Spanish teacher Giurissa A. F. Grace reports that for the first part of their second semester project, the grade 5 Spanish class researched a famous Spanish-speaking male figure, wrote biographical reports incorporating the grammar and vocabulary they have learned, and presented their reports in Spanish dressed as their historical figures. Browning was visited by the following people: Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, Argentinian dictator Augusto Pinochet, Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, Colombian artist Fernando Botero, Uruguayan writer Horacio Quiroga, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist Salvador Dalí, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, Castilian nobelman and military leader El Cid, Guatemalan writer Miguel Ángel Asturias, Mexican artist Diego Rivera, Nicaraguan writer Rubén Darío, Puerto Rican educator and philosopher Eugenio María de Hostos, Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, and Dominican visionary and founding father Juan Pablo Duarte. ¡Bravo! View photos.
On April 14, the Middle School students headed to Randall's Island for Middle School Field Day. Director of Physical Education Patricia Zeuner reports: "Students in each grade were split into teams for morning events, including a 50-yard dash, relay races, tug of war tournament and football throw challenge. After the morning events concluded, students reveled in some free time on the open fields playing various pickup games of taps, frisbee, soccer, baseball drills, tag and many others! Following a picnic-style pizza lunch, students had the opportunity to join organized games of soccer, Capture the Flag, kickball and, newly introduced, angleball. Thanks to everyone who contributed; the day was a great success!" View photos.
The Form II Physical Science class members were tasked to design simple rockets using vinegar and baking soda as an extra credit project over a recent weekend. Their teacher, Melodie Ting, explains: "The classic baking soda and vinegar reaction has been seen over and over again in making volcanoes erupt. The boys were tasked to take that same concept and build a rocket out of water bottles. We have been studying different forms of energy in class, and the basic idea of this project was to take chemical energy (baking soda and vinegar reaction), and convert it into kinetic energy (rocket blasting off!)." Watch the results in this video.
In observance of April as Poetry Month, five of Browning's finest poets performed their work at the Independent Voices reading and publication launch at Barnes and Noble on April 11. Two of the boys served as hosts in addition to reading their work. Those attending report that an attentive crowd of students, parents, and proud English teachers from all over Manhattan were thrilled by what they heard and saw; that is, "strong students presenting strong art." View photos.
“Stone Soup,” a folk tale told in many countries and a 1947 classic by Marcia Brown, emphasizes cooperation and resourcefulness, two “basics” that first grade Browning boys have come to respect. In fact, the boys’ production on Thursday, April 10 is an excellent example of applying their knowledge and knack for showmanship on stage.
The boys presented “Stone Soup” for an audience of parents and community members. Their enunciation and projection skills were impressive, as was their spirited singing of “The Sharing Song” adapted by Lucy Warner, Lower School music specialist, who assisted with choreography. The program notes include recognition of all those who helped make the boys’ production such a success: “The first grade would like to thank Ms. Warner for such a beautiful song; the Browning maintenance department for setting up today; the technology department for help with projection; Ms. Gruhn (Head of Lower School) for your support; and finally, our parents for their love and support!” Of course, the boys also have their terrific teachers and assistant teachers to thank as well, including Ms. Epstein, Ms. Rossman, Ms. Harwood and Ms. Rowland.
Middle and Upper School science teacher Melodie Ting reports exciting news: "The Form II boys in physical science class exploded with ideas when presented with the task of designing and building their own Rube Goldberg project. Having just covered simple and complex machines and beginning the topic of energy, the Rube Goldberg project is the perfect combination of these two chapters as the boys examine energy transfers in the machines they built. This was a two-week-long project that the boys started on an individual white board drawing out their designs with one restriction. They had to be inventive in the materials they used, as they were not allowed to spend money buying parts but to use what they had both in the classroom or at home. They did not disappoint; they were innovative and creative with their designs, collaborating with each other along the way. They met obstacles and failures head on, constantly rethinking the design right up until the final product was built. Tasks included stapling three pieces of paper, shooting a ping pong ball into a cup three feet away, shooting a paper ball into a trash can, pouring water into a cup, sharpening a pencil, opening a textbook, lifting an object up by one foot, and calling a phone. Click here to view video.
Fresh from Spring Break, Browning boys and teachers attended assemblies that proved informative and inspirational. Michael Tribe, a partner with the architectural firm Peter Gisolfi Associates, was a special speaker at the Lower School Assembly on April 3. He addressed the boys and explained the many renovations currently taking place around the School. Mr. Tribe described the ultimate benefits of this construction, accompanied by Lower School Head Laurie Gruhn who elaborated on what to expect in the coming months.
The next day, Middle School boys were updated on the same topic by Head of Middle School Chris Dunham who emphasized that the “flow” of traffic through the building will be the most notable improvement thanks to the addition of a light-filled center staircase. Other speakers that morning included Athletic Director Andrew West ’92, who spoke about upcoming field days and the fact that Middle and Upper School boys will compete in separate events this year.
Fifth grade teacher Dan Ragsdale and Middle School Council members explained the inaugural “CitizenChip” Initiative which will promote the ideals of the Citizenship Awards presented at the end of each school year: The objective of the CitizenChip Initiative, which will run from April 7 through May 16, is to acknowledge and reward students for displaying the qualities of a good Browning citizen, including promptness, neatness, respect, scholarship, sportsmanship, integrity and cooperation. Every Middle School faculty member will receive a few CitizenChips, each of which can be distributed to any Middle School boy who is “caught” in the act of being an exceptional citizen. The winning grade will receive a special treat to be determined by Mr. Dunham.
Finally, Mr. Dunham showed a video clip of an eighth grade Pittsburgh, Pa., boy who has advised the U.S. Government Printing Office on how to save money by changing the font it uses from Times New Roman to Garamond. Mr. Dunham told Browning boys that they, too, might aspire to apply their scientific knowledge in such a way.