Good morning from Oregon!

Wow! What a couple of days. Yesterday was a busy day with stage combat in the morning (expect some theatrics when your students come home), Great Expectations in the afternoon, and a late night with Hamlet in the evening.

Hamlet was amazing! The production that OSF put on was a combination of modern and Elizabethan, with a very brooding, guitar-playing Hamlet, and Elizabethan-esq costuming. The production was outside in a beautiful theatre and it was actually the opening night!

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Today we had a late morning so the students could sleep in, and a discussion with the actor who played Laertes in Hamlet. The kids had great insight and observation and it was so fun to hear their questions and debates.

Later today we have a renaissance dance workshop and an actors workshop this evening. Then, back home tomorrow!

Safe and Sound in Ashland!

Hello families!

We are safe and sound in Ashland. We had a nice drive down, a quick dinner, and then walked to our first class of the week- masks and movement. Students explored movement through the design of masks and had fun dancing, wiggling, and trying on the masks, of course. Tomorrow’s a busy day of plays and workshops, with Great Expectations in the afternoon and Hamlet in the evening.
Look for more updates soon!

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Watershed Study with Foss Waterway Seaport

This year, we had the lucky opportunity to participate in a study of the Puyallup River Watershed with four other middle schools in the South Sound area. The study is in partnership with the Foss Waterway Seaport, and fits in perfectly with our “home” theme this year!

Students began the study by learning about plastics in different water systems around the world and why looking at plastic levels matters.

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We then went on a field study of Swan Creek, a small creek at the bottom of the watershed. We gathered dirt and gravel samples from the banks of the creek, and tested the water’s Ph, velocity, turbidity, and for copper, which affects salmon’s ability to smell their way back to their breeding grounds. We also took water samples for plastics in the water, that will be sent to a lab.

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We still have one more field study to complete and then we’ll compile our results with the other groups! Stay tuned!

Art + Social Studies

Here at the middle school, we try to integrate as many subjects as possible to expand and solidify learning. Right now, students have started a unit on Tacoma history in their social studies class. They are also studying and making glass art in Art, as well as interviewing local Tacoma artists.

To begin our social studies unit, students “question stormed” and came up with inquiries about Tacoma. Here are some of their questions:

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Students have also been making glass-esque chandeliers and mobiles that mimic the glass art around Tacoma.

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We’ve also been exploring the city’s art and recently took a trip to the Glass Museum to see the hot shop and learn about the glass movement in Tacoma.

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This week we’ll be going to a hot shop to make our own glass art. Stay tuned to see our creations!

Snow Shoeing and Semester Showcase

It’s been a big week at the middle school! On Wednesday, we went up to Mt. Rainier with Dr. Todd (glaciologist, PLU) to see the differences in seasons with the glaciers and rivers. We talked about how the park was different a few months ago, a few years ago, 100 years ago, 1,000 years ago, 10,000 years ago, and one million years ago. We also got to snow shoe around Longmire and see the hot springs and remnants of the turn of the century retreat that used to be there. What a great day! Huge thank yous to Dr. Todd for coming with us and sharing her expertise on glaciers and Mt. Rainier, Cory for securing the snow shoes, and students S. and F. for helping plan the day.

Thursday night was our big Semester Showcase. We had a great turn out of current, former, and prospective Seabury parents and students. There were presentations on students’ Washington history Social Studies projects as well as creative writing projects on the Mima Mounds. The evening ended with a bang and a rattle as the students tried out their Earth Science final projects on the shaking table. Students were challenged to create a 1/15 scale model three-story building that would withstand a strong earthquake. On Thursday, each student got a chance to explain their philosophy and strategy in their design and try out the finished product on the shaking table. The diversity of strategies and products was truly amazing and the kind of thing you can only see at Seabury. We were finally able to topple one project by putting the shaking table on full-bore-destruction-mode for quite a while, which was strangely satisfying and fun. But amazingly, all the buildings survived the regular trials! Another great day! A huge, enormous thank you to Carlos for building the shaking table!!

Brief Update 12.11.15

It’s been a busy week at the middle school as we’re getting closer to Winter Break. Over the past couple weeks, students were reading myths that native peoples all over the world have written about volcanoes and earthquakes. Last week and this week, they got a chance to write their own myths. Math has been moving along as well. Geometry students have been working on ways of proving triangles are congruent and writing proofs, while Algebra students have been working on writing equations of parallel and perpendicular lines in point-slope, slope-intercept, and standard form. In Social Studies, students are working in small groups on various topics related to Washington State history. They’ll be writing papers and making presentations on these topics before the end of the semester.

Field Studies and a very happy Thanksgiving

One of the tenets of Seabury Middle School is using the community around us as an extension of our classroom. This takes many forms throughout the school year- using the YMCA for PE, partnering with local experts and organizations, and utilizing the resources around us to connect with our curriculum on a deeper level.

We’ve had quite a few field studies lately! To supplement our study of Washington state history, we rode the light rail down to the history museum to look at the Clovis points and explore their exhibits about Isaac Stevens and the first Europeans in WA state.

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We also had the opportunity to go to the Seattle Art Museum to check out their impressionist exhibit as an introduction to impressionist painting in art class.

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Also, this year we got to join the Lower School at their annual Thanksgiving feast! We kept the usual middle school traditions in the morning (having a read in and watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”), and then headed over to the lower school’s campus where we spent some time in the makers’ space and had quite the feast!

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Yum!!