Checking in has always been a big deal at our school. In past years, we've encouraged young students to "Check in with her face. What do you see?" "Check in with your friend. Ask him if he's okay?" Now masks may make the face checking a bit harder - we've all been working on reading eyebrows and eyes - but keeping tabs on each other is a key part of kindness and a key part of our school.
We try to keep families in the loop as much as possible by writing these updates, sending pictures, and keeping the channels of communication open. This year, in particular, we are striving to keep checking in with our families. It's a bit challenging because they can't just hang out at the school during drop-off and pick-up times. Couple this lack of opportunity for casual check-in's with the reality that families are an active part of the education of their children with our remote learning days. We've always valued the learning children do at home through chores, lessons, and other family times. Now our families are helping to teach about open number lines and exponents. We were grateful for the time last Friday to check in with all our families about their children's learning and about how this year is working for everyone.
Our Theme: Human Body
We had lots of fun adding the final touches to our human bodies this week. We had many parts of the major systems either drawn or pasted onto the outlines we started weeks ago. I enjoyed hearing the children ask each other "Where is your spinal cord?" Or comment, "I really like your arteries!" We definitely did not cover every organ or even every system (sorry endocrine system), but we did start to build some ideas about many of the different parts and the incredible jobs they do to keep us functioning. And thank goodness for the lovely weather this week that let us spread out on the driveway to do some of the work - though blowing body parts proved to be a bit of a challenge.
Theresa's 3rd-6th Reflections
On Friday, Student Evaluations were distributed and we had parent teacher conferences. We did not have our usual Zoom meeting. It is always lovely to talk to parents, and check in around their children. I am pleased to say that everyone is making steady progress in their subjects. We have made it to November, and we have established routines, and we are getting in all of the necessary curriculum.
Nonetheless, we are going to have to up the academic rigor at home, a bit. Expect slightly more difficult math to be coming home. We now have Science, History, Writing, Reading and math, all running with relative predictability.
Last Tuesday, I took a day off (though I was at school) and the kids had Kate as a substitute teacher. It was really wonderful to see them interacting with another adult. Before I left them in her care, I explained to them everything that they needed to do for the day, then they went ahead and did it! Our students are truly independent learners. Kate helped the students as they needed it, but she reported that, for the most part, they are a self-regulating group.
I hope we can all keep checking in on each other this year and make sure that we are doing okay in these challenging times.