Whole child education
Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for a great fundraising event last Saturday! I had this goal of enjoying the day. I did. It was truly fun - I got to listen to some great stories, dance around the room, eat a scrumptious lunch, listen to some fun music, enjoy our silent auction, and see all sorts of great people. Let's do it again... next year.
Birds, Birds, Birds, Birds
It was another messy week in our classroom, but then again you know that because you saw the clothes. I am sure that the smocks help, but sometimes when you are using paper-mache, you just have to rub it all the way up your arms and make flour and water gloves. And then some gets in your hair.
We also painted our birds, and my hands were just too paint covered to get any pictures of that project. We got every bit of newspaper covered with paint and continually checked our pictures of birds so that we could be as accurate as possible. On Tuesday, we'll add some of the details like eye masks, bibs, and tail markings to make our birds look even more realistic.
A central part of our school's mission is to educate the "whole child." We think it's crucial to be able to read, write, do math, think critically, and question the world. We want our children to know the scientific method, the constitution, and something of the diversity of people that live in this world. But we also really want children who know how to play, how to be happy, and how to resolve their differences. We work on these skills every single day. At this point in the year, I am mostly "the ears." I listen to the children as they work out their disagreements and only jump in if I notice someone's anger is really building or if I am really concerned about the tone that is being used.
This week they managed to transport all of the water left in the big blue barrels by the well using a wide variety of tools and scooping arrangements. The taller children scooped. The smaller children walked the water back and forth to the sandbox. As the water level in the barrels got even lower, one child would tip the barrel while another one got the water. Their were minor disagreements about what vessels each got to use and whether the water should run out of the sandbox in the "biggest water slide ever" or be held back behind a dam to make a lake. They started to mixing the water into "gloop" and decided to have a feast. Everyone was involved, and everyone brought a dish to share. Each child introduced their treat, and then we all dug in as we circled around the picnic table.
We were working with dividing a given number into different groups this week. If we have 20 bears, we can break them up into 2 groups of 10 or 4 groups of 5 or 5 groups of 4, but it's still always 20. Playing around with this concept helps to get children ready for multiplying and dividing as well as building their understanding of different numbers.
We also worked with time, drawing clocks on our chalkboards that came out really well. It gave me a chance to check on how everyone is doing with writing numbers between 1 and 12 and to spend some time practicing different times. We talked again about how the hour hand is the important one. We look at it first and know it travels slowly around the clock face because it is shorter than the minute hand. Just like someone with shorter legs covers less ground with each step, the hour hand travels slower. We did this earlier in the year, and many of the children remembered. But then we built on that knowledge and started talking about how we can tell other times by looking at the hour hand as well, like half past 2 or a little after 5.
Bird Fair, Monday April 4, 2:30 pm
We'll be sharing our bird and egg models, and some of facts we have learned about our birds. Please come to here a little bit from our budding ornithologists!
I hope that you all enjoy your 4 day weekend!