Beginning with the class trip to Haw River and continuing during the week of September 7th, sixth graders were engaged in a number of academic, outdoor, and team-building activities. These activities were designed to help the class of 2016 bond, integrate the many wonderful new students who have joined us and begin to think about themselves as leaders and learners.

Each of the core teachers (assisted by Mrs. Hanawald, Mrs. Maynard, and Mrs. Gillespie along with Dr. King, Dr. Dickinson and Mrs. Vance) led an activity designed to help students build connections between outdoor experiences and academic study.

Students engaged in the following activities during these days:

At Haw River State Park on September 2nd, students learned survival skills, solved problems that required cooperative learning, and experienced a simulated Underground Railroad escape. They also had opportunities to simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings and interact with their classmates and advisors.

Headacres Farm provides students with the opportunity to visit a working farm four times throughout the year. On this visit, students were introduced to all aspects of the farm. They met the animals (including goats, chickens, and cows) and learned about the crops grown on the farm. Students also received their solo spot assignments. This is a spot on the farm with which they will become closely acquainted during their next visits. Ask your child about their "solo spot."

On campus, students completed a close study of the features of Greensboro Day School's environment and ecology.

Mark Hale, our Head of School, visited the sixth graders and asked the students to assist in choosing the best location for a new middle school building on campus. He asked students to consider the features of the current property and outlined which buildings must stay and which might go. Students used Google Earth, Google Maps and the Guilford County website to get an aerial view of GDS. They surveyed the campus, paced the perimeter of the property and determined the size of the existing buildings. Students then attempted to draw a scale map of the property. Finally, using salt dough, students formed a 3 dimensional map of the property and studied where a new middle school could be situated.

Another important area of our campus is our pond. The sixth graders spent time assessing the pond and using surveying skills to try to estimate the pond's size and depth. In addition, students investigated the concept of buoyancy by conducting several experiments and recording their observations. Their understanding of the pond and bouyancy will become important in the future and will help students plan their boat design in our next math unit.

Finally, the sixth graders investigated the ecological footprint of three different sites on our campus. Students used field books to identify trees, bushes, insects, and birds in those sites. The field notes they took will be added to a database which will be used in the future as the Greensboro Day School landscape is developed.