Thursday, January 28, 2016

First Day of Skiing

Students gaining confidence
on the slope
by Conner (grade 7)

Since 1973 Black Butte School has been skiing the snowy slopes of Hoodoo.  Every year, when Hoodoo has enough snow, after Winter Break the school begins the ski program.  Students earn downhill ski lessons on Fridays by doing all homework, staying on task in class, and having good behavior.  
We’ve had one Friday of skiing.  All 16 students enjoyed morning and afternoon lessons.  After skill assessment, we were broken up into four groups.  Each of the four groups worked with an instructor.  Two groups were for new alpine skiers and two groups were for more experienced skiers.  
The beginner skiers started not knowing how to turn or get on lifts.  They spent a fair amount of time just getting comfortable being on their skis in front of the lodge.  By the end of the day, they could turn and stop.  They were all comfortable getting on and off the lifts.  They are excited to be getting better and learn more.  

Advanced group students with Hoodoo instructor Bill
The more advanced groups already knew how to stop, do a wide variety of turns, and stay controlled on steeper slopes. Moreover my group (the advanced group)

practiced being in control by doing wide, long turns and skinny, small turns.  I know we will all be better skiers thanks to the ski program.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Class: Computers and Coding

by Cody (grade 6)

We students at Black Butte School have been learning how to code. First, we use to use so then we can learn how to type and code. For example, it teaches us how to learn by making objects move with blocks of code. Each block contains 1-50 pieces of code. Also, we use Keyboarding without Tears, a program to practice our typing skills, so we can be able to type faster without looking. The keyboarding helps us code by making us able to make code faster for programs to read. helps by showing us how to move/make objects. Secondly, when we are with Mr.B we start working on what he says. For example, we start on so we can start working on our coding. For instance, we move angry birds around to catch bad piggies. Also, we make drawings by having our character move on a shaded line so we can darken the shaded line. Finally, Ilya (grade 6) said ‘’Coding is very fun. My favorite part is the angry birds because it is so fun and the graphics are cool.’’ So, my guess is that most people like computer class for what we do.
A screenshot from our angry birds lesson on 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Pet Worms

by Cody (grade 6)

The Black Butte School wanted to get school pets for the students, so they got worms! We students get to study and learn about worms and how they make soil. After lunch, we feed them banana peels and other kinds of leftover food. After the worms eat, they poop, which makes rich soil that can grow plants very quickly.

In a week we saw that the worms had already started making plants grow in their soil. The soil made the plants very happy as they grew quickly in the worm's soil. Here are some fun facts about worms. Worms don't have a gender so they can get worms pregnant while they are pregnant. Worms also don't have lungs so they breathe out of their skin. Lastly, they are light sensitive so they can see light but they can't see people.
Our worm's habitat

Later on in the school year, we are going to grow plants in our greenhouse using the worm's soil. In the meantime, we are going to try to do our best to help these worms so we can see them grow and reproduce.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Electrical Engineering at BBS!

by Conner (grade 7)

Zion (grade K) showing off
his machine
Sawyer (grade 4) working on his invention
Have you ever wondered what makes a fan work or an alarm clock buzz? 

Making inventions in our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class is helping us understand how things work.  We have been working on basic electrical engineering.  We can use different parts for our inventions like leads, batteries, motors, and metal pieces like paperclips and aluminum foil.  We make inventions using these parts and recycled materials to make containers, switches, propellers, or wings.  My invention was a flashlight.  I liked how Kellen (grade 3) made an insect-o-copter with a variety of wings. Inanna (grade 6) made a lamp. Making these inventions has helped us understand how circuits work better.  I’m looking forward to doing more with this and learning more about electricity.
Inanna's (grade 6) invention


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Winter Educational opportunities

This winter BBS is excited about new enrichment classes we are offering, the return of our historic ski program, as well as the new theme of Water in our field studies class.

Starting in January guitar, Spanish, and computer skills classes will begin at the school. Twice a week students will rotate through the new classes in small groups that will allow lots of hands-on instruction. Sisters native Benji Nagel will lead the guitar class. Benji has years of experience teaching young people the joy of learning the guitar. He is excited to bring his talents to our little school this winter. Head Teacher, Delaney Sharp will teach the beginning Spanish class, which will focus on building basic language skills and oral fluency. The class will also use the language as a platform to better understand other cultures and regions of the world. BBS' own Ethan Barrons (aka Mr. B) will lead up the computer skills class where students will be working on their typing skills, learning basic coding, as well as other basic computer functions. The new enrichment classes will bring new challenges and lots of fun to the students of BBS.

We are also excited that the extensive snow pack will allow us to resume our ski program for the first time in 3 years! Each Friday during the winter, students will head up to the slopes at the Hoodoo Ski Area. Hoodoo staff will provide full day ski lessons, which will help students with their physical fitness and self confidence. The school will help students to rent any gear that they don't have, allowing for all students to participate in the school's treasured program. 

Students will also be shifting focus in their field studies class from the fall theme of Forest Ecosystems to Water. Students will be monitoring snow pack throughout the Cascades and near the school this winter and comparing their findings to historic patterns. Additionally, students will be working with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council to learn about how the water from the mountains impacts the local ecosystems and human communities around Camp Sherman and Sisters. Students will also be exploring the theme of Water during their visual art classes with Annie Painter.