Coming Together to Celebrate

"Can we do this again next month?" asked one eager author at our tea this week. All of our students had a whole host of things to celebrate. We celebrated our first community theme by walking the streets of our town and comparing them to the town we created. We celebrated the personal narratives our children produced during Writer's Workshop. We also came together with families to put on costumes, share food and stories, and play some games at our fall party. A Field Trip to Town All of our students have walked around a town before, and they have all been to the doctor's office, but when we went on our field trip we had the opportunity to look a little more deliberately and closely. The stud

Brain and Body Balance

We want the children in our school to be critical thinkers, using careful observation, reflection, and research to help them form their ideas. We also want them to feel comfortable in their bodies, knowing that they are strong and able individuals. Much of their best learning comes when they can bring these two together. This hands-on learning can be (okay, very often is) messy. We made puddles while testing boats and there were some tears when a few of our scientists got frustrated in their process. But we have lots of rags for messes, friends and teachers to offer support, and eventually everyone had a boat that could float and hold weight. We take the time to talk about the process, and w

Watching Beautiful Things

A visitor to our school recently remarked, "They take such good care of each other!" I loved her observation because helping to build compassionate people is one of the goals of our school, and I was so glad that she could see it at work. We want our children to be kind, an active process that requires them to put themselves in the shoes of their classmates. We work on apologizing for our missteps, taking responsibility for our actions, and de-escalating tense situations. It's a tricky set of skills to assess except through careful observation. Our teachers are with our students throughout the day during academic times, recess, and lunch. We have the luxury of watching those skills build and

Fall Changes

"Look at all the geese heading south!" "Oh, this leaf looks like a fire!" "I found a wooly bear!" All of our children have been cluing into the changes of the season and sharing their discoveries. Spending lots of time outside gives all of us a chance to do some careful observation. Which of our trees are losing their leaves first? What colors do we see on each tree? What birds do we notice in our fields and woods? I've also been observing the fall changes that happen as our children settle back into the school year. They know our new routines and are making new friends. They are stretching themselves in new directions with their learning and dusting off some familiar old games in their play

Unique Opportunities

We like to say "Yes!" to our students. When two children asked if they could share a science experiment with the rest of the school, we said, "Yes!" They brought in their materials and wowed their classmates with their demonstration. It prompted a lively discussion as we talked about what we observed and what it might mean. We brought that same "Yes!' to reading with younger friends, having a Spanish café, and making lots of Peep babies for Hamsterdam (though we may need another teacher for the school). Spanish Café Playing restaurant (and variations on this game) has always been a popular part of both indoor and outdoor play. Theresa worked with a group of waiters, staff, and chefs to creat

Parent Weekly Emails

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

 

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