Thursday, April 19, 2012

6th Graders raise money for Water Well project

In our Digital Thinking class with Mrs. Kelland, the 6th Grade has been brainstorming ways that we can make a difference. We began by talking about things in the world that were important to us--animal abuse, hungry children, the environment, etc. After seeing the Traveling Teacher blog created by Mrs. Gross, we decided that provided clean drinking water for people in developing countries was a cause we could really get behind.
Our first step was to do research. Each Sixth Grade class divided into groups to find information. The groups we could choose from were organizations, engineering, global correspondents, ambassadors, and water health. Each group found information and presented to the class so we could be more aware of what was happening. Then, we began to brainstorm about what we could do to help!
Then, we chose new groups based on what our interest and expertise areas were. We could choose from creating fundraisers, choosing the organization to donate to, designing a public service announcement, and writing for the Grizzly Gazette and GFSGrizzlies twitter. Each group has been focusing on our areas. Our group all decided to work on Grizzly Gazette which is the Garrison Forest Middle School blog. The Grizzly Gazette is now being updated  more frequently and usually has something interesting to read or look at. We will be posting pictures and notes about different school events to keep everybody updated. We want everyone to know we are trying to make a difference!
For fundraising, the Sixth Grade had a lot of ideas about what we could do to help. We went through and selected ideas that we thought would work. The fundraising group chose to do a restaurant night and a bake sale. Our restaurant night will be on Wednesday, May 2nd at Mia Carolina Restaurant in Glyndon, MD. The restaurant is owned by Caroline Cohen’s father and has excellent Italian food. 15% of the profits from that evening will go towards our cause and to benefit wonderful organizations! We encourage everyone to come. Stay tuned for more details about the bake sale.
On Tuesday, April 17th Water for People organization volunteers, Ms. Cidney Scanlon and Ms. Dana Woher, traveled to Garrison Forest from Washington, DC to talk to the Fifth and Sixth Grade about the use of water and how we can help countries that do not have clean water like we do. They talked about how much water we use and how we can cut down on our water supply. An example of how much water we use is in our clothes (shirts, pants, etc.), food (tomatoes, beef, etc.) and paper consumption. For example, every time you ride in the car or take a bus you use water--lots of it. Cars and buses need water in their engines or they won't run. Imagine not being able to get water when ever you wanted it. Now imagine that when you do get water that it is not clean and makes you sick. What would you do if this was your life? Well some people really do live this way, so why don’t you try to find ways that you can help? We will update next week with our progress. Thanks for reading!

By: Eve A., Semira N., Camryn C., Lexi S., Madison W., Cara Z., Emily W., and Natalie N.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

7th Grade Holocaust Project

7th Grade Learns about the Holocaust
Recently, the Garrison Forest 7th Grade has been learning about the Holocaust through many different angles. To begin the new topic, the script of ‘Anne Frank’ was introduced to us, and we read through it carefully in our English classes. We talked about the history behind the Anne Frank script and studied the Anne Frank website. Then, we began to compose letters to Holocaust Survivors, which we researched on The Holocaust Survivor Website. All three classes really enjoyed asking questions in their letter. 
Then, in our Digital Thinking classes, we each created our own digital stories on Final Cut Express or iMovie, adding pictures with transitions and effects. We also watched the film “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” which was emotional and allowed us to reflect on the time period. It really played a big role in learning about the Holocaust. And finally, after Spring Break, we were fortunate enough to have Mrs. Debbie Levy and her mother, Jutta Levy, visit the Middle School. Jutta Levy is a Holocaust survivor, and her daughter Debbie Levy is the author of “A Year of Goodbyes.” A true story about Jutta, which Mrs. Levy found through a “poesie book” which was a friendship book. A poesie book was poetry written by friends and family. It was a wonderful experience to learn so much about this staining shadow in our history today, and we hope that the next 7th Graders will enjoy it as much as we did.
Written by Mallory H.

Created by Rebecca B

HONK! Jr. Musical
by Ashley W. and Claire M.

In Garrison Forest Middle School, there is a musical every year.  In the 2011 - 2012 academic year, HONK! Jr. was performed.  HONK! describes  the story of the ugly duckling, called Ugly.  Ugly, his mother, Ida, his father, Drake, and his brothers and sisters go to the duck yard to meet everyone.  They find him ugly, so they shun him.  There are only two people that care about him; Ida, and the Cat, who wants to eat Ugly.  The Cat finds Ugly, and convinces Ugly to come with him to his kitchen, where the Cat can cook and eat Ugly.  Ugly escapes and goes on a number of adventures, with and without the Cat.  At the end, Ugly realizes that he is a swan and there is a happy ending.


