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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

March 22, 2018
A Legacy

Book: George's Secret Key to the Universe

Balance,Design and Collaboration: Creative Mobiles

Standing on My Handwriting Soapbox...Again!

Handwork for De-Stressing
Fun Events!
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  A Legacy

(0 March 2018) Book_Illustration_secretkeytotheuniverse_hawking6.jpgStephen Hawkins, an amazing and determined human, being has left us with inspiration, an example of overcoming adversity and a delightful children's book.

Please recommend our newsletter to new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always the many fun events!

Enjoy the wet weekend with the family and make yourselves get into the woods or along the beaches by the ocean!  Parmalee

Illustration: Garry Parker, George's Secret Key to the Universe

 

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  Book: George's Secret Key to the Universe

(0 March 2018) Book_georges-secret-key.jpg"In 2007, Hawking wrote George's Secret Key to the Universe  - a charming, imaginative story about the mesmerism of space and the allure of time-travel, featuring lovely semi-Sendakian crosshatch illustrations by Garry Parsons. What makes the book especially endearing is that Hawking co-wrote it with his daughter Lucy." Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"One morning, George - a little boy raised by lo-fi, bookish parents who believe technology is evil - discovers that his pet pig Freddy has disappeared. Befuddled, he traces Freddy's hoofprints to the neighboring house, where he meets a scientist named Greg and his daughter Annie."

 

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  Balance,Design and Collaboration: Creative Mobiles

Subtle balance is key to the distinctive mobiles designs of the late artist Alexander Calder, known for his kinetic sculpture. When asked years ago how he achieved subtle balance in his work, Calder reportedly replied, "You put a disk here and then you put another disk that is a triangle at the other end and then you balance them on your finger and keep on adding. I don't use rectangles - they stop. You can use them; I have at times but only when I want to block, to constipate movement."

(0 March 2018) MM_STEAM1.jpgMount Madonna School ninth grade students recently designed and built their own original mobiles inspired by Calder's work as part of a physics class unit on Center of Mass combined with modern art, abstract art, formula math, 3D printing and fabrication and collaboration. Teacher Lisa Catterall, a strong proponent for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics)-based creativity and learning, regularly engages students with hands-on problem-solving lessons.

"The ideal STEAM project includes a technology component, a self-expression question or prompt, the engineering design cycle, calculations, and a scientific concept," said Catterall. "They should be placed within a unit that includes habits of mind and 21st century skills such as collaboration, mindfulness, and self-discipline. I like to add a building skill and an art technique, although if you have the right balance of the other components the kids discover those as part of the process."

Working in small groups, the students created a mock-up of their mobile design. Freshman Ronan Lee said having a mock-up helped him learn about balance and see how the weight was distributed among the mobile pieces. Nearby, classmate Aria Huth twisted a fine aluminum wire together to form the outline of various leaf shapes for the "branches" of the mobile referencing reforestation that she was making with classmates Violet Forbes and Morgan Westbrook. Her teammates, meanwhile, soldered the wire segments together, and remarked that by far, the soldering had been the most challenging piece so far.

Students used an array of lightweight materials to fashion their mobiles - from shaped and cut hand-colored plastic sheets hardened and shrunk in a toaster oven (homemade Shrinky Dinks), to 3D filament pens, a 3D printer, cardboard, wool, paper, markers and colored pencils.

Freshman Samuel Caudill explained that he, along with classmates Wyatt Pope and Corey Mensinger, created a satirical look at what's wrong with our world and represents the "futility of life."

(0 March 2018) MM_Steam2.jpg"Our project has two sides. On one side, we have nutrition, (a carrot), happiness (a happy face), sunlight (the sun), and the American flag (for freedom or our government, however you decide to see it). All these items are within the corporate jail cell. On the other side, we have two additional branching paths. One represents school, and one representing social life. The school provides you with money and a degree, but the social life provides you with sports and relationships. As commentary, between these two paths we have a man who died trying to balance the two!"

"An interesting way to look at, or justify, building STEAM programs in schools is that STEAM modes of learning actually make students more creative and more empathetic," commented Catterall. "The same pathways that light up when students feel empathy light up when students are using art in school."

When students are allowed to express their own individual creativity and what is really true for them through their work, they begin to identify with it," she continued. "The true magic of STEAM education is that it allows all students to identify"The true magic of STEAM education is that it allows all students to identify with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. If a child can build a project using motion and engineering that expresses something about themselves and their personal context, they have suddenly discovered their inner engineer. with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. If a child can build a project using motion and engineering that expresses something about themselves and their personal context, they have suddenly discovered their inner engineer."

Mount Madonna School, serving students in PreK through Grade 12, sits on 355 beautiful acres of forest and meadows with vistas spanning the entire Monterey Bay.

 

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  Standing on My Handwriting Soapbox...Again!

(0 March 2018) Handwriting_MichaelMaury.jpgIs it possible you are a parent who was never taught how to write in cursive or are one of those teachers who does not know how to write in cursive and therefore does not teach cursive? i hope you will change your ways! Here's why:

What's Lost as Handwriting Fades

by Maria Konnikova

"... psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to declare handwriting a relic of the past. New evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep.

Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it's not just what we write that matters - but how." Read the entire article>>>

Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away

by James Doubek, NPR

"When people type their notes, they have this tendency to try to take verbatim notes and write down as much of the lecture as they can," Mueller tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "The students who were taking longhand notes in our studies were forced to be more selective - because you can't write as fast as you can type. And that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them." Read more>>>>

One more pet peeve! Has your child been taught how to hold a pencil?

(0 March 2018) LeftRightPencilHolding.jpgSet the pen on the v of the hand between the thumb and pointer finger and place the tip on the third finger. Clasp the pencil with the thumb and pointer finger about 3/4 of an inch from the tip. This gives maximum control of the quality of handwriting. Lefties will need to angle hand and paper their own unique way.

 

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  Handwork for De-Stressing

I've been following a few "famous people" who are effectively retired from former public roles. Some are busy with community and creative  endeavors, yet others can't seem to find interests beyond their sole life-long interest.  It's as if there is nothing else for them, in fact they seem terribly unhappy and very stressed.

Several articles related to this topic surfaced recently.  I'm sharing them, and some classes, with you because I believe handwork should be a part of everyone's life.

How busy hands can alter our brain chemistry Waldorf Handwork Field Sketching
Adult Crafts Boulder Creek Library Sewing Class Girls Night Out at The Art Factory
Knitting @ the Library Scotts Valley Live Oak Knitters Family Arts & Crafts Garfield Park Library
Sundays Seaside Crafts at Seymour Marine Center Origami  Club Have fun!

I'm guessing these aforementioned adults were not fortunate enough to be exposed to handwork in their early years. I feel sorry for them. I could not bear one day without an hour or so for painting, sewing, cooking, photography, knitting, gardening, caring for pets, etc. It's my treat to myself.

Doing something creative with one's hands is one of the all-time great de-stressors. In Santa Cruz County we have a few schools which offer a handwork curriculum for every grade level. When visiting schools, ask to see the handwork schedule. If there is none, and it's your child's school, what a great opportunity to research the topic and make suggestions. Of course there are many crafts and arts classes offered by private instructors.

  Fun Events!
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MARCH

CALENDAR

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Mount Madonna School Pre-K-12, Art & Play in Pre & K: Teddy Bear Day 4/13

 

Gateway School K-8, School Day Tour 4/17

 

Mount Madonna School Pre-K-12, Campus Tour 4/18

 

Santa Cruz Waldorf School Pre-8, Walk Through the Grades 4/19

 

ALL SCHOOL EVENTS

"Great ideas come to kids when they experience the sensory power of words, engage in connected activities, and pay close attention to famous writers' work."

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Story Writing Camp!

May 14 & 18

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CELEBRATION!

MARCH 24, 7:30 PM at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

MARCH 25, 2:00 PM at the Mello Center for the Performing Arts

Fourth Concert of the Santa Cruz Symphony's 2017-18 Classical Series

 

Secret Service on

preventing mass

shootings

2012

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Key to the Universe
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  Key to the Universe
Date:
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English Country Dance
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  English Country Dance
English Country Dancing
Date: The 4th Th of every month from 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Details: It's really, really fun!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 426-8621 view all details >>
     
Sheep to Shawl Fiber Arts Fair
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  Sheep to Shawl Fiber Arts Fair
Live Earth Farm
Date: 03/24/2018 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Ages: all
Details: Bring the family to participate in the process of bringing wool from the sheep to the shawl, including every step in between.
City: Watsonville Phone: (831)728-2032 view all details >>
     
 Santa Cruz Ballet Spring Show
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  Santa Cruz Ballet Spring Show
Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre
Date: Every day (Mar 24-Mar 25)
Ages: all
Details: Don't miss this exciting mix of dance!
City: Aptos Phone: (831) 479-6154 view all details >>
     
Key to the Universe
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  Key to the Universe
Date:
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Science Festival
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  Science Festival
Santa Cruz Learning Center
Date: 03/23/2018 at 4:00pm
Details: Experiments, hand on activities, 3-D printing, a bounce house and raffle prizes
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Key to the Universe
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  Key to the Universe
Date:
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Harp Festival
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  Harp Festival
Community Music School
Date: 03/25/2018 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Ages: all
Details: Santa Cruz Harp Festival - modern and historic music from all over the world on harps of all kinds
Special Instructions: donations gratefully accepted
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Key to the Universe
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  Key to the Universe
Date:
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Operation Surf
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  Operation Surf
Amazing Surf Adventures
Date: Every day (Mar 22-Mar 27)
Details: This event is held in support of the men and women whom have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom.
Special Instructions: Check locations
view all details >>
     
Key to the Universe
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  Key to the Universe
Date:
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Bay Area Science Festival Discovery Day
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  Bay Area Science Festival Discovery Day
Bay Area Teen Science
Date: 11/03/2018 from 11:00am to 4:30am
Details: Dynamic demonstrations, engaging experiments, geeky games and astounding activities for all ages!
City: San Francisco view all details >>
     
     
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