It was an odd week of fits and starts. We didn't have school on Monday because of Martin Luther King Day, had early dismissal due to ice on Tuesday, had an ice day on Wednesday, and then lost half of our class to sickness at the end of the week. We still managed to do some learning though, and it was a good excuse to mix up our regular schedule a bit, shifting the timing to best fit the class. We still made sure to have plenty of time for outside play. The milder weather has thawed out the sandbox, and various "chemical mixes" were being made including the key ingredients of water, sand, and magic.
Lots of Nancy
Okay technically there is still just one Nancy, but we are very lucky to have Nancy coming every Thursday now. Helping each child craft a story with help from the class is a time consuming endeavor, and she was worried that we might not have enough time for all of her great nature lessons. When she asked if she could come weekly, I did a little happy dance. Not only do the children love her, but it's a pleasure to watch such an expert educator at work. This week she brought a mobile snowscape. The children blew cold winds, shivered as flakes of snow fell, and spread out a sheet that showed tracks in a fresh blanket of snow. With Nancy's support, the children told the stories of what they saw on the sheet. A white-tailed deer was quietly walking along, when suddenly it turned and started to run. Why did it turn? Who else was walking close by? Each child had the opportunity to be an animal and tell its part of the story. This week Nancy also brought along an intern from 5 Rivers to check out our school.
Theme: NYS History
The children continued their work as fact detectives as we read about daily life in the New Netherlands. We learned about jobs done by women, children, and men. Children gathered water, stacked wood, weeded the garden, helped clean, and all sorts of other chores that kept them busy through much of their day. Ask your child what school was like for the children and how it was different from our school experience. We did learn that despite all of the hard work and study, the children of the New Netherlands found time to play too.
We also continued developing our play. We are slowly finishing our script, blocking out our movements, and talking about how to best share our story. We spent some time offering suggestions to make our acting better and sharing things we thought were going really well.
Without Theresa to split our math groups, we have been doing work a little differently for this month. We start as a big group and work with a big math concept like estimates, number stories, or (this week) geometry. After doing an activity or two to become more comfortable with the idea, we break into grade level groups for some workbook pages. My afternoon volunteer helps to keep everyone on task, and each child works at his or her own pace.