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Happy First Day of School!

Students in grades 1 through 8 returned to Meadowbrook with huge smiles on Tuesday. The playground filled up early with lower school students eager to reunite with their friends and play a game of football or take a quick ride on the swings. Sixth grade students assembled at the tennis courts before boarding the bus and heading off to their three-day team-building trip to Becket, MA. Seventh and 8th grade students gathered in the forum to say hello to friends and get the school year started. Meanwhile, the Junior and Senior Kindergarten students enjoyed a brief drop-in time with their parents to see their classrooms and meet their teachers before officially starting school on Wednesday. What a great start to the year! 

In 2nd grade, Understanding Differences teaches students about blindness. Recently, the 2nd graders were visited by Jaimi Lard from Perkins School for the Blind, who is blind and deaf. She was accompanied by her interpreter, Christine, and used sign language to have a great conversation with the kids! Jaimi lives on her own, and the students asked great questions about how she was able to do that, like “how do you cook for yourself?” and “how do you read your mail?”

The following week, the 2nd graders got to find out for themselves what it might be like to be blind, through a series of activities in their classroom. They practiced reading and writing braille, tried to find their way around the room blindfolded, and tried to identify mystery items in a closed box just by touch. While they were all having fun doing the activities, the students quickly realized how difficult it is to navigate the world without sight, and it gave them a better appreciation for Jaimi’s independence.

Click here to see pictures of Jaimi’s visit and the students doing activity stations. 

We all know how important it is to be aware of our environmental footprint, and there are many things we can each do to reduce waste. When our new building was completed last year, one feature that was added on all three floors was an Oasis Bottle Saver Zone. These machines allow all of us at Meadowbrook to use refillable water bottles throughout the day, instead of having to rely on plastic water bottles to stay hydrated. Recently, we hit a big milestone, and one of our students was so happy to be the one to reach it. We have saved 1900 plastic water bottles from ending up in landfills! 

On February 28, our students in Junior Kindergarten through 2nd Grade celebrated Meadowbrook’s 100th Day of School with great fanfare. Our JK and SK friends arrived in their pajamas, ready to begin the celebration. First and 2nd graders showed their Meadowbrook spirit by dressing in blue and white, and everyone sported “100th Day of School” stickers. All of the classes began by working on their paper quilts. Each student had one square that said what they love about Meadowbrook, and plenty of space for drawings. Once everyone’s drawings were completed, they headed to the Grinker Gym to prepare for the big finale - a school-wide parade! The students each had instruments, and marched around the school singing and spreading cheer. 

Click here to see photos from the morning, and be sure to check out parade videos on our Instagram and Facebook accounts! 

 

As part of the 8th grade exploration of cultures along the ancient Silk Road, Middle school history teachers John Boger and Jordan Bentley broke their classes down into small groups and each group was assigned one of four world religions that emerged along the Silk Road: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Taoism. Modeled after a discussion held by Mongke Khan in the 13th Century, 8th graders, representing one of the above religions, participate in a roundtable discussion. The simulation began with faculty members being interviewed by a small group of 8th graders, as “lost souls” on a spiritual journey looking to lead more moral lives. The students were tasked with learning about the “lost soul” so they could show how their assigned religion’s moral and ethical journey would be best for them. After the faculty interviews, the tables were turned, and the “lost soul” got to ask the questions, pulling out a deeper understanding of the student’s assigned religion. Some of the questions posed were “how does your religion view good and evil?” “what is one quote that highlights the essence of your religion?” “draw me a visual representation of the most an important symbol in your religion,” and “how is your religion represented, both correctly and falsely, in popular culture?”

The whole process is an interesting and creative way for our students to think critically, and to learn more about the religions of the world that emerged along the Silk Road.

Click here to see some pictures of one of the interviews.