Juniors and Seniors share Friday with grandparents

Juniors sang “The Marvelous Toy” for family visiting North Branch on the annual Grandparents’ Day. The folk song about a toy passed down through the generations was learned by Juniors as they wrote their autobiographies. In researching their stories, some students discovered items in their own families that have been passed down and shared those with the group. The Seniors also added their own musical number on recorder and hand chimes.

Music from The Middle School Ensemble

Here are several fantastic recorder pieces from the last few assemblies. Here are the Middle School students playing with Katrien:


Read for the Record

On October 21, North Branch joined millions across the country for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. The national event celebrates literacy by attempting to set a new world record each year for the most people reading the same book on the same day. Students joined their book buddies and settled in as teachers read Rosemary Wells’ Bunny Cakes. Last year, North Branch students also took part in the record-setting day along with 2,462,860 other readers.

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The beat goes on at Friday assembly

Before Friday assembly set off around the globe, Natasha’s Primary II students kicked it off by sharing their stories of a creature from our own backyard, the Monarch butterfly. Middle School students then gave examples of fun ways to learn and practice Spanish followed by Juniors leading a round of “Kookaburra,” picked up from their studies of Australia. The busy assembly was finished off with two musical pieces by Katrien and her Middle School students. The first was a song for the recorder and the second piece, in the video below, originates from Brazil. “Lanterna Na Mao” (Lantern in the Hand) beautifully blends recorder and percussion.

The Juniors get inspired for The Writer’s Eye

On a rainy Friday, Karen, Stuart, and Charlotte accompanied the Juniors on their docent-led tours of UVA’s The Fralin Museum of Art. In preparation for the annual writing competition, students learned about several selected works of art from paintings and photographs to sculptures and etchings. They were encouraged to take notice of details, interpret visual information, and discuss their responses. Then students chose a piece or explored the museum further, in search of a style or medium that appealed to their senses. They will now begin the process of creating their own inspired prose or poetry about their chosen piece.

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Connecting to the wider world at Friday assembly

As different age groups at North Branch have embarked on journeys of discovery around the world, Oscar’s Spanish classes sought new ways to learn Spanish and apply it to other countries. Students combined words they are familiar with and some new ones to present a Spanish-speaking country, its capital, and colors of the flag. Stuart’s math group also found connections by discovering patterns in multiplication up to one hundred and displaying them for younger students or Future Mathematicians of America to ponder. The October birthdays closed it out with their classmates singing the traditional birthday song in both English and Spanish.

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!