Music, math, and enormous fun on Friday

For assembly on Friday, September 26, each age group was able to share something special. The middle schoolers delighted the group playing two songs they prepared with Katrien, while the Juniors and Seniors also got in on the act with “Hot Cross Buns” and the German folksong “The Cuckoo.” We also got to see the final survey results which revealed dogs as the favorite animal and winter as the favorite season of the North Branch community. Natasha’s Primary II students were so inspired by last week’s graph presentations that they paired off and conducted surveys of their own. Some of the results revealed a preference for Florida over Arizona and a majority of families have 4 members. Rounding out the fun were Stuart’s Juniors reading group reciting John Updike’s “September” and the debut performance of Early Primary with “One Elephant Went out to Play.”

Music from Friday’s assembly

The Middle School ensemble shared two recorder songs with us on Friday. First was Las Mañanitas, a traditional Hispanic birthday song often sung at birthday parties, usually early in the morning to awaken the birthday person (Wikipedia).

The entire Ensemble plays Ramble:

Who REALLY discovered America?

Middle School students, representing six different civilizations, presented evidence about why they were the first (non-Native) explorers to discover America. During today’s presentation, we heard from the Japanese Komon Civilization (3,000 B.C.), Hoei Shin, a Chinese explorer from 451 A.D., Irish monks representing St. Brendan from 551 A.D., Leif Ericsson and the Vikings (1,000 A.D.), the Polynesians (1,000 A.D.) and Christopher Columbus and lawyers (1492 A.D.). The Senior class listened closely and took notes – they will be voting on their top choice tomorrow. Parents and teachers in attendance offered immediate feedback on who they thought presented the most compelling evidence. Congratulations, middle schoolers, on a job very well done!

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Math Graphs reflect students’ preferences

Junior II students asked their peers survey questions with specific answers, then graphed the responses to indicate preferences.

At assembly today, we learned that lots of students like both chips and ice cream, the most common pet among those surveyed is a dog,  the color red is very popular, and NBS students prefer nature and books to video games!

Krista’s Primary I class has been conducting their own survey during math time. Stayed tuned to find out which season is the favorite of the most people at NBS.

Lots of votes for books!

Lots of votes for books!

Assembly time, September 12

Margaret’s math group has been working hard to figure out old they are.  Of course, these 10- and 11- year-olds know their age in years, but Margaret challenged them to use more detail.  They each made books showing their age, at that moment, in years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds!

The students sit with their book buddies during assembly.  Charlotte asked the pairs to take a moment and talk about their favorite thing from this week at school.  Several pairs shared and we heard about science, art, reading, playground time, handworks, and more.

As a grand finale, Charlotte and then Noah, led the entire assemblage in a rain song.  Divided into three groups, the students rubbed their hands together – one group softly and one group vigorously – while the third group created the splash of raindrops by bouncing fingertips of one hand to the palm of another.  It sounded just like the rain our ground is craving!

Beautiful collaborative works of art by the Juniors and Primary classes provided the backdrop for our assembly.CollaborativeArt1CollaborativeArt2

This math group figured their age in years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds!

This math group calculated their ages in years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds!

Book Buddies begins

A favorite activity at North Branch is the Book Buddy program that takes place every Tuesday. Excited voices fill the school as pairs consisting of an older child and younger child settle in for reading time. The older children practice reading out loud and the younger children get to dream of the day when they will be readers. They all get the opportunity to connect with a child outside of their grade level, share interests, and most of all, have fun.

Many thanks from the class of 2014

Here is one last video from this year’s graduation ceremony. This class of sixteen had many teachers in the years they were at North Branch. They thank them all in this video! The audio in the beginning is from the Thanksgiving program in 2009, when the graduates were in fourth grade.



Nursery & Early Primary Play Day, August 19

Students in Nursery (ages 3 & 4), Early Primary (ages 4 & 5), and their parents are invited to attend a Play Day on Tuesday, August 19 , from 9:30 – 11:30.  This is a great opportunity to meet classmates and their families and to reacquaint your student with his or her classroom and teacher.  Feel free to call Heather, 540-456-8450, if you have any questions.Nursery_05 - Copy - Copy - Copy


Stuart and Greg’s ride

Stuart and Greg's ride

A journey of 100 miles begins with one…photograph. NBS parent, Greg, and NBS teacher, Stuart, are riding 100 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway in support of North Branch School. It’s not too late to show them some love by making a donation to the school for their efforts and enthusiasm. Just use the secure PayPal “donate” button on this site.

The graduating class of 2014

On June 3rd, we said goodbye to the largest graduating North Branch class in the school’s history. Sixteen students graduated – many of them had been at NBS for more than eight years. In keeping with North Branch tradition, they all received an engraved Jefferson Cup. We wish all of the graduating students good luck and health as they begin their journey into high school. I will have more videos from graduation (including the teacher thank you segment) in the coming week. Happy summer!