Cascades Academy Independent School PK-12
Third Grade Ecosystems

Third graders are learning about the role plants and animals play in ecosystems. In the science lab this week, they made an "ecosystem" in a mason jar. It is a closed system that includes a plant and at least one insect. The plant will provide the oxygen, and the water that we added will be recycled in the jar for use by both the plant and the animals inside. The insects, in turn, will provide some carbon dioxide to the plant. The third graders excitedly filled their jars with layers of sand, activated carbon, soil and moss before gingerly adding their plants and insects inside. Once sealed up, their "ecosystem" was ready to go. The third graders listened carefully, so that they would make sure that the system was in good shape and had enough water. Great timing for Earth Day, as they have been good stewards of their mini-environments!

-Dr. Eklund, Science Teacher

FLIGHT - H for Heroism
FLIGHT - H for Heroism

We can all be Heroes! We took FLIGHT this week with our next letter, H, by introducing the Hero Pose and talked about what a marvel each individual is in this world. In this pose we are strong, immovable; we lead with our hearts, shoulders back, hands at our hips and our feet solid beneath us.

We are taking two minutes each day (sometime a couple times a day) to do the Hero Pose. While in the pose, I encourage the students to think about the how lucky and how marvelous it is that they are here in this moment, and to think about the wonder that is each of them.

I tell them: You all have unique qualities; there is not another single person in the whole world who is exactly like you - not now, not ever before, and not ever again. You have our own ideas, personalities, humor, gifts, challenges. While some qualities may be similar to others, no one is the exact same combination. The odds of you being born and being here now, and of being you, are around 1 in 4 billion. You have already beaten incredible odds and you have unique gifts - so how are you going to contribute to the world? You are here for a purpose. You each have something that only you can give to the world. You will make a difference during your life, so what difference will you make? You can't do everything, but what good CAN you do? Because you have the privilege of being here and having gifts, you have a responsibility to do good in the world, so what will that be? To be a Hero means that, on purpose, you give up some of your free time and choose to make a positive difference.

The goals of studying heroism are for our students to build self-confidence and to be of service. Having a great life includes being part of something bigger and grander than yourself; it includes having purpose, love, happiness, wonder and making a difference. The most certain way to bring hope, meaning and joy into our students' lives is for them to bring those gifts to others.

Each day there is an opportunity to make someone's life or a little corner of the world a little brighter. Each day there is an opportunity to take FLIGHT and be a Hero.

Please read the article and watch the Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy on the importance and science behind the power of this pose: Hero Pose.

Stand tall and strong, and do good works.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
- Mary Oliver

Recent Blog Posts