My blog post encouraged me to "Add a Catchy Title," and I thought about some wordplay with leaves and fall, but ultimately decided to go classic on this one. That one word, Fall, evokes a whole lifetime of upstate New York memories of hillsides blanketed in warm colors, crisp breezes, and even crispier apples. I love sharing this time of year with children. So much of our day is outside right now that we have even more moments to stop and stare as a huge "v" of geese travel south or invite a wooly bear to share our book during "relax and read."
New Ways to Communicate
Our school has always had a familial feel with all of the grades coming together for recess and our adventure walk. All of our returning younger students have been asking about the older kids now that our hybrid model has them coming at opposite times each week. They've figured out some new ways to stay in touch though. They've been building block sculptures, creating worlds in the sandbox, and making additions to our "fairy houses" in the woods. There are some cards and notes being passed across the divide as well. It makes me happy to see them holding on to those connections.
The big kids at Country Classroom have found a rhythm. The days have fallen into a predictable schedule:
Spanish and grammar workbooks
Meeting and game
Computer work, including Spanish, math and typing.
Snack and Recess
History or Science
The morning was designed so that the kids could continue the same routine at home, if they wanted to and hold onto some of this rhythm. Kids should be reading at least 30 minutes, everyday. If your child is struggling to find a good book, encourage them to ask for help!
The director of the Old Stone Fort is excited to have us bury our time capsule on their grounds. We are going to be finishing our description of our artifacts this week, and making time to bury them, soon.
Lois Ehlirch's Leaf Man had all of us looking for leaf bunnies, gnomes, and chickens this week. We collected some beautiful leaves, flowers, acorn caps, and other treasures from our fields and forests. Then the children made a leaf creation. Many of them added interesting details. "This is the place where my leaf wooly bear lives. There's grass and flowers and trees around him." "This is my robot who can transform and fly with his arms that are also wings."
Cheryl had our PK and K students busy with their math this past week. They continued working on patterns with pattern blocks and craft sticks. They also practiced writing their numbers with sidewalk chalk, representing that number with a certain number of objects, and jumping on a given number. Meanwhile our first and second graders generated a survey question, tallied up responses from everyone at the school, and graphed their results.
All the Stuff!
Right now our kids have an outside table or desk and an inside table or desk. They have folders to take home daily and work to take home for their distance learning days. They have masks, water bottles, and lots of layers to keep them warm and dry outside. Our older students have computers that come back and forth from school to home. I feel like everyone is going to start needing a rolling suitcase to travel all their stuff around. And yet, they are starting to get it, and I was tickled to watch them check their desks and check their backpacks carefully on Friday. Were things still left at school? Absolutely, but it is still fall, and we are all catching up with the many changes this year is bringing.
We can take a breath, pick a pear from one of our fruit trees, and watch some geese wing their way south.