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Soundings Fall, 2015

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  • 1Dear Friends,Schools are dynamic institutions full of creative and passionate individuals. New students and new faculty, by definition, help create a new school each year. No year is ever the same. New trends in curriculum and instruction only heighten the sense of gradual change and betterment that define the best schools. Grounded by its philosophy and fundamental beliefs, Friends Academy brings innovation and creativity to the curriculum within a proven framework. This positive tension seeks a balance that introduces the new, while maintaining a sense of the old, a balance that promotes innovation and change, while also celebrating the tried and true.

    In this edition of Soundings you will enjoy reading about Fred, our new 3-D printer. Students are experiencing the excitement built into designing a project, translating their vision through programming, and watching a final product take shape before their eyes. Along the way they are learning the skills of trial and error, patience, perseverance, and the value of an interdisciplinary approach where art, science, math, and teamwork merge in creative and productive ways. These valuable skills may not be new, but InkscapeTM, TinkercardTM, and CuraTM certainly are.

    While the school garden may be about growing vegetables, it is now also about second graders making scientific observations about temperature, sunlight, and insects. Then there is the math of weighing produce and the

    simple value of working with ones hands. Finally there is the science and creativity of cooking followed by the joy of sharing food with others. One old fashioned garden, many modern lessons for todays seven- and eight-year olds.

    You will find an article about poetry, a staple of the curriculum since well, probably 1810. Read how third graders have modernized this experience and participated in a lively poetry slam. Once again, old meets new. Everyone is inspired, and everyone learns and grows. Finally, you will discover how a modern trend in mindfulness shapes a kindergarten art class, how a sense of purpose and focus brings new layers of depth and understanding to art, and how kindergarteners may someday say, Everything I learned about art started in kindergarten.

    Enjoy this edition of Soundings as you experience the old and new of Friends.

    Stephen K. BarkerHead of School

    fall 2015

    S o u n d i n g S f r i e n d s a c a d e m y

  • 2Personalized nameplateschopsticksgarden markersFriends Academy students in grades 2-6 will be learning to design in three dimensions and to use their designs to make simple objects employing the schools new 3-D printer. The Ultimaker 2TM, or Fred, (after the Flintstone character from the Paleo-lithic era) arrived on campus earlier this fall, thanks to the generous donation of a Friend. The realization of a five-year dream, the Ultimaker is something that Jonathan Felix, our technology integrationist, has imagined integrating into the classroom since arriving at Friends Academy five years ago. The possibilities are endless, he says, and explains that before acquiring the device, he worked with a couple of young people to design computer bag tags as a test for the feasibility of integrating the device into the curriculum. He believes the 3-D printer has applications for all kinds of exciting projects.

    Mrs. Conlons second grade class will create vegetable markers for the garden this year, which corresponds with their focus on the growing cycle in science. Third graders will design and manufacture chopsticks to coin-cide with their study of Japan, and fourth graders, Mr. Felix says, will do some kind of conversion project taking two-dimensional

    drawings to three-dimensional objects via an application called TinkercadTM.

    Since the very first day we unpacked the box weve been putting the Ultimaker to work all day, every day, says Felix. With the average project taking a minimum of three to four hours to print, the challenge will be how well we can complete all the jobs we create for it.

    The actual process of manufacturing is the final step in a series of lessons that begin with drawing or designing in one of three possible software programs. Students work with InkscapeTM (a 2-dimensional drawing program), TinkercadTM (a computer-aided design program for children) and CuraTM (software that converts designs into readable form for the 3-D printer).

    Once a design is ready to print the Ultimaker is fed from a spool of thick plastic filament or thread that inserts directly into the printer. The rest is up to the machine. Groups of curious second and third graders have lined the hallway to get a glimpse of the 3-D manufacturing process. Lights blink, buzzing and bleeping noises emanate, and molten plastic is slowly released onto a glass platform. Ninety minutes later a product is born.

    Meet the FutureF r i e n d S A c A d e M y S n e w 3 - d p r i n t e r

  • 3Blue and gray may be the schools colors, but green is making its way into the second grade curriculum in a very inten-tional way this fall. From the beginning of the school year, teacher Brigid Conlon and LS science specialist, Elizabeth Tammaro have made use of the schools garden for scientific inquiry.

