Photo: Students enjoy the first on-campus snowfall of the academic year between classes.
It’s official: snow season has arrived! This Tuesday night, we received our first snowfall of the year, which blanketed our campus with several inches of fluffy powder. Awakening to a stunning wintry vista the next morning, the joy among our community was palpable, as was the anticipation for winter activities on the horizon like sledding, snow-fort building, cross-country and alpine skiing, and snowball battles. While we will likely have several thaws before winter is here to stay, the arrival of this exciting weather brought huge smiles to our students’ faces, some of whom have never seen snow before. It made for a great start to the day on Wednesday and a fun and winter-activity-filled Homenight that evening!
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Top: Emily gives a demonstration about the mathematical rule of the order of operations. Middle 1: An order of operations lesson. Middle 2: The 5th-grade Math class orders clothing to learn PEMDAS. Middle 3: A PEMDAS lesson. Bottom: Mary measures a garden bed in Math class.
This week our 5th-grade math students saw the order of operations in action during a fun and silly demonstration that was connected to their PEMDAS lesson. PEMDAS stands for “parentheses, exponents, multiplication/division, addition/subtraction,” and is an acronym that helps explain how to evaluate a numerical expression. To better understand that the order in which we approach a situation impacts the conclusions or results that will be reached, the students took part in a fun and winter-applicable activity (some while donning their Halloween costumes!) that looked at the order we use to get dressed for cold weather activities. They first selected clothing at random and saw how it led to their teacher Emily being unprepared for outdoor adventures, then they ordered the clothing and gear from first to last. The students ended class by applying the correct order of operations to a mathematical expression.
Our 7th-grade Math class also looked at a common campus sight as part of their unit on proportions and ratios. Each student chose a different vegetable that we grow on our farm, and then drew a to-scale diagram of the bed where that vegetable grows using what they’ve been learning about proportional relationships. The illustrated drawings of our campus bok choy, cauliflower, kale, summer squash, and winter squash beds will decorate their classroom wall for the remainder of the Fall Term.
Top: Costume contest winners with their mural prizes. Middle 1: Costume contest winners. Middle 2: Gwen shows Harry how to play the electric guitar. Middle 3: Anna Olivia practices the bass. Middle 4: Hazel practices the violin. Bottom: Materials to construct a washtub bass.
During a lunch council this week, we reflected on the NCS Halloween extravaganza by announcing our costume award winners! Students who were recognized in the different categories, which included Best Group Costume, Best Use of Cardboard, Best Use of Fabric, and Most Creative, were awarded the intricately painted and scary murals that adorned the dining room walls during Halloween dinner.
Over in our music rooms, students have been learning a wide variety of stringed instruments. This week we saw our talented musicians not only practicing songs on their guitars, violins, and bass guitars, but also learning how to construct their own washtub bass. We can’t wait to hear them perform at the upcoming Family Weekend recital, and to see the construction of their homemade bass come to fruition at the end of the term.
Top: Elie shows the Beginner Overnight students a map. Middle 1: Jenny and Cat set up a tent. Middle 2: Ava, Kingston, and Rafa set up a tent. Middle 3: Ava in a sleeping bag. Bottom: Celebrating on the summit of Hurricane Mountain.
It was an exciting weekend in our outdoor program, with a group of students participating in the Beginner Overnight camping trip. The Beginner Overnight is geared toward our less experienced campers—some of them have never been camping before—and this year the trip took our students to one of the more heralded spots in the Adirondack Park, Hurricane Mountain, which was named “best hike in New York State” by Outside Magazine.
The group spent part of Friday afternoon working together to pack their bags and distribute group gear. They then hiked into a lean-to at the base of Hurricane Mountain, where they learned how to set up their tents, enjoyed a tasty and warming dinner, played games, and practiced the Leave No Trace techniques of different backcountry activities including tooth brushing! On Saturday morning they learned how to take down camp and read a map before heading up to the Hurricane Mountain summit, where they encountered exciting gusty conditions. Everyone was in great spirits and returned to campus with stories to tell from their time in the woods.