It's been a great week for being outside in the mellow days of fall. Everyone is really starting to play well during recess time - horse catching and pears have been big parts of this week's play. Even in today's drizzle, we had fun finding a wide variety of leaves for some projects that we'll tackle next week. Everyone enjoyed following some of the better traveled deer paths through the woods. Some of the children noticed how different branches head in different directions, and we found one particularly worn "deer highway." When I asked why that trail was wider with even more tracks, they noticed that it went down to the creek. "The deer are thirsty!" Have I mentioned that I love my job?
Theme: Flowerville is Alive
We tackled decision making systems this week. When I tried to convince the "peep" population to let Jo (my peep) make all the decisions for our town from this point forward, there was an uproar. They brainstormed some alternate methods of governance, and ultimately agreed on making a democracy. All important choices are reached by consensus or voting. I made a last pitch for the efficiency of a dictator, but no on was willing to let it happen.
This afternoon we "built" Flowerville on the green carpet with a mixed grouping of houses and businesses. The farm is on the outskirts of town, and everything is within walking distance. There were no fires, but that's probably good because I'm not sure if the volunteer squad has practiced very much. There were some vet, hair dresser, and doctor appointments, and lots of mail was written and delivered. Everyone gathered at a community meeting to talk about what was working well and what could improve.
Literacy and Math
Every other day during relax and read I read with your child. Depending on his or her level, we are working on beginning readers or developing readers. I do not expect your children to be reading, but I do want to help nurture their skills. If your child ever expresses worry about reading at school, please let me know.
We keep talking as a class about how all of us are developing skills through practice. It's not really helpful to compare ourselves to others, but it is helpful to compare our current self with an earlier version and realize that our hard work is making us get better at everything from running to counting.
Almost everyone finished a number book this week, and those who haven't will be finishing up a the beginning of next week. We are all working on writing numbers. We have started talking about using number sentences (ie: 4+2=6) as a way to represent a mathematical process. We use counters (including our fingers and toes) to help us ground numbers in concrete objects.
Hopefully you heard a little about our experiments with buoyancy this week. We all tested similar objects but found that sometimes we didn't get the same results. It turns out that while most leaves float, they will sink when they have tiny holes in them, and I was surprised that while apples floated, pears did not. I asked everyone to imagine how buoyancy might be impacted by the liquid. What if we used oil or corn syrup instead of water? We will be experimenting more in the weeks to come.
Enjoy your long weekend, and I'll see you on Tuesday!