We like to pride ourselves on educating the whole child. We nurture children' emotional, social, artistic, and academic selves. We leave lots of space in our day to support our children's problem solving and discussions. Our children also learn how to clean up a spill, make change for a dollar, and shovel snow. We want them to leave each day at school having had their creative, intellectual, and physical needs met.
Our first through second grade math students have been spending the last two weeks really working on their money skills. We've been sorting coins, counting coins, and trading coins in for others with equal value. Everyone is working on the skill of counting up to a dollar to make change. They created a "store" with items from around the school and practiced paying for items in different ways. On Friday, we opened the store up to the rest of the school. Each child had a dollar to spend, and the math students worked to get them the right amount of change. The question of bartering came up almost immediately, and I let them know that this time they had to rely on our standard currency.
Artists at Work
Rick came back to do a second lesson for us on drawing. This time we tackled houses, perspective, and vanishing points. He brought magic "shrinking sticks" for the kids to use, and everyone had the chance to be measured up close and then from across the room. Some of the children shrunk more than four feet! Ask your child for a more detailed explanation of this process.
The children also really enjoyed making glue, salt, and watercolor paintings. It's one of those artistic projects where the process is so much of the fun. They trace their design in big swirls of glue, sprinkle the glue with salt, tap of the extra salt, and then drip drops of watercolor onto the salt lines. The color spreads along the lines in interesting ways and they watch as colors meet and blend.
Big Topics of Discussion
In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday on Monday, we talked about his story and legacy. The older children read Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport. The book uses quotes from Dr. King to help illuminate some of the work he did during his life. We talked about meeting hate with love. The children struggled with the idea that he was shot, and we talked about how lucky we all are to live in a place and a time when they are very safe. Each child contributed a page to an "I Have a Dream" book where they wrote and drew their vision for the world they want to help create. I'm planning on sending it home with each family, so that you can all enjoy it as well.
Our Theme: Science Projects
The science projects are progressing nicely. Everyone worked on a procedure this week including illustrations. We talked about the importance of being very specific so that anyone else could conduct our experiment. We also made plans for documenting our results through pictures, words, diagrams, and graphs. The children are very eager to begin the actual experimenting this next week.
Whether pulling apart the pieces of the scientific method or figuring out the idea of perspective, our children are constantly building skills that we hope will serve them well in the rest of their lives.