Posts Tagged ‘IB’

Slow Is Smooth and Smooth Is Fast: An Adventure in Rain & Snow

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
The following was an email sent from Ben Brock, our Director of Outdoor Education, to parents of our Grade 10 students last week.
Dear Parents, 
Just wanted to say that despite some of the most challenging conditions I’ve ever led a trip in, I had a wonderful time with the Grade 10 class these last few days.  
As we climbed up Bogus and it continued to rain even as we pulled into the Nordic Center, we knew we were in for a “treat.”  After making the decision to send one group directly to the yurt to get it heated up, the other group proceeded to our campsite as planned to give it our best shot.By about 2:00pm, however, it was clear that, despite our best efforts, a night in snow caves and tents was just not in the cards. You’ve all seen pictures of the resulting evening that we (all 32 of us!!) spent “drying out” in the yurt.  
Luckily Thursday brought us clearer skies and we were able to travel back to our campsite, about a 35-minute snowshoe from the yurt, and spend the day completing our unfinished snow caves, analyzing a pretty uniquely saturated snowpack and generally enjoying the temporary lack of rain. We headed back to the yurt for dinner, built another snow cave for good measure, and even had four hearty souls decide to sleep out under the “stars” even with snow in the forecast.  
This morning, as the rain returned, we spent about an hour talking through some of the challenges we faced and how we overcame them, and about how some backcountry concepts such as “summit fever,” and the “halo effect” can be avoided (ask your kids…). We also talked about how, when things get tough, and decisions are made quickly, mistakes become more likely (in our urgency to get moving and have as much time as possible to get camps constructed food went to the yurt). A saying I introduced to them is “slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”  A few extra minutes double-checking our sleds would have saved significant amount of time and energy. 
In all, many good lessons were learned on this trip, as is often the case when you find yourself in trying circumstances. It wasn’t the trip we envisioned when we put it on the calendar in July, but it was well worth it.  
Thank you all for trusting me with the safety of your children.
And finally, none of it would have been possible without Lisa Armstrong and Tami Dougherty; they are incredibly caring and competent…and fun! I’d go on a trip with them anytime!

Middle School Science Bowl Team: Smarts and Sportsmanship Combined

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Congratulations to Riverstone’s Middle School Science Bowl team! The The Free Radicals placed 2nd in the Idaho Regional Middle School Science Bowl this past Saturday.

The team met Astronaut Barbara Morgan and competed through 11 tough rounds of competition, ultimately meeting Treasure Valley Math and Science Center in the final round. Christina U received recognition as one of five top competitors as voted by the coaches.

The Free Radicals were also honored with the tournament Sportsmanship award as chosen by the coaches and volunteers who ran the event. The award included a new buzzer system that could be used by the team during practice. The team generously donated their buzzer to another team who did not have one. Wow!

Special thanks to our coaches, parents Kim Liebich and Tom Mahoney. Thank you also to Micron Foundation and Hewlett-Packard for sponsoring this great event.

Should 4th Graders Go to Snow School?

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

At the end of their four week session at Bogus Basin’s Snow School, Grade 4 teacher, Jennifer Clayton, asked her students to write a five paragraph essay addressing the question, “Should 4th Grade go to Snow School?” Here are a few excerpts from their papers:

“All 4th graders should go to Snow School because it is good exercise, good learning and great thinking.”

“You learn how to make a shelter and how to survive alone in the wild.”

“You learn how to think like an animal.”

“Fourth graders get to belly slide, play games and have fun! Belly sliding happens on steep hills.”

“They will track snow shoe hares and spiders, but the spiders are very tricky.”

“Kids get to learn awesome things like how to make snow blocks and how to make an igloo.”

“They will get great exercise. Stomping around in the snow and up steep hills will really hurt their legs. But their legs become stronger.”

“Fourth graders should go to Snow School because they will get outside and still learn.”

So…have our 4th graders convinced you that they should go to Snow School??

The Magic Flute

Monday, February 10th, 2014

The Kindergarten class has been studying the ways that we tell stories. To expand the discussion into their music class, the students studied The Magic Flute because opera is one of the ways that music tells stories. During a recent class day, the students watched the Metropolitan Opera performance of The Magic Flute and then created their own versions of the characters through creative movement.

