So many things…all in a day’s work
Sacred geometry, science experiments, and literacy – all in a day’s work. Maybe not even a day’s work, but in the span of an hour and a half, students experienced some incredible learning.
It was mid-morning, and students were well-immersed in their classes.
Teachers create units that complement each other. Today’s activity included vocabulary words that would come up in science class later in the morning. Students were likely not familiar with them.
Susan, their teacher, had them study the list of words for two minutes. We love that some kiddos wanted to know why they needed to study and memorize them. Susan had them “sit tight” because they would find out in a few minutes.
At the end of the two minutes, students turned their papers over and had one minute to write down the words they remembered. Afterward, some folks remembered 2, 3, or 5 words, and one student had 15!
Some students had words from an “A” list, or from a “B” list. The words on each list had different characteristics. Some words were bold, some were in alphabetical order, and more.
Students discussed their strategies for memorization. One student said he memorized words in groups. Another said she put a description with each word. Others mentioned eliminating words that were too long, repeating different words over and over, and some tried writing them down.
The idea here was that It’s important to try different learning strategies. By doing so, students can figure out what works best for them, and what doesn’t. By sharing ideas, everyone could learn a strategy that maybe they hadn’t tried previously.
Next came cutouts of the vocabulary words. Students split into groups of 3 (with 8 vocabulary words each) or 4 (with 6 vocabulary words each) to collaborate and separate their vocabulary into categories. They were allowed to discuss and work together to do so. Susan instructed them not to worry about words they didn’t know, but to work together to see if someone else knew the meaning. If not, they could use deductive reasoning to separate them out.
What a way to learn vocabulary. Students had some fun and challenging approaches to learning new words. They will then relate them back to their science learning, as well as tie their different classes together to touch on the different domains. The lessons on this day emphasized the mental and creative domains.
Across the hall, another Omega class studied art history and math. It wasn’t just another garden-variety middle school class, however. Their teacher, Mark, was incorporating elements of sacred geometry.
Sacred geometry is an area of intense interest for Mark. In fact, he’s publishing a book on the subject soon.
While in his class, students studied Renaissance paintings and works by Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Verocchio, and others.
Da Vinci and math
While listening to Mark’s lecture, students were quite riveted with the presentation. Mark mentioned how Da Vinci was a great artist, AND used mathematics heavily in his work.
Incredibly, perspective and sacred geometry came into play. The proportions of the human body, for example, represent universal sacred geometry parameters. Da Vinci’s paintings include so much symbolism as well as “hidden” geometry, especially in his human subjects.
For example, one might be able to find evidence of the sacred spiral or even phi ratios in different Da Vinci paintings.
Students had a chance to try their hand at creating their own works of sacred geometry. They used a compass and ruler and made their own golden rectangles, along with sacred spirals.
They also saw examples of how those patterns show in up nature on the most minute scale (such as with tiny seashells) all the way up to a universal scale, such as with spiral galaxies.
Back in the science classroom, the Omega group that had become vocabulary masters began delving into their new science unit.
They began an investigation involving the standard egg. They chose to either do an “egg-speriment” or “what about other eggs” for their research.
The eggs-periment involved observing changes in an egg and recording those observations. The latter assignment gave students the opportunity to study an egg-laying creature to investigate.
Both projects required entries into student science journals, presentations, making models, and writing effective science reports.
Omegans have a rich curriculum
All these interesting subjects, all by the noontime hour! We can only imagine what happened after lunch. All in a day’s work.