Archive for January, 2011

Food unit moves forward towards corn!

Read this article in the NY Times. Eat less- big surprise huh? Drink more water instead of sugary sodas- bigger surprise huh?

And this article states- “Just eat less!”

Our 4th & 5th grade students are becoming experts in the area of nutrition as they shared their investigations of Anthony’s not so healthy grocery bag of goodies.

The facts are...


Then we watched this quick video showing two guys trying to make corn syrup in their kitchen. It’s from the documentary- King Corn. Then we challenged them to find 10 products at home that contain corn. More to come on CORN!

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Salmon mobiles in motion

We are still swimming along on our salmon units. The salmon have not popped out of their eggs yet, but it will happen soon. We created salmon mobiles to greater demonstrate salmon life cycles. It’s been a lot of hands-on fun to integrate art into the garden. It is one way we get through the slow and cold part of the year. And the sun was shining too today!

1. Egg
2. Alevin
3. Fry
4. Smolt
5. Adult

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Taiwanese TV story about Orca?!?!? Yes!

We were visited by a Taiwanese TV station TVBS to interview us about our garden and compost program. Students shared their knowledge of these programs as they toured the school. This will be a great international media opportunity for us.

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The dangerous side of FOOD

With Lucky Charms & Easy Cheeze in my shopping cart, I kind of wondered if I was in a supermarket twilight zone. But no- there was a point to me picking up two shopping bags of junky junk food. We are continuing this year’s amazing exploration of food in all it’s forms. While we ate fresh, local, and organic Orca produce in the fall. We now explore the deep, dark, underbelly of processed American food products. The sugar, the fat, the preservatives- we know it’s bad, but do we really know what the bad things in it are? So we are exploring Nutrition Facts, giant agri-business, and the trifecta of unholy ingredients- Sugar, Salt, & Corn. Follow us as we go on a journey. Today we picked a product from this massive pile of food products and answered some simple questions:

1. Are any health claims being made by this product? Are there any nutrition facts or ingredients being emphasized?

2. What ingredients do you feel are negative in this product? Why? What nutritional facts tell you this is not a healthy product?

3. What ingredients do you feel are positive in this product? What nutritional facts tell you this is healthy?

4. Who do you think companies are trying to sell this product to? Why?

5. Look at the product and it’s ingredients. Share your observations.

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Salmon lifecycle posters in the hallway

The salmon were visited today for the 1st time by 3 classes. Both primary grade floors are constructing GIANT salmon life cycle comic books. Art & Science are beautiful together….

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Coho salmon return to Orca!

Today was a glorious day for Orca! We picked up our 2nd annual batch of Coho salmon eggs. 260 salmon eggs were put in our carefully prepared tank (45 degrees and a 7.1ph level). Last year we released them into Lake Washington from our designated spot in Seward Park. Hopefully we can repeat this and drop them in again on Earth Day 2011! Students will be learning about salmon life cycles and habitats. Come check the eggs out in the greenhouse!

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MLK march! Raising awareness of poverty and hunger.

Our annual MLK march to celebrate the fight for social justice happened today with an amazing new twist. The school collectively decided to address hunger in our community by having each student bring two dollars to donate to the food bank. We raised almost $2000! It was a beautiful march down the street from Orca to Rainier Ave.- complete with homemade signs and students chants. This annual event really displays our commitment to students using their voices and their minds to create change and embody the spirit of Dr. King. The Rainier Valley Food Bank could really use the money and they were very happy and honored to receive it. Thank you to Mr. C’s class for helping organize this new angle!

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