It's become an educational catchphrase - we nurture lifelong learners. But it's also something that is at the heart of what we do. We really want kids who are excited to read, to draw, to sing, to write, to observe, to calculate, to dance, to observe, to discuss, and to actively search for knowledge. It's why we make space for their interests and listen carefully to their questions. It's also why we make sure to have regular teacher meetings and professional development days. We want to make sure that we have plenty of space for our teachers to continue their journeys as learners.
When I told everyone at morning meeting that Friday was just a day for teachers to come to school, one of the children immediately wanted to know, "What are you going to do?" I told them it was a chance for us to focus on our learning. We discussed our personal teacher goals and our schoolwide goal and started to gather some resources to meet those goals. We brainstormed different ideas for field trips and reached out to a few different places. We checked in about all of the students, discussed assessment, and planned for our conferences. We talked about different challenging parts of the day and how to make them work better. We spent about two hours doing our Mandated Reporter Training. We even had a little time for some curriculum planning. It was a busy and productive day, and I was grateful for this time for teacher learning.
Morgan's PK and K Class
* Counted out pretzels and used our 5 senses to talk more in depth about a yummy snack versus just eating the pretzels.
* Worked on counting by twos and fives.
* Explored the insides of small pumpkins then used the seeds to work on a paper that showed the children the names of what parts were called.
* Used our 4 senses to explore the inside of the small pumpkins! Some words that were used: "stinky", "hard and lumpy", "cold" "really orange!"
* We made pumpkin pie pudding in a bag for one of our math lessons then shared with the other grades for snack! Everyone loved how yummy it was.
* Learned about "Tiggy Tiger" and the letters Tt.
* Worked in our writers' notebooks.
Harold T. Gnome's Return
During our workday last Saturday, three of our children discovered that Harold T. Gnome had returned to our woods. According to his newest journal entry, he spent much of the last two years on an island to avoid any possible Covid-19 concerns. But he's back in our woods and offered to join us for a tea party on Wednesday. Everyone was tickled to discover a brand new journal, some cookies, and various woodland friends. Some of the children were inspired to rebuild some of the fairy houses, and many children wrote notes to Harold T. They introduced themselves, thanked him for the cookies, and told him all sorts of other things. When we checked on Thursday, all signs of the tea party were gone. We will definitely keep an eye out for any other magical woods happenings.
This past week we experimented with some fruity chemistry. First, we had to figure out the best way to defrost blueberries. We learned that berries are 85 percent water, and we know what happens when water freezes (ask your child to explain what happened to our water bottle). It's a bit of trick to get those berries to end up sweet and not completely squishy. We tried spreading them out on a cookie sheet, defrosting them in the microwave, and using a cold-water bath. Guess which one worked best? Then we wanted to help bananas ripen for banana bread because sometimes you just don't want to wait that extra week and the ones at the grocery store are all still green. Again, we had 3 different procedures to follow. The end result yielded some soft and sweet bananas that were just right for some banana bread.