Todays Events - April 19, 2021

  • BOE Regular Meeting
    6:30 PM - Mt. Olive Middle School

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MVS IN THE NEWS

The three days of cephalopods

The three days of cephalopods might not be as festive (or as lyrical) as the 12 days of Christmas, but they were certainly informative and perhaps just as fun.
 
Fourth-graders taught by Caralynn Ferrara recently spent three days examining and dissecting cephalopods – squid to be more exact. Day 1 was dedicated to learning the rules and tools of dissection, and feeling the outside of the squid. On Day 2, students examined the external structures and their functions, including tentacles, arms, eyes, beak, fin, chromatophores, and suckers. Day 3 was devoted to internal structures. Wearing protective goggles, students cut into their squid to examine the heart, gills, ink sac, and stomach.
 
In past years, the students worked collaboratively in small groups; this year because of COVID protocols, each student had his or her own work area, set of tools, and squid. Last year because of the pandemic closure, fourth-graders watched an internet video of a dissection instead of participating.
 
"I’m so glad all my students were attending in person for this,” said Ferrara. “A virtual dissection isn't nearly as memorable as one where you can touch, smell, and feel."
 
Some students chose not to touch or dissect the squid; they looked on and learned with a partner. 
 
Exploring the internal and external structures of plants and animals is a major unit of the fourth grade science curriculum. As part of the unit, students study how those structures are used to aid growth, reproduction, and survival. Before going hands on, the students learned about the anatomy of cephalopods through non-fiction texts and instructional videos.


Matthew Watkins and Ian Petrie wear their pi headbands

 

The love of pi

Mountain View fifth-graders love pi. They celebrated national Pi Day on March 14, the numerical date of 3/14 which corresponds to the first three digits of the world’s most popular irrational number (3.14…). Students participated in a variety of activities designed by teachers to excite students about math and science. Yes, science. March 14 also happens to be the birthday of Albert Einstein.
 
The fifth-graders used string to measure the circumference and diameter of circular objects such as the tops of cans and jars, then calculated the value of pi themselves. (Just in case you forgot, pi=circumference/diameter). They also made pi headbands, created pi day tee shirt designs, graphed the digits of pi, and read “Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi,” an adventure book that tells the tale of the titular knight’s son, Radius, who saves the day using the magic of math.
 
Thanks to the “Pi Song” (https://youtu.be/3HRkKznJoZA, sung to the classical music earworm “In the Hall of the Mountain King”), the most popular activity was the competition to memorize the most digits of pi. Fifth grade classes held their own competitions and the top three students from each room competed in the finals. The winner, Ryan Walsh, memorized an astounding 239 digits of pi. Deborah Decker was second at 195, and Thomas McDonald took third place with 146 digits.
 
“How many math holidays are there?” asked teacher Deborah Siipola. “Pi Day is a fun way to excite kids about math and show them that there are numbers all around.”
 
Not to be confused with Pie Day (January 23), Pi Day was founded by a San Francisco physicist and first celebrated in 1988; it became a national day of recognition in the U.S. in 2009.

Design winner Tyler Castillo with his "Pi in the Sky" tee shirt 

 

Pi-nocchio tee shirt design

Girl in tent

A day to inspire a love of reading

Reading and everything Dr. Seuss were celebrated as Mountain View took part in Read Across America – a nationwide campaign designed to motivate kids to read. Sponsored by the National Education Association, Read Across America is held annually on the birthday of the legendary children's author.

RAA is normally a week-long celebration at Mountain View. But with in-person instruction split into two alternating cohorts, the RAA festivities and focus on reading lasted for two weeks. Spirit days were repeated, giving students at home and in person two opportunities to dress for the careers they would like to have and dress as their favorite book characters.

On one day, both students and staff members dressed as words or phrases. Some chose words that described themselves while others went with their personal favorites or words that would make fun costumes.


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