Pre-kindergartners, kindergartners, first, and second graders brought the holiday spirit to Tenacre this morning with their performance of December Nights, December Lights (formerly Candles of All Colors). December Nights, December Lights was a fun and festive way to kick off the holiday season.
Artist Wanda Edwards visited Tenacre this morning and explained the process she uses to create torn-paper art. Her beautiful collages—made entirely of small pieces of torn paper—currently line Tenacre’s TAG hallway. After giving a demonstration to the entire school, Ms. Edwards worked with sixth-graders in art class, where students created their own torn-paper collages.
Tenacre students participated in an all-school community service project this morning, an annual tradition the day before Thanksgiving. Big Friends and Little Friends, along with students from Grades 2 and 3, gathered to create artwork for the Students Rebuild Hunger Challenge, created by the Bezos Family Foundation to fight hunger. For each piece of art that Tenacre submits to Students Rebuild, the Bezos Family Foundation will contribute $3.00 to 10 organizations and 12 specific projects that address hunger around the world. An all-school photo was taken with students and faculty holding their recipes. Tenacre wishes a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Tenacre, in conjunction with Wellesley Books, hosted Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush last Thursday night as part of their new book tour. More than 300 people bought tickets to attend the event, which featured a conversation between the Bush sisters, moderated by author and style blogger Erin Gates. Guests who bought a ticket each received an autographed copy of the Bushes’ new book, “Sisters First.”
Fifth graders presented Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet this morning. The study of Shakespeare started over the summer for fifth graders, when they read "Romeo and Juliet" for school. As part of their study of the causes and effects of the American Revolution, students learn about England in the 16th and 17th centuries - Queen Elizabeth, the power of Spain, and the important role the theater played in education, entertainment, and enlightenment during this period.
Thanks to a Sixth-Grade Gift from the Class of 2020, sixth-graders started working on a special art project this morning. Over the next several months, they will spend several art classes working with local artist Audrey Markoff Dunn, who works with Art in Giving, a nonprofit that raises funds for childhood cancer research through the sale of fine arts.
By the end of the year, sixth-graders will have created a large mosaic that will be permanently displayed at Tenacre. Audrey, who works in marketing, is also a mosaic artist who focuses on color and pattern, creating art in small pieces. She makes and cuts her own tile pieces.
In this morning’s class, sixth-graders worked on individual mosaics as a “warm up” project. The class will work together and decide on a theme and design for the final mosaic.
Tenacre held a Veterans Day assembly this morning with four veterans speaking about their service to the United States: Ensign Alyssa Laystrom (U.S. Coast Guard), Ensign Anna Maria Vaccaro (U.S. Coast Guard), Michael Grossman (U.S. Army), and Virginia Grew (U.S. Army). The assembly started with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the sixth-grade class singing “My Country Tis of Thee.” As the veterans answered numerous questions from students, the Tenacre community was reminded of the incredible role that Veterans play for our country. Tenacre salutes all Veterans!
Two Tenacre sixth-graders attended the AISNE for Schools Middle School Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference at Belmont Day School last week. The goal for attending students--our future leaders--was to learn to advocate for both themselves and others. They spent the day in "conversation, connection and collaboration" learning how to unite social identity groups "as part of a common cause to increase equity and social justice." They ended the day with a dynamic presentation from poet, educator, The New York Times bestselling author and Newbery medalist Kwame Alexander. More than 300 students come together from 31 schools.
Tenacre hosted a meeting this morning for PIN (the Parents' Independent School Network), a non-profit organization of independent schools in the Greater Boston area that provides parent education opportunities for its member schools. The meeting focused on secondary school admissions and featured a panel of “experts,” including Tenacre head of school Will Crissman, Derby Academy Secondary School Placement Coordinator Joanne Butterfield, Daley Educational Consulting Founder Linda Daley, Fessenden School Director of Secondary School Counseling Tim Murphy.
The panelists explored questions and issues that arise during the secondary school admissions process, including standardized testing, determining a child’s educational needs, getting the most out of school visits and events, and encouraging children to take age-appropriate ownership of the process.
Fifth graders launched their hot air balloons this morning on Centennial Field and were cheered on by parents and other classes who came to watch the event.
