Friday, January 29, 2010


Opening up our ocarinas!

Gabe seeing his ocarina for the first time... now that is love!

Happy little ocarina players!

Marjorie is one heck of a teacher!

It was an exciting day at the Monhegan school yesterday! We had our first music class and the kids all received their very own ocarinas! What is an ocarina you ask? It is a vessel instrument that is believe to date back some 12,000 years ago! Our island is lucky enough to have our very own ocarina expert, Ms. Marjorie, who is kind enough to share her knowledge and talents with us at the Monhegan School!

Marjorie did a fantastic job teaching us a little history about the ocarina and then took the time to show us her own personal collection. THEN it was like Christmas when the kids each received their very own ocarina! Of course there was lots of noise and excitement. We got a chance to play around and then we learned three different notes and with those three notes we already have songs we can practice!

We received the homework assignment to pick three different songs we want to learn to play! Why do I have a feeling that we are going to be playing hard rock on the ocarina any day now... little do the boys know that I want to learn some Barbra Streisand tunes!

Jorgie with her fancy green ocarina!

Belting it out!

Just imagine the sounds that were occurring in our school!

Maya had NO idea why we were making such crazy noises!

Practicing our notes!

The awesome PINK ocarina! I love it.

Latin Class!


I have to say, I was a little hesitant when ordering computer software to help teach the kids Latin. I took Latin for three years in high school, but back then we spent all our time conjugating verbs in written form and now I remember very little! I was not sure whether the kids would really enjoy learning Latin and I was prepared for at least one of them to reject the idea completely! However, I am happy to report that all of the kids LOVE Latin, or at least they seem to be loving it! For anyone who is wanting to learn a language I fully reccommend investing in the Rosetta Stone software. It is perfect for people of all ages (hence the fact that it is working in our one-room school house!) What I really like about the program is that it emerges the students in the language! Everything is spoken in Latin and the kids can work at their own speed and I am blown away by what they already know from only using the program twice!

I love walking around the room hearing "puella bibit!" and " pueri edunt!" And when I asked one of my students if he wanted a little help with a phrase he was stuck on he replied, "Actually, I would really like to try to figure this out on my own." AWESOME! And I assure you he did!

I am visioning a future "Monhegan School Latin Club!" 

Ipsa scientia potestas est!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Winter Trail Poetry

We have continued to write trail poetry through the winter months. Last week we went on a rather wet and icy walk through the Red Ribbon trail. Even on the gray days the trails on our island are just beautiful. 

The kids took pictures and wrote free verse poems. As always the did a beautiful job. Kids poetry is so simple, honest, and to me... perfect.

I hope you enjoy.

The Red Ribbon

Ice and snow
All over
In the trees and on the ground

Trees standing near
Each other
Ready for the wind

Through the winding path
Over the frozen path

Into the dark tunnel
Of tightly packed trees

And out we emerge from
The Red Ribbon

- D. Burroughs

Red Ribbon Trail

when I walk through the woods
some parts are dark
but there is always light
even in the darkest places
it was so silent I could hear the wind
it is a snapshot
you will never see again

- A. Bruckman

Red Ribbon

the days are getting warmer
the rain is coming to melt the snow

the sledding days are gone
the days are getting longer

the trails are getting slushy
the light is breaking through the clouds

this very trail will be filled with animals
the days will shine as bright as my heart

- Q. Burroughs

Red Ribbon

The smell of pine hangs there in the air
Thick with snow

Running through the snow
Not knowing where to go

Just following prints in snow
People walk the paths of white

To gaze upon the yellow river haunted of the glow
Of dawns since passed.

- G. Church

The Red Ribbon Trail

I see white snow.

I hear blowing branches.

I feel cold toes.

I smell strong pine.

I think we will be home.

- J. Bruckman

Friday, January 22, 2010

January BINGO

Our first BINGO of 2010 was a success. Our theme for our prizes this month was "things to keep you entertain during winter on Monhegan!" It was Jorgie and Arlo's first BINGO experience and they were naturals. We decided as a school to send all the donations we collected this month to the relief efforts happening in Haiti. 

Our prizes this month included a whoopie cushion, a FBI dress up set, false teeth, a "clapper", and a facial disguise! All can provide hours of fun during the long Monhegan winter!

Quinny did a terrific job giving the opening speech of the night. He will make a great president some day!!

Good turn out for the end of January!

Arlo was a BINGO calling pro!

People of all ages LOVE BINGO!

We had a stranger at BINGO! Hmmm.

Jorgie's turn to call!

Billy B. got back his lucky streak, winning two games!

He won the clapper! 

Dalton calling some lucky numbers.

Double loving for Maya.

Jorgie checking MaJORIE's card!

And what do the middle schoolers do while they are not calling numbers? My sixth grader is reading...

And my eighth grader is sleeping. They are SUCH middle schoolers.

At least Quinny is getting in on some BINGO playing.

Dori was another big winner of the night! She won the whoopie cushion!

Gabe looks so old calling numbers.

Jorgie calling another game.

Okay, so Pam wasn't the champion... BUT Billy B. gave her "a Hundred Grand" (bar)! So really, she was the biggest winner of them all.

And of course everyone want's to know...WHO IS THE CHAMP!? 
Muffy Pendergast!!
She won the champion prize of the "BINGO shield" to protect her against the winter months!


Jorgie in her super awesome "teacup" sled!

Daltini doing a sledding "belly-flop"
We had a little extra excitement when one of the trucks went into the ditch, BUT we kept sledding.

Even our Truman Officer came out to make sure we were doing school appropriate activities and join in the fun!

Maya loves sledding class.

I am happy to report I was finally able to make it all the way down Horn's Hill, thanks to my sledding teachers: Gabe and Dalton.

Excuse me, is that the teacher leading the pack?

Quinny and Maya racing down the hill.

Arlo and Chaco right behind!

I think Maya is trying to wipe Gabe out by eating his hand!

At the beginning of this week we had a last minute schedule change and decided instead of photography for special we needed to take advantage of the amazing, white, sticky, fluffy snow and go SLEDDING!

The best part of sledding on Monhegan is all the other "big kids" who join us on Horn's Hill (and all the dogs too!) We had a blast having a sledding derby with everyone who came out. Good thing we decided to sled at the beginning of the week, because the roads have already turned to ice!