Flexing The School Schedule And Providing New Learning Opportunities

Students and teachers participated in a variety of engaging activities during Flex Week, April 15-18.
The week before April Vacation each year is a chance for teachers to change the pace and content of what they usually teach and provide students with unique learning opportunities. This year's “Flex Week” was no exception, showcasing an abundance of distinctive educational experiences.

In the Lower School, one class learned all about falcons before building one as the newest gigantic papier-mâché animal in their classroom. Another created drawings and fantastic creatures that they shared with family members at a breakfast on Friday. Yet another class learned how music is made by recording a song with the help of a local musician. Other Lower School classes learned about robotics and built robots to help perform household tasks. Others spent time learning to weave with former Studio teacher Judith Austen. A group built terrariums and worked on a special salamander project with an environmental historian, and another created a complete mini-golf course in the Blue Gym. Students worked on sea chests in woodshop and learned about the teamwork required to raise a ship's sail. Other Lower School classes made beautiful amphoras.

In the Middle School, students learned how to play Go, an ancient Chinese game. Other activities included orienteering, Rubik's cubes, making movie trailers for books they have read, and using Scratch to create laser-cutter art. Older students participated in a number of field trips, including going to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Royall House Slave Quarters, the North Bridge Visitor Center, Harvard University’s Archives, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Black Heritage Museum, and Gaining Ground Farm. Middle School students also participated in West African-style drum circles with guest artist Joh Camara, and acted out an African folktale for other students and family members.

As one of the culminating experiences of their eighth grade year, students and teachers spent three days in New York City, visiting Ellis Island and attending a performance of A Raisin In The Sun, among other fun and educational activities.
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