They construct the 3-meter tall balloons in class from tissue paper, glue, string, and a copper ring. This is a great example of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity, because it integrates so much content across those disciplines. Some of the concepts and skills that students are exposed to during this activity are metric measurement, proportions, building models, density, gravity, buoyancy, convection, engineering, and design. This is by far one of the favorite Tenacre experiences and captures the imaginations of students.
Tenacre students hosted an assembly this morning about Diwali, a holiday celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the world. A second-grader and a fifth-grader prepared a slideshow that explains what Diwali is and why it is celebrated. Two third-graders assisted with the narrating duties. Diwali, which was October 27, coincides with the Hindu New Year and celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
Fifth and sixth graders defeated Fessenden yesterday afternoon in flag football, 32-16. Tenacre fifth and sixth graders have the choice to participate in flag football, soccer, or field hockey in the fall as part of the P.E. program. Go Tigers!
A sunny fall day was the perfect way to kick off the annual Apple Pie run for the Tenacre community. This family run/walk winds through the campus, finishing in the school’s apple orchard. Everyone who participated took home an apple pie, courtesy of Volante Farms in Needham. A fun and delicious way to start the weekend!
This morning, fourth graders presented their class play, “Joust!”, by John Jacobson and Roger Emerson. Welcome to the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table like you've never seen it or heard it before. This medieval marvel, complete with jousting knights, delightful damsels and court jesters, captured the Tenacre audience’s attention from the start!
Painter Carolyn Mackin will visit Tenacre tomorrow as this year’s first Tenacre Art Gallery visiting artist. An abstract artist who lives in Wellesley, Carolyn’s artwork is about embracing and celebrating life, and living with intention and passion. She is inspired by traveling, city life, white light, and personal connections. She creates mixed media paintings through a process of layering acrylic and oil paint, oil pastels, paint pens, graphite and paper.
Carolyn is constantly creating new art in the light-filled attic studio in the home she shares with her husband and two sons. To learn more about Carolyn’s art, please visit her website at http://carolynmackin.com/.
Authors Veronica Roth and Sara Farizan participated in an author event at Tenacre last Friday evening. Roth, the author of the best-selling Divergent series spoke about her new book, “The End and Other Beginnings” and discussed writing in general with Farizan, who served as the moderator of the event. Farizan, an alumna from Tenacre’s Class of 1997, has written several YA novels. Several staff who had taught Farizan at Tenacre attended the event and had the opportunity to catch up with their former student. It was a great night!
This morning, Tenacre sixth-graders presented their assembly based on the school theme for this year—Gratitude. Every year, the sixth-grade class creates an assembly centered around the all-school theme. For their Gratitude assembly, the class created a video, in conjunction with the tech department, that showed how they and others in the Tenacre community define gratitude and the different ways they can show it. They ended the assembly by singing the song, “Thank You,” by Jim Brickman.
Award-winning author Sara Pennypacker visited Tenacre today and spoke to students from grades 1 to 6. The author of Pax, the Clementine series, and Sparrow Girl, she spoke to the students about reading and writing, and why it is important to be able to tell their own stories – whether or not they become writers.
Sixth graders learned some valuable life skills this afternoon during a hands-on lesson on how to conduct yourself during an interview. Various staff from Tenacre volunteered to serve as interviewers and led sixth graders through mock interviews. The lesson was set up so that sixth graders moved from interview to interview. By the end of the 30-minute session, each student had participated in about 5 interviews.
Every year, Tenacre first-graders raise caterpillars as part of their social studies curriculum. The class participates in the Monarch Watch program, a large-scale citizen science project to help understand the dynamics of the monarch's spectacular fall migration through mark and recapture. After spending the past few weeks raising the caterpillars—from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly—first-graders released their monarchs into the wild. Before the release, they tagged the wing of each butterfly, which helps scientists know where the butterflies come from, if they are male or female, and whether they were wild or reared. First-graders released the monarchs from the Tenacre community garden, where the monarchs drank nectar from marigolds in the garden before flying off on their journey south. The monarch study kicks off the class study of Mexico.
Pre-kindergartners and fourth graders met this morning for the first Big Friend/Little Friend gathering of the year. Both grades were excited to meet their new friends. They spent time in the Pre-K classroom and participated in a variety of activities together.
