Holding the Rhythms
Coming back from a vacation can always feel a little strange, and this year, we have been working extra hard to hold onto daily rhythms. Each Morning Circle on Zoom starts with a quick check-in with each child as they sign on. Once we hit our official start time, we do a movement song. Then we catch up with any late comers. I read a story. We talk about some parts of that story (though sometimes the kids take these discussions in directions I might not have originally planned). We play a short game if there's time. Then we have one more song, usually in Spanish. Having established routines helps all of us feel a little more secure in these uncertain times. I see it in both cohorts when we are in person and when we are learning remotely.
Theresa's 3rd-6th Grade Reflections
The elder class at Country Classroom is rocking their fictional narratives. Last week, the kids added anecdotes to give more depth to their characters, drew and wrote about their settings, and read their drafts to each other. This week, they will be editing, then they will be done with their stories!
We have stepped up the academics by adding additional online classes on Thursday mornings. This gives us more time to work on everything. This week, we continued our study of Biology by examining protists in pond water. The kids watched videos of protists eating, and then sketched what they observed in their notebooks.
The class is reading The Watsons Go To Birmingham. The kids have enjoyed acting out the scenes in the book.
Tracy's PK - 2nd Grade Reflections
The younger classes have been busy at work as well. To honor all the wiggles of late winter in New York, we have been finding ways to be a little physical inside like practicing with our "Cup and Ball Game," refining our scarf juggling skills, and working on balancing tricks with our peacock feathers. We've been learning about the games children played in Colonial America and realizing there is some definite overlap. We also spent some time watching how men and women got dressed in colonial times. One of the major takeaways, "Women had to wear lots more clothes than men!" We created paper doll people and did our best to layer shifts, stays, pockets, petticoats, gowns, and aprons.
The first and second graders made "Function Machines" in math class, and we are working on noticing the patterns between the numbers that go in a function and what comes out. The kids can generally guess my rules (ex: + 10, doubling the number, - 2) pretty readily and are now developing the skill to make their own rules. It takes a whole different level of understanding. Meanwhile the PK and kindergarten kids are busy at work with their bead bracelets finding the different combinations that can make a number (ex: for the 6 bracelet = 5+1, 2+4. 3+1+1+1). It's a great way to work on decomposing numbers.
In writing we are working on biographies. This week we read Trombone Shorty and The Man Who Walked Between the Towers to get some sense of what a biography might include. The children spent some time remembering other biographies we've read this year and talking about what made them interesting. Now everyone has come up with a person they find interesting and generated questions. We're interviewing those people or doing research to find answers to our questions. Related to that, if anyone knows Albert Einstein's favorite color, please let me know!
We'll keep doing our best to hold onto our daily schedules and routines in the coming months. But I am also looking forward to having those morph a little bit as it warms up again and even more of our day is outside.