Mold to Endangered Species (and back again)
35 degrees Fahrenheit and rain doesn't sound like ideal outside time for most of us, and I admit that I donned my coat and boots with a little dread this past Thursday. But our kids were so very happy playing in the rain. The creek, which generally tops out at 2 inches, was gurgling along with a good 5 inches of water. The gutters had a steady stream of water pouring from the roof. The children grabbed buckets, watering cans, cones, and measuring cups and got down to some serious water play. They also discovered, entirely accidentally, that our hill gets really slippery in the heavy rain, and they could do some serious grass/mud sliding. Apologizing to families for the mud isn't quite right because if I truly didn't value this kind of play we could just stay inside. But I do value all that the children learn in the rain. And I value our families for working to get their kids geared up for it and for cleaning off all that mud when our play is done for the day. Thanks everyone - may your washing machines stay healthy!
Theresa's 3rd-6th Grade Reflections
We are stepping up the academics this March!
The kids have just started a book called "Made You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Care." We started our study with a search for logos throughout our school. The book talks about the history of advertising and how it has infiltrated so many aspects of our lives. In Science, the kids have been growing some mold that they are going to examine under the microscope next week. They have also been learning about all of the parts of cells. In Social Studies, we are beginning to "grade" the work for the 5th and 6th-grade students. Every week, the kids have had to watch two episodes of "Liberty's Kids" which is a telling of early American history cartoon-style with both accuracy and drama. They have had a series of questions to go along with each episode, and I have checked to see if the questions were answered. In an effort to bring a little more care to the students' work, I am going to check their work for grammar, punctuation, and correct answers. It is a radical change for our kids, but I think that they are ready for it!
Tracy's PK-2nd Grade Reflections
Our writers celebrated their work by sharing it with their peers this last week. Our first and second graders read their biographies. Each of them had chosen to put their information in a book, poster, or diorama. Our younger writers picked a favorite piece from their writers' notebooks. While I miss asking in our bigger Country Classroom community (not a possibility in Covid-19 times), our authors seemed happy to read their work to each other, and I was impressed with both the quality of their listening and their feedback. We celebrated with half a cider donut which, of course, made it all feel like even more of a celebration. The endangered species projects are off and running. The kids decided they wanted to make a "zoo" so we're going to be breaking out the paper-mache supplies in the next few weeks and making scale models of our animals.
We have been enjoying the art projects suggested by the Albany Institute of History and Art's "Museum Makers" page. The kids have created line sculptures, rubbings, rainbows from found objects, and arts on a natural canvas (pinecones, rocks, acorns, a cow skull, etc.). I love seeing the variety of projects and hearing them talk about their creative process. You can check out some of the AIHA's cool suggestions here:
We're looking forward to the warming temperatures these next few weeks and doing even more of our learning outside.