This morning marked the first Rosie’s Place drop-off of the 2019-2020 school year. For years, Lee Frechette ’75, P ’09, ’16 has collected items from Tenacre families to donate to Rosie’s Place, a Boston-based organization that provides meals and shelter for poor and homeless women. Lee waits in the parking lot at morning drop-off once a month during the school year, collecting food and other items from the Tenacre community, including both current families and many families whose children have graduated. She loads everything into her car and delivers it to Rosie’s Place.
Fourth graders visited the Roger Williams Zoo this morning. They learned all about adaptations and ferrets, which relates to the book they are reading in class – “Zucchini,” a story about a ferret. After the lesson and lunch, they were free to explore the zoo.
This afternoon in art class, second graders started working on self-portraits. Art teacher Molly Curry explained how to draw different parts of the face and provided each student with a mirror to help with the process.
Fourth graders had their first science class of the year in the Tenacre community garden this morning. Science teacher Leah Staffier showed her students the different garden beds and vegetables and demonstrated how to pick the vegetables. In their next class, fourth graders will harvest kale, tomatoes, and carrots and deliver the produce to Tenacre’s kitchen, where Chef Bill will incorporate the harvest into Tenacre’s lunch.
Pre-kindergartners participated in an annual tradition this morning – receiving their Tenacre bags. Head of School Will Crissman presents each PKer with a special green bag that has his or her photo on the bag (for easy identification, of course!). Students love this tradition, as Mr. Crissman “very seriously” hands out the bags amidst plenty of smiles and giggles.
Welcome to the new school year! We are thrilled to have all of our students and staff back in action. The classrooms are active, the hallways are busy, and everyone is excited for Chef Bill's amazing lunches!
The last few days have been busy at Tenacre! Last Friday was Field Day, and last night sixth graders participated in Good-Bye Evening, Tenacre’s version of graduation. This morning, the whole school enjoyed the annual sixth grade vs. faculty kickball game. Students were busy this morning looking at their yearbooks and having friends sign them before waving goodbye to the sixth graders in the annual car parade. We hope you have a great summer and look forward to seeing you back in the fall!
Yesterday, fifth and sixth graders performed their annual spring musical, Singin’ in the Rain Jr. Tenacre students did a magnificent job recreating one of the most iconic musicals of all time, complete with tap dancing—bravo!
Tenacre students celebrated Orchard Day on Wednesday, a longtime tradition in which students honor the sixth graders in the Phyllis Scoboria Orchard on a day in May. Students from grades 1-5 each pay tribute, either as a class or individually, to members of the sixth-grade class. The celebration ends with the entire Tenacre community singing the Tenacre Song while encircling the sixth-grade apple tree in the orchard.
Sixth graders hosted their annual “wax museum” this morning, showcasing research projects on historical figures of their choosing. The project involved researching information in the library, writing a paper, and orally presenting and portraying the information. Students dressed up as their subject and gave a brief speech about the accomplishments and importance of their subject. Some of the historical figures that students chose were Neil Armstrong, Anne Frank, Amelia Earhart, Jackie Robinson, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Matthew Henson. The goal of the project is to teach research skills to the sixth graders.
Fifth graders spent three days this week at Farm School, taking on the duties of a working farm for two nights and three days. They fed the animals, mucked out stalls, cooked meals, and assisted with gardening. They also had free time to roam the farm and relax with classmates. Fifth grade teachers Jess Kato and Maggie Scannell said that students came together as a class at Farm School and gained a new appreciation for their fellow students. The experience broadens their worldview, and class members often end up seeing each other in a new light.
Tenacre welcomed the husband-wife author/illustrator duo of Steve Jenkins and Robin Page this morning. They have written and illustrated more than 35 nonfiction books, primarily about animals. Jenkins and Page are very distinguished in the field of children's science books and have won many awards, including the most prestigious, the Caldecott Medal. Their books are personal favorites of many of our students.
Tenacre pre-kindergartners took to the Wells Playhouse stage this morning for their class play, “The Little Engine That Could Sing.” Based on the American fairytale, “The Little Engine That Could,” pre-kindergartners used music and words to tell the story of a stranded engine that needed help getting home.
Second graders put math lessons to work this morning when they hosted a “second grade store” in their classroom. Mr. Riseborough and Mrs. Doering provided small trinkets for the sellers, and a supply of Tenacre cash for the buyers. The store provided a hands-on way for second graders to practice adding and subtracting money amounts and making change from $1.00.
