Every year around this time, a huge mother snapping turtle visits our campus in the morning and begins to lay eggs in the wood chips around our swing sets. On the last day of May, Ms. Stewart noticed her first thing in the morning, and students and teachers alike were delighted to welcome back this special visitor. We will be very careful around the swings from now on to protect her nest. Hopefully, we will have many, smaller visitors in about three months — just as we’re returning from summer vacation!
…like this musical collaboration between our third and fourth grade singers and our seventh, eighth, and ninth grade strings musicians! These grade levels (four of whom are also partnered for our reading buddies program!) worked together with Ms. Wetherby to perform “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid for Grandparents’ Day. Here is an inside look at one of their rehearsals, which led to a remarkable performance yesterday!
Anyone on campus on Wednesday heard lower schoolers passing the word: “Today is hang test day!” A twice-annual event in lower school PE, the hang test challenges students to use their upper-body strength to hang from the pull-up bar attached to the Barn for as long as they can. Students complete this task once in the fall and then try to surpass their previous time in the spring term. Older students and younger students alike are thrilled by this challenge, and all day long, students share triumphs and new goals with each other. Upper schoolers who have long since left the lower school stop by to see how the hang test is going, and more often that not, they still remember their own personal bests for the hang test! Our older students often help out the younger students, as you can see in the photos below, where third graders model good form for their kindergarten schoolmates. Students are already looking forward to their next hang test day in the fall!
We had the perfect spring afternoon for Spring Fling today! It was great fun gathering together with Bement parents, teachers, and students to celebrate the season and our year together. From a bounce house to an obstacle course, pizza to ice cream, raffle baskets to the Fun Run, it was a wonderful way to end the week. The dunk tank was a big hit with students of all ages. The chance to dunk Ms. MacCallum, Mr. Wilson, and ninths graders John and Nick was too fun to pass up! You can see second grader Rachael successfully dunk ninth grade Nick in the clip below…
To kick off Bement’s first-ever Screen-Free Week, I read Doug Unplugged to the lower schoolers at our morning meeting. Written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, the book tells the story of a young robot named Doug who discovers that he can learn more about a place by exploring it than he can by plugging in to download facts. Learning to balance the convenience and information of the technological world with the wonder and importance of the natural world is a life lesson I hope we all think on this week as we go screen-free. Dan Yaccarino wrote an article for The Huffington Post on this very topic in 2013, and it’s worth a read…after Screen-Free Week is over, that is! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading, playing outside, discovering new hobbies, and spending time with your family during this low-tech week.
Doug the robot supports unplugging every once in a while in this illustration created by Dan Yaccarino for 2013’s Screen-Free Week.
This morning, we wished the fifth grade a wonderful trip and set them off on their way to Nature’s Classroom. There was a lot of excitement as they loaded their sleeping bags, pillows, backpacks, and bags onto the bus and headed down Old Main Street. We’re looking forward to welcoming them back on Friday and hearing all about their exciting trip!
This week, the Drakesters were lucky enough to participate in a version of Mrs. Mullens’ famous game “Nuzzle Waa.” As you might be able to tell from the photos, pairs of students are blindfolded and given the chance to nuzzle a mystery object. Then, they take turns guessing what the object is. Some objects were easy to guess — a banana, for instance — while others were much harder — like toilet paper. I hope you enjoy the photos below as much as the Drakesters enjoyed the game!
The first spring meeting of our Hooked on Books club for third, fourth, and fifth graders (funded by a Helen C. Murphy grant from The New England Reading Association) happily coincided with an 80-degree afternoon in Deerfield. Our readers gathered on the patio of the Polk Building to receive their new books, eat some ice cream, and enjoy the chance to relax and read together. What could be better than that?
The lower schoolers had their first day of swimming lessons at Deerfield Academy this week! Every Tuesday and Thursday in April, our students walk up to DA with their teachers and head to the pool. There, they meet with instructors from the Y to work on important swimming skills. At the end of the class, they have some free swim time, as well, including the chance to use the diving boards if they wish! We are grateful to the wonderful swim instructors, our parent volunteers, Deerfield Academy, and of course, Mr. Dobosz and Mr. Paulding, for making this program possible.
We celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday on the last day of winter term at Bement. Ms. Bernard transforms the library into a maze of Seuss- and reading-themed activities, from pogo stick hopscotch to a green screen photo booth to a scavenger hunt to cup-stacking! Lower and upper school reading buddies met in the library on Friday to enjoy the festivities together before parting ways for the spring break. We’ll be back for more reading fun before you know it!