2007-2008: Week 1 Reflections

August 24, 2007 (Day 5)

In Morning Meeting, the students pondered the goals they had coming into this week (personal and academic), and then they wrote out goal sheets for the coming week for their personal lives and for each class.  In Spanish, it was a test day.  In Humanities, the students continued the examination of America’s pre-history.  In Math, we took a review pop quiz of the week’s material (including straight mathematics, thinking questions, and estimation), and then we used the assessment as a learning opportunity.  We played kickball after lunch, and in Science the students classified shells.  The shells were a gift brought to the students from a couple that we met on the dock on Wednesday, and they came to the school with the shells on Thursday.  


The students also benefited from the presence of mentor Zach, a senior at the School of the Arts, who spent the period after lunch with us.  Overall, it was a great first week for University School.



Study the conversation again. Know all the correct responses to each statement/question, and the pronunciation, spelling and meanings of all the individual words.  Finish the two conversation sheets with the words listed at the top of each, and copy all the cognates from the other two sheets into your notebook. Be able to give me the Spanish for those words on Monday. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Everyone passed today’s test!!   HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!

Have all of the past week’s homework and classwork organized and make corrections as needed in your review of them.

Book cover project is due on Wednesday.  Each student has been assigned a chapter from the Hakim book to present to the class.  Be ready to go on your assigned day.

Survival project is due Monday.

August 23, 2007 (Day 4)

Reflections (by Adam)
In Morning Meeting, we heard the true story of “Rebeckah and the Indian Squaw” from It Happened in South Carolina.  It involved Rebeckah’s encounter with the Charles Towne settlement’s judicial system in 1684 for selling rum to a Native American.  In Spanish, we took a quiz and then studied for the conversation test tomorrow.  In Math, we broke into teams to make containers out of a single piece of paper.  The competition led to a number of different shapes, and we discovered that a cylinder from paper folded short-ways will hold more than a cylinder from paper folded length-ways.  This led to a discussion of measuring area of different shapes.  In Humanities, we talked about Native Americans and took a test.  After lunch, we played kickball in the gym.  During Science, we spent time learning about effective organizing, and we organized our materials into binders.

Assignments (by Tommy)

* Bull Island Field Trip is Tuesday, August 28.

* An envelope with medical information went home with each student today.

Spanish – test Friday, August 24
Study the entire conversation: know the meanings of all the individual words as well as the correct response to every question. Also be prepared to write the names of the 20 Spanish-speaking countries (this was part of homework and there was a quiz on it today.  How did you do?). The test will be oral and written. Remember to try to practice with a partner, even if it is on the phone. If possible, also try to get a small tape recorder (or record yourself on your computer) so you can practice and evaluate your pronunciation.

Review this week’s problems (in and out of class).  Mr. Kreutner will evaluate your work in class.

Book cover project is due Wednesday, August 29.

Survival project is due Monday, August 27.

August 22, 2007 (Day 3)

Today marked the start of one of University School’s hallmark programs – Learning Outside of the Classroom.  The morning began with an abridged math lesson/review, and then we left campus and walked to the Shem Creek boat landing.  

Mrs. Ewing guided the students through several exploration activities on the dock: reflect on what your five senses are telling you, measure the tide height without tools, and speculate as to the reasons for the composition and size of the dock and its component parts.


The students also searched for and identified items of interest (the students found the jaw of a small shark and the vertebrae from a fish.

We also met a defense industry engineer from Massachusetts who retired here, and he showed us how to cast his throw net.  We caught a few shrimp! We then went to Alex’s for lunch, and then we returned to the dock to see the change in tide over time.  Upon returning the campus, we talked about what we learned.  This included key aspects of thinking like a scientist and adhering to the scientific method (in connection to measuring the tide change): seeking accuracy, reproducibility, and precision.  

