mountain lake park

The Marshmallow Ninja Cats took a trip to Mountain Lake Park today.
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Nicky caught sight of some “sap icicles” and he stopped the group to gather around the tree.

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Audrey and Norabelle’s 3rd Law of Motion experiment:
“I was pointing it in the middle but it kept only taking half of me or half of Audrey. We were trying to take a picture of me pushing Audrey over so that we could The camera was focused on us and it was taking only half.”

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During our park trip, we played three games. First, small groups had to design a chain reaction of energy transfers from one kid to another. For instance, Kaia pushed Norabelle down a slide and Norabelle then ran to a Audrey to trigger another event. After this, the kids tried to catch examples of Newton’s Second or Third Law of Motion with the camera.

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For the chain reaction game, Theo was responsible for giving Quinn a light head to head “bonk” so Quinn would know to run up the slide.

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These gentlemen were planning their chain reaction events together!

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On our trip to the park, everyone asked, “Why is Theo collecting cardboard boxes?” They soon learned how important a box is for sliding at Mountain Lake Park.

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The Marshmallow Ninja Cats were obsessed with the approximately twenty-five foot concrete slide!

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Nicky was hanging at least twenty feet above ground and noticing the upside down world.

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Nicky contemplated this triangular sandwich box all day. He even carried it home with him.

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Theo called this area by the lake “the old castle ruins.”

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Quinn gathered some tree sap on his stick. “There was a tree with hanging icicles so I picked some up.”

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On the way home, we played “the silent game” and the kids had to act out a message of some kind. The other bus riders were so shocked at the lack of noise from the group.

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Mean-Faced Ninja Cats.

pendulums

Each band is on their own trek through Motion and today everyone was focused and excited to spend the day exploring gravity, pendulums, and potential energy.

The day began with circle, check-ins, and daily writing practice.

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The Undead Goats worked with Josh to develop their Rube Goldberg machine and talk about the mathematics of physics.

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The Ssalson Raptors are exploring concepts of physics through their experiments with swings at the park. Today they spent most of the day at the park across the street from Live Oak School, and they ate lunch, did reflections, and did quiet reading out in this sunny January weather.

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They discussed potential energy in their bodies when standing at different levels of the bleachers and tried to determine if there was more potential energy in them if they were at the top of the steps.

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They experimented with pendulums, and each kid held their own swing at a different height. They timed the duration for a swing to leave and return to your hand. All kids except for one estimated that the higher swing would take more time to return than a lower swing. But, based on pendulum theory, the swings took the same amount of time to complete their arc. Chane asked why and Nicky said, “The higher one had more distance to travel but had more momentum, and the other was slower but had a shorter distance.” Norabelle said, “If we hold them at different heights again then they will be the same again.”

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Chane writes, “We tried to repeat the test with a body in the swing (which makes it not a pendulum anymore, unless one pulls their arms in). Zada predicted, “The heavier people will come back first.” Our results were unclear when there were bodies in the swings because of the difficulty of holding a body and letting go at the same time.” But there was still plenty of excitement about their experiences.

The Flying Fish explored which materials weighed less using scales.

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During quiet time, reading became a kid-directed activity with everyone taking turns to read.

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And at the end of the day, Audrey showed off her trapeze skills.

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more about boats

As promised, here are some more photos from yesterday’s boating excursion and finishing projects from Expression.

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Sneak peeks on finalized projects.

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Norabelle tried out a drawing device courtesy of this week’s artist-in-residence, future Theo!

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afloat

Brightworks goes to sea! Or lake, rather. Today Mackenzie and some fearless moms and Bob, a volunteer from Canada, took the boat boys and the quilting ladies to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park to test out Aidan, Ben, and Logan’s life size boats that they’ve been working on for the last two weeks.

Due to technical difficulties at the school, the whole photo set from today didn’t get uploaded onto Flickr, but here’s a sample of some of today’s photos. (Follow-up post tomorrow morning!)

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Terror and excitement all mixed into one maiden voyage!

