Field trip – Three Rivers Petroglyphs

What a beautiful, sunny, mild, and very educational day we had at Three Rivers Petroglyphs site in the Tularosa Basin north of Alamogordo. From about 400 AD to 1400 AD, Native Americans lived here. Among other pieces of their life story, they left over 21,000 petroglyphs, designs of all sorts chipped into the desert varnish on thousands of rocks.

Almost all of our students were able to make the trip, along with four teachers, more than a dozen parents, and grandparent Margaret Berrier. Margaret, a retired professional, a published archaeologist, and now a jeweler (who, fittingly, derives inspiration for many pieces from Native American designs), arranged the visit with the BLM, who provided three great guides, Ward Beers, Trinity Miller, and Eileen (last name?). Margaret had also prepared the students earlier in the week with a presentation at the school that all enjoyed.

A two -hour drive by parents and teachers generous with their time and car use brought us to the site. After we counted heads and made two groups of students, Ward demonstrated knapping rocks to make blades out of chert as well as showing his earlier work in obsidian. He readily cut meat with a new blade, then showed tanned hides and sinews for many uses.

Ward continued our foray into past lives by showing us how to throw spears with atlatls, a technology used in the past by many cultures from Aztecs to Australian aborigines.

Trinity guided us to remnants to habitations, now fallen into stone-ringed hollows. They were located near three now-tiny ephemeral streams that had been rivers in wetter days of old.

We had lunch and a bit of play, and then Margaret led us up the ridge to the petroglyphs. The rocks all along the ridge were arrayed with images of diverse types – geometric designs, animal figures, human faces. We were awed by it all and spent a rewarding two hours; most glyphs were very apparent, while we had to look carefully to find others and appreciate them.

Fall Festivities – see what we’ve been up to!

23 October | Science demo

Students learned how to use a partial vacuum to suck a hard-boiled egg through an opening a bit narrower than its diameter.  We put a bit of water into a vase, heated the vase + water in a microwave oven, and put the egg on top of the vase opening.  The vapor cooled and condensed, leaving low pressure in the vase, so that higher air pressure outside pushed the egg in.

 

 

 

29 October | Art class

Students in grades 3-8 made armatures and then covered them with art paste, thanks to volunteer teacher Karen Feder!

 

 

 

October 31 | Halloween Party

Older students spent two weeks planning a Halloween party for all to enjoy – see more photos here.

 

 

1 November | Field trip

We took a trip to the Dia de Los Muertos celebration on the Mesilla Plaza.  Residents of Mesilla honor their deceased friends and relatives on the Day of the Dead,

celebrating their lives. Here’s a few pictures from last year – keep an eye out for this years photos coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Open house, November 12th

On Tuesday, November 12th | We’re holding an open house!

When | 8-10 AM and 5:30-6:30 PM

Where | 1755 Avenida de Mercado in Mesilla

What to expect | You can meet with our Head of School, Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, in the morning observe students in classes and at play, and talk with our great teachers.

We’re proud of what we can offer for the community and for our students.  LCA is a private school serving academically advanced or motivated students; classes are small, teachers are highly qualified, and we provide a stimulating, supportive environment.  Current openings are for grades early K through 8.

More Information | lascrucesacademy.org or call Lou Ellen, Head of School at 575-521-9384

Changing color and back again

In grades 5-8 science today, we delved into heat, temperature, and chemical reactions accelerated by heat or by catalysts such as enzymes.  We ran one beautiful demonstration of a chemical reaction driven one way by rising temperature and back by decreasing temperature. It is the change in the molecules or ions surrounding cobalt II ions in solution with lots of hydrochloric acid to provide chloride ions.

Here are photos of the change from deep pink (ice-water temperature) to deep blue (near the boiling point to water), through purple = pink + blue in between – everyone had a great time!

Robotics demo

LCA graduate Arabella and her colleagues at the Arrowhead Early College High came to the school to demonstrate robotics to students of all ages. Students learned some of the principles, designed platforms, and got to operate some robots.

Learning fast and loving it

Our youngest students get topics years in advance of regular schools and they love it

Reading, 1st & 2nd grades:
Students did a good job of recording their reading from the week in their reading logs and bringing them on Thursday. This week students learned how to look for certain features in nonfiction texts. They did activities to find sub-heading, captions, and labels in magazines. They also learned about the parts of a dictionary.

