Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Austin Animal Center

This picture is priceless
There are several of us at the schoolhouse who adore animals, so we decided to take a trip to visit the new Austin Animal Center facility. We took the #17 bus this morning and arrived with ample time to have a snack and run around the grounds. 

Sarah was our tour guide for the day. She informed us of what they do at the center and gave us lots of facts about the animals that lived there. The most important fact we learned was when you turn 13 you can come and volunteer with a parent or guardian! We were all buzzing with excitement when it was time to go see all the furry faces. We first saw the cats, kittens, puppies, and small dogs who were behind glass walls. They were ADORABLE!  Then we went to a special room where you could pet and hold the cats who were up for adoption. They were also, ADORABLE! 

Rio and a kitten
Learning about the microchip
Viewing the puppies
It was hard to leave the petting room, but we still had to see more of the facility. We were given special treats to give to the big dogs, and we all took turns handing them out. Yes, they were ADORABLE! We saw lots of caring volunteers who were walking the dogs around the center or just hanging out spending time with the animals. 


I'm adorable! 
Le mew

Renee giving out yummy treats
Amelia giving treats with Sarah


Jonas giving out treats

We ate lunch, wrote in our reflection journals, and hopped on the bus again to head back. But wait! We still had time, so we walked to Zaragoza Park where we had time to relax and enjoy the warm weather. What a great adventure.

Austin Animal Center

Friday, January 25, 2013

Visit to Jonas' House

We scheduled a special visit to Jonas' house for our weekly field experience. Everyone has been so excited to visit Jonas and see his space, and this morning we all were warmly welcomed by Rebecca, Adam, Jonas, and a very eager Marley (cute dog). We played with legos, chased Marley outside, made and ate homemade pizza, and walked to Brentwood park. It was a great day to be outside spending time with friends and loved ones. Thank you to the Hall family for having us over and welcoming us to your home.

Amelia and legos
Marley getting pets

Rio excited about pizza 

Big brother Adam helping out. 

Sy rolling his dough

Brentwood park

Renee loved this green machine. She was a pro! 

Rebecca and Marley

Visit to Jonas' house

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fort Progress and Lego Day

  The weather has been amazing this week, so naturally we've been outside working on our fort in the backyard. We came up with a general plan and added ladders, a dumb-waiter / climbing rope, and platforms to our structure. Its really coming along and we're planning a camp out to celebrate when we finish. 

Planning the trapped door and platforms.

Sy measuring the cedar poles

Renee lashing the new ladder/slide.  "You can use it however you like!"

The schoolhouse is a democratic learning community; individual freedoms exist within the web of community responsibility. We vote on issues during our Friday Rule Check-ins and ad-hoc Council Meetings. Council Meetings can be called by anyone, student or mentor, and everyone must stop what they're doing to help solve a conflict or come up with new policies. Each person has an equal vote, adults and youth alike.

We held a Council Meeting last week to discuss Lego time. At what point does a favorite pastime cross over into obsession? When do we seek balance and when do we go 100% in the pursuit of mastery? (A Lego master?! Ask this guy...) After much discussion, the council voted to have Lego Day every other Wednesday, with a 20 minute Trading Club every Wednesday and Friday. Our first Lego Day under this new rule was this Wednesday. We had a great morning building spectacular settings, various modes of transportation, and decking out our beloved Lego men and women with the latest in explorer gear. 

Check out the rest of the pictures! There are some from our monthly Family Park Day last Saturday at Brentwood Park, and a few from our picnic at the 8th St. tinypark on Tuesday. 
Forts and Legos cont.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Building with blocks

Building structures with wooden blocks has been a popular choice during self directed time. Several marble runs have been constructed as well as mazes, marble banks, or small games. Check out some of the creations! 

Jonas and Sy working on marble runs 

Sy's construction has several different paths, most which are interior

Renee and Amelia's made for the hexbug

Most are very specific and have hidden nooks or compartments

We also made school t-shirts using a silk screen and had a garden day outside. 


Marble run and building blocks