The Impossible Whopper and “lab meat”

As a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast, I enjoy reading about start-ups, futuristic ideas, innovative inventions, and all things in the nerdy-tech realm. (Not like I probably have to say that “outloud”!) I have been reading articles and learning about “lab meat” and plant based wannabe meats for the past few years and wanted to share a few articles with our community, especially because our students are talking about it in our MakerSpace classes.

It has also become more prevalent in the news since April 1st when Burger King introduced the IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER, in St. Louis! The Impossible Whopper is a vegetarian version of its signature sandwich.

What is it made of? Well, “Impossible patties are made from soy protein concentrate and potato protein, with fat from coconut and sunflower oils, all bound together with methyl cellulose, a laxative. The meaty flavor (and perhaps the metallic aftertaste) comes from iron-rich heme, a molecule that exists in every living organism. In animals, it is the part of hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood. In this case, heme is created through the miracle of genetic manipulation. The DNA of soy leghemoglobin is inserted into yeast, which is then fermented, and the blood-red heme is extracted from that.”

If you haven’t had time to read about “lab meat”, “plant based meat”, or this is a completely new topic for you- check out a few articles below.

I hope it creates some eventful dinner table conversations for your family.


Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Love is in the Air!

On February 13th, we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in our classroom.

Giving and receiving valentines is a special part of a child’s school experience and one of their favorites!  There are 23 students in our class. Please have your child sign (alone or with your help) each valentine. Leave the envelope blank (with no specific name on it). This enables your child to distribute their valentines without having to read each classmate’s name.  If your child is able to independently read the names of the children, then they may choose to write the names on the outside of the envelopes.  Please allow time for the name writing process. It’s a lot to write for small hands!   This is a great activity for them to practice writing their name, so remember to use upper case only for the first letter of their name.  We will begin distributing valentines on Wednesday, February 13th.

We are looking forward to our upcoming conferences on Thursday, February 14th.  When you arrive for conferences be sure to take a moment to read the poster in front of our room.  We asked the children what love is or who they loved.  Their answers are all very sincere and heartfelt and will make you feel so loved!

This week the Kindergarten students wrote valentine cards for soldiers.  They are being sent to the Marine barracks at Parris Island.  It was also a great opportunity to learn how to write a letter and address a postcard.

Enjoy the beautiful weather and have a wonderful week!

Michelle & Sonja

Mrs. Carroll’s Class: Colorful Hearts


This week we celebrate the vibrant spirit and colorful heart of Martin Luther King Jr. Though the details of his message remain abstract, children can and do understand components of his dream. Our classroom focus on peaceful problem solving, lively discussions, and stories have ignited an understanding that actions can affect people’s feelings and that all feelings are okay, but not all actions are. We will continue to provide the tools to foster peaceful problem solving and acknowledge Dr. King’s dream throughout the school year.

Our dream is that one day your children may grow up to be world changers who will work together in challenging situations to establish creative solutions and make critical connections to others.

We appreciate you returning emptied Friday Folders each Wednesday so that we can fill and return them to you with the current week’s work.

Dare to dream,

Cindy & Sharlene

Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Heigh-Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go!

When a child works, he does not do so to attain some further goal.  His objective in working is the work itself. – Maria Montessori

One of Maria Montessori’s more well known quotes is “play is the child’s work.”  We’re sure by now you have heard your child talk about their work at school. Maria Montessori preferred the word work rather than the word play, to describe the learning process children are constantly undergoing. Work conveys the amount of effort that children put into their physical, social, emotional, and academic growth. As adults, our definition of work has a very different meaning.

Children are driven by a strong unconscious internal growth process to seek out experiences that will meet their needs. Our role as Montessori teachers is to provide a well-prepared environment that encourages children to be independent and learn at their own pace. The children are free to choose their work and to use it repeatedly. So, while they are ‘working’ each child is also building independence, coordination, self-discipline, and concentration.

Please be on the lookout for information regarding our Valentine’s Day celebration in your Friday folder.

Have a wonderful week!

Michelle & Sonja

Transformable Objects

What if we could make objects transform in the same way a flower unfolds from its bud? This is what designer, Harvard professor, and accidental toy inventor Chuck Hoberman is trying to figure out.

All of his ideas (event installations, toys, and more) have earned over 20 patents, all use math and engineering to emulate nature. Check out this episode of Wired‘s “Obsessed” video series takes a closer look at his work.

In our MakerSpace, we have been practicing his designs and have tried to recreate several of his creations, while using him as inspiration for our own unique toys.

Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Really Cool Reptiles

We are now ready to move from our study of mammals to reptiles. Building on the knowledge that each class of animals has different characteristics to help us distinguish which class they belong to, we introduce these unique characteristics and learn how to correctly classify animals.

We learned that reptiles:

  • Are cold-blooded.  Therefore, a reptile’s body reacts to the temperature of its surrounding.
  • They are covered in scales.  Reptiles do not have hair or fur.  Their scales help to protect their body.
  • They are vertebrates so they have a backbone.
  • Most of them lay eggs on land.  They also have very strong instincts, so from birth they need to be able to survive independently.
  • They breathe air and have lungs.

Some animals that belong to the reptile class are snakes, alligators, crocodiles, turtles, and lizards.

As we introduce a different science concept, we also gently weave the topic into the other areas of the classroom.  For example, we introduced turtle scrubbing in the classroom.  In math, the  counters and manipulative used will be reptiles.  This is a great springboard for discussions to take part in all day long.

Have a wonderful week!

Michelle & Sonja

Air Pollution- How often does this come up?

The California fires have brought up many conversations in the MakerSpace. Students have discussed how we can help, why it’s happening, who’s doing something about it, and when will it will stop? A lot of the questions being asked we don’t have answers for.

One thing I have noticed about my students is their constant desire to help others and to help their future. These conversations connected to our class work where we are currently making “wearable” items/objects where thoughts of sustainability and our environment are at the forefront of truly making their future the cause of today.


Here’s a great visual of world-wide air pollution. Check it out!


Time outside!

We are enjoying the beautiful weather outside as much as possible. We know that rainy days are headed our way and are taking full advantage of our playground.

We have had several visits from our Community Service Volunteers over the past few weeks. FWM Middle School students devote one hour every six days to work with those younger than them. This is a pleasurable time for all involved as the children begin to see each other as an extension of their families and class communities.