    In science classes with Ms. Tammaro, students began by creating paper puzzles showing the parts of a plant and assembled the pieces to demonstrate their under-standing of the growing cycle. Later that week they visited the garden with MS teacher and garden expert, Mr. Steve Walach, who showed students the many vegetables that are being grown and ex-plained how different groups of students work in the garden to plant, weed, and harvest produce. He explained how the food from the garden impacts our local community and demonstrated how to harvest Swiss chard and kale.

    Making scientific observations

    The following week students observed the effects of temperature, sunlight, and insects on the harvest. Mr. Walach demonstrated how to effectively remove a cabbage leaf, how to pull the tender top

    leaves off kale, and how to identify a ripe stalk of Swiss chard. They collected the produce in plastic bins and weighed it using their math skills to deduce the weight of the produce by subtracting the weight of the empty bin from the weight when filled with produce.

    Mr. Walach did an amazing introduc-tory lesson prior to each time students worked in the garden, says Ms. Conlon. A slideshow overview explained who tends the garden, and helped the class understand that the work takes place nearly all year longfrom early spring, through Thanksgiving. I was amazed by how the kids reacted, Ms. Conlon said. Mr. Walach, has a way of making the kids feel like the work they are doing is really important. They took what he said very seriously and understood that their work in the garden matters.

    Ms. Conlon believes that authentic experiences like this, where children un-derstand that the food they are harvesting is actually being delivered the next day and is helping people, can be of real value. The children never questioned Mr. Walachs tasks or complained about the job they were given, she says.

    recognizing the impact of the garden

    on our local community

    Reverend Chris, from Grace Episcopal Church in New Bedford, toured the garden with our students and told second graders about the ways the produce from our garden is utilized in the greater New Bedford community. Students learned about the need for food pantries and how they operate. Reverend Chris explained that the produce FA donates is especially appreciated because it is unusual for a soup kitchen or pantry to receive fresh vegetables as opposed to canned goods.

    utilizing the kitchen by cooking with


    The class invited Mr. Dufresne, an avid cook and parent of Zoe, to teach the class how to make Portuguese kale soup using school grown vegetables. The children were fully involved in the preparation process. Each had a job. Some harvested kale, others peeled and washed vegetables, and others learned how to properly and safely chop ingredients to be added to the soup. In the end, the class invited the maintenance crew to join them in the kitchen for soup to thank them for the hard work they do.

    Growing Green

  • Creativity was very much on display last spring when two students from the Sally Borden and Bridge programs composed original poems and presented them at All-School Meeting during National Poetry Month. As a third grader last year, Audrey (Wallace) met with Reading and Support Specialist, Megan OBrien three days a week for Orton-Gillingham (OG) tutoring in order to strengthen her reading skills.

    During the month of April, by way of celebrating National Poetry month, we decided to devote a portion of our sessions to the reading and writing of poetry, Ms. OBrien explains. Audrey and other participating students selected poems to read from a variety of authors including Shel Silverstein. His poetry never fails to inspire and entertain, and

    our students love immersing themselves in his humorous and inventive collections such as Falling Up, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Runny Babbit, says Ms. OBrien. Audrey was clearly inspired and her enthusiasm resulted in an original poem entitled, Make the Night Longer.

    Emma (Rosner), who was a second grade Bridge program student last year, also met with Ms. OBrien regularly. The Bridge program is designed to provide additional support to FA first and second graders. These students are identified early, says Katherine Gaudet, director, and they receive intensive Orton- Gillingham tutoring for five periods a week in order to address their unique challenges. A Sally Borden Reading and Support Specialist also partners with the FA teacher in the classroom three to five times a week.

    T h e S i g h T S a n d S o u n d S o f P o e T r y

    M A k e t h e n i g h t L o n g e r

    by Audrey Wallace

    I want to meet the man-in-the-moon

    To tell him to make the night longer.

    This means more sleep on school days for me

    And more sleep will make me stronger.

    If I could sleep longer, I could finish my dreams

    About moles digging for diamonds,

    Ants and bees making moose tracks ice cream,

    And white bunnies sipping tea in the islands.

    So, Mr. Man-in-the Moon, please stay out longer,

    I want to have my dreams last longer.

    I want to sleep in latenot early.

    If I cant, I might be surly.


  • i t S n o t A b o u t

    by Emma Rosner

    Im gonna write a poem

    So listen to what I say,

    Clap when Im done

    And then we can play.

    Its not a long poem

    Its just a few words

    It has nothing to do

    With turtles or birds,

    Elephants, lions,

    Or kangaroos,

    Or anything else that

    Lives in a zoo.

    Its not about cavemen,

    Fishes, or air.

