rides

Morning meetings and drawing lessons.

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The Flying Fish took a bird walk up to the Potrero Hill community garden. They saw white crown sparrows, gold crown sparrows, an American robin, a California towhee and some hummingbirds. Mackenzie reports that the Fish are starting to make observations about the markings on the birds, and even after the bird flies away they go over these colors and patterns over and over in their mind’s eye. If they are still curious they pull out the field guide and Mackenzie usually flips it to the general section that they will find the bird and lets them match the pictures to the image they have in their imagination. It’s important to notice the bird itself, not get caught up in its name!

The Goats prepped for today’s long ride to Dolores Park and along the Wiggle.

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Rest stop at Dolores Park.

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Meanwhile, the Ninja Cats took to the streets! They rode around the school block on the sidewalk and on the street for practice.

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The Goats flit around the park.

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The way back home.

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field trip

Everyone was out of the building for a good part of the day today as field trips continue to make their comeback in the Locomotion arc.

The Goats took to the streets to begin a first go at creating a taxonomy of bikes with a chart they made.

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They photographed and logged the different characteristics of the bikes they saw on the streets surrounding the school.

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Gever and Elizabeth led their drawing lesson for the Ninja Cats this morning.

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Then they headed off to William’s house for a day of band bonding and adventure.

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The Flying Fish headed to the Lindsay Museum in Walnut Creek for a day of exploration at this incredible children’s nature museum. They enjoyed a picnic under the cumulus clouds and green spring leaves outside before the museum opened.

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Inside the museum the Fish met a bald eagle who had been injured by electric wires so badly that its wing had been amputated.  The staff at the enclosure made a presentation about the care and keeping of this eagle and about raptors in general.

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The Fish were able to measure their wingspan against that of other raptors.

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They also got a behind-the-scenes look at the staff rehabilitating a gopher snake.

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They had an incredible time exploring all sorts of games, hands on exhibits and fascinating creatures and were particularly interested in the hammocks for the squirrels and the grey fox. Mackenzie reported that on the drive home, they made a game of finding shapes and stories in the clouds.

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Further trips to the field to come.

walking

Thursday…

The Goats went out to the bay on foot and found lots of rickety leftovers of docks to climb on.

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And it was business as usual at the school, with aerial practice, writers workshop, upside-down-ATV-turned-doghouse, and projects.

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working hard, hardly working

Reading The Great Paper Caper after park time brought up a conversation about how much paper the Flying Fish have been using in their exploration of flight. They brainstormed ways of using less paper and proposed planting trees to off set all of the paper that they’ve used.

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Inspired by this video of the new world record distance for an airplane throw, the Flying Fish taped a racetrack on the cork floor to test how far they could throw their own paper airplanes.

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It was a beautiful moment of collaboration as each fish carved out their role in the event.

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Clem and Bruno held up the finish line and both acted as judges, Logan and Bruno taped down the track as Ben and Aidan folded planes to fly in the contest. The final show is going to be tomorrow between 12:30 and Noon!

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After a meeting at Coffee Bar, the Ninja Cats worked on their projects: researching, drawing, watching videos, taking notes, prototyping.

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The Undead Goats headed out to the Sutro Baths to hike and explore, even in the cold and the rain.

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They came back to school with tales of the sun coming out just as they were about to return home, gigantic cliffs and craggy rocks, and waves that reached up and over their rocky shelters to drench them in seawater.

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far afield

Monday’s journeys.

Josh took the Undead Goats back to Mills Canyon Park for more outdoor adventuring.

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They rolled up their pants, carried their shoes, and went into the water.

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They forded the creek, waded through puddles, got muddy feet and wet seams, trekked downstream until they reached houses and ended up in the backyards of Burlingame.

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Happy birthday, Evan!

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Mackenzie took the Flying Fish to the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos. They were welcomed by the enormous sign out front!

The docent, Mike, walked the Fish through the history of flight, aircraft by aircraft.

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They marveled at a replica of the Wright brothers’ first powered aircraft, and learned that the Wright brothers weren’t the only engineers fascinated with taking to the sky. They learned that gliders and blimps of various designs had already been flown before the Wright brothers got off the ground.
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The Fish also got to see a design that never left the ground. It was based on the idea that flight happens when air is pushed down. Getting into the cockpit of some of the planes was especially exciting.
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The Fish had lunch in the back courtyard, where they could watch the planes land and take off. Every couple of bites the kids would jump to their feet and run to the fence to watch the wheels of the small planes touch down.

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In the afternoon the Fish spent some time at Coyote Point in San Mateo playing on the playground, stalking geese, and making daisy chains.

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Chane is thrilled that the Marshmallow Ninja Cats have found quite a special comfort zone with each other and are able to jump into fun, spontaneous group bonding time. Here, Norabelle and Coke create an optical illusion by hiding Norabelle’s body and hiding Coke’s head.

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Park time continues to be a huge factor in seeing how the Ninja Cats have bonded. They are inseparable and move around the playground in unison and close together. Today they were engrossed in an imaginary place where they avoided nefarious antagonists.

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Chane asked the group, “What questions would people ask if they noticed the boys tying up the girls?”

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They asked her to take this picture:

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During reading time, even though they had a huge space to spread out for reading, they huddled together like little peas in a pod. Each of them is reading a challenging book and their task is to interact with their reading by noting difficult or unfamiliar words. As they find these words, they write them on sticky notes and we discuss the new words for vocabulary development. Today’s words were “executed,” “clause,” and “custody.”

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The Ninja Cats played some mathematical dice games with partners in the morning. One game fostered some practice with place value and naming three digit numbers, and the other facilitated practice with adding numbers in your head.

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They recorded the results from the dice games on a chart that Norabelle and Nicky drafted. The rest entered the frequency of totals derived from rolling three dice three times and keeping the highest number from each roll for an ending total.

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Chane has been reading aloud Terry Prachett’s book The Wee Free Men (one of my favorite stories!). This amazing novel tackles classic stereotypes about witches with a frying-pan-wielding 9-year-old heroine while engaging the reader in all sort of literary delights. The Cats have been laughing about certain lines of the book for several weeks – “Wenny wanna go a-toilet!” – which has added greatly to the strength of their band.

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The Ninja Cats ended the day by laying out a storyline for their imaginary play from park time. After recording the general storyline, Chane asked the Cats to act it out. She would freeze them to help them create a tableau of their characters. She picked someone and asked, “What noise would your character make, or what would your character say?” This activity ended in fits of giggles because Nicky kept making the group laugh by interjecting on Coke’s ideas. Nicky has melded into the group and now the inside jokes are starting to grow.

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huddart park

The Flying Fish examined birds’ wings during writer’s workshop this morning in preparation for their adventure today.

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After a few setbacks in their timing, the Flying Fish headed out to the greenery and quiet of Huddart Park in Woodside.

There, they found a monterey ensentina…

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… and a black salamander.

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They hiked through the damp green of the forest.

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And found more treasures along the way.

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They made face paint with rocks.

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And created bridges over the streams (getting socks wet in the process).

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And, as rain seemed imminent, they made shelter: a hermit hut.

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The biggest find of the day was a piece of jawbone from some kind of carnivore. What the animal was – you can be sure they’re discussing that tomorrow…

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…at the Nature Museum.

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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.