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Courageous Art

Anne Tucker said, "All art requires courage." Our kids express their artistic selves in lots of different ways. This past week one of our students created a puppet show about making new friends. Our PK-second graders took over making a movie about the Revolutionary War, writing a script, collecting costumes, and spending their recess time rehearsing. Our 3rd-6th graders took advantage of the beautiful weather and drew with oil pastels around the school. While some of them weren't sure about sharing their work, they ended up hanging it around the school. The younger cohort was delighted to find this new artwork. Each time they try a new medium, work to express themselves creatively, or share their work with an audience I see them digging into their courage.

Theresa's 3rd-6th Grade Reflections

The Big Kids at Country Classroom are finishing some things, and starting others.

In the "Finishing" category, we completed the book "Made You Look" about advertising. Our students were "Logo Detectives," searching for all of the places that advertising sneaks up on you. They learned about advertising in movies, commercials, and in cartoons. In Math, the kids took tests! At Country Classroom, we do not have a lot of testing, but we do think it is important to get used to them. As I am preparing my formal assessments, I wanted to see how everyone was doing, according to the national benchmarks. Good news! Everyone is fine. In Social Studies, we were taking a tour of many different native cultures, all over the country. We are about to begin studying the arrival of Europeans. Leif Erickson is on the docket!

In writing, the kids just finished a piece of fiction. We are going to start a non-fiction piece, this week.

In Science, we are taking a break from biology to examine rocks. This week, the students went home with a bucket of minerals and several tools for scratching them. The kids used their tools, and their fingernails, to sort the rocks from softest to hardest. We will do additional tests this week.

Tracy's PK-2nd Grade Reflections

I made up my paste ahead of time, stocked up on lots of newspaper, checked the forecast for a good day to be outside, and felt ready to tackle a big project. But I realized two very important things on Wednesday as we brought all of our animal models outside and broke out the paper-mache.

1. I have always had older kids around to help the younger kids when we do this.

2. We usually do this as part of our bird study, and birds are on average much smaller than most of the animals we were about to be covering in pasty strips.

But the sun was shining, we had lots of newspaper, and we went to work. Typically, some kids lingered in the paste, enjoying the texture and smoothing it up their arms. Others had to work hard to be brave and overcome their dislike of the paste. I was so impressed with the number of times and the different ways they helped each other out. By the time we were done we were all a little gooey but quite proud. I can't wait to add one more layer for strength and then get to the painting - hopefully the weather will cooperate.

We're delving into poetry this month. It's one of my favorite writing projects to explore with young children. After quite a bit of work remembering punctuation, making complete sentences, and thinking about uppercase and lowercase letters, this is a chance to potentially throw all of that out the window. One child was just making up gibberish poems, enjoying the sounds and rhythms of her "new" words. We wrote poems about colors and acrostic poems. We all went on a silent sense walk outside and used our five senses to take in all of the changes of spring, then settled down with our writers' notebooks to capture some of what we noticed. We've been reading poems that Country Classroom kids have written in the past as well as poems by slightly more famous authors to help inspire us.


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