Everglades Adventure Underway
Thursday, February 26, 2015
The Everglades Ecology trip is well underway and they are having a true adventure!!! Check out (and like!) Parkmont's Facebook page to get photos and the blow by blow on what the kids are learning and seeing each day.
Here are a few quotes from Facebook from the travelers:
2/25: "The past two days in the Everglades have been truly spectacular. Our Water Ecology class spent yesterday and this morning aboard two houseboats, trawling through Coot and Whitewater Bay near Flamingo. We cooked two incredible meals, watched the sun set and rise in Whitewater Bay, and explored the surrounding channels by canoe in the early morning. This was the first time spending the night on the water for many of us, and it was a really special experience."
2/24: "We spent yesterday at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, one best beaches in the country (rated number seven by Forbes). The beach was beautiful and we spent four hours playing in the waves and checking out the lighthouse. We also had our fair share of wildlife--we saw iguanas for the first time, a number of birds, and dolphins for the second day in a row."
2/23: "Kayaking with George and Susan from Up A Creek Kayak Tours at Isle de Capri Paddle Craft Park. We had such a good time, these guys are are awesome!"
2/22: "So far we have visited the Rookery Bay Conservation Center, Corkscrew Swamp, and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Today, we got our first taste of the Everglades--in the morning we took a boat tour of the 10,000 Islands, located off the coast of Everglades City, and in the early afternoon we completed a 15 mile bike ride at Shark Valley. The wildlife and scenery has been incredible, and after a busy last few days we are looking forward to relaxing at the beach tomorrow!"
Paragraphs and Essays Class on Personal Attributes
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Kristin is currently teaching the Main Lesson class on writing that most upper schoolers will take at some point during their duration at Parkmont: Paragraphs and Essays. In the course, students delve into the details of writing, composing college-level papers and essays. In this week's assignment, Kristin's students worked on essays about personal attributes that they admired. Following are some of their very insightful (and well-written!) reflections.
On Introversion: Dawn. "One person who thrived because of his introversion is Albert Einstein. A widely known quote once said by him is: "The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” In this quote, Albert Einstein is saying that by having an isolated or routine, uneventful life, the human brain, naturally, will try to creatively stimulate itself in some way that is occupying. Because Einstein did his best thinking alone, like most introverts, isolating himself allowed him to come across significant scientific discoveries, such as the ‘theory of relativity.’"
On Perseverance: Shavar. "Perseverance is important because without it people would not have that extra push to keep moving forward. Without that push, people would not try to be the best person can be. Probably without perseverance there would be no George Washington, Bill Gates and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The benefit of having perseverance is shown in the lives of Albert Einstein, Spider-Man and a person I know personally, Mrs. Garza..."
On Kindness: Justin. "Kindness is being nice to others and helping them out with their problems. It’s important because it allows the world to become a better place. Without kindness, the world would be like Grand Theft Auto."
On Ingenuity: Jackson. "Ingenuity is the quality of being clever, original, and inventive. It’s important because it allows people to solve problems quickly and efficiently. Without ingenuity, people can panic and become nervous. they can also get in trouble, because people with ingenuity can get out of trouble a lot easier that someone who lacks it. Ingenuity is the Latin word for engineering. One person who has exhibited ingenuity is Harry Houdini..."
On Resilience: Aisha. "It’s important to have resilience because when there is a problem and you don’t know what to do, you should always think of another idea before giving up. When you give up, you haven’t tried hard enough. You should always try until you get the solution fixed."
On Self-Confidence: Alexis. "A character who thrived because of her self-confidence is Katniss from district 12 in 'The Hunger Games.' One time she stood up to President Snow when there was a war happening between the districts and the capital. She was fearless and believed that there was hope. She was done with doing what other people told her to do. I love the way Katniss has self-confidence and bravery. She inspires me to stand up for things that I know are wrong."
Ecology in the Everglades
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Next week, Alex's upper school Ecology class is heading to the Everglades, Florida. The students have been familiarizing themselves with southern Florida’s geography, terrain, and diverse ecosystems. Over the next week students will be preparing fauna guides and studying invasive species of the Everglades. The Everglades is a unique place that offers a critical look at invasive species, man’s impact on wild systems and issues around water management. It is this uniqueness that makes Homestead, Florida one of the only places in the western hemisphere where you can find a breeding population of Red-whiskered Bulbu, an Indian song bird. The class is excited to see some of the things they have been studying all session, first hand.
Their itinerary includes:
-A number of days in Homestead, Everglades delving into their class curriculum
-A trip to the Rookery Bay Conservation Center and Refuge for a day on the water with a marine biologist
-Renting kayaks and exploring the mangrove forests, the freshwater bay and the estuary that exist at Rookery Bay
-Boating at Thousand Island, with hopes of seeing some manatees
-Several days on houseboats on Biscayne Bay, exploring the inlets and waterways of the bay
It is sure to be an incredibly educational AND fun trip for the students. The world is our classroom!
Parkmont Hits the Slopes
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Every winter, Parkmont faculty take the students skiing for a day. It's a chance to free the mind from academics for a day, to get some great exercise and fresh air, and to learn a new skill (or hone one for the pros!) For the last several years we have skied at Whitetail Resort, less than two hours away. The group is on the mountain skiing by 10:00 a.m. and they ski until 3 p.m.
Last week, our middle schoolers got to indulge in a day of skiing, and there was one faculty member present for every two students! Half the students took a lesson, and then they were able to ski with a buddy or a teacher after that. The experts skied with Mike and Alex on the blacks and double-blacks. The kids who had skied for the first time last year made huge strides and had a lot of fun skiing more ambitious runs. It was a fantastic day for everyone!
The upper school will head to Whitetail tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 4th.) Everyone is excited. All 23 runs are open and snow-covered, and the weather is supposed to be partly sunny and chilly. Bundle up, everyone!
California, Thank You for the Adventure
Over Spring Break in April, the upper school U.S. Immigration History class took a 9-day trip to California. They traveled from Los Angeles to San Franciso to study important immigration landmarks along the way. This was the culmination of a 7-week course on immigration history. View the scrapbook of our trip.