboro. Jason specializes in assisting authors that publish stories about people with physical or emotional differences.
Jason has worked for Consigli Construction Co., Inc. since 2007 where he has built a career in construction while applying his artistic talents in the form of intricate masonry craftsmanship. His resume of projects includes work for local high-profile institutions such as Wellesley College, Trinity Church in Boston, and several historic buildings throughout the Harvard University campus. While his work as an illustrator has provided additional life to an author’s words, his abilities as a mason has restored and preserved notable landmarks.
This morning, first graders performed their class play, “Bremen Town Jam,” a delightful re-telling of the Brothers Grimm’s famous take on the classic tale, “The Bremen Town Musicians.” Along the way, they met some rascally robbers who needed to be taught a lesson. In the end, they learned the value of sticking together with friends and ultimately making beautiful music together.
In science class this week, Tenacre sixth-graders have been load-testing their popsicle stick bridges, part of an interdisciplinary project STEM project that integrates science, technology, engineering, and math. Students are graded on the cost efficiency of the bridge, the load capacity (it must have a minimum load capacity of 10,000 grams), aesthetics, and the collaborative effort of each two-person team. In math class, students used their blueprints to assess the angles, incorporating their geometry skills. They used their technology skills to test their designs in the West Point Bridge software. If the design passed, they could move on to physically build the bridge. The bridges are tested in science class for how much weight they can hold before breaking.
Sixth-graders are hard at work on their Big Bridge Fail project in science class. In this interdisciplinary STEM project that integrates science, technology, engineering, and math, students work in teams to research, design, and build popsicle stick bridges. The goal is to build a bridge that can withstand a minimum load capacity of 10,000 grams. Load-testing begins next week… stay tuned!
A group of Tenacre fifth- and sixth-graders planned, created, and hosted an all-school assembly about Black History Month last Thursday. One of the students approached Assistant Head of School Lou Anne Collins about his idea and worked with her to develop the format. Traditionally, Tenacre has incorporated black history into its curriculum instead of hosting an annual assembly. Mrs. Collins however, has always encouraged students to approach her if they have something they would like to share during an assembly. She and the student invited any fifth- and sixth-graders to participate, and seven additional students expressed interested and joined the team. Faculty member DaJaun Owens joined Mrs. Collins in guiding the group.
This morning, second-graders performed their class play, “Goal!” The game that Brazilian "football" legend Pelé called "The Beautiful Game" is the setting for this entertaining musical that celebrates the beauty and glory of the sport, as well as the value of good sportsmanship, setting goals, and being a part of a team. Bravo second-graders on a job well-done!
Tenacre’s P.E. program has been busy with its Jump for Heart unit this week. During the month of February, students from Pre-K through Grade 6 learn about heart health in P.E. They also learn new jump rope skills and review the importance of cardiovascular fitness. Grades Pre-K - 1 have specific lessons on how the heart works, have the opportunity to listen to their hearts with a stethoscope, and learn how blood flows through their circulatory system. Students play many games that reinforce the importance of healthy eating and exercising to keep our hearts healthy.
Third-graders performed a dynamic and musical version of “Pinnochio” this morning. Who knew what kind of mischief this famous fictitious puppet would get into---on his very first day of school! Would Pinocchio follow Geppetto's instructions to stop briefly at the bookshop on his way through the piazza? Or would the sly Mr. Fox and a silly sidekick Cat convince Pinocchio to spend his two pence on a more interesting investment?
Fifth graders spent part of the day cross country skiing yesterday at the Weston Ski Track, an annual part of the P.E. program’s life skills unit. After participating a in a lesson, students had time to try out their new skiing skills.
Tenacre students participated in the National Geographic Bee this week, answering a myriad of questions about world geography. Twelve students from grades 4, 5, and 6 took part in the educational competition, which is open to any public, private or home-schooled group in the U.S. or its territories. This is the second time Tenacre has competed in the GeoBee, and the students loved it!
This morning, sixth graders tested their memories as they all recited the Gettysburg Address, a Tenacre tradition that ties into the social studies curriculum. Everyone dressed up as Abraham Lincoln—complete with black top hat, beard, and long black coat--for the performance. At the end of the individual recitations, they recited the Address as a group.
A group of students participated in Tenacre’s Math Club this afternoon, using their logic to solve puzzles and problems. Math Coordinator Regina Barrett presented these fifth and sixth graders with a series of challenges that they enthusiastically tackled.
The work of painter Lori Mehta is currently exhibited in the Tenacre Art Gallery (TAG). Ms. Mehta presented to Tenacre students at morning assembly today and then worked with first-graders in art class. Ms. Mehta is based in Wellesley and Cape Cod. While she always considered herself creative, she began her art career once her children - who all attended Tenacre - were older. One of her children, Emma, an alumna from the Class of 2009, helped her mom in the art room with first-graders.
Tenacre students learned lessons in gratitude and kindness today by listening to the motivational message of Kesley Tainsh, a 27-year-old survivor of two bouts with cancer and a stroke. Kelsey was invited to speak about Tenacre’s 2019-2020 Gratitude theme.
Tenacre’s sixth grade class spent the day at MIT today, participating in a structural engineering workshop that is helping prepare them for the Big Bridge Fail, a STEM project in science that starts this week. After the workshop and lunch, students had time to explore the museum on their own.