Introducing our START Volunteers!

What could be better than learning more about poetry with energetic, dynamic, creative Dartmouth volunteers?

Our winter volunteers are Carly, Tiffany, and Clara, and they are ready for action.

Carly is from Baltimore, Maryland, and is majoring in environmental studies and public policy.  She has LOTS of pets, including two dogs, two cats, and a managerie of visitors from her mom’s science classroom such as geckos, hedgehogs, and snakes.  She says, “If you love animals, talk to me!”  Her favorite poem would be any poem about nature.

Tiffany, a senior geography major, comes from Maryland too.  She is an education minor and just took a class on STEM along with Clara, so don’t be surprised to see some poetry STEM popping into some of the START sessions.  She loves to dance, especially hip hop and urban, and she is on the street soul dance team at Dartmouth.  Her favorite poetry book is Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur.

Clara is from Idaho, and she is studying psychology and education.  She participates in theater on campus, and when she is home she loves to hike and read.  Her favorite poem is “The Strength of Fields” by James Dickey.

These marvelous volunteers are overflowing with poetry ideas, and we can’t wait.

Connections, Connections

To celebrate completing our latest read-aloud, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, we created our own pretend Metropolitan Museum of Art right in Mrs. Jarvis’s classroom.  In the book, Claudia and her brother run away from home and live in the MMA.  While they are there, they connect with a mysterious angel sculpture, hunting down clues to find out its story.

Today we invited two marvelous artists to share their work with us. We saw a variety of types of art and heard the stories behind them.  We learned that artists practice a long time, often beginning at a very young age.  Mrs. Jarvis explained how instrumental some of her family members were in helping her develop as an artist, for her elementary school did not have an art program.  She allowed us to look at some of her work from long ago and compare it to some of her work recently.  A student asked Mr. McFarland how long it took to create one of his sketches, and he shared a quote that a sketch might take “five minutes plus twenty years.”  What do you think that means?  Does it match our growth mindset thinking?

One of my favorite moments was hearing that the inspiration for one of Mr. McFarland’s works was Euclid!  He brought in a very old geometry book and explained the thinking path that led to the gorgeous pastel we were viewing.  Not only is math everywhere, but how wonderful to know that our passions in one area of study can benefit another area.  Connections!

Finally, we each browsed through art books hunting for a work of art that connected to our own heart.  We wrote about why we loved that particular piece.  Stay tuned to the student blogs to read all about it!

Cozy Fireplace Invitation

Calling all expressive readers!  During the stretch from Christmas to February break, we are concentrating on the genres of poetry and picture books, with the added frosting of polishing our fluency and expression in reading and public speaking.  One aspect of our study is inviting great readers we know to share a treasured picture book with us around our cozy “fireplace.”  Parents, grandparents, older siblings, . . . . are welcome!  Just e-mail Miss Blessing with your availability.

Readers are Leaders

Today’s Breakpoint by Erik Metaxas was so encouraging that I wanted to share it with all of you.

What–and Why–to Read This Year

World’s 2017 Books of the Year

Christianity Today’s 2018 Book Awards

Serious Reading’s 30 Reasons to Read Books

So how are we adults doing on our own 40 Book Challenge?  If you are reading something great, tell your child about it!  These below zero days are the perfect time to curl up with a book.

Erik Metaxas concluded, “As we like to say here at BreakPoint, ‘Readers are leaders.’ So if you want to be a leader—in your home, at the office, in church, or in the larger society this year—you know what you need to do. Start the new year off right. Pour yourself a large cup of tea, grab a good book and start reading.”