Kindergartners presented their class play this morning, “Bada Bing, It’s Spring.” In this play, spring is just around the corner, but the flowers have yet to bloom. The children are waiting for nice weather, the weeds have popped out of the earth, but the flowers remain steadfastly hidden underground. It takes the clever Dandelion Queen to figure out why, and bring about the first blossoms of the season! A charming performance by Tenacre kindergartners!
Tenacre is celebrating Earth Week with a variety of activities to encourage “green thinking.” Tenacre had a No Meat day on Monday, a Campus Clean-up activity on Tuesday, a zero waste day at lunch on Wednesday, and plant-a-seed day today in the Tenacre community garden. Students from every grade planted seeds in the garden. Tomorrow is conserve electricity day!
Tenacre pre-kindergartners performed the “Tenacre Song” this morning at assembly on the Wells Playhouse stage. The capacity audience of students and parents responded with resounding applause for the 4-year-olds. Bravo!
As part of the Tenacre LEADS initiative, sixth graders participated in a service learning project at Rosie’s Place last Thursday. Tenacre students put together birthday bags and had a tour of the facilities at Rosie’s Place. Prior to the visit, sixth graders researched Rosie’s website to learn about their mission and programs. Tenacre Community Outreach Coordinator Lee Frechette Lee Frechette, who has volunteered at Rosie’s for many years, coordinated the visit.
Pre-kindergartners, kindergartners, and first graders were introduced to a community service drive this morning at a Schoolhouse meeting. A group of second and fourth graders who are members of Brownies and Junior Girls Scouts troops came to the meeting and described the drive for new undergarments for children and adults in need. The drive will run from April 29-May 3. Undergarments must be new and can be dropped off in the Schoolhouse.
Tenacre is celebrating National Poetry Month with two open mic poetry assemblies, where students can volunteer to read a poem of their choosing. The first assembly was held this morning and featured a group of second and third graders who read both original and published poems. The second open mic assembly will be held next week. National Poetry Month was inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poetry and has become the largest literary celebration in the world.
Tenacre kicked off its annual Gwyn Loud Science Week today, an annual tradition that provides special, hands-on sciences classes for every student at Tenacre. Gwyn Loud is a former science teacher and assistant head of school at Tenacre. This year, PKers and kindergartners will learn about animal habitats from Museum of Science instructors. First graders will learn to build simple structures; second graders will investigate tide pools with the New England Aquarium’s traveling tidal pool; third graders will focus on lights and lasers with the Discovery Museum; fourth graders will learn how to build a magnetic levitation device; and fifth and sixth graders studied the wonders of the skies in the Museum of Science’s traveling Starlab, a portable planetarium. They explored how stars are different from one another and learned to recognize star patterns in the sky.
Every Tenacre student proudly wore matching “Kindness” t-shirts today in honor of Tenacre’s school theme this year. The grandfather of three current Tenacre students and one alumna loved the idea of the Kindness theme and was inspired to provide every student and staff member with a kindness t-shirt in honor of the school’s 2018-2019 theme. Today after lunch, the Tenacre community gathered for an all-school photo of everyone in their Kindness t-shirts.
Three Tenacre fifth graders were honored for their essays in the 2019 Will McDonough Writing Contest. One Tenacre student earned first place, and two 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 2019, 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. The first-place winners will be honored in a ceremony at TD Garden on April 1st.
Fourth graders tested their balloon-powered vehicles this morning to see how far they could travel. In this annual STEM project, students learn about Newton's Laws of Motion and the Engineering Design Process (EDP). Students follow the EDP to design, build, test, modify, and retest balloon powered-vehicles.
Pre-kindergartners and kindergartners went ice skating this morning at the Babson rink. Every student took a 30-minute lesson, followed by 30 minutes of free skating. This is part of Tenacre’s Physical Education curriculum, in which every class learns a recreational sports skill during P.E. This group skates three times during February and March.
Second graders performed their class play this morning, “The Holly Jolly Pirates of Piñataville.” The fun and lively tale tells the story of a band of candy-loving pirates who steal the town’s piñatas. After being captured, the pirates are penitent and apologize for their actions. The townspeople decide to let it go if the pirates agree to help them make more piñatas for the upcoming holidays. The pirates are delighted to help, not only paying their debt to society, but making new friends as well.
