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Moving to the Music

We did our best to bring in the spring with our Maypole dancing this week. At Timothy Murphy Park, our students skipped, marched, and danced their way around the pole managing both weaving and unweaving the ribbons (a Country Classroom first this year). It may have been a bit brisk, and the wind definitely had our ribbons dancing, but our community came out to celebrate and that was welcome.

We dance and sing with our kids every day and throughout the day. I love how the older and returning students help to mentor our new and younger students. They offer a guiding hand and help to teach the moves to our favorite dances. They help anchor each group when we sing rounds, and they know enough Spanish to truly revel in the lyrics to De Colores or Paz y Libertad. Together, we build rhythm, melodies, and sometimes even harmonies.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Learned about the number 23

* Worked on counting by ones, twos, and fives

* Talked about different ways to bring nature inside for us to enjoy and looked closely at our treasures.

* Talked about what we see in the Spring then tried to find those items outside - we found wasps, ants, moss, tree fungi!

* Grouped pom-poms by size, color and texture

* Listened to books on YouTube - we talked about how to use letters and words in the search bar to find our requests, how to handle disappointment when a story wasn't available, how to match the cover/title of the book to our YouTube search and how some stories had voices for the characters.

* Practiced writing different words after trying to sound them out

Tracy's 1st and 2nd Grade Class

It's been a week of triangle facts in math. All the kids are working on dividing their personal set of flash cards into facts they know and facts they are working on. A few groups also created a third pile of "facts I almost know automatically" for the ones they can solve really quickly. Everyone feels more comfortable with addition facts than subtraction facts, so please help your kids practice these at home in small doses.

We also delved into tangrams. They allowed us to review shapes and some of our geometry vocabulary while solving puzzles and constructing new challenges. No one wanted to stop for snack.

In literacy, we have been working with "r-controlled vowels" (ar, er, ir, or, and ur). They are noticing these words in both their writing and reading. They are continuing to develop their alternate worlds, and I am seriously considering moving to a few of them.

Theresa's 3rd-5th Grade Class

The big kids at Country Classroom are in the second week of their study of paragraphs. Each week, they are given a prompt and make an outline on Monday. On Tuesday, they write a paragraph, with a topic sentence, reason and examples. On Wednesday they edit it, and on Thursday they write a final draft. The first week was painful, but this week, it got a little easier.

Several kids in math class are planning a trip. Expect a letter sometime soon asking your permission and asking about possible dates! The kids were surprised how much money it cost to travel from place to place in car.

Reading continues to be simply lovely. The eldest kids are reading "Walk Two Moons," by Sharon Creech, which is one of my favorite books of all time. The younger kids have been, in addition to their own reading groups, "listening in" to this story. It is so much fun to be reading a book that is so utterly delightful, everyone is eager to get to the next chapter. It has also led to a number of important conversations about life, joy, and the purpose of our existence.

Our Theme: Indonesia

We did some work with the world map to locate Indonesia, and then spent some time trying to describe what the archipelago and different islands look like. We read Go to Sleep Gecko and The Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story. These two folktales helped to give us some idea of some of the animals and plants of Indonesia and let us talk about the values they taught. Everyone spent some time in partner pairs looking through our collection of books to learn more interesting facts about Indonesia and get inspired by the pictures. We also read My Life in Indonesia and completed a clock worksheet tracing the timing of Eva's day (a kid in Indonesia). Ask your child what we learned about her school day and how it compares to ours.


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