    Its not about cell phones

    Or teddy bears.

    Theres so many things

    That its not about,

    (rainbows, ice cream, lava pits)

    I could go on and on

    Without a doubt.

    Whats that, you say, its time for dinner?

    Ill be there in a day, a month, or a year

    I have to finish my poem

    Thats not about deer.


    When April came around, Emma was eager to participate in the poetry project and couldnt wait to get started. At first, she had difficulty deciding which of her many ideas to develop, but she cleverly turned this dilemma into a solution by writing a poem about what her poem was not about! says Ms. OBrien.

    Together, Emma and Ms. OBrien read poems aloud for inspiration and collabo-rated in the writing process by building the poem together on the whiteboard. Writing poems challenges students to identify and create rhyming patterns, count syllables, and accurately decode (read) and encode (write) phonograms that sound alike but are spelled differ-ently. For example, the sound /a/ can be spelled eight different ways including a as in April; ai as in aim; ay as in day; and eigh as in eight.

    Difficulty with these reading structures and identifying sound/symbol relation-ships are challenges that many students face. Learned decoding and encoding strategies from their Orton-Gillingham sessions are applied directly to the poetry writing process so even though students think theyre getting a break from OG, theyre really not! explains Ms. OBrien.

    Joining with last years reading specialists, Kim Tavares, Will Rennie, and Sonya Bradford, Ms. OBrien took students to the library where the teachers had set up a platform or soapbox on which students could stand while taking turns reading and reciting their poems aloud. We eventually hosted a poetry slam at which each student performed a poem of their own choosing, says Mrs. Tavares. Audrey and Emma took the process one step further and volunteered to recite their original poems for a larger audience.

    We were hoping all along that a couple of our kids would choose to participate in Poetry Buzz, says Ms. OBrien, referring to that portion of the weekly All-School Meeting devoted to sharing books (most of the year) and poetry (during the month of April) with the entire student body. Naturally, we were delighted when Audrey and Emma applied for a slot on the Poetry Buzz agenda, she admits.

    In the end, it was so much fun that teach-ers agreed to continue the slam this year. The students chose to participate so it was empowering for them, says Ms. OBrien. Poetry is an expressive art form that can lift childrens reading confidence. It frees them up to experiment and its a great vehicle for practicing and applying Orton-Gillingham skills.

  • 6Sarah bookstein (1) is our new fifth grade teacher. While completing her Masters in Education at Lesley University, Sarah taught in the third and fifth grades at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge. Before pursuing a career in teaching she worked in market research. Sarah is also an expe-rienced tutor who has mentored young adult writers. She is a graduate of Thayer Academy and Bucknell University.

    Sonya bradford (2) is in her second year at Friends Academy as Orton-Gillingham and math teacher for the Sally Borden Program. She is currently pursuing Associate certification from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham. A graduate of Johnson & Wales School of Business, Sonya owned and operated a successful catering company prior to joining FA. In addition she has taught seminars for the Lifelong Learning Institute at UMASS Dartmouth and SEMAP, and has tutored for AARP.

    kristin Furtado (3) teaches physical education in the Lower School. She joins us from the Bayside YMCA in Barrington, RI where for several years she has been a sports and recreation instructor for grades K-8. She has also coached basketball and soft-ball at the high school level. With a B.S. in Physical Education and Health from Rhode Island College, Kristin is certified to teach PE, Health, and Adaptive PE.

    Seth garfield (4), a former Friends Academy teacher, has returned to FA after teaching LS science at the Wheeler School in Providence for the last eighteen years. Beyond his extensive teaching career, Seth is the owner/operator of Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farms, active in local environ-mental causes, experienced as an EMT, and accomplished in the field of emergency management. His BS in Zoology is from the University of Rhode Island, his MS from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

    carla caynon (5) is a Reading and Support Specialist with both the Sally Borden Program and Friends Academy. Many at Friends will know her already as a substitute teacher and tutor. Her extensive experience includes teaching in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, and South Caro-lina, where she was a finalist for Teacher of the Year. She holds certification and endorsements in multiple subjects as well as self-contained PreK-8, Special Education PreK-12, and Reading Special-ist PreK-12. A graduate of Regis College, Carla earned her M.Ed. at Lesley University.

    colin Martin (6) teaches seventh grade in the Sally Borden Program. He joined Friends Academy from the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, a school specifically focused on middle school students. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, his career includes several years teaching English, math, and history at the Chatsworth Hills Academy in California where he also served as Head of the Middle School. Before pursuing his love of teaching, Colin had a career writing and acting for film, TV, and the theater in New York and Los Angeles.

