Connecting Our Heads and Our Hands

Young children like to grab on to their learning - dividing blueberries into equal shares, figuring out how to make the best ramps for their cars in the block corner, and tootling around on the recorder trying to find different notes. I like to grapple with big ideas, but we also try to come back to this physical grounding whenever possible. So we act out different situations when we are working on our emotional and social selves. We use all sorts of different manipulatives in math. We write words in shaving cream, changing the first letter to make rhymes and develop an understanding of phonics. Bringing Math into the Physical World Both the younger and older math classes have been playing w

If You Give a Kid a Hose...

The weather turned hot this week, so we brought out the hose. Bring out the hose, and it's time to make mud. Once you have mud, it's time to make a mud slide, a mud pool, and some mud body art. Beards were a common adornment, but inspired by our India study, a few children attempted some Henna designs as well. By the end of recess everyone was coated in mud, and we needed to do some serious hosing down. I admit that part of me wanted to hold the hose, to make sure that no one got carried away, and no one got a full force squirt in the face. But like so many parts of our day, I let the children help to set the rules here, and I trusted in their competence. It's the same trust that makes stude

Play, Poems, and India

I want to be a play propagandist. You should too. When I look back on my childhood, I am lucky to have lots of treasured teachers and adored books. But my happiest memories are when I was following deer trails in the ravine with a friend or running in a pack of neighborhood kids in a game of hide-and-seek that spanned a block's worth of backyards. My time at Sarah Lawrence College's conference on play helped reinforce how lucky I am to be part of a school that makes play a priority. What Is a Poem? Working Out an Elusive Definition It's sort of tricky to define a poem, especially when you're little. While I like to throw a poem or two at the children each week, our poetry study had us readin

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Each week, Country Classroom Head Teacher Tracy writes an email to our parents. Many of those emails we publish here. 

 

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