MS Blazer Buzz 18 May

This week's highlight: Ensemble Vermillian

The middle school students enjoyed a performance by Ensemble Vermillian, a bicoastal musical group started in 2003 by two sisters. Barbara on cello, Frances on recorder, David on violin, Billy on guitar and theorbo, Margaret's beautiful voice inspired many middle school singers and musicians in the crowd.One of the coolest instruments was the theorbo with a long neck and 15 strings. Theorboes were developed during the late sixteenth century in Italy, inspired by the demand for extended bass range instruments for use in opera. Ensemble Vermillian said they love playing together because their music is like a conversation, with everyone in the group adding to the conversation. 

MS Blazer Buzz 11 May

This week's highlight:Inside Out

The Woodlawn seventh grade recently spent three days and two nights in the mountains of North Carolina with a program called Inside Out. This program is committed to creating experiential education opportunities that leave the participants with a sense of accomplishment, learning, adventure, and bonding. Our teachers worked closely with the Inside Out staff to develop a unique experience that fostered education, leadership, and service to the community.

While on this trip the students were challenged by team building initiatives, tested by rock walls, and entertained and supported by camaraderie with each other. To further their knowledge of our natural world, the class participated in an ecological stream study, catching macro-invertebrates and conducting water quality testing.  On the final day of their trip the class visited East Fork Farm in Brevard, NC to learn more about organic agriculture and install three raised planting beds. Each student was able to transplant a kitchen herb plant to one of their newly constructed beds. Touched by the experience given to them by the Inside Out staff and folks at East Fork Farm, the seventh grade repaid our hosts with a great rendition of Kenyan Melodies, which was met by applause and sincere appreciation. This was a very successful trip and valuable experience for everyone involved.

MS Blazer Buzz 4 May

This week's highlight: The Great Smoky Mountains

Did you know that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the salamander capital of the world?  Woodlawn's 6th grade spent three days at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and learned all about North Carolina’s very own National Park and the diversity of wildlife that makes its home there.   The camp is located within the boundaries of the National Park, affording 6th graders the opportunity to experience nature up close.  We began our trip by traveling to Newfound Gap at the Eastern Continental Divide to see where the park was dedicated in 1940 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  We learned that school children all over North Carolina and Tennessee collected nickels and dimes to help establish the park, which is why Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the only FREE National Park in the United States! On a salamander hike, students found and identified four different salamander species. To learn about the geology of the region, Woodlawn’s 6th grade hiked to a beautiful waterfall and adventurous students stuck their heads in the chilly waterfall and went wading in the stream!  In addition, students learned to use a compass accurately in wilderness navigation class, played traditional musical instruments like the dulcimer and mandolin, square danced, and learned about how important forests are to the health of wildlife and Planet Earth.  In the closing circle, many students said they had become keenly aware of how many different kinds of plants and animals there are in the world.  The diversity of plants, animals, geology and ecology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park made for an amazing experience; many students said they wanted to return to the salamander capital of the world!

MS Blazer Buzz 27 April

This week's highlight: Earth Day

Earth Day brought about a fabulous opportunity to celebrate nature, sustainability, and birds!  Mrs. Denham and her 6th grade students educated the audience about the migration patterns of birds through a bird migration dance.  Students first created a model of the continents out of sticks and branches on the soccer field.  This served as the backdrop for their dance to help the audience visualize the migration patterns.  Students each became a migratory bird and then danced the flight pattern to music and bird calls they composed with Ms. Rosen. In art class, students sculpted birds and birdhouses and showcased their creations in an outdoor exhibition. 

Mr. Van Amburgh and his 7th grade students entertained us with a small steps fashion show to help us remember ways that we can take small steps to reduce, reuse, and recycle to help the earth.  The upper school environmental studies students performed an entertaining skit which helped us realize how our everyday actions and activities take a toll on the earth’s resources and how we can reduce our impact by changing a few habits.  Happy Earth Day!

MS Blazer Buzz 20 April

This week's highlight:Lunchtime Clubs

Middle school students are leading lunchtime clubs every Friday until the end of the school year.  Students selected between such enticing options as Glee Club, Nature Club, Wizard 101, Skating Club, Coding Club, Sports Club and Baking Club to name a few.  It is a great opportunity to engage with their peers who have similar interests.  In Glee Club, Taylor is planning to bring together some musical numbers using many different genres of music (pop, Broadway, rock, country) and different types of movement to create a showstopper!  If you are interested in testing out a few new recipes, you may want to find out what the Baking Club is up to each week!  There were 3 groups of students who wanted to lead a sports club.  They decided to join forces and take a larger group of students, splitting them into two groups and each utilizing half the gym.  I love when I see collaboration and problem-solving strategies in action.