Critical Skills went to Lexington and Concord for their program field trip on Wednesday. Students were taken back to the American Revolution days and watched a movie about Paul Revere's famous ride from Boston, and the first battles of the War. Students took a walk to the Old North Bridge and learned about the "shot heard 'round the world". In class this week, students were immersed in their novels, reading and annotating, as well as learning how to solve tricky logic puzzles in math.
PREP FOR SUCCESS
Students of Prep for Success have been enjoying a wonderful summer so far. Just be careful if you come down to the JRCAC, as you may find those in STEAM doing "egg-drops" from the third floor or Robotics students racing remote-controlled vehicles through the halls! Meanwhile, our students in Literature, ESL, and Math are either rapt in discussions about The Book Thief or The Wizard of Oz or the process of creating three-dimensional clay objects to further their understanding of geometry.
If asked, most students, however, will tell you the highlight of their summer was Wednesday’s sail on board the schooner Fame. With a fresh breeze under blue skies, they navigated the coast of Salem, Mass., by steering the ship, trimming the sails and honing their knot-tying skills.
When not in morning classes or electives, our students have been active and valuable participants in intramural sports playing soccer and basketball. And for those who still have energy after our long days, lots of air hockey in the Student Center!
COLLEGE ADVISING WORKSHOP
On Wednesday, the College Advising Workshop visited Suffolk University and Emerson in Boston along with MIT in Cambridge. Students were able to attend information sessions and take tours of the campuses to grasp what aspects of each college they liked and didn't like about each and then use that for their personal college plans. Following the educational day, one student, Omar, remarked regarding their visit to MIT, "MIT was one of the schools I was most looking forward to visiting. Its academics and course load structure are exactly what I'm looking for".
Our Studio Art class is full steam ahead preparing for our amazing annual Summer Art Show on Wednesday, August 1! We recently began wheel throwing in the Pottery studio and we've also begun our large-scale pencil self-portraits, a staple of the Studio Art program. In our Drawing and Painting studio, each student has completed two acrylic flow paintings, one pencil still life, a bold charcoal and conté crayon still life, and a watercolor landscape based on their own photography of Cushing's campus. With each project we explore, we study different artists and art movements that help solidify our understanding of techniques and concepts. We've also tried our hand at shibori resist dyeing and screen printing. In fact, this week the entire class collaborated on a design that represents our art experience at Summer Session and printed that design on tote bags, which we use to carry our art supplies wherever we go!
On Wednesday, our group visited MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art). The museum, which is housed a series of historic factory buildings that were converted into galleries, not only educates our students about art but also teaches them about the industrial and architectural past of the local area. Some of the memorable exhibits/artists included the light sculptures of James Turrell, a wall drawing retrospective of Sol Lewitt, and a virtual reality experience by Laurie Anderson called Chalkroom. For most of our students, this was their first time visiting a contemporary art museum (and for at least one student, their first time in an art museum!) They all had a great time and were able to enjoy and be inspired by both local artists and some of the most important names in contemporary art. MASS MoCA has a dynamic collection of work that is both challenging and accessible. We are so lucky to be so close to such a powerhouse of contemporary work! Click here to see more photos
ENGLIGH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
Dr. Markey’s Levels Three and Four Listening and Speaking classes are putting the last touches on their longest formal speech of Summer Session, to be delivered in class next week. They have spent two full weeks studying the essentials of speaking and public speaking, using J. F. K.’s famous Berlin Wall Speech—helpfully archived online in word and image—as a model. Free to choose their own topics, English language learners from China, Japan, France, and Turkey will inform and delight their listeners by speaking on a wide range in interests, including history, the environment, violence, and education. Everyone in Summer Session is invited to join us to listen and learn. Then Dr. Markey’s students begin their second and last project: learning and participating in parliamentary extemporaneous debate!
Mr. Shea’s Level Five and Six Reading and Writing classes have been diving into The Great Gatsby where we are currently on chapter 3. In addition to traditional literary analysis, we have been looking at aspects of communication and culture in relation to the novel. As an example, we recently analyzed rumors in the novel. We asked where the rumors originated and what communicative function they serve. We have also examined how the novel reflects in detail the time period of the "roaring 20s." Students' writing assignments have reflected these same themes.