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Tapping Into Our Community

"Tracy that was so much fun! Can we do it again next year?" Our very enthusiastic marchers and singers were thrilled to be part of this year's Memorial Day parade in Schoharie. We talked about it at Friday's community meeting, and they had all sorts of ideas to make next year's parade even better. "I felt a lot of joy singing De Colores!" "I can't believe we got to do that. It was like a dream." Meanwhile I felt so lucky to have the support of our families through the hour plus wait for the parade to start and as we took to Main Street. I could relax and have some fun thanks to their willingness to help pass out plants, keep the children hydrated, and make sure our group stayed together.

Cheryl's PreK Reflections

Our littlest ones love all things garden: from continuing to dig up our school one for some planting (we may call in parent volunteers to help!) to raising their hands to discuss what is growing and blooming at their own homes. The song "Inch by Inch and Row by Row" was introduced and little fingers picked up seeds to 'plant' (glue) in their painted garden beds. Planting a Rainbow and Warrior Goddess got our minds ready for all the beauty growing around us and how we can describe it and share it. Garden blessing flags were decorated and strung. We pretended we were chipmunks, squirrels, and snakes in the garden for our good morning song. A real chipmunk spotting in our sandbox was one of the top news stories of the week. We soaked in the sun during snack, lunch and on our upper deck for water table 'aquarium' play, puppet shows and easel landscape paintings. Tadpoles were brought in and marveled at, alphabet song and identification belted out, and our sandbox was a hit for those little toes that are allowed to be freed in that one special spot in our schoolyard. The number '7' was explored through painting in the air with imaginary paintbrushes, molding dough, tracing and drawing seven of our favorite things and shaking our shakers seven times while practicing our parade marching. I was amazed to hear such thoughtful questions from our youngest when a parent came in to play and teach us about the bass ("how do you put that thing down?") and to witness such patience sitting and absorbing information from a local bird expert. Friday forest recess included hugs between emerging buddies, fort living and hunting, and a nurse taking care of the sick. We ended our week reading Happy Dreamer which had us all talking about how wonderful it is to look up at the clouds and pretend to see things; watch out for your dreamer practicing this important homework!

Expert Visitors

We were lucky enough to have two people bring their special expertise to our school and to offer two very interesting career possibilities. Everyone was taken by the upright bass that filled our big room with sound Monday morning. The children learned about octaves, musical interpretation, and range. They had the opportunity to pluck the strings and examine the bow. They had the chance to ask questions about working in an orchestra and the hours of practice needed to hone those skills. How lucky are we to have parents with such cool skills to share?

We also had the chance to learn about being an ornithologist and ecologist from Taza. All of the children had watched a video about her work with nutcrackers and the whitebark pine. They were full of questions about her work, her tools, and the birds. She answered all of the questions and showed the children everything from a bird band to the little backpacks she makes for each bird to help track them. As she talked about how much she loved her work and the joys of spending so many days outside, I saw lots of faces light up with interest. I think we may have more than one budding ornithologist in our midst.

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