Music, 1st – 2nd grades:
Students also listened to music and practiced choreography for the end-of-term performance.

Music, early kindergarten – kindergarten:
They listened to and danced to different songs that incorporated movement. Students also practiced the song for the end-of-term performance.

Reading, early kindergarten – kindergarten:
Students had a nice time reading and looking at books in our classroom reading corner. Students have been doing a great job of borrowing books to take home and bringing them back when they feel ready to read to someone. Reading groups practiced group shared reading and choral reading with short repetitive books to help students learn sight words. Reading groups then practiced reading together and discussing their books.

Science, early kindergarten – kindergarten:
Science this week focused on characteristics of minerals such as color, luster, streak, and transparency.

Handwriting, early kindergarten – kindergarten:
This week students practiced writing the uppercase and lowercase letters they have learned so far in the semester.

Writing, early kindergarten – kindergarten:
Students practiced writing sentences using proper capitalization at the beginning and correct punctuation at the end.

Spelling, early kindergarten – kindergarten:
All students practiced spelling games and other activities in the class. Students will continue to practice the 6 spelling words from the Dolch sight word lists that are related to the phonics they are learning during that week. This week students practiced with the words ‘if’, ‘white’, ‘time’, ‘ride’, ‘like’, and ‘five.’ Next week’s words will be ‘so’, ‘go’, ‘cold’, ‘write’, ‘hold’, and ‘home.’

Phonics, early kindergarten – kindergarten:
One student practiced the letter sounds  ‘l’, ‘h’, ‘e’, ‘f’, ‘d’, and the ‘eg’ family. Six other students worked with long ‘o’, silent ‘e’ words.

…and here’s a snippet from an older group’s learning:

The fifth- through eighth-grade class has been very responsible with taking out their math books and getting started right away. We are working on the following math concepts: perimeter, area & surface area, circles, negative numbers, introduction to algebra, volumes & surface areas, and reasoning & proof.

 

 

Open house, Tuesday, October 8th

Open house: We invite the public to visit the school on Thursday, May 9th, from 11 AM to 1 PM. You can meet with our Head of School, Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, observe students in classes and at play, and talk with our great teachers.  We’re proud of what we can offer for the community and for our students.   LCA is a private school serving academically advanced or motivated students; classes are small, teachers are highly qualified, and we provide a stimulating, supportive environment.  Current openings are for grades 3-8; there is a wait list for grades early K through 2.  More information is at lascrucesacademy.org or by calling Lou Ellen, our Head of School, at 575-521-9384.

Moon Festival on the Plaza

Saturday, 28 September 2019.  Our students attracted the crowd at the band shell on the Downtown Plaza, as they sang five songs in Chinese.  They youngest group, kindergarten through 2nd grade, came first, with the longer-experienced 3rd- through 8th-graders following.  They all wore beautiful sky-blue costumes that teacher Yulin Zhang bought in China recently.  Scholar, Beijing Opera singer, and martial artist Chao Liu did masterful song and dance after them.  The children’s parents were very proud, rightfully, as all of us are for them and for Yulin.

K-8 students join the worldwide Climate Strike

Saturday, 20 September 2019: A week’s learning, writing, and drawing culminated in 16 students in grades K through 8 being out on the sidewalk in front of the Mesilla Town Hall holding posters they had made.  They were inspired by Greta Thunberg, the courageous Swedish teen who has galvanized people for action on climate change.  Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, our Head of School and science teacher, presented the daunting story of global climate change, including videos of climate scientists and of Ms. Thunberg in a viral TED talk.  Students chose their own climate poignant comments on climate and made their own posters.

On Saturday the students, teachers, and 3 parents walked to the Mesilla Town Hall, arriving at 1 o’clock.   They arrayed themselves along the sidewalk with their posters, to show them to passing motorists.  The response grew slowly, rewarding the students’ work, as more and more vehicles slowed, honked horns, and waved.  Only one climate denier yelled a contrary view.  A photojournalist from the Las Cruces Bulletin took many photos herself and then interviewed students and Dr. Kay. The group of 16 dedicated young people and their accompanying adults trekked back at 2 o’clock to resume classes, hoping they had helped to make a difference in how we all deal with the largest existential threat to humanity.

Here’s the group of students along Avenida de Mesilla:

They each composed and drew their own posters: