Finding Our Normal
It turns out that when you're running around, and it's cold out, and you're wearing a mask, it gets soggy really quickly. Eww! We were definitely handing out some extra masks this week, but I am so grateful for our outside time. It still looks pretty normal - kids laughing and playing, being silly and serious, and working out all the challenges of being a person in a community. On Friday, many of the kids spent part of their recess watching as a new roof was put on the school. We had to put a ban on wrestling this year. The occasional shout of "Mask break!" (prompting kids to scatter away from each other and get some direct fresh air) is also unique to this year. But recess and our adventure walks still look pretty normal, a gift both for the students and their teachers.
The Joy of Giving
We have been working on different holiday presents for our families - I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil any planned surprises. But the children are continuing to hone their cutting, gluing, drawing, and writing skills with the purpose of making something for someone important to them. They've talked about the happy feeling of giving gifts to the people we love. We continue to talk about different holiday traditions, and we read Mrs. Wishy Washy's Christmas, Inside-Out Grandma - A Hannukah Story, Twas the Night Before Christmas, and The Mitten Tree.
Our Theme: Local Geography
All the PK - 2nd graders finished making their "Me on the Map" book, and they went home in their folders. Please ask your child to share it with you - we're still working on remembering the name of our state and our country. We brainstormed geographical features we might find and used play dough and paper to model them. Everyone knew words like hills and mountains, but "foothills" was a new one for many of them. Their maps and models became increasingly complex as they added ridges, mesas, and even volcanoes.
Theresa's 3rd-6th Grade Reflections
We are working on finishing up all of our odds and ends. We have one more week of school before break. The kids have designed gingerbread houses. Tomorrow, we will make them, and we will send them home to decorate. Most of the kids will be finishing up a book. The biographies are nearing completion. They will have a solid draft by Tuesday, and then will revise and edit them on Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday, everyone will be done! We have started a new system, where we are asking parents to initial the kids workbooks as they finish them. It's a way to make sure that we all know how work is progressing and to keep the communication solid between the work happening at home and at school.
At this point in the year, we are all pretty grounded in our routines and protocols. Our kids (and families) have shown us how adaptable they can be. We're thankful that our normal for this year includes in-person schooling each week, and we look forward to the future when all of our students can be at school full-time again.