McMains Crew News: November 10, 2012

Special thanks to all our Parent Crew for the love, treats, and encouragement during Bearwalk - we love you!

“What’s on Our Plate” Expedition

Crew have been exploring and applying their knowledge of California’s varied ecosystems. Using the Coastal Ecology Tour fieldwork trip to the coast’s tidepools, fens and redwood forests, they have been challenged to create mini-ecosystems representative of California’s ecology in our classroom. Projects will be on display during Celebration of Learning.

In addition, work has begun on our final product. Students have brainstormed ideas for our iBook and our production board is outlined with tasks. The month of December will be a flurry of authoring, editing, graphic designing and scientific illustrating!


We have been busier than a puppy in a roomful of squirrels!

Crew hosted Erin Ellis from the Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe to share the results of our Tennies and Tails event survey data. Our Kennel Club groups shared the results of the data collected in slide presentations. Clubs were required to choose appropriate graphs to represent the data sets and incorporate the types of graphs studied in class during our statistics unit.

At the start of our school year we were given a tremendous gift of three days of team-building camp at Walton’s Grizzly Lodge. All they asked in return was that we pay $10 per student and choose a local charity to receive that money. During an all-crew brainstorming and discussion session about many worthy Truckee charities, crew chose the Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe. Jackson and Sophia were nominated by crew to present our $240.00 donation from Walton’s Grizzly Lodge. They explained our math expedition and gave the check to Erin.

Going forward, McMains Crew MathDogs want to apply our learning in factors, multiples and fractions with this month's design principle of Service and Compassion in a service project for our math partner, Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe. We want to assemble gift baskets for the Humane Society to be given to families who adopt dogs as well as for the volunteers to use with the dogs who are awaiting their new homes.

We are asking for donations of new dog items -  toys, beds, leashes, collars, boxed treats, dog food ... anything a dog or new dog owner might enjoy. We could also use decorative gift bags or baskets, tissue paper and ribbon.
**If you can donate an item, please drop it off in our classroom.**

Adventure in Reading:

Book Clubs have been a rousing success with clubs participating in peer scored discussions, creating high-level discussion questions and keeping reading response journals. Readers are making connections between the text and their own experiences, the text and other reading, and the text and the world around them. Book discussion days are lively! Great questions and involvement are complimented with hot tea and cookies!

Each club is also creating a Book Word Wiki – an interactive collection of new and exciting words found in their books. Book Clubs are a rich adventure in reading!

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Truckee, CA 96160

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SELS is a 501c(3) non-profit corporation, Truckee Charter School Foundation, dba Sierra Expeditionary Learning School. Federal Tax ID: 27-1627347.

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11603 Donner Pass Road
Truckee, CA 96161
Portable buildings M3-M7

Phone: (530) 448-8115
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On top of all the teaching and learning, I'm struck by the joy in the faces of all the children as they go about their quest for knowledge. Thanks to all the courageous and energetic people who had the vision to make this school a reality. With all the challenges the world faces today and predictions of disaster, these committed teachers/staff, these engaged families, and these beautiful children are a beacon of hope.

SELS embodies everything that I feel is important in my child's education and I am so grateful that she has the opportunity to learn in such an enriching environment. Teaching our children how to think and how to treat others is critical to their future success. I am thankful every single day for all the wonderful staff at SELS.

What an amazing place. It has been everything for my son that I had hoped he could experience in school. Great teacher, stimulating learning environment, and a deeply caring and nurturing place.

I am grateful that my child is encouraged to interpret concepts and think about how they apply to his life, not just memorize and repeat material. I love that SELS asks kids to think about who they are and how they contribute to the community, locally and globally.

I greatly appreciate that SELS is a heart-centered school that teaches ethics and values along with academics. That approach makes SELS a unique and special place.

I appreciate all the teachers and staff and their responsiveness. I also appreciate all the work the staff are doing to help the kids figure out how to fill each other's buckets!

Our son is bubbling over with excitement for learning. This environment is gifting him with life long skills to succeed. We are so thankful for this school.

All the Adults and students challenge each other the THINK!

SELS is amazing in the way they teach topics hands on and allow the children to learn in practical settings. We couldn't be happier seeing our son flourish so much! Thank you.

I am very grateful to the SELS staff for offering my 5th grader their hearts, as well as their knowledge. Better yet, they make learning fun and adventurous! My youngster is THRIVING at your wonderful school!!

We are thankful for many wonderful ideals and principles at SELS, but what really brings those into reality is the caring, hard-working teachers and staff. We wouldn't have thought that someone else would care as much about the whole education of our daughter as much as we do, but there is a whole team of such people at SELS.

I am so thankful that my 5th grade daughter is a member and student of this beautiful community and school. She is receiving a fantastic education with hands on learning, caring, understanding, creative, out of the box thinking and intuitive teachers. She feels included, important, confident and is growing tons in her knowledge and place in this wonderful community. Thank you SELS for being an amazing part of my daughter's education and Life!

I truly appreciate all the staff, students, parents and families at SELS. It is these people that make SELS so wonderful.
This has become a new 'family" for us!

I am so grateful for the amazing staff; they are the most amazing guides. It is an inspiration to watch them help our children learn and grow into thoughtful, independent, productive human beings!
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