Museum of Flight

Today we headed up to the Museum of Flight to see the planes that were flown in WWI and WWII. Students had a chance to see planes we’ve been reading about. The book Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith came to life as we saw the Curtis JN-4D “Jenny” that the protagonist in the story, Ida Mae learns to fly in.

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Students got to see the Link trainer that was featured in the novel and check out the special WASP exhibit (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Seeing images of Jackie Cochran and Nancy Love was very inspiring.

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We were thrilled to learn that one of our docents flew in a B-29 from Saipan to Japan on over 35 missions. He tells a story of how his crew “ditched” a plane in the Pacific and were soon rescued. It was an honor to meet him.

2014-11-20 11.12.45And of course, no visit would be complete without a sighting of the Red Baron’s plane and many other amazing aircraft.

2014-11-20 10.30.53 2014-11-20 10.58.02 2014-11-20 11.00.292014-11-20 10.20.41After our tour, we broke into groups to see some of the rest of the museum. Make way for Madame President stepping off Air Force One.

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A Holocaust Hero

We had an amazing visit from Marie-Anne Harkness from the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. She told about her grandmother, Celine Morali, who was saved over 300 Jewish people in Paris from the Nazis. She would hide them in the basement of her hardware store, give them food, water, a place to clean up and some spending money. When the time was right, she would help sneak them onto a nearby train. Refugees would then ride into unoccupied France for a chance at freedom.

The students loved hearing her story and were transfixed as they listened to her Grandmother’s  courage. She stayed strong even after the Gestapo threw her from a moving car when they were looking for her Jewish husband (who was living in unoccupied France). They were able to connect  details, like how Marie-Anne’s mother played piano to cover the sounds of people in the basement from the neighbors, to their current studies of WWII.

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Marie-Anne shows them the Jewish Star of David that her Grandfather refused to wear. He then hid “in plain sight” by going about his business as if he were not Jewish.

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One student shared, ” I just thought it was really interesting to learn about World War II from a relative of somebody from the resistance, as there really weren’t very many people willing to help Jewish people at the time, so it kind of added a whole new perspective on the war that I hadn’t really heard much about before.”

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The students gave her talk rave reviews. In the words of one student, “This has been the most engaging talk I’ve heard at this school. Thank you for sharing your story.”

Another student wrote to Marie-Anne and declared. “I am a strong supporter of the suggestion that you should write a book.”

Thanks again Marie-Anne. You helped make history come to life today and your Grandmother and mother’s stories will live on.

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We started Halloween with our annual visit to the Spooner Farms Corn Maze. (translation-getting lost while running through a muddy swamp)

2014-10-31 10.59.28 2014-10-31 11.05.17 2014-10-31 11.10.11We then traversed back to the lower school for the annual Halloween parade, pictures and a class party. It was a very wet, but excellent day!

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2014-10-31 13.58.27 We still can’t find Waldo.


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Microbiology Experiments

Our study of Microbiology has led to a couple experiments that are currently running in our incubator. When we were talking about viruses and bacteria, the kids expressed interest in growing some extremophile bacteria (bacteria that live in extreme conditions that would kill most living things), so I got some halobacteria for us to culture. Halobacteria are a salt-loving bacteria strain that lives in places like the Great Salt Lake. They’re cool for beginners to grow because their agar is so salty, nothing else will grow on it, so you can’t really contaminate it.

We’ve also been running another experiment. I asked the question: What part of the middle school harbors the most bacteria? We then poured some agar plates and students swabbed the part of the school that they thought would grow the most bacteria (themselves and the bathroom were ruled out). The last time we did this experiment (three years ago), it was a student’s lunch box that grew the most bacteria. Gross, huh? There are a couple reasons for doing this experiment. The first is so that the students can see that really any surface in the school will grow bacteria. Also, students get to learn sterile lab technique.

I’ll report back when we have an answer to the question!

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Blackout Poetry

Yesterday, we borrowed inspiration from Austin Kleon, author of Newspaper Blackout, and made blackout poetry. Students were given a random photocopy of a book and then were asked to blackout words to make poetry. Check out our great poems!





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First Friday All School Gathering

We celebrated the first “First Friday” all school gathering last week. The middle school trekked over to the lower school for the morning. Everyone enjoyed Gathering, multi-age classes and  pizza.

Preschoolers to 8th graders, and everyone in-between, had a chance to try different activities and interact with each other.  The middle schoolers practiced being great role models for the younger kids.

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Legos were  a huge hit for all ages.

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The middle school kids couldn’t stay away from the old marble run that has been kicking around the school for years! Still a hit.

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Some “big kids” get schooled on Lincoln Log technique.

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Some second graders were very grateful for those middle schoolers who helped  this make  tower reach the ceiling. 2014-10-03 11.49.25Our next “First Friday” will be November 7. Parents are always invited to Gathering at 9:00(there’s Starbucks involved!)


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Harry Potter Park(ing) Day!

Excuse me sir, would you like to play some Quidditch?

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Today Seabury students participated in Tacoma Downtown on the Go’s annual Park(ing) Lot day.
Students transformed a parking lot into a Harry Potter Wonderland, complete with a Quidditch game, Harry Potter books and all manner of props.




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Students also got to visit other booths set up around the city and helped to get to know and support other local businesses.




Passersby were invited to also play some Quidditch and have the Sorting Hat decide which house they were in, which determined which cool Seabury prizes they could win.

Through this activity students had to make phone calls and inquire about getting props. They had to determine how much artificial grass would cost and borrow things from other businesses in the neighborhood. They had many chances to interact with various people in the community. Most important, they had to learn to work together and cooperate!

And…. check out “Professor McGonagall’s” retro Beacons chair- a gift from when she taught the current 8th graders when they were in 2nd grade! The kids had fun seeing how much bigger their hand prints have gotten.


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