Capturing a Moment in Time
When our younger students heard through the Country Classroom grapevine that the older kids are making a time capsule, there was a whole lot of excitement. Some kids seemed to think it was going to space, but there was very little disappointment when they learned it was actually going to buried instead. "Like treasure?!" When I asked them to make a goal for this year at school, time capsules featured really heavily. I'm pretty sure we just joined this project, and I'm grateful that I can say "Yes!" when they are this excited about a project.
Our kids were having lots of fun with loose parts play. Our older kids decided they wanted to take our tube and turn it on end to use as a "basketball hoop." In the past, it's been used as a slide, a key prop for circus acts, and a dizzying roller. The younger kids enjoy having our old gutter in the sandbox, and it's served all sorts of different water gathering and ferrying purposes (not to mention requiring some fixing for leaks).
The Big kids at Country Classroom got good news! Two different museums (The Palatine House and the Old Stone Fort) are interested in hosting our Time Capsule! We will be writing up paragraphs about our "artifacts" this week.
The kids also began their writing notebooks. The launch of the writing workshop is always exciting, and it even worked on Zoom. Before the class was over kids were enthusiastically remembering snippets of their lives that they will soon turn into stories. In other academic news, things are getting real. While we truly believe in joyful learning, we need to make sure that, even at a distance, everyone is making progress. The upcoming week will have reading, writing and math assessments, so that we have a baseline for the student's progress. We have all gotten a little rusty over the extended break, but it is time to shake that rust off.
Relax and Read on a Lovely Fall Day
I know this may look different once the temperatures really drop, but reading after lunch, flopping in the sunshine, has been wonderful.
Filling Our Buckets
It was time to do some bucket filling this week as inspired by last week's Fill a Bucket. Some kids cut out particular pictures. Others simply had fun making paper shreds. The real pleasure came in watching them greet each other, make eye contact, and share the wealth of their good will. When we were all done, we talked about how good it felt to both fill other buckets and have our buckets filled.
Math Beyond the Worksheet
We do worksheets and workbooks in math to help practice our skills, but we also try to make connections to the real world. We talked a bunch about patterns this week. We made patterns with our bodies during circle time, created beaded patterns, looked for number patterns, found objects in nature that we could use for patterns, and invited classmates to figure out what came next in our pattern.
Our second graders also set up a "store" where they could sell different items from around the school. The younger students were the customers with a set amount to spend. There was some very careful counting of change by all parties.
Good Guys and Bad Guys
Recess time has been full of lots of play involving teams (wolves vs. robots, invaders vs. settlers). We checked in at one of our class meetings to see how everyone was feeling about all of this play. One key concern was the fairness of teams. When I wondered about how it felt if some kids were always the bad guys, a student answered that no one is really a bad guy, it just depends on how you see it. Each of them sees the other team as the bad guys. Everyone agreed that they really like playing these games, and they don't want to see them stop.
It's all part of this moment in time.