Student Led Workshops

Student-led WorkshopsLate winter saw the introduction of our first Student Led Workshops. It was an opportunity for several students to step forward and show what they know! The students did a magnificent job of pre-planning. meeting with their teacher sponsors, and taking the reins on Friday. Activities included, Trailblazing, led by Zanzi, Acrobatic Tumbling, led by Azura and Chatalain, Spring Crafts led by Alexa, Pillow Making with Jake, and an Animal Workshop with Sydney​.

“I was very impressed by their preparation,” said Ms. Audrey of Azura and Chatalain, the students she sponsored.

“Alexa had everything down, from set up, to a final checklist to make sure that everyone had all their treasures to take home that day,” Ms. Megan expressed of her student sponsoree.

Ms. Genevieve, who sponsored Zanzi, shared, “Zanzi had a great place all picked out. It’s so unique, with covered bowers…. his full class will return to continue the excavation.”

Nathan joined Ms. Sonya to learn how to be a photojournalist.

“I had a ball working with Nathan and having him be my cameraman. He kept saying, Thank you! Thank you so much!” said Sonya. “The entire experience was led by students and documented by a student. It was a very special day.”

We hope to have a second round of ​student led workshops near the end of our school year. You will thoroughly enjoy viewing the short video of the workshops, filmed and co-edited by
Nathan Here. View photos here.

Now Enrolling Ages 3 – 12!

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Meet the Gods!

DSC_0022Last week the 5th/6th graders ended their Unit on Greek Mythology with a delightful Greek Festival. For hours you could smell the aroma of leg of Lamb cooking on a spit up in the loft. By 3:00 the parents were rolling in with Greek salads and hummus and Greek feta and black olives. It was a feast!  There was ancient Greek Music, Greek food, Greek stories and a short Greek Play introducing some of the Greek Gods and their Myths. The students had a fun time dressing as the Gods from Mount Olympus and learning the stories about their births, loves and tragedies. Vinnie played the part of Zeus and he said, “ the play was amazing but sadly we didn’t have Tahsis.” Chatalain played the part of Hera, and said, “My favorite part of the Greek play was dressing up and getting ready. I liked how everybody got the jokes and were laughing.” Azura was dressed as the wise and lovely Athena and her favorite part was, “ I liked acting and learning our lines and getting ready. I also like hearing the parents laugh.” Akasha was delighted and charmed our audience as the beautiful Aphrodite. “My favorite part was having two boys fighting over me.” And Sydney played a youthful Hebe. She said, “I really liked that everybody enjoyed it.”

Avignon and Nathan were filing in for Ares and Apollo and both of them were excellent actors. They asked when the play was done, “Can we be in the next play?”

The day ended with lots of laughter and lots of fun…a day to remember! View photos and videos here.

A Medieval Faire To Remember

IMG_0539The parents and siblings of Miss Megan’s 3rd and 4th grade class were delighted with their end of unit presentation on Medieval Times. For the 3rd and 4th graders this was their moment to showcase their learning. For Miss Megan, it was her moment to try something new and design an Open House with her class in a different way. What a success it was! Miss Megan was able incorporate the elements of what her class was learning, not only in the classroom, but in all areas here at PRS and most uniquely with the specialists. Miss Megan’s goal was to present the true picture of what her students engage in while studying a 6 week Themed Unit.  She said, “Our end of unit Open Houses are designed to highlight all the good learning and doing that each child in the class has done over the course of the unit.” She continued, “I have tried many different formats of Open House to try and achieve this goal. I have tried ones with food, one with big presentations, ones combined with other classes. None of them felt like parents left with a true perception of the well-rounded education their children were getting. It occurred to me that I was missing a crucial piece. The specialists.”

“By including the specialists, parents got to see the colorful, and joyful art created with Ms. Jeannie. Parents had an opportunity to see a Medieval fire making demonstration from Ms.Genevieve. Mr. Neil had a catapult demonstration where he told us about the purpose of the catapult in Medieval times. Ms. Sonya had students demonstrate the ancient art of archery. Then parents were invited to experience the lesson for themselves and got to shoot a few arrows. My hope is that parents left feeling positive that their child is in the best learning environment possible. A learning environment that doesn’t just include time in the  classroom.” said Ms. Megan.

The response from the students was enthusiastic. Nathan said, “It was awesome! We learned a lot about how they built the castles. We learned about the parts of castles. like the great hall, the keep, and the drawbridge. We also learned about some magic and the parts of armor on knights and other things, like their weak spots. I really liked to draw pictures of castles in art, archers and knights, and we also got to write in cursive.”

Deka also liked the hands-on project of making castles, ”We did learn a lot about knights and stuff…and how they used to build castles. Now they build it out of stones. I liked that a lot of the parents came and looked at my castle. It was fun!”

The “Themed Unit Book” was Avignon’s favorite part, he said, “probably making my feudalism page, because I felt really good about it when it was done. I had a lot of fun learning about castles. It was fun to share the castles with parents and do the archery thing.”

All classes and teachers were invited to come and see the students’ display of castles. The other classes were inspired, moved and awed by the work they saw coming from these remarkable students.

Our Themed units capture the children’s attention for the times and people of a particular age.  This Unit offered a glimpse into the Medieval Times for these students to understand, learn, be inspired by and engage in the activities from our specialists. This wide variety of learning is fun and can only broaden their knowledge base and offer them more potentials for their future. For photos click here. For a short video of students presenting their castles click here.

Santa’s early Christmas gift!

Nazila and Jan_editChristmas arrived early in our administrator’s office when two beautiful people arrived overflowing with good cheer and goodies. They moved into the admin office and started organizing, creating and loving our front office into life. Wow! Check them out! Just peek in the front door and you can hear the office humming with excitement. These two new angels are Nazila Mirani, our new School Administrator and Jan D’Hooge our Bookkeeper and Database Coordinator.

Nazila was born in Iran and received her B.A. in English from Shiraz Azad University, in Shiraz, Iran. She is proficient and certificated in Human Resource Management, and graduated with honors from Seneca College, in Toronto, where she lived for 10 years. She has over 17 years of office administration experience. Nazila also administrated government funded youth and adult programs, serving over 1700 students and over 1200 adults yearly. She lives in Rainier with her husband, Kent Cissna, 1 dog and 3 cats.

Jan has 20 Years management experience in Finance and Business. She is currently studying for a degree in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology, with a special focus in Holistic Nutrition and Urban Farming.  She is the mother of Adam who is a student in Ms Melody’s room. Jan also has two older children; her daughter Alyssa who frequently assists in our Early Childhood rooms, and her older son Alex who lives in Chehalis. You will recognize Jan as one of our hard-working volunteers.

Jan and Nazila would like to say, “We are  honored and delighted to have this valuable opportunity to be part of the Phoenix Rising School and to serve our great community. Being around our children and seeing their cheerful faces is an absolute delight that words cannot express. Please feel free to stop by anytime during the school hours, or even after hours, for a chit chat.”