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Kristin McEachern and Fran Pancoast

Kristin McEachern and Fran Pancoast

Monarch Room is an Upper Elementary classroom for levels 4-6 on the Toledo Campus. Kristin McEachern and Fran Pancoast are the classroom’s co-teachers.

Students had a great time at their Harvest Celebration.  This celebration was planned and carried out by the members of the class.  There was delicious food planned and supplied by the fourth level with the help of a sixth and fifth level student.  Decorations courtesy of the fifth level students.  Sixth level planned and ran the games for the afternoon.  It was great fun and enjoyed by all.IMG_0936IMG_0928IMG_0942IMG_0946

At the end of August we planted another crop of radishes in our raised beds.  They were ready by October 19.  We harvested them and enjoyed eating them.



Sixth level studied  Eubacteria.  They swabbed different areas of the school and grew their own bacteria. The next step was to make slides of their bacteria.  In order to see the bacteria on the slides, students used a stain and heat-treated the slides.  They viewed these slides under the microscope and tried to determine whether the bacteria was coccus, bacillus, or spirillum.




                                                                       Leaving for Camp

Michigan Country   by Dahlia Daboul and Loretta Alonso Lopez

Michigan Country was a class where we were role playing as early settlers in Michigan. We started off by splitting into groups of 3 with some money. Our teachers and staff were selling things that we needed. First we marked off a 10×10 area as our home and we had to buy a deed. Sometimes they would sell us an Ohio deed instead of Michigan and it wouldn’t count. We also had to buy 3 food, 3 clothes, salt, and water.

At the end we met as a group and tried to see who survived the first year. A lot of us didn’t survive and had little money. So we tried for a second year. But the twist was this year we had jobs to get money for our families. Our jobs were kind of silly like doing cartwheels or singing Ariana Grande! Those of us who didn’t have Michigan deeds had to get them within the first 5 minutes. That year most of us survived and we ended up with a lot of money. We learned that  there was a lot of scamming and looting back then and that it was very hard to survive.


Finding land.


Finding out who survived the first year as a Michigan settler.

Horseback Riding and Horse Sense by Claire Summers

On October 6, 2015 through October 9, 2015 the 6th graders of Monarch and Karner Blue went to the YMCA Storer Camps in Jackson, MI. On the YMCA Storer Camps property there is a barn where there are about 60 horses. We were at the barn for the whole morning. First when we got to the barn one of the trainers there met us in the entrance to the barn. She told us what was about to happen. After she did that we went to a small area in the barn that had a large pole in the middle. The trainer brought out a horse named Peaches. We learned how horses see, how they hear, how they communicate, how they feel things, and how they eat. We got the chance to experience what it is like to be a horse and to trust your rider so that they won’t run you into something, like a tree. Then after we learned about horse sense we were able to ride the horses. A few of the horses were named Sir, Bo, and Duchess. When we were riding we walked around the ring and we got to play Red Light, Green Light and Simon Says on horses. After we rode we got to groom the horses. Some of the horses needed touch-ups and some didn’t. I recommend going horseback riding at YMCA Storer Camps. Thanks for reading!


Becoming familiar with the horse’s reins.


Learning about horses.

Survival Day at YMCA Camp Storer By Connor Weathers

This was one of my favorite days at Camp Storer. I absolutely loved Survival Day. On Survival Day all the 6th graders got life vests and got in groups of four to canoe across Stony Lake. After we canoed across the lake, we had to learn about surviving.  After that, we were told that we were hiking to our site to make a fire. I assume we walked a quarter of a mile to get to the camp site where we were going to make fire. Once we got there at the site we had to scavenge for timber, small sticks, and fuel for our fire.  After we got the fire going a camp instructor came over and brought hot dogs, chips, and drinks. We cooked our hot dogs over the fire and had our lunch. We then had recess to have some time to play around.  After all of that fun, we hiked around the lake to our site where we were going to make small shelters. On this long, hard walk we learned a lot.  I didn’t know poison ivy could have small berries and that grapes could spew out a gallon of water through their vines.    We learned a lot on Survival Day!


Finding fuel for the fire to roast hot dogs.


Drinking straight from an artisan well.


Getting ready to canoe across Stoney Lake.


Tasting the very bitter wild cranberries.

Microscopic Ponderings by Ahmed Lazreq

Microscopic Ponderings was a morning activity the day we left camp. We did this activity by taking a plastic container, filling the container half way with water, and taking a net a scoop some water to try to get organisms. Then we took a pipette, sucked up some water and put it in a slide under a microscope. If you found no organisms you could scoop more water or ask the activity leader to help you. My group had to scoop more water, but it was worth it. My group found oarsmen and some mosquitoes’ larva. Other groups found water mites, fairy shrimp, small fish, and small worms. According to my fellow students, it was fun. “It was an amazing experience to see all the small, but slightly creepy, organisms in the lake.” – Blake


Looking for microscopic organisms.


Learning about the layers of the lake.

Evening Activities

Underground Railroad By: Alia Ahmad and Blake Rachwal

All of the 6th level students from both the Monarch and Karner Blue classrooms got the chance to experience what it might have been like to be a slave in the 1800s. We all went as a group of slaves to different free people (camp counselors) who either helped us or tried to capture us. We all had to keep our heads down because we were not free yet and it was considered rude to look at a free person right in the eyes. We could only look at someone if they told us we could. We also had to answer the men and women with either a “yes sir” or a “yes ma’am” or a “no sir” or a “no ma’am”. We had a permission slip that said that we were a traveling choir going to a competition in the north in case people asked why we were traveling. We met turncoats, friendly people, the sheriff, and bounty hunters. “It shed some light on what actually happened during the early 1800’s” –Ahmed.


Discussing the pros and cons of the treaty using the talking stick.

The Treaty of 1821 By: Zach O.

The Treaty of 1821 was an evening activity at Camp Storer that we acted out on our last night there. We had to role-play as the Potawatomi Native American Indians as they made their journey from southern Michigan to Chicago for the purpose of discussing a treaty with Governor Lewis Cass of Chicago. The treaty he created was to send the Potawatomis to five different reservations in southern Michigan for them to live on, but they could not go anywhere or do anything without telling the government.  Governor Cass thought the Potawatomis would die from disease and from the fighting that was going on at the time if they stuck to their own ways.  In this manner, he unintentionally insulted them.

At camp, our sixth-level class had the opportunity to act out the entire thing: the journey to Chicago, the debate with Lewis Cass (which was played by one of the counselors at camp), and deciding to sign the treaty.  As we acted out the journey, we ran into some people who hated us, some people we were best friends with, some people who wanted us to sign the treaty, and some people who did not.  During our reenactment, we made our decision: our class did not sign the treaty.  However, in real life, the Potawatomis did sign it because the chief of the Potawatomis wanted the best for his people. A few years later, it turned out to be their undoing: the government bought the reservations under legal rights. This caused the Potawatomis to be forced off the reservations they were told they could stay in. The Potawatomis then created a small reservation for themselves to live on.   But Lewis Cass did not support that.  He was a man of his word, and wanted the best for the Potawatomis.

Campfire Songs and Zingers by Breckin Dunkle

When you think of campfires what do you think of? S’mores, a warm fire, skits, songs? Well, we did most of that, no s’mores though. We sang lots of funny campfire songs, and we watched 2 of the staff members perform some skits. Before that though, we played some games until one of them could get the fire going. We played Sharks and Minnows, and a “Spot It” “competition” where each person got a “Spot It” card and whoever could find an object faster would get a point and switch cards with that person. One of the camp staff members gave us a goal and who ever got more than 15 at the end, had an epic standoff. People would root for them and if they lost, then they fans would transfer over to the other person’s fan base. Finally, after all that, it was getting really dark. So keep that in mind, we had to go to the campfire to sing some songs and watch skits. The first skit was the Titanic II, The Best Movie/Skit Ever! Then we sang some campfire songs, Long Johns and Teri Teki Tumba (a pterodactyl took her) a song about a pterodactyl stealing a cave woman’s baby. They last sang “My Mom Gave Me a Penny.”  Soon afterwards we had s’mores! Actually we didn’t have any s’mores but it was an awesome campfire even without s’mores. Eventually we stop singing and went back to our cabins and went to sleep.


Sorry camp is over but happy to be home.


The fifth level has begun their study of the plant phyla this week. The first phylum to be studied is Bryophyta.  This phylum includes mosses and liverworts which are  nonvascular plants.  As part of our study we went out on the trails to collect moss for a moss garden.  Our task is to see how long we can keep the moss healthy and growing by developing a hypothesis and following the scientific method. Students check their gardens daily to observe any changes and record their observations.

Sixth Level students are working on the Fungi Phylum.  One of their first projects was to figure out how they can grow mold on a piece of bread.  Following the scientific method, they developed their own experiments, are making daily observations, and measuring the growth of their mold.