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.