Hawk News

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Summertime Play and the Phenology of Learning

Reflections from Summer
by Supriya Mary McDonald

Summertime is space for growth, renewal and adventure in my household. Having been in education now for over 36 years as an adult and 15 years as a student and daughter of a teacher, my internal time clock has always been in rhythm with the cycle of school life. Fall was the time for new beginnings, filled with excitement and curiosity; Winter, a time for study and indoor wonderings and experiments; Spring, the time for applying new knowledge, tracking progress and performance and finally Summer, the time for unscheduled play, learning and adventure. I am often surprised by the amount of growth that happens in our students over the down time of Summer. For me, summer camping, hiking and being in the outdoor environment, contains the nourishment and connection I need to broaden my perspective of the whole.

‘Kelp the Otters’: Elementary Students Create Educational DVD to Raise Awareness About Sea Otters

‘Kelp The Otters’ is more than a clever play on words…it a plea that Mount Madonna School’s 5th grade students have taken to heart – and are encouraging the public to join in. Their goal is to educate people about the plight of the California Sea Otter, which is identified by scientists as a keystone species. Keystone species play a critical role in maintaining the healthy structure of their environment, in this case, the ocean habitat.