As you can see by the photos, they really enjoyed themselves!

National Orienteering Coach Leads Clinics with Riverstone Kids

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Erin Schirm, Orienteering USA’s Head Junior Coach, visited Riverstone February 3-4 to conduct workshops for students interested in improving their abilities in this growing sport involving navigation and endurance. Erin found out about Riverstone when Alex P (’14) and Ben Brock, Director of Outdoor Education, applied for a grant with OUSA intended to help grow the youth orienteering movement.

Riverstone was the only school in the country to be awarded the grant. As the Head Junior Coach, Erin wanted to come see what Riverstone Orienteering is all about (orienteering is a major component of PE for students in Grades 8 and 10). He was very happy with what he found! Fifteen students braved the freezing after-school workshops and most left asking when they could do it again! With Erin and OUSA’s generous support, look for more orienteering opportunities in the future!

Nordic Skiing

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Nordic lessons in Grade 2 and 3 are part of the progression of outdoor education winter activities that our students experience during their time at Riverstone. They invariably have a great time, as you can see by the smiles on their faces. They also  learn new skills, gain a greater understanding of conditions in Idaho’s outdoors, become more self reliant, and build friendships with classmates. It’s a winning combination. Thanks to Bogus Basin Nordic Center for hosting us.

Visit our website to read more about our Outdoor Education program.

Thanks to parent Tom Mahoney for sharing his photos!

Grade 4 Tours the Idaho State Capitol

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

On Tuesday, our Grade 4 students were given a grand tour of the Idaho State Capitol, lasting 1 1/2 hours and covering four floors! A visit to the Senate and House Chambers, as well as the Office of the Governor, were part of the tour. The highlight of the field trip was meeting Governor Otter. He quizzed the students on Idaho state facts such as: “When did Idaho become a state?” and “In what order is Idaho ranked in terms of becoming a state?” They nailed both questions and impressed Governor Otter by knowing when Idaho became a territory.

This field trip was part of the Grade 4 How We Organize Ourselves unit. The students have been learning about the rights and responsibilities of United States citizens as well as how the branches of our government are organized at the local, state, and national level.

Thanks to Ms. Fitzharris for sharing her photos!

Gr 7 Visits Synagogue and Anne Frank Memorial

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

As part of their study of the Holocaust and World War II, the Grade 7 students visited the Ahavath Beth Israel synagogue in Boise. The group was given a tour by two volunteers and members of the congregation who answered our questions about the religion of Judaism. The students were welcomed into the 117+ year old synagogue and learned the story of its move from downtown to its current location. Rabbi Dan Fink answered more in-depth questions and read from the Torah.

After the visit to the synagogue, the group stopped at the Anne Frank Memorial for a quick tour and some lunch. It was a great experience to further the students understanding of the religion and the people of Judaism.

Thanks to teachers Tom Dempsey and Hayden Jared for arranging the field trip!

El Día de los Muertos

Friday, November 8th, 2013
Jami Whitmer, our Grade 9-12 Spanish teacher wrote the following blog entry:

“Students in Spanish 9 have been working within a unit on holidays, where they have been learning about the different ways we celebrate holidays here in the United States, as well as others in Spanish-speaking countries. Most recently, students have focused on el “Día de los Muertos” (The Day of the Dead) as celebrated in Mexico.

After reading part of a novel and watching a video about the holiday, we visited the Idaho Historical Museum to see some altars and other visuals related to this holiday. Students thought about the significance of the items on the altars and chose their favorites. There was also time to look at another unrelated exhibit called “Essential Idaho” which contained many informative stations and one where the students could dress up like a baked potato. Fun practice for Halloween!

In all, a fun and informative visit!”

Fall Fun at Lindner Farms

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Forty three students in Grades 9-12 loaded the Riverstone bus and headed out to Linder Farms on Friday night. Delicious snacks, mechanical bull riding, laser tag, a haunted maze, and oh-so-much-more made for an evening of fun for everyone! Our November event will be at Ice World. Look for more information to come!