The IXs Become A Real-Life Puppet Show

January 25, 2019

After the much-appreciated 17-day long Winter Break, the IXs are getting re-accustomed to their normal work schedule. However, there was a slight change in curriculum for the IXsK, making them do more studying in their classroom and work on the “Oregon Trail” with their teacher Katie Mastriano. The IXsJ have recently begun to look at general history of the American revolution, in the period from 1608 to 1776.

Since school only started back up again quite recently, this week has marked the beginning of a transitional period that the IXs will have to get used to. Now that they have read many books and completed many packets for studying about the Colonial Period, the IXsK are soon going to use those papers and research for putting it into their play and incorporating the knowledge for when they create their own pioneer characters from the Oregon Trail. The IXs have done some projects earlier this year, such as making their own “General Stores”: recreations of what typical retail shops would look like in the Colonial Period. They made these in their classroom shortly before the Winter Break.

By now, both IXs classes have spent a couple of weeks working with their General Stores. They used some time in Rhythms to act out what would typically happen in those places. “The IXs enjoyed putting together skits inside of the ‘store’ and took on their own persona as a colonial person,” said Katie Mastriano, IXsK teacher, “but, sadly, we had to leave General Stores behind and have been learning of Early America, particularly with regard to how the United States formed and expanded West.”

 

While Katie is correct to say that it can be unpleasant to leave a unit one enjoys, the historical studies to come are just as intriguing. Jay Birdwell, IXsJ teacher, has had a very unique way to teach the IXs about our country’s origins for a few years, and both of this years IXs classes got to participate in it. Loretta Broderick and William Meyer, both IXsJ, explained that they had essentially created a historical “puppet show.” Jay used the IXs’ bodies for acting out various scenes that were important to the United States’ origins, which the IXs evidently found to be quite the engaging lesson. 

Henry Shapiro and Magnus Baumgardner, IXsK students, had lots of fun and giggles when explaining Jay’s “famous ‘Puppet Show.’”

“We, the IXs, were the puppets,” said Magnus, “and we just stood there while Jay made silly noises until he moved us around.”

“It was a major hit among all of the IXs,” said Katie. Not only did both the IXs and other staff members who watched it enjoyed it, but it was educational and effectively taught the IXs about the Louisiana Purchase. The Louisiana Purchase was when the United States acquired the Louisiana States from France in 1803. The United States paid 68 million francs for the southern state. In today’s value, 68 million francs in 1803 is more than 100 million dollars.

This play overall sums up what C&C’s philosophy is trying to teach: One can do fun and silly things even in a supposedly serious matter while attempting to educate and inform others of what they learned.

Outside of the classroom, in the IXs’ School Store, “business has been a bit slower in the past few days,” said Magnus. 

“Yeah, most of the money being made was from the outside workers,” said Henry, referring to the IXs who go around the school from classroom to classroom asking if anyone needs any school supplies, “not as much money has been made from people who go into the actual store.”

The IXs have restocked their goods, and are planning to add more “silly” equipment. William said that he was looking forward to the end of this semester, when Jay said they may restock with fun items. In the past, these items have been things like bendable pencils, erasable pens, Japanese erasers, and rubber band balls. When asked about fun items, Jay expressed that sometimes when an item is sold for just being fun, it can lose a bit of its quality. However, this is not to say that he is not eager to restock the store. So far, they have added rubber band balls and pencils that have eraserheads with smiley faces on them, but “are going to add even more silly and fun things around the end of the month,” said Henry. According to him, City and Country School students, faculty, and families can look forward to seeing many new items on the First Floor Store’s shelves within the next few months

In Math, they have wrapped up our study of multiplication and division and have moved into Measurement and Geometry. “Currently, the IXs are measuring the perimeter and calculating the area of items in our classroom,” such as tables, chairs, and the floor. Next, they will work with the multiplication algorithm, according to William, who said, “I think we are going to be working on the multiplication algorithm using two digits.” 

With no lack of things going on right now, it is hard to imagine how the teachers have more to pull out of their sleeves. However, they do. The IXs are looking forward to working more with their Wordly Wise books, a workbook that introduces C&C students to reading comprehension at a young age, and getting their new book groups. Loretta and William can not wait to find out who will be in their new groups, and even the books they read are yet to be. As the IXs prepare to dive deep into their studies, there is no doubt that more surprises will come along the road in the Winter Semester.

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