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Endless options for learning in Middle School Science Olympiad Club

Watch and learn the different ways middle school students learn and explore in-depth topics in the Science Olympiad club


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Latin Students Earn Prestigious Art and Writing Awards

Twenty-five Latin students were recently recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers in conjunction with its Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The entries they submitted for the regional competition earned a total of 42 awards, including three Gold Keys, 18 Silver Keys and 21 Honorable Mentions. Below are the names of the students, the awards they won and the categories in which the awards were received. 

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards honor "the vision, ingenuity and talent of our nation’s youth, and provide opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated." You can learn more about them by visiting https://www.artandwriting.org/

We want to congratulate all of the award winners on being recognized for their amazing work. We also want to thank our teachers for all they do to nurture the talents of our students.

Art Award Winners

  • Lyla G. - Gold Key (Drawing & Illustration); Silver Key (Design)
  • Thomas A. - Silver Key (Photography)
  • Malia C. - Silver Key (Sculpture) 
  • Keya D. - Silver Key (Photography)
  • Ben L. - Silver Key (Photography) 
  • Wyatt P. - Two Silver Keys (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Gideon B. - Honorable Mention (Photography)
  • Emily G. - Honorable Mention (Sculpture) 
  • Michael G. - Honorable Mention (Photography)
  • Miles H. - Honorable Mention (Photography)
  • Edie P. - Honorable Mention (Photography) 
  • Tomas P. - Honorable Mention (Photography)
  • Carolena T. - Honorable Mention (Photography)

Writing Award Winners

  • Keya D. - Gold Key and Silver Key (Journalism); Honorable Mention (Poetry); Honorable Mention (Flash Fiction)
  • Rohin S. - Gold Key (Journalism) 
  • Noa B. - Two Silver Keys (Poetry) 
  • Malia C. - Silver Key (Short Story)
  • Hannah D. - Silver Key and Two Honorable Mentions (Poetry) 
  • Scarlet G. - Silver Key and Honorable Mention (Journalism); Silver Key (Poetry); Honorable Mention (Critical Essay) 
  • Miles H. - Two Silver Keys and Three Honorable Mentions (Poetry); Silver Key and an Honorable Mention (Flash Fiction) 
  • Zoe H. - Silver Key (Personal Essay & Memoir)
  • Laila C. - Honorable Mention (Poetry)
  • Kate E. - Honorable Mention (Poetry)
  • Kai G. - Honorable Mention (Personal Essay & Memoir) 
  • Isadora S. - Honorable Mention (Critical Essay)
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First Grade Flag Project

Latin first grade students started the year building their community. It was important to establish to ensure all feel safe and comfortable taking risks, making mistakes, asking for help and supporting one another. 

As students listened to some of their favorite songs, they got inspired. The song, “Wave your Flag” by K’Nann, in particular, sparked a lot of inspiration. Some may be familiar with this song as it is the anthem of the World Cup. As the first graders listened to the song, they thought it might be fun to create their own flags. 

As students began to explore their identities and community, they discovered that flags often represent groups of people who are related in some way. For example, city flags can represent folks who live in the same city. Team flags can represent fans of a particular team. State/country flags represent people who come from those places.

Each student then created their own flag to represent pieces of their identity. The process started with the exploration of identity, authenticity, symbols, and flags. A lot of time was spent considering the difference between things we like/love, and pieces of our identity. As an abstract concept, teachers worked with students in small groups to help them understand the differences. Students then filled out an identity bubble map and began the process of designing their flags. Each student received a planning sheet to select important colors, symbols and shapes they wanted to include in their flags. 

After each individual flag was created, the grade level came together as a community, to explore how they could create one class/community flag to represent all individuals in the group. This process worked on skills such as compromise, collaboration and communication. The students problem-solved and suggested ways to include everyone in the community. The outcome being one community flag to represent the Latin first grade communities. 

Take a look at the flags students made to reflect their voices and choices. 

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US Marine Science Uses the City as the Classroom

New to the upper school Science course offerings this year, is a Marine Science course taught by Mr. Wisnieski. 

Students in this course are exploring the aquatic environments near Latin and around the city. In September they took a kayaking trip to the Wild Mile, a portion of the Chicago River that is being rehabilitated by the Urban Rivers organization.

Students toured the river on kayaks and studied the organisms living in the new habitats that have been constructed. More recently, students monitored the water quality in Lake Michigan. 

Take a look at the #opportunities found inside and outside the classroom at Latin.

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Do You Know? René Moreno

Get to know René Moreno, Lower School Visual Art Teacher.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso

I earned a BFA from RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and majored in Illustration.

Position and title at LatinI am the Visual Arts teacher in the Lower School. This is my 5th year at Latin. I was here as an assistant art teacher for 3 years while I worked on my teaching certification, and I am so happy to be back!

I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.
What are your favorite things about Latin? I am constantly inspired by my colleagues, who are excellent at what they do and are so passionate about their work. I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.

Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school? As an illustrator, I visited schools and libraries to promote my books and I usually taught a little art project at those visits. I loved working with kids, so I decided to get my teaching certification.

Who is your favorite artist?
It’s a tie between Frida Kahlo and Vincent Van Gogh.

What was the last good book you read?I am currently reading a wonderful book called Everything Sad is Untrue, an autobiographical novel about an Iranian refugee growing up in Oklahoma. It’s funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

What are your hobbies and interests?I enjoy collecting children’s books, walking outside, listening to music, and practicing yoga.

What was your first job?After college, I worked several jobs all at once: I worked as a freelance illustrator for children’s books, worked as a waitress and barista, and also painted silk for a fashion designer.

What is one piece of advice you would want to tell your lower school self? You can do hard things!

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