This month, in science class, fourth graders are focused on engineering. They were challenged to create a solar oven, using the least amount of materials (sustainable design) that would be able to “cook” the marshmallow and chocolate portions of a s’more. They could use the following materials: a cardboard box, aluminum foil, black construction paper, duct tape, plastic wrap and glue.
The first test of the ovens was on Wednesday, January 11th, thankfully with temperatures well above freezing. After the ovens sat outside on the blacktop of the outdoor basketball court for about an hour, the students checked the results. Some disappointed remarks were heard, as most marshmallows were described as colder than when they placed them in the oven and the chocolate kisses did not appear to have melted. Science teacher, Teddi Matisoff made sure the students observed the position of the sun at that time, and students could see that a bank of clouds had obscured its strongest rays since they had placed there ovens outside. Like all good scientists, the students recorded their observations, including the temperature inside their oven and any noticeable differences in their ingredients. They will use these observations to improve on their design and fuel their rebuild, as they will have a second chance to test their ovens in the coming weeks. Even though the s’mores ingredients were not soft and gooey, they were still a delicious snack on a winter day!
The NFS Diversity Committee, composed of faculty, staff, and parents, is excited to host a Cultural Potluck on Saturday, January 21st. Families are encouraged to bring a dish that represents their culture, heritage, and family traditions, as well as an artifact, such as a family photo, toy from childhood, article of clothing, jewelry, special book, or any item that can prompt cultural conversation. This event aims to provide the adults in our community an opportunity to dialogue about the many things that make us who we are, as we learn and grow together.
Our annual Education Week will be Tuesday, January 17 through Friday, January 20. Parents are invited to a first-hand experience of all classrooms, including their child’s current class, as well as older grades. We hope parents will gain a fuller sense of the school’s overall programmatic initiatives from PreK through 8th grade.
Parents won’t want to miss a great book discussion, led by Sarah Matthews, NFS School Counselor, on Friday, January 20, from 8:30-9:30 am. The book is "Best Friends, Worst Enemies - Understanding the Social Lives of Children" by psychologist Michael Thompson & children’s book author, Catherine O-Neill-Grace. The authors draw on their own extensive experience working in schools, as well as research to shed light on the role that friendship plays in the lives of children from birth through adolescence.
It was fun for students to reconnect with their buddies on Wednesday, January 4th after our time apart during the holidays. For the school’s monthly Buddy Meeting for Worship, buddy classes of younger and older children met together to focus on the Quaker testimony of Community.
After students greeted each other, they discussed actions that people take in order to build and strengthen communities, such as being friendly to others or offering their help to one another. A key strategy to strengthen a community is to have fun doing things together, so the buddy groups then played several cooperative games. A game called “Balloon Bop” was very popular, where students held hands in a circle and were challenged to keep a balloon in the air as long as possible, while only being able to touch it with clasped hands, elbows, knees or their heads. They also did relay races where buddies held a balloon together, each of them using only one finger. Finally, groups took on the challenge of passing a hula hoop around the circle where everyone was holding hands and you could not let go of your neighbor's’ hands.