August 21, 2007 (Day 2)

It was a nice day today.  One of the main highlights was exploring the set-up of the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market.  We learned about several plants and vegetables, and some of the students tried some hot peppers (grown Bonsai-style) and an heirloom tomato that were gifts from the local farmers.

* Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 22 is a learning beyond the classroom day.  We will head to the Shem Creek boat landing for a lesson and to take measurements.  We will also explore parts of Pitt Street in the Old Village and eat lunch at Alex’s.
Things to remember:
1) Students should wear khaki or blue dress shorts, walking shoes, USL t-shirt (and hat) because we will be outside for a good part of the day.  Each student will also need a pen/pencil, a notepad, and some bottled water.
2) The school will pay for lunch for each student, but students may want to bring some money for any extras (at lunch or while walking around) during the day.

Morning Meeting class – if you can, please try and explore www.anysoldier.com to learn more about the program. Click here for a direct link to the site.

– work on “understanding of questions”

Math – follow the same directions from yesterday’s assignments (writing out the question, showing your work, etc.)
A) Have you been alive for 1 million minutes?  Do you know someone who has been alive for this long?  How many days and years is 1 million minutes?
B) Have you been alive for 1 billion minutes?  Do you know someone who has been alive for this long?  How many days and years is 1 billion minutes?
C) Have you been alive for 1 million hours?  Do you know someone who has been alive for this long?  How many days and years is 1 million hours?
D) Suppose your heart rate was 62 beats per minute.  You rounded it to 60 to make your calculation.  If you did not round, how far off would your estimated answers be?  For 1000 heartbeats?  For 1 million heartbeats?  For 1 billion heartbeats?

– read pages 19-23 and take notes.
– If possible, please try to watch “God’s Warriors” on CNN tonight at 9 PM.  This is a three-part special, and the other episodes will air on Wednesday, and Thursday.
– God’s Jewish Warriors – 9 PM on Tuesday, August 21
– God’s Muslim Warriors – 9 PM on Wednesday, August 22
– God’s Christian Warriors – 9 PM on Thursday, August 23

Science – due on Friday, August 24
– each group of two must complete the survival packet for their specific region
– please bring one backpack for each group with the eight (8) survival items
– presentation of final plans will take place on Friday
– Survival Activity Rubric – downloadable document

August 20, 2007 (Day 1)

It was a wonderful start to the first day of University School.  We started out with a walk around the loop near Shem Creek.  We learned more about Spanish Moss, the types of grass, and the layout of part of our neighborhood.

In Spanish class, the students got a nice introduction to the language from Mrs. Rowland (including their names in Spanish).

In Math, we put our math skills to work in estimating and measuring time.  This included making informed guesses about wait times and for plotting box office opening times before a show to handle the expected crowd.

In Humanities, Mrs. Logan and the students began the year with a current events “What do you know?” exercise that touched upon a number of different areas.

In Science, Mrs. Ewing touched upon nutrition (related to lunch and hydration) and the students paired up to brainstorm items needed to survive in four distinct regions of the planet. Chelsea Joyner (mentor / junior at Porter-Gaud) spent some time with the students during this portion of the day.

Humanities – read pages 9-11
Spanish – study in-class notes
Math – Answer the following questions using your thinking and math skills.  Please write the question out on your paper, and then write out your thought process (including any mathematical operations, like multiplication that you perform), your estimates, and your final answer.

  1. If there are 300 people ahead of you in line to buy a ticket at the movie theatre, about how many feet back are you?
  2. You are the 11th car in line at Chic-Fil-A.  How long will you have to wait until you have your food?
  3. If you started counting your heartbeats at midnight on January 1, 2008, when would you count your thousandth beat? What about the millionth beat?  What about the billionth beat?

Science – get individual supplies
Special Research #1 – Adam to research the genesis of bleached flour / white bread
Special Research #2 – Banks to explore the threat of dropping a coin from a tall building
Special Research #3 – Tommy to investigate the effect of sugar intake on hydration

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