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Daily Building

Over the summer a friend told me that some spiders rebuild their webs every day. This week an especially adventurous or tenacious spider, built a web on my car. It tore apart on the commute to and from school, but the next morning there was a new web. For 5 days in a row, there was a web sitting in the morning dew. I admire that spider's work ethic, and I wonder if it traveled with me each day up and down the hill.

That spider's web made me think a bit about my jobs as a teacher. Each day I encourage kids (and myself) to act from a place of kindness, to ask questions about the world around them, and find joy where they can. I do this in lots of little ways, and I do it every day. I'm not always sure how lasting my impact will be, but I still do it again and again because I believe that this daily work is important.

Theresa's 3rd-5th Grade Reflections

The big kids at Country Classroom are so full of joy and excitement to be at school. Kids are busy learning new routines and making new friends.

The schedule is very similar to other years. The kids come in at 8:30, and do "workbooks." This is when we do math and grammar skills practice. Then we have circle, followed by math. During math class, we will be working on each grade's curriculum. On Fridays, we play math games to incorporate and reinforce various skills. Math is followed by snack and recess. Jump rope and "Fruit Stores" have been popular. Recess is followed by writing. I had planned to spend the week learning routines and generating lists of ideas to write about. The children, however, had different plans. They all dove into story writing. Writing is followed by lunch, which is followed by reading. In reading this week, I have been assessing readers and making sure everyone has a good book. This coming week, we are starting reading groups. After reading, the kids study our "Theme" with Tracy.

During lunch and snack, the kids have assigned seats, to encourage them to make cross-grade friendships and to avoid too much cliquishness. It has been working! Recess has been full of inclusive games and imaginative play.

Tracy's PK-2nd Grade Reflections

We are jumping into literacy. Every day we have at least 2 read-alouds for the whole class. For our PK and K students, the letter of the week was "s." We sang about Sammy Seal, made playdough snakes into "s" shapes, went on an "s" word hunt, found hidden "s" magnets, and looked for "s" in our sandpaper letters. Our first and second grade kids jumped into their writers notebooks, starting the daily rhythms of our writing workshop.

In math, our PK and K kids were writing the number 1, counting pennies, and starting to jump up and down a number line. Our 1st and 2nd graders helped make those number lines and started their math workbooks. We rolled two dice, added them together, and graphed our results to practice addition and start to think a little bit about both probability and different number combinations. One student mentioned, "We keep getting 7. That makes sense because there are lots of ways to make 7."

Our Theme: Creating Our Town "Lemmings"

Our town is under construction. We started a conversation about rules with "The Kingdom with No Rules, No Laws, and No King" by Norman Stiles. This led to a discussion about some different ways we could govern our town. Some kids thought we should have an elected mayor and town council to propose laws. Others thought we should all be involved in all of the decisions of the town. We haven't made any definite decisions on how we make decisions, but we did generate a long list of potential names and agreed to use approval voting to pick a name. "Lemmings" got support from almost everyone. The children raided their recycling bins and brought in all sorts of great building materials for our town. They started building houses and apartments. Some of them are house sharing, and some of them wanted their own houses.

We generated a list of different jobs or building we thought were important to let our town run well. We read Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do to give us a bunch of the standard options. But we also read Incredible Jobs You've (Probably) Never Hear Of to learn about some more unique jobs. We'll be looking more at that list this next week to pick jobs.

Our year is off to a great start! I can't wait to see what the year brings and what we manage to build together.


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