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A Caring Community

I got to represent Country Classroom at Fourth Friday in Middleburgh last week. The kids helped me gather rocks from our stream and wash them, so we could do "pet rocks" at our table. Many of our students came to visit me and create some art. I also had the chance to talk about our school to some people who knew nothing about it. People often want to know how we are different from public school, and I talk about how much time we spend outside each day (in all weathers), project-based integrated learning that is shaped by the kids, multiage classrooms, and a focus on social emotional learning. But I really just wanted to tape our kids in action as they were at our table. They were confident, helpful, kind, creative, thoughtful, and friendly. They were at ease in this place, with each other, and with the adults around them. They were clearly part of a caring community.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Worked on the number 26 - some of the kids said 26 is a big number while others asked if we would make it to 100 by the end of school!

* Continued our bug exploration

* Made more beginner reader books

* Sang many songs and finger plays

* Worked on our writing skills

* Talked about some children going to a different school in the Fall and what they are excited and nervous about, as well as what their new classroom looked like. We also talked about how we could still see and talk to each other in lots of different ways: writing letters, play dates, 4th Fridays in Middleburgh, video chat, the pool, and the library.

* Showed a lot of kindness to others by being helpful: giving extra hugs, checking in with each other, showing how some letters were made, etc.

Tracy's 1st and 2nd Class

I love children's books, and they tend to be at the center of lots of our teaching. Whether we're tackling math concepts, delving into social emotional learning, or learning about Indonesia, stories are central to so much of our daily learning. This past week we read "We Don't Eat Our Classmates" and talked about empathy. "Goldilocks and Just One Bear" gave us the opportunity to do a quick retelling of "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears" - the kids were super helpful with the retelling as you might imagine. Then we did a little compare and contrast between the original and the new one. We also talked about how good illustrations can really help to bring out the humor in a story and reflected on what that can teach each of us as illustrators. We read the classic "Caps for Sale," and the children were a rousing bunch of monkeys to my cap seller. It's such fun nurturing their love of reading and hearing their insights when discuss each book.

In math, the red book kids tried doing some low stakes timed tests to see how well they know their addition math facts. We played a bunch of different games to help make these facts more fluent. Meanwhile the blue book kids are continuing to build their understanding of multiplication and dividing by thinking of groups of things (3 books on each of 4 shelves or 15 flowers split equally among 3 vases). We're drawing solutions and using the skip counting we have been practicing with "Balloon Bop" and our songs all year.

Theresa's 3rd-5th Class

The big kids are learning how to make things happen!

They are planning an overnight field trip to the Corallo's campground, complete with meal planning, sleeping arrangements, and a covid plan. Their initiative and teamwork are remarkable.

In our weekly paragraph, we are continuing to tease out the difference between a reason and an example. The older kids are also doing research to have actual information-based examples. This weekly exercise is definitely leading to an increased awareness of spelling and grammar. It will definitely become an aspect of our curriculum next year.

All of the kids are working on decimals and understanding the difference between .5 and .05.

On Friday, the eldest students took it upon themselves to reorganize my math shelves. They have never been so sparkly!


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