Photo: Emily selects yarn colors for her weaving project.
This past week we returned to our mountain campus after our Winter Break. The new year got off to a great start as students resumed learning, creating, exploring, and diving right back into their favorite North Country School pastimes. In our art classes it marked a time to begin new projects, like colorful weavings that will incorporate wool shorn from our farm’s sheep. Afternoon and weekend outings also brought our young adventurers to snowy trails and icy cliffs where they practiced their winter outdoor leadership skills while building confidence in themselves and connection with each other.
Looking forward, we can’t wait to participate in the many events and celebrations of Winter Term, including special programming on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, skiing and snowboarding at nearby Whiteface Mountain ski resort during “Whiteface Days,” snowy celebrations during Skimeister day, and our special Intersession week of signature programming. Join us each week as we continue to learn and grow together here in our Adirondack home.
Top: Caroline talks to Evalyn about her cursive practice. Middle 1: Elizabeth practices cursive. Middle 2: Nina, Tahj, and Higgs practice cursive in shaving cream. Bottom: Higgs writes in cursive.
This week our youngest students practiced a classic skill: reading and writing in cursive. The integration of cursive aids in the development and maintenance of the “hand-brain connection” and helps to improve their fine motor skills. Both of our 4th- and 5th-grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes have been having a great time working on these skills, with our 5th graders having the chance to get a bit messy at the same time as they made and remade their cursive letters in shaving cream!
Top: Anika, Kevin, and Ian talk about Shakespearean phrases. Middle: Shakespearean phrases we use today. Bottom: The 9th-grade English class watches a video connecting hip-hop to Shakespeare.
While our youngest students have been learning an ancient form of writing, our oldest students have started learning about an icon of English literature—Shakespeare. This week the 9th-grade English class worked in groups to examine Shakespeare’s place in the contemporary English-speaking world. After the whole class looked at collections of phrases coined by Shakespeare, individual groups worked together to identify familiar phrases and write example dialogues using those expressions in context. They closed out the dynamic lesson by watching a TED talk by UK hip-hop artist Akala, founder of the Hip-hop Shakespeare Company, who made comparisons between Shakespearean English and hip-hop’s artistic use of language.