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Gaining Steam

Every morning we gather together for our morning circle. We sing, dance, and talk. I sometimes have a few specific ideas for topics, but the children always help to shape our discussions, and they know this is a time when they can share. This past week one student shared how she had worked with her sisters and members of the DAR to set up flags of remembrance for September 11 in Schoharie. Another student shared about a death of her uncle's friend. These are big topics, and we give them time if kids want to talk more. This week, we went from death to favorite moments playing in the snow. It was a reverse that had my brain reeling, but that felt right to the group in the moment.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Explored pentominoes, built numbers with pentominoes, and solved pentomino puzzles.

* Played "Race to 100" with the older class - adding together two dice and then using hundreds blocks to represent each number.

* Played with play dough, kinetic sand, coffee grounds, slime, and shaving cream.

* Created art with watercolors, tempera paints, oil pastels, crayons, and collage.

* Used the dress up clothes to be wizards, dragons, doctors, and more.

* Searched for salamanders, frogs, worms, toads, and other critters. They also made sure to give themselves "mud gloves" before gently handling any amphibians.

* Discovered shells and fossils in the sandbox while creating mountains, towers, and a dinosaur playground.

* Worked on "All About Me" books.

Tracy's 1st - 4th Grade Class

* Started work in our vocabulary and spelling workbooks.

* Worked on addition, multiplication, and division skills.

* Talked about problem solving in math and ways to focus on the important parts of a word problem... then solved a bunch of word problems.

* Began reading with our reading groups.

* Made guesses on a whole bunch of questions that we will "time capsule" until the end of the school year.

* Picked one topic of interest (from the many they generated last week) to focus on, came up with some key questions, and wrote about what sort of finished product they wanted to make to share their learning.

* Walked to the Middleburgh Library and used their online catalog to find and request books on their topic.

Filling Buckets

Hopefully your child brought home a paper basket/bucket filled with little scraps of paper. Each year we read Fill a Bucket and talk about the invisible bucket we carry with us. It's a way to think about our sense of well-being and happiness. People fill our buckets by being kind to us, and sometimes someone is a "bucket dipper" and does something that makes our bucket feel less full. We all took the time to make some bucket fillers (cutting out cool pictures, writing notes, etc.), and then we gave those things to our classmates. But our buckets stayed full because our classmates kept giving us bucket fillers in return. We reflected how good it felt to help fill everyone's buckets. This activity forms a touchstone, and kids will often talk about how their bucket is feeling sort of empty or how when they helped someone else, their bucket felt more full. It's a useful way to check in about feelings and how we impact each other.


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