It's Field-trip-palooza! A Field Trip Round-Up!
We can enumerate a multitude of ways that NYC is amazing, yet our city is more than just the metropolis in which we live – it’s also an extension of Speyer’s classrooms. It’s been Field-trip-palooza these past few weeks, with treks to Central Park, apple farms, museums, and more!
Speyer’s Kindergarten classes went on an adventure to Rockland County to go apple picking at Dr. Davies Apple orchard! Before heading on their trip, they read One Green Apple as part of their Self and Community unit. The classes discussed what makes us all special and unique individually, and how those differences make our community a rich one! After picking apples and taking a hayride, our youngest students donned aprons and made applesauce in the Makers Lab! Everyone picked and contributed different apples to make our delicious applesauce, and, of course, enjoyed eating it together!
Second graders made their way to the American Museum of Natural History, where they participated in the Our Senses exhibit, an interactive exploration of how our senses help us navigate the world and help us survive. The students and the second grade teaching teams explored 11 funhouse-like spaces where they learned how their sense of sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound helps us perceive the world around us. They learned why we have senses and how they are a product of how our brains function. A main takeaway for the second graders was the idea that human perception plays a huge role in how we view our environment.
The ideas learned on this field trip will be woven into the second grade’s writing curriculum. Students are writing New York City Small Moments, focusing in on one experience they've had somewhere in and around NYC. Writers will incorporate their five senses into their pieces as a way to add details and enhance the experience for their reader. Writing with rich, descriptive sensory details lifts the level of our writers and helps them incorporate interesting aspects of their moment.
The entire third grade went on an expedition to Central Park with Lower School Science teachers Ms. Jenny Lee and Mr. Carlo Barrera, as part of their unit on field science, involving observation of nature, recording observations, and creating inferences based on observation. They are working on developing their observational and recording skills by making detailed journal entries.
While in the park, the students were asked to sit in one spot and record their observations of what they experienced. They could look at the wider landscape or focus on a small detail. They wrote a description and drew detailed pictures of what they were seeing notes. This scientific excursion was quite a highlight, with students remarking, “I want to go to the park every day! I never knew that drawing the park would be so much fun. I saw so much!"
The trip to Central Park followed a visit to the American Folk Art Museum to look at the work of Orra White Hitchcock, a scientist, naturalist, and artist of the early 1800s. Along with Central Park, third graders will use various wild locations around the world (via live streaming webcams) as field research locations.
Fifth and Sixth Grade
This exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum was the hot place to be for multiple grades. Middle School Science teacher Ms. Kimberly Schwab and sixth grade Humanities teacher Mr. Matt Thoren also trekked up Broadway with the sixth grade to see "Charting the Divine Path: The Art of Orra White Hitchcock."
Orra White Hitchcock is defining the interdisciplinary unit Ms. Schwab and Mr. Thoren are teaching the sixth graders. In Science, Ms. Schwab is exploring "the science" that is inherent in Hitchcock's life: she was a scientist and illustrator herself and also married to Edward Hitchcock, a famous professor of geology at Amherst. In Humanities, Mr. Thoren will be teaching a unit on the general experience of women in early America, focusing on the poetry of Emily Dickinson, another resident of Amherst, and contemporary of Hitchcock. This trip is the cornerstone to this first formal unit of the year.
Speyer’s seventh grade made their way across Central Park to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they examined art from the Renaissance. With Art teacher Ms. Joyce Keener and seventh grade Humanities teacher Ms. Dori Steele, this trip kicked off their first unit study of the Reformation and Renaissance.
Where will our students head next? Stay tuned!