Posts Tagged ‘IB’

For the Love of Reading

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Alumni visit the school for lots of reasons: to see their former teachers, coach our athletic teams, lead an outdoor trip, and even to teach. But last week, one of our alumni, Trevor Wallace (’11), visited our Gr 3 class to talk about his favorite authors when he was in elementary school. Trevor is currently a film major at Wesleyan University and donated many of his books to Ms. Wallace’s class library. He spent quite awhile sharing with students who were interested in finding new, more challenging authors to try. No one gives a book talk quite like a person who has loved and lived through the stories many times!

As you can see by the photos, the students loved Trevor and were hanging on every word. Thanks Trevor!

Anatomy & Physiology

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The following blog entry was written by Middle School Science Teacher, John Pedersen:

Having taught the current Grade 8 students since sixth grade, I have seen them mature and grow academically. Many of these students have expressed the desire to pursue a medical degree so this year, I have placed an emphasis on topics associated with the medical field as we have progressed through the Grade 8 curriculum.

After completing our taxonomy unit and discovering how the anatomies of different species differs, the students were interested in the similarities and differences between humans and other species. As it turns out, the fetal pig’s organs, organ systems, and tissues are very similar to those of a human, as are its external features such as birthmarks, hair, and skin. Together, we decided to explore the anatomy and physiology of a fetal pig and compare it to a human’s anatomy. These similarities are what allow students to dissect a fetal pig following the protocol of an actual human autopsy.

During an autopsy, the body is examined with the utmost care and professionalism. The forensic pathologist carefully records all of the minute details of his or her examination of the body’s external and internal structures for clues to what could have caused the person’s death. Upon completion of the autopsy, students place all organs and connective tissue back into the body cavity and suture the Y incision closed using a curved suture needle and thread—much as a forensic pathologist would close a human subject. They then discard the specimen in accordance with our laboratory waste disposal procedures. This lab not only ties in the completion of our taxonomy unit but is also a precursor to our upcoming forensics unit.

I have been very impressed with the care, attention to detail, and genuine interest in scientific discovery that the students have demonstrated. This has been a great learning experience for all.

Technology Use Across Cultures

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Reposted from Trevor Lindsay and Stacey Walker’s Gr 5 blog:

This afternoon we had a unique opportunity to learn how technology is used in the native countries of Riverstone’s international students. Students from China, Norway, Germany, France, Israel, Spain, and Albania shared the technology use in their home schools. It was a great way to make international connections, learn from the experts at our school and inquire further into our line of inquiry. Surprisingly, Riverstone uses technology more than any of the other students’ home schools. Students from China shared how many teachers view technology as a distraction and entertainment rather than an educational tool. Norway was the only country similar to Riverstone’s technology use in school. In relation to our central idea, technology enables individual expression while diversifying interactions with others, these students shared how frequently they use technology to communicate with their friends and family in their home countries.

Some of these students also shared their family’s email address so we can make contact and share our summative assessment, a creative articulation of expressing themselves to communicate internationally.

Idaho CapEd Grant Awarded

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Congratulations to Science teacher, Samantha Cole, whose teacher grant application, Hands on Biotechnology, was selected by the Idaho CapEd Foundation to be funded.

The CapEd Foundation made a surprise visit to Samantha’s Gr 11 Diploma Programme Biology class where they announced her grant was funded. Well done, Samantha!












Orienteering: The Perfect Combination of Outdoor & Education?

Friday, November 14th, 2014

For the uninitiated, orienteering is a little wacko. Essentially, it’s a running sport in which participants locate and visit a series of stations, or controls, as quickly as possible. But underlying the “running” part of the sport is complex decision-making process; in orienteering the route between the controls is not defined. Instead, each orienteerer makes his/her own decisions about the fastest or most efficient routes, and as the old saying goes, the shortest path between two points isn’t always a straight line. In fact, in orienteering, a convoluted route can be surprisingly fast!

During October and November, students in Grades 8 and 10 have been learning how to read maps to identify those fast and convoluted paths between points in courses around Riverstone, as well as in Ann Morrison Park, Stewart Gulch, and Idaho City. On the Riverstone campus, students used familiar paths, buildings and roads as “handrails,” “attack points,” and “catching features.” In Ann Morrison Park, Gr 8 students got a little trickier, “aiming off” to simplify the longer routes through unfamiliar terrain. With a bit more experience under their belts, the next stop for Gd 10 were the hills of Stewart Gulch near the base of Bogus Basin Road where “spurs” and “reentrants” complicated every decision; students had to stop, think, and decide, “Up and over, or contour around?”

Finally, this Tuesday, Gr 10 students travelled to Idaho City for orienteering with a twist. In a “Score” course, instead of being told to complete the course in a prescribed order, students were given 45 minutes to visit 12 controls in any order they wanted; collect points for every control, but get penalties for going over 45 minutes. In addition to making small decisions about getting from control to control, students had to identify the most efficient way to connect all the dots. Impressively, some students completed the nearly 3km course, with almost 150m of elevation gain, in terrain riddled with knolls, reentrants, spurs, old mining ditches and paths, in forest that obstructed their view, making critical route choices and reassessing their position every step of the way, in just over 30 minutes. Needless to say they were breathless as they sprinted back from the final control, sweating despite the near-freezing temps!

Spatial awareness, critical decision-making? Check. Initiative?  Yep. Personal responsibility in environments with elevated risk? You bet. Fresh air and exercise? Absolutely. Oh, and they can read a map!

How would you fare on this course….?

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