Class Notes, November 2011

  Blowing through the spools the kids were definitely surprised to see the card clinging to the bottom of the spool instead of flying away! Bernoulli’s Principle at work was really the basis for all aeronautic success. Be sure and ask them what the principle states and how the wing of a plane acts out the laws discovered by the Swiss scientist. We went to the beautiful cemetery near Cornell to write the stories of some of its denizens as imagined by the students sitting under the large, quiet trees. We visited my retrospective art exhibit at Temple Beth El to look at some of the oil on wood paintings I’d done, as a starting point for their own creative efforts. We went to Cayuga Lumber and picked through cutoffs thanks to Bones and with Bill’s help, so that we can start their own works of art. I got some really nice, expensive basswood bolts, from a supplier, for woodcarving and we’ve started projects. I’ve got a good assortment of wood-carving and woodworking tools, but always welcome more.
   How remarkable that the social turmoil in Greece should have such a  dramatic effect on world stock markets, reaching ten year highs when the European Union says they’ll bail out the little country, and plummeting when the Prime Minister says the country must have a referendum. The big rich European countries want the Greeks to tighten their belts in exchange for a bailout, and half the country’s workers are on strike because they feel they don’t have enough. It’s classic Economics and instant curriculum. I found a wonderful World Travel game that explores all the world’s countries, their capitals, demographics, flags, economies, etc. and the air travel routes connecting them. We’ll be playing it, as an expansion from our playing of Borderline which tests their knowledge of U.S. states and their borders.
   In recent language arts we’ve been doing recitation of Poe’s “Annabel Lee”, Burns’ “To a Mouse”, and “To a Louse” to bring pithy humor and humanity to current themes. The students wrote beautiful, thoughtful descriptive paragraphs, and in vocabulary quizzing were very adept at identifying the correct meanings. As the weather gets cold and the children turn inward, we will turn to writing, creative and expository, more and more, to enable them to express themselves, sharpen their language skills, and find an inner reservoir to draw on, find peace in, now and in years to come.
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