In science class this morning, Tenacre sixth graders load-tested 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.
As part of an upper grades art project, every Tenacre student in Grades 3-6 completed a ceramic tile inspired by the Iznik tiles in Istanbul, Turkey. The goal of the project was to create vibrant art for the new space outside the Performing Arts Center. In creating their unique tiles, students explored design, symmetry, organic and geometric shapes, analogous colors, and composition. Students in sixth grade chose the message and arranged the final composition for each of the tiles to be placed on the wall.
Tenacre fifth graders created textiles in technology class through Adobe Capture and also designed their own custom shoes through nike.com, vans.com, and converse.com. In art class, students learned about Andy Warhol’s early career as a shoe illustrator and created their own shoe designs. Next, students combined their textiles with collage elements in art class to create a show with texture.
Tenacre third graders performed their class play this morning, the lively and entertaining “Wing It.” The baby birds have decided they like their snug little nest. Why leave home when it's so nice and safe in the nest? Through the course of this musical, all of the other birds--rapping raptors, humming hummingbirds, honking geese, and mor--work to convince the babies that eventually everyone has to try to fly and make it on their own.
Fourth graders honed their research skills yesterday with a timely project on Tom Brady. In library class, Mrs. Frazee, a huge Boston sports fan, created a collaborative project in which students conducted research using both books and the Internet. Needless to say, every student was completely focused on this assignment!
Artist Carol Hudson visited Tenacre this morning to describe how she works with nature to create art. Carol is a Wellesley-based floral designer and master gardener who combines fresh flowers with locally sourced foraged branches, flowers, plants & mosses to create stunning, one-of-a-kind works of art. After giving an all-school assembly, Carol worked with second graders in art class, where they each created their own terrarium to take home.
First and second graders had a blast when they went ice skating yesterday at the Babson College rink. Ice skating is part of the P.E. life skills program, where students in every grade learn a lifelong sport. Tenacre students spent an hour on the ice at Babson College, where plenty of teachers and parents were available to help as needed. Pre-K and kindergarten students will have their turn to skate next week.
Tenacre fifth graders created mugs in art class recently as part of a class community service project. After making the ceramic mugs, they donated them to A Place to Turn, a food pantry in Natick that serves the Metrowest community. In addition to the mugs, Tenacre students brought a recipe for homemade tomato soup, straight from the Tenacre kitchen.
This afternoon, 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.
Tenacre students participated in the National Geographic Bee this afternoon, answering a myriad of questions about world geography. Eighteen 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 first time Tenacre has competed in the GeoBee, and the students loved it!
In art class, third graders brainstormed the signs of a great snow day (all while keeping their fingers crossed that it will actually happen!). They thought about the items of clothing that might be left behind such as scarves and gloves in the midst of sledding or building a snowman. Next, they collaged a winter scene using materials that would normally be used in the Tenacre dining room. Can you guess how they used salt and forks in this landscape?
First graders started their day this morning by participating in the Mexican holiday Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day), a Christian tradition that takes place on January 6 every year. For this tradition, Mexican children leave out a pair of shoes the evening of January 5. During the night, the Three Kings fill them with goodies. Tenacre students each left a pair of shoes at their desk last Friday before leaving school. This morning, they found a paper dragon and some small candies in their shoes. Celebrating the holiday ties into Grade 1’s study of Mexico and its traditions, culture, geography, and people. It was an exciting way to start the day for our first graders!
Tenacre’s sixth grade class spent the day at MIT last Friday, participating in a structural engineering workshop, which connected directly with their work in science, math, and art at Tenacre. In science, sixth graders have been working on the engineering design process to prepare for their Big Bridge Fail (BBF) project. At the MIT workshop, they learned about structural issues with the John Hancock building and brainstormed ideas about how the problems were addressed and solved by engineers. After that, they built a truss bridge out of newspaper and popsicle sticks and load tested the bridge. This was a great introduction to the BBF, which starts this week.
The Tenacre students also learned about suspension bridges, working in collaborative groups to design and construct the bridge cables using a 3D printer design program. Students load-tested their suspension bridges, analyzed the results, and then collaborated in larger groups to improve the cables.
Art was incorporated after lunch, when the group viewed the Arthur Ganson Kinetic Sculpture exhibit, where students were encouraged to look at the various sculptures, choose one, and then sketch it and write about how it made them feel.