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Check back tomorrow for more photos and more about today’s end of Expression and beginning of Exposition.

treasure island or velveteen rabbit

Some work time in the morning brought some phenomenal collaboration in all the groups, particularly the stop motion team. Mark reported that the kids were incorporating each other’s ideas and jokes into the overall story, and let the narrative flow out by taking moments of storytelling and scenes and finding links to bring separate ideas together to create a collaborative story.

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The entire student population left the building today to see Sofia in The Velveteen Rabbit play or visit Treasure Island (named after Stevenson’s book, we learned) to find Roland’s favorite place for collecting driftwood.

Greeting Sofia after the play, and hanging out at the Yerba Buena Center.

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Treasure Island with Roland.

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Ready to paraglide.

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View from the top.

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exploratorium

Today we closed down the school and visited the Exploratorium to help the Tinkering Studio try out a new project! Wow and thanks to the staff at the Tinkering Studio for inviting us in on a Monday, when the museum is closed to visitors.

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The project for the morning was to explore pop-up cutouts from paper.

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A break for lunch in the Palace of Fine Arts.

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After lunch, we went back to the Tinkering Studio to work on larger cardboard pop-ups.

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Waging a spy war against the consistent seagulls and pigeon bother during our time outside after Tinkering Studio ended.

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…and on a last note: the pig legs came out of the salt and are now hanging up in the basement! Prosciutto next October.

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splitting three ways

When you have three teachers and a bucketful of options for a day at Brightworks, what else can you do but split up three ways and do different things?

Chane took a bunch to San Rafael to visit world-renowned woodcarver Ian Agrell at his studio. A hand carver who not only was teaching that day but also does hours upon hours of beautiful carving, Ian took precious hours out of his day to spend time with the kids and was proud to show them his work.

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Ian’s sketch for a new design.

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What could be cooler than a parrot than a talking parrot?

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Hand-carved furniture.

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Back at school, the potato work continues.

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The Flying Fish made prints out of plaster of tracks that they found at Glen Canyon Park. When they got back to school, they studied the prints and tried to guess what kind of animals had made them.

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Ben guessed a coyote.

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Logan drew a wolf.

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Knitters!

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And some recollection about the day.

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No school for Veterans’ Day. Be back Monday!

bike repair and pottery

Our students’ parents are incredibly multi-talented… during this exploration phase we’re lucky to have taken so much of their time and take advantage of their willingness to share their skills and passions!

This morning, Nate showed the kids all about bike repair using Mackenzie’s broken bike as a patient.

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Mark came in to challenge the kids with more complicated knots.

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A few continued to practice their knitting.

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A little more clay experimenting.

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In the afternoon, a group took a trip to Ruby’s Clay Studio in the Castro and got a tour of the pottery studio from Richard and a few of the other potters there.

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This artist was just about to make the finishing touches on her pressed leaves in resin and asked the kids to join her for the final steps in her art.

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Looking around at the facility.

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And of course, no day during this Exploration would be complete without the stench of cooking oil filling the school every afternoon. But the fryers have developed a series of variables to test during their exploration, making the idle potato-frying activity into a complex project.

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outdoors

The kids went to Glen Park Canyon today for some adventuring and a reset after a long week of work. Plus it was Halloween. Can’t ask for much concentration on Halloween.

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When they got back to school, we had a small gathering for Halloween, and everyone went home tired after a day of hiking and adventuring.

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Tomorrow: our new arc begins! (Drum roll please…) It’s called By Hand and we’ll be exploring all kinds of hand-related work, experiences, activities, and things you make with your hands. We have a beautiful lineup of experts, excursions, and experiments. Get ready for some handy work!

prototypes

The kids created prototypes today for their Halloween extravaganza.

But first, they needed some practice in walking like zombies.

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Laying the foundation for the graveyard scene.

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Carving apples to prepare for carving the real-deal pumpkins.

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Supply lists.

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Setting the scene: collecting leaves from the street for the graveyard.

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Making a body.

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Spider Cave, complete with webs.

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A trip to Scrap!

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Fake blood: corn syrup, cocoa powder, and red food coloring. They certainly fooled me.

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A mystery plan, in the works!

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