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Appreciating Each Other

Now that we have been doing this for seven years, we have lots of different established traditions - the Halloween party in October, the play in February, and one of my favorites Appreciations in June. All of the children take some time to reflect on their relationships with each other and offer a specific appreciation for each child. When we talked about this, they could offer examples of the sort of appreciations that feel truly personal and special and were eager to start working on them. We often talk about how not everyone at the school may fall into your category of closest friends, but they are your colleagues, and you need to be able to work (and play) with all of them. Being able to recognize that they all have strengths and gifts is part of recognizing that they all make our community richer.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Created a small science experiment with an Ivory bar of soap. If put in the microwave, it expands! The children then added water drops to the expanded soap creating bubbles.

* Used the clear nature boxes with magnifying glasses to explore different types of nature items.

* Made a "bug hotel" with a few of the older children out of rocks, sticks, flowers and leaves. Then went around the school looking for bugs to bring back to the "bug hotel".

* Worked with some of the bigger children to make a fort in the stream. The children used logs and rocks. Some of the things children were saying "We can't stand on the top. It's not that sturdy," "Here's the main door, but here's another escape," and "Where can this log go?" It was nice seeing all of the teamwork and their faces when they were finished with it. They were proud of their hard work!

* Different Lego and block creations were made this week. Some children made ramps for cars, garages for the cars, Lego parks and spaceships.

* Collected different items from nature than glued them on paper to trace over the letters of their names.

* Worked with q-tips and paint to trace the dots for numbers 1-20.

* Made fingerprint bugs.

* Talked about and watched the baby birds on the back porch. Some children were making guesses on when they thought the baby birds were going to fly.

* Worked with pom-poms and clothes pins to pick the pom-poms up then transfer them to a different jar.

* Explored the sandbox, paint, insects, baking soda and vinegar!

* Started their appreciations for each other that will be given out at the end of the school year. I read some of the kind words to some of the children. They were excited and proud to hear nice things about themselves.

Tracy's 1st-3rd Class

In math, the first grade class is working on solving number grid puzzles and easily adding and subtracting tens to a number. The second grade class is continuing to work with fractions, coming up with different ways to make a certain amount of money, and practicing double digit subtraction. The third grade class continues their exploration of equivalent fractions, area, perimeter, and prisms.

During writing, we are teamed up with Theresa's class for our India projects (see below).

In reading, we have been working on identifying main ideas in a passage and finding the supporting details of those main ideas. We continue to work on breaking words into syllables and noticing similar words that might share meanings.

Theresa's 4th-6th Class

We have combined writing classes, so Tracy and Theresa's classes are collaborating in pairs on India research projects. They are finished gathering information and working on putting together an interesting and informative presentation. They are making slideshows, cooking recipes, and hosting "talk shows." It's not always easy working with a partner, but they are navigating those challenges, and I look forward to their presentations this next week.

In math, the eldest kids are working on plotting lines on an x-y axis. The middle kid is working on manipulating fractions - changing them into mixed numbers, adding and subtracting them. The youngest kids are working on word problems, and converting measurements between cups, pints, quarts and gallons.

The older readers are continuing to read "Tuck Everlasting" and having big conversations about what life would be like if people could live forever. Most of them wish they could slow life down, a little, without living forever.

Theme: India

We were lucky to have a second globe trotting grandma who could share information about the time she spent in India. The children were intrigued by the clothing, pictures, stories, and treasures Marilyn shared. They were making connections between things she said, books we have read, and facts we learned from our online meeting with Kawal. It can be tricky trying to get all of the diversity and richness of a country in just a one month study, but I appreciate the chance to reflect on the many different ways there are to live and learn in this world.


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