Creating the set and props was no easy job.  The costumes were almost as hard.  For Ugly’s egg, which he emerges towards the beginning of the play, we cut a piece of plywood into an egg shape.  We then cut it in half and attached foam.  We finished it by painting it brown and splatter-painting it with white. At the start of the play, season costume crew was put to work by clearing out anything we could use in the unending costume room. They found loads of great ideas and presented them to Mrs. Herlein to be evaluated. Once they finalized the costumes for the main characters, it was time to decide for the rest of the cast. We got together and brainstormed on what different birds would be costumed as and a few days later the amazing costume crew was already at it! Everyone was fitted and ready to go by the fabulous costume designer and parent, Mrs. Conner! The ensemble had close to no time to change for each scene.  One time block was about two minutes long!  In that time block the ensemble had to take off a tunic, tie on a headband, find a huge piece of fabric, take off a swim cap, and remove their shoes!


Out of all of the scenes in the production the one scene we loved performing was “Look At Him”. In this scene we, the duck yard, were ridiculing Ugly when we first saw his horrid appearance. It was our favorite scene because everyone was on stage and we had a chance to act comically mean. The scene that took the most time to choreograph was “Wild Goose Chase”, because we had so many different ideas for each dance!  This scene entails Ugly meeting Greylag and Greylag getting his goose “militia” to find Ugly’s mother.  The hardest scene to dance to was “Warts and All” because the dance started out being really complicated.  We had started out with about twenty froglet dancers and went down to about eight due to lack of space and things like that.  Mrs. Herlein found us some pretty crazy costumes to wear, consisting of green tunics, felt belts, green flowers, and green swim caps.  Our last favorite was the Blizzard scene, because of its beauty and the message was very dramatic.  We decided that the ensemble would “be” the snow.  We had six ensemble members hold ends of long sheets of fabric.  The would move them up and down with the music to create the image of snow.  Claire and I actually held the middle sheet and it was hard to stay in sync with the other fabrics!  Since there were three pieces of fabric, the front and the back would move theirs at the same time then our sheet, the middle one, would move at different times.  It was really fun, but we needed complete focus to stay on task and still look like snowflakes.

Directed by: Rachel Herlein
Music: Virginia Flynn
Stage Manager: Megan Hamilton
Set Design: Scott Herlein

Ugly - Jenny Yarmis
Ida - Sophie Polovoy
Drake - Kara Frazier
The Ducklings - Mallory Higgins, Alli Schimmel, Raquel Hyatt & Molly Cohen
Maureen - Brooke Gordon
The Cat - Maggie Baughman
Greylag - Livy Ayd
Dot - Mimi N’Diaye
Barnacles - Virginia Bonsal
Snowy - Lindsey Callaway
Pinkfoot - Abi Balkin
Blizzard Soloists - Julia Connor and Ashlei Chang
The Bullfrog - Olivia Herlein
Penny - Jaida Maller
Bewick - Elise Lyght
Grace - Princess Gray
The Turkey - Emily Oleisky
Henrietta - Vasi Argeroplos
Maggie Pie - Emma Balkin
Camera Man - Anjali Sharma
Boom Microphone - Julia Connor
The Farmer/Father Swan - Victoria Bennett
Mother Swan/Makeup Artist - Emily Martin
Bewick - Elise Lyght
The Black Swan Dancer - Jenny Wiener
Ensemble - Ashley Wells, Eryn Frazier, Elizabeth Nimetz, Ayanna Dorsey, Catherine Benjamin, Anjali Sharma, Niyi Owolabi, Davis Holmes, Brielle Herlein, Claire McMahon & Nylah Austin  
Stage Chorus - Leigh Hardy, J-Mae Ferguson, Olivia McCall, Erica Downing, Jackie Magaha, Margaret Hyde, & Lily Nisbet

Costume Crew - Head: Virginia Leach, Lizzie Bonsal, Megan Lansman, Kennedy Jenkins,
Prop Crew - Head: Sakinah Rushdan, Atallah N’Diaye, Nia Tyson, Lila Yerman, Izzy Gold
House Crew - Head: Sarah Steinberg, Sophie Berger, Madison Wilson, Jillian Quartner
Light and Sound - Dai Hayden, Ryley Young, Channing Ch, Taylor Tilson
Stage Managers - Julianna Martinez, Brooke Fruman