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Posts Tagged ‘learning’

The kids loved exploring Art Tech last week – a pop up event of kid art and technology activities that they could explore.  For some reason the ‘large ball pit’ is so much more challenging than little balls.  I love how hands-on everything was … making cars in the ‘Velocity’ learning zone, racing them down various tracks, building structures with gears and brackets, and a wall that had pivoting tiles that react to your shadow.  Tomorrow is the last day to try this out so check it out while you can!

http://cmany.org/classes-and-activities/events/artech-adventures-art-technology/

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this wall’s tiles move when a shadow passes over! So cool! attachments-5attachments-6attachments-7attachments-8IMG_7461

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is pretty fabulously diverse. It’s why we moved here. It’s why we raise our kids here.

That’s Ezra to the right in a photo taken by his dad (below). His last school – and most of our neighborhood – is predominantly Spanish speaking or Asian/South East Asian and Bangladeshi, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese.

My in laws joke that if they want to travel the world, all they have to do is come and visit us.

We all live on top of each other with the same goals: love our kids, stay well, help our kids thrive. When I travelled to India and South East Asia that was my takeaway – we all seem culturally different but we really have so much in common.
And kids in Ezra and Zoe’s classes are hungry for knowledge .. future doctors and lawyers and teachers. The gratefulness for opportunity is palpable – when you cross a border or an ocean to do something new for yourself you don’t sit around waiting for opportunity. You find it and take it. It’s a great vibe to be around.

Recently everyone’s been seeming and feeling a little scared, even if here legally. It’s ironic to me that the President elect is from Queens. I think he’s lost touch with his origins – but then realize that I’m assuming something that younger New Yorkers experience. Maybe he grew up in Queens when Archie Bunker’s character was developed? See here.

It never occurred to me that having my kids in a dual-language Spanish speaking program (or that our neighbors have their kids learning Chinese) would be an ‘elitist’ endeavor. I thought growing globally was a ‘looking toward the future’ thing that we were all on board with. It’s ironic how you perceive ‘success in the future’ as one thing, and then it can in theory shift so quickly. I can’t imagine now that we know how to access global information so readily, we would want to shut it out so thoroughly. But only time will tell.

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and scenes from Zoe’s Multicultural Day Celebrations at school:
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Doctor’s Without Borders (known as MSF of Medicines Sans Frontieres) put on a moving exhibit in NYC.  The kids got a glimpse of what it might be like to live as a refugee or fleeing, and were asked as we moved through the exhibit to eliminate a card at each station.  We got to CHOOSE 5 cards representing things we might consider fleeing with:  Clothes, medicine, toys, etc.  As we moved along through the show there were circumstances that caused you to leave things behind.   At the end there were fascinating interviews with refugees and MSF worker in a virtual reality booth – where you could wear viewing goggles to view the interview, and feel like you were really in the camp at the same time.

 

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When Ezra is in his summer frame of mind, it’s not easy getting my boy to leave the couch and stop his reading and go off to another place for ‘camp’ daily.  This year we got him into a day camp at the school that he will be newly attending in the fall.  We figured this was a good way to get him familiar with the place and – as it turned out – he got to ‘put his mark’ on the place a bit as well by fixing up the building’s roof garden.  He had a wonderful experience with the Urban Design and Sustainability Program via Beyond Organic Design (see him sawing some wood in the blog here!)  He was so proud of the ‘Amelia’s Garden’ mural that he painted, as well as bird houses he made and we were so amazed by how much compost, gardening, and natural pest removal info he has in his head now!

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Ezra and his friend Miguel explain their dream garden layout.

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noshing on fresh veggies

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showing dad the ropes

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Zoe sneaks a cupcake

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E and Z’s dad has been shooting for the World Science Festival for awhile now, and this year they’ve decided to do some ‘satellite’ Cities of Science exhibits to spread the interest over all 5 boroughs!    As always the kids love this hands-on approach to learning new things about brains, gravity, and motion.  Here are a few shots of the fun via my own camera!

 

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turns out Zoe really likes learning about brains!

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We love Ezra’s public school for all its enrichment programs – especially via the music department.  Since Ezra has been drumming for the rock band and concert band at school (see his video/moves here at the bottom of the page) he’s been able to go to City Winery and see a band prep for a show.  They got to meet the band ‘The Mountain Goats‘ and watch them warm up, and even got to ask the musicians a number of questions directly .

 

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the band members, waiting for the performing band!

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Well it’s that time of year again: time to make a poster board covered with information for the Science Fair at Ezra’s school. We like to do this as a Feb break project. When trapped indoors in the cold it’s always fun to turn to science for some lessons! Last year’s science project (documented below) involved making casein from regular hot milk and vinegar. Basically you can make plastic out of mammalian milk, which in the end pretty much grossed me out. But Ezra got a good lesson from it and even got a yellow ribbon on his board! This year we are going to try our hand at making BUTTER .. with a lot of shaking. I hope. Stay tuned! (And to see more on casein, click here.)

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