Featured Learning

Small House Designs

Take a look at the 'small house' designs done by Mr. Gentler's November enrichment group! The class learned a bit about layout and floor planning, used programs such as Sketchup and 3Dtin, and even had a conversation and screen share with an architect from southern New Hampshire. The images below were from our design challenge. Each student designed a house that was no more than 350 square feet. The house had to include two bedrooms, a living area, a dining area, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a closet. The students did an amazing job being creative and efficient with the space. See which one you like the best! **Click the thumbnails below to see the full-size designs.

Stop Motion Animation:

This year, we have created an enrichment time at the end of the day that will allow students who are receiving intervention to get those services without being pulled out of core classes. Students who are not receiving intervention will have the choice of three enrichment opportunities with which to end their day. Currently, Mrs. O'Keefe is offering a Principles of Flight enrichment class, while Ms. Elliott is offering a class in which students are learning about 'upcycling,' the art of turning trash into newly usable objects. Mr. Gentler has been hosting an enrichment class focused on animation. Here are a couple of the stop-motion animation videos that students produced during their first week:

IMG_0564.mov
IMG_0084.mov

STEM Fair, March 2016

Charleston 4th graders attended North Country Career Center’s first annual STEM fair on Thursday, March 24th. Charleston students joined other fourth grade classes from NCSU elementary schools for a day of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The NC STEM school student volunteers led groups through various engineering design stations including ‘catapult design’, ‘boats and buckets’, and ‘spaghetti towers’. Students also visited the Health Care department in the Career Center where they were introduced to several short interactive games and demonstrations involving models of the main organs, harmful bacterias, bone identification by labeled skeleton and x-rays, CPR, Heimlich maneuver and health care career exploration.

It was an exciting, busy day, and for some, it was the first visit to their future high school. Near the end of the day, one student asked our high school leader, “Is this school fun?” The reply was simple: “It can be a lot of fun, it depends what you like. Unfortunately though, there aren’t many days where our closing activity involves using a self-constructed mini catapult to launch marshmallows into hula hoops.”

Art Class

In art class over the last few weeks students have been looking at and learning about famous works of art and artists. Kindergarten and first grade admired Claude Monet’s impressionist works. They loved his beautiful colors and application of paint. They used this inspiration to create their own impressionist paintings. Fourth and fifth grade discussed the art occupation of restoration and conservation. Challenging themselves by taking examples of famous works of art and modernizing them. The third grade looked at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. They discussed what it would take to paint a ceiling and then had the opportunity to give it a try. Obviously they wouldn’t be able to paint the classroom ceilings as we didn’t have the scaffolding and it would have created a safety issue. Instead students got to crawl under their desks and paint above their heads. They had a great discussion at the end of class about sore arms and lack of control of their paint brushes.

Science Class

Eighth graders returned to science class this fall excited to continue a project they had begun last year. At the very end of last year a group of 8th graders were given a motorized model car kit during a visit to the auto shop at North Country Career Center. The cars generated a lot of excitement. I was able to find 2 unmotorized models here at school so everyone had a car to work on. Students worked through the directions in pairs to construct the models, but as the project went on, they found that adjustments were needed to make the cars work optimally. These design problems became a challenge to the students as they worked through the process of defining the problem, generating solutions, testing out their ideas, and refining their solutions. They kept records of their work as they carried out their investigations and used them to write a report using evidence to explain their problems and the solutions they worked out. Most of the cars now have the ‘kinks’ worked out. We will return to them during the year as time allows to review and test out concepts in force and motion.