As people spend more time indoors, ecotherapy has emerged as a way to help rebuild our relationships with nature—and improve mental and physical health. James Hamblin visits San Francisco to learn more. This piece brought to us by The Health Benefits of Going Outside.
On December 6, the Lower School Model United Nations Conference was held downtown at the City Hall Chambers. During the day twelve MUS students presented resolutions in committees with topics ranging from HIV/AIDS prevention in Cote D'Ivoire to Training Kuwaiti Business Man Power. The day was full of spirited debate among students from nine different schools.
By the afternoon General Assembly we had one representative team present their resolution. Seventh graders, Bo Abby and Blake Sexton, represented Panama and presented their resolution dealing with combating drug trafficking. Their resolution did not pass, however, the boys did a great job in representing their country.
By the end of the afternoon MUS won a number of awards. Eighth graders, Trey Fussell and Bailey Keel, received the award for Outstanding Resolution. Their resolution dealt with seeking aid in improving oil, natural gas, and petroleum production in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
MUS also has two students who were recognized as Outstanding Delegates. Arjun Puri, eighth grade, represented Kuwait, and Trey Fussel, Democratic Republic of the Congo, were both recognized as Outstanding Delegates.
The Conference was a great success for our students, and we look forward to their future participation in the Model United Nations.
Sometimes our boys struggle with what the mathematicians describe as "number sense," arithmetic understood by the boy in his mind, being able to see the problem as a notion, a model, conceptualizing just what is going on inside of a math equation.
For example, when we notice that a boy has difficulty transferring a diagrammed football play to his placing himself in correct position on the field, we think it is likely that he could also have difficulty seeing what is going on with an arithmetic concept. By working through the play, the boy begins to connect the concept to life on the field, repetition, correction, experience...success!
In similar fashion, these visualizations are designed to work for kids experiencing various math applications. How about some old-fashioned tech that looks a lot like a football play as a way to see what multiplying 3 x 5 looks like? These drawings are employed to teach arithmetic concepts to through arrays:
Now, what’s the benefit of this visual model? Ah, where to begin! Without it, you’re multiplying from behind a blindfold. Tear that cloth from your eyes, and begin to see!
Take the distributive property, a seemingly opaque bit of symbolism that says a(b+c) = ab + ac. Its misuse haunts algebra teachers’ nightmares. But it’s no mystery—just a simple fact about adding two arrays together.
Well, if you're interested in this kind of visual aid, then you will want to investigate further. Here it is.
With exams being less than two weeks away, I would like to let you know about the Exam Study Program that will be beginning Monday, December 8. The program meets at night in the Hyde Library and provides a quiet, distraction free setting in which students can study for exams. Mr. Joe Tyler, instructor in mathematics and cross country coach, proctors the sessions. The schedule is as follows:
Monday, December 8 through Thursday, December 11 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. (4 sessions this week)
Monday, December 14 through Thursday December 18 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. (5 sessions this week)
I encourage you to consider taking advantage of this valuable resource. Here are some highlights of the program:
Mr. Tyler works to make sure students stay on task.
Students are not allowed to use cell phones, but they do have access to the computers in the library.
During the sessions students are able to confer with peers in the program to ensure understanding of content or to receive peer tutoring.
Students fill out a report nightly stating what time they arrived, what time they left, and what they accomplished while there.
The cost is $50 total for the 9 sessions. That’s less than $2 per hour!
To enroll your son in the program, simply reply by email to let me know your son will be attending.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, if you're required as a twelve-year-old to record your grades in the back of the Assignment Book as you would record a check in a check register, you might be a MUS Lower Schooler.
The same goes for a lot of student expectations around here: planning, organization, basic personal responsibility. Exam prep. Locker organization. Notebook organization. Whew...
Yes, the boys are still school children, and we know that, and we remind ourselves of the same when we notice the tears well up, but these boys are growing into what a real competitive environment requires, all the while with one eye cut toward arriving at eighteen as a functioning adult.
More, we hand them car keys around fifteen years, so we simply do not have much more time to instill the civility and discipline required in order for them to navigate uncivil society.
Yeah, we know. It's scary out there. So for now, we expect inconsistency and volatility among these minions, but we should also expect clear evidence of gradual, measurable progress in the right direction.
Not so much progress.
Our philosophy and practice: The best defense against the uncertain world is a good offense, and that preparation begins now, today, both here and at home. Woe be unto the kids who arrive at State U actually exerting personal accountability for the first time. Thankfully, the MUS parents and their children will not be among those who panic.
Pretty descriptive, actually. Maybe a Pow Owl? Beginning sharply at 8:15 a.m. in the Wunderlich Auditorium of the Campus Center, all interested parents are welcome to regroup, listen to Mr. Smythe lay out the roadmap as all take stock of their sons' exam approach while setting their sights on the summer and classes next year. Micro to macro. This is not a mandatory meeting. No judgment passed for not showing up.
Come only if you think you want to ask questions and gain some larger framework for approaching the next semester leading into the last year (eighth grade) before high school. A lot of adjustment hits the boys during MUS Lower School, and sometimes it is helpful for parents to commiserate among themselves as they see that most households share similar anxieties and challenges.