Friday, May 31, 2013

Goodbye, Butterfly

It often takes a while for any important occasion to take place.  This was true for the release of the butterflies flying from Ms. Hicks' first grade classroom into their new outside home.

While they were waiting, the kids reflected upon how they felt about saying goodbye.

"I'm happy," said Adam, "because the butterflies are going to find a whole new world out there."

"I'm happy and sad," said his friend.  "Sad because I wanted them to stay with us, but happy because this means they can go make other butterfly friends."

Finally it was time.

Songs were sung.

"Caterpillar, caterpillar, what do you say?
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle all of the day!"

Dances were danced and then...

Good wishes and butterfly-decorated noisemakers sent the butterflies on their way.

In a moment, they were gone. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Time is Running Out!

Do you want a Perkins' School t-shirt?  If so, you'd better get on it.  Your order form and $14 have to be in the main office by this Thursday. (ps--that's tomorrow!) 

Don't lose this opportunity to have a new shirt for the summer and to help the Perkins School fund their art supplies for next year.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We Read, We See, We Learn

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Ms. Hick's first grade class has been studying the life cycle of the butterfly.  

Just is case this is new to you, it starts with a butterfly laying eggs, which eventually hatch into caterpillars.  The caterpillars eat and grow.  When it's time for them to transform, they they spin a chrysalis around themselves to stay protected.  Finally the new butterfly breaks out into the world of sun, flowers, food, and more butterflies.  

The kids learned about this marvelous transformation in many ways.  They read about it, of course.  Ms. Hicks explained the facts. They also experienced the best kind of learning.  They watched the process with their own eyes!

They had a butterfly garden.

They could watch the caterpillars eat and grow.

They could see the caterpillars spin their protective sacs.  They also got to see them hatch!

What's next?

Monday, May 20, 2013

The People have Spoken!

Well, we have our three winners.

If you haven't been following the t-shirt design story, the Perkins School is working with Rightside Shirts to make t-shirts as a way to raise money for well needed art supplies.  All the kids who wanted to, made a piece of art that could possibly be put on the shirts. 

Last week, the kids voted for their favorite designs.  And here they are...

Or, at least here are the artists showing the winning numbers of the designs that were used to conceal their identities.  

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And now, introducing the decorations for our new t-shirts with their makers!  Pick your favorites, ladies and gentlemen, the order forms will be available soon. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Voting Day: May the Best Designs Win

As mentioned before, Thursday was Voting Day for the Perkins School.  The whole student body was deciding which three of the nine finalists should be the designs put onto our Perkins t-shirts.  Here are our candidates:

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As you can see, each picture has a number.  That number is an easy way for a student to designate which is his or her favorite choice. It also covers the artist's name so people will vote for the design and not the person who made it.  The three drawings that get the most votes will be the winners.

Learning to vote in privacy so you can keep your choices secret (if you want to) is a little confusing at first.

The kids eventually got the hang of it.

A few kindergartens needed a hand, though, when their favorite picture was labeled with the hardest number to write!

Fold up your ballot when you put it into the box and no one knows how you voted.  That's one of the privileges of our democracy.

Some people didn't mind revealing their choices.  And, that's okay too.  

One first grader announced, "I liked number two."  Then a classmate got angry for a moment, saying, "You copied me!"  Sometimes it takes a while to realize it's good for people to be on your side when you're voting for something.

These kids all went for #5.  "I liked it because it was so creative," remarked one of them.  That unattached hand to the right of the picture is pointing to #7.  That was her choice.  Why?  "I love the earth," she answered.

So many kids, so many opinions.  What designs will win.  Come back Monday to find out.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

And the T-shirt Finalists Are...

As you know, the Perkins School is having t-shirts made as a way to raise money for well needed art supplies.  All the kids who wanted to, made a piece of art that could possibly be put on the t-shirts.  If you go back to our posts from last week, you can read all about it.

Rightside Shirts has selected nine designs for us to vote on.  The top three will be offered for sale with the profits being donated for next year's art supplies.


If you can't get a good look at them from this perspective, a couple of our kids also offered to present them to you.

Start the debates.  Think about your favorites.  The vote for the winners will be tomorrow!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

We Love Those Teachers!!!

You may not have known, but last week was Teacher Appreciation Week.  Luckily Ms. Correa and the Parents Council for the Perkins School were very aware of the occasion.  

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Thanks to them, Friday was the...

Teachers' Luau! 

There was great food. Many different choices.  No poi, though; it's very hard to find in South Boston or probably any part of Boston.

It was a nice time to sit and relax and enjoy each others' company.  Let alone, feel appreciated.

Even the Perkins' author-in-residence and blog master.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Our last post showed you some of the great designs Perkins kids created for our t-shirt art supply fundraising project.  Of course, there were many, many more, but we couldn't put them all on the blog.  Admiring them would take up your entire day.

We did, however, want to give today's space to some artwork devoted to a special subject.  Several students decided to use their drawings to reflect upon a subject that has been on all of our minds--sad thoughts, but also a celebration of our friends, families and city.  

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013


 Art  inspiring.  creative.  fundraising??

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The Perkins School has embarked on a project with Rightside Shirts.  This young nonprofit company raises money for youth art education by selling t-shirts designed by students.  One hundred percent (that's right, 100%) of the profits are given back to the school to fund art programs and supplies. 

The whole process starts with all our kids drawing or painting or sketching anything they want to.  Here are just a few examples of our kids' contributions.

Jeff and Dylan, the co-founders of Rightside, come to collect the art.  Then they have a hard job as well.  They select five to ten drawings from all these masterpieces as possible candidates for the three(?) to be printed on the t-shirts.  

Normally they would just pick those three themselves.  

We, however, do things the Perkins Way.  

We taught our kindergarteners the basics of democracy by having them vote to name the crane that helped build Phase One of Old Colony.  We reinforced the lesson for Ms. Murphy's second graders when they learned how to campaign, vote, and win or lose gracefully while deciding their class pet.  Now, Leo the leopard gecko is beloved by all.

This time we will have a school-wide election.  We will vote to select which designs will appear on our t-shirts.  Democracy at work.

 Once the t-shirts are made, Perkins kids and our community will be able to buy them for $14, with the profits of that sale feeding our budget for next year's art supplies.

Jeff and Dylan will also decide if one of those designs will go onto the Rightside web site ( to be sold to the world!  Again those profits would come back to the Perkins to fund art.

What's going to happen?

Which designs will be voted on?

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Inch by Inch

The Garden Song starts with the chorus: 
"Inch by inch, row by row,
Gonna make this garden grow."

Learning works much the same way.  A new idea or lesson or observation builds upon the last, then another and another.  That's how we learn and acquire knowledge.  Ironically the way Ms. Hicks' first grade class applied this type of learning has been with plants and gardens.

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First they explored their senses.  One thing they thought about is how they can use all their senses to learn about something.

Smelling beautiful scents and seeing bright colors is a plus, especially when your next science unit is about plants.  Of course, it's also important to learn how plants get the energy and nutrients they need to grow.

The kids' senses came into play again as their unit moved to learning about water and watched different ways that it moves.  Grownups might think of these processes as the hydrologic cycle and osmosis; those words are fine, too.

Then it was time to put all these ideas and lessons together and into action--a test, an experiment.  The kids put one group of white flowers into a cup of regular water just to see what would happen to the flowers normally (that's called a control group).  They put other white flowers into cups of water tinted by food coloring. WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?



The kids wrote up their observations.  After all, that's what scientists do.