    Shelbi randenberg (7) joins Friends and the Sally Borden Program from the Hamilton School at Wheeler as a Reading and Support Specialist. A graduate of Vassar College, Shelbi holds an M.A.T. in Elementary Education from Brown University. Shelbis professional experience also includes working as a producer/editorial manager for the History Channel and also as an expedition photographer for the National Geographic Society.

    welcome n e w F A c u L t y 1







  • 7When Lower School art teacher Susan Cogliano faces her kindergarten students in the first few days of the school year, she knows that this is an important moment in their art education. I want to get them off to a good start and teach them certain fundamental concepts that will play an important role throughout their days as art students here at Friends, she says.

    We practice mindfulness from the very early stages of kindergarten, Cogliano says. The first thing she does is to ask her students a series of questions that serve to sharpen their understanding of the artistic process and focus their intentions.

    What do artists look like? How do artists act when they are working? What does an artist sound like when they talk about art?

    Often my students will describe an artist physically, perhaps stereotypically, wearing a beret, holding a palette, looking off into the distance, Mrs. Cogliano says. Through discussion, students come to describe artists as

    watchful, observant, thoughtful and quietthat they concentrate when they are working.

    Mrs. Cogliano finds that the third question helps her students understand the value of learning new words to help them speak about art. Form, color, shape, balance, texture, and line are the terms of an artist, she says. Her students practice using these words when they write about their artwork in their journals and when they talk about their projects during share time. I try and teach kindergarteners about respectful silence, focus, and observation. I ask them to journey with me and to look at the world the way artists do. When they come into my classroom, I want them to view things differently from the everyday, I want to help them see the way an artist sees, she says.

    Their first project this year was to make eyeglasses. Fashioned from cardboard and decorated with feathers, sequins, buttons and markers, the glasses remind the children that art class requires them to look at the world in new and creative

    ways, says Mrs. Cogliano. We put on our glasses and go on a scavenger hunt to locate and identify elements of art that are scattered around the halls and classrooms of the school, she says.

    Students roam the halls looking more closely at the physical world around thempointing out the zigzagging lines of a stairwell and the spirals in the pattern of a carpet. They have a chart of elements and students cross the elements off the list as they find them in the objects surrounding them. Rectangles, squares, circles and triangles appear in everyday objects, as do colors and textures. The elements of art are the essential ingredients in an artists tool bag, Mrs. Cogliano says, and they are at the heart of every composition we make.

    If our kindergarten students are able to incorporate simple techniques to get them settled and focused in art class were off to a great start, says Jonathan Felix, technology integrationist and mindful-ness guru of Friends Academy. We are making all kinds of inroads with mind-fulness he says, and Susan has fully embraced it.

    Mindfulness and KindergARTen

  • w w w . f r i e n d s a c a d e m y 1 8 1 0 . o r g

    S o u n d i n g S f r i e n d s a c a d e m y1088 tucker road, north dartmouth, ma 02747 fall 2015 May we count on you

    $20 buys 5000 carrot seeds for the garden $25 buys an itunes gift card for educational apps $30 pays for a Singapore Math workbook $120 pays for a kindergarten field trip $180 maintains the irrigation system for the garden $300 buys one new ipad for the Lower School $435 helps underwrite a new wind tunnel for the Farmhouse $625 pays for one faculty member to attend a reggio emilia conference

    $1600 pays for the 8th grade to see a broadway show while in new york city

    Your gift, whatever the amount, will make a real difference in ensuring an enriching learning experience for all Friends Academy students. Please donate today and make an immediate impact on your childs education. You may donate online at www.friendsacademy1810.organd contributions are tax deductible. Remember that it is not the size of the gift that matters but the fact that you give. Your donation helps keep Friends Academy strong, focused, and on mission, something it has done to the benefit of the SouthCoast community for over two hundred years.

    to keep Friends Academy running? AnnuAL giving iS the SingLe MoSt iMportAnt Source oF non-

    tuition incoMe For FriendS AcAdeMy. becAuSe tuition ALone doeS

    not cover the coSt oF A FriendS educAtion, the FriendS AcAdeMy

    Fund heLpS uS to bridge thiS gAp. MAny peopLe ASk how the

    Money FroM the Fund iS uSed. hereS A brieF LiSt oF SoMe oF the

    wAyS your contribution wiLL be put to iMMediAte uSe.