"Telling Our Stories" Integrated Unit

During this trimester’s Integrated Studies Unit students are approaching the work of "Telling Our Stories" from a variety of angles and perspectives. Students are thinking about what stories we have to tell: what stories do we share? how are our stories different? where do our stories begin? how do they bring us to where we are? how do these stories make us who we are? how do we tell our stories?

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Kindergarten: Astronomy Integrated Studies

Our Solar System is vast, complex and difficult to observe directly; the motions and forces that govern the Universe, while incredibly influential in our daily lives here on Earth, are often invisible. So, how do we guide children to connect astrophysical concepts with their daily experiences with the sun, moon, stars, seasons, day, night, light, dark, distance, proximity, and their own sense of their place in the world? 

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Lower Primary: Astronomy Integrated Studies Unit

Lower Primary’s study during the Astronomy Integrated Unit was led by the children’s imaginations, curiosity and inquiry. Asked at the start of the unit “what do you want to know about Astronomy?” students spent the trimester answering “everything!” as their evolving questions and explorations guided us from topic to topic.

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Lower Primary Space Capsule Landings

As part of their Astronomy study, Lower Primary (First and Second grade) students were offered the following STEAM challenge:

Work in teams to research, design, construct, test, revise, and launch a Space Landing Capsule that survives an 8 foot drop and floats an astronaut in water.

Watch Lower Primary engineers test their capsules:

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Astronomy Update

A few of the things we’ve been working on during the Astronomy Integrated Studies Unit since we last updated: our Celebration of Learning is around the corner, and we’re all getting excited about sharing our learning.

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#GivingTuesday2018 THANK YOU!

In a single day, 120 people, 40% of whom were first-time donors, made donations ranging from $5 to $10,000! PCS parents, family members, staff, teachers, friends and supporters from near and far donated over $35,000, making the day our most successful #GivingTuesday yet!

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Zimkids Orphan Trust 2018

Dennis Gaboury and Tinashe Basa (the Founder and Director of Zimkids Orphan Trust) are familiar faces to returning PCS students, and their annual visits to PCS (this is their 6th!) is a highly anticipated, enlightening and uplifting experience. 

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El Colegio del Cuerpo, The School of the Body

This was extraordinary. Last week PCS traveled to Peconic Landing for an intergenerational contemporary dance workshop with Colombian dance troupe El Colegio del Cuerpo (The School of the Body), currently in residence at The Watermill Center, and senior residents from Peconic Landing. Alvaro Restrepo, together with El Colegio’s co-founder Marie France Delieuvin, led dancers, children and seniors through two hours of music, movement, collaboration and conversation. 

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Student Citizens in Action

One of the guiding forces at PCS is a belief in the ability of students to affect change — in fact, it is our mission to make the world a better place through education.

And, we understand that change doesn’t just happen while we’re busy doing something else, or just because we think it’s a good idea. Change is made.

Children love to affect the world around them, to see the impact they can have in the world. When we dedicate time and space and guidance to making change — when we commit to making it a part of our daily work at school — look what can happen:

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A World of Potential

PCS students spent a lot of time out in the world this past week: students visited the 11th and 12th generations of Halsey farmers at the Milk Pail for a tour of the family farm and to pick apples and pumpkins (our annual Halloween tradition); Kindergarteners were back and forth to the yard to collect falling leaves; Middle Primary headed to Riverhead to shop for sneakers for kids in need; Early Childhood followed Rebekah out to the garden to harvest, clear, and prep beds during Wellness; and all of the Primaries, plus Kindergarten, rode the bus to the Southampton Arts Center to be the first visitors to experience artist Francisco Alvarado-Juárez’s Light of the Ocean installation ahead of its opening reception.

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Lower Primary Lunar Rover Launch

As part of their Astronomy study, Lower Primary (First and Second grade) students were offered the following STEAM challenge:

Work in teams to research, design, construct, test, revise, and launch a Lunar Rover, using recycled materials, that travels farther than 12 inches after a 45 degree decline.  

Watch the engineers launch their Rovers —

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Academics and Action

It’s true that a lot of learning happens inside the classrooms at PCS, in daily Literacy blocks, Math blocks, during Specials, and through our Integrated Studies unit. But, there’s also a whole lot of learning happening outside of the classroom.

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Big Bang Short Film Series by Upper Primary

As part of the first trimester Integrated Study Unit: Astronomy, Upper Primary students translated their reading and research about the Big Bang into a series of stop motion films tailored to PCS’s younger classes: one for Early Childhood and Kindergarten students, one for Lower Primary students, and one for Middle Primary.

Upper Primary filmmakers created storyboards and animation, photographed each frame, edited their films to include voiceovers and sound effects, and then transformed their classroom into a theater on Friday afternoon with four screenings of their films followed by directors’ panels.

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