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Surprising Ourselves

Theresa and Tracy's classes went on a field trip Friday to see the Science of Magic. The magician, Bill Blagg, talked about how when we watch magic the moments of awe and wonder happen when we expect certain scientific laws to be in effect and our expectations are surprised. When a teacher appeared to float on a board, that definitely surprised us because it seemed like gravity stopped working for a few minutes! As an experienced performer, Bill Blagg surprised us multiple times over the course of the show, and the children spent a good chunk of time afterwards trying to think about how the tricks could happen (assuming that all those scientific laws continue the way we expect them to).

One of my favorite parts about teaching is when kids surprise themselves. Often, they are overcoming something they don't think they can do. This past week I caught each of these moments:

  • threading a needle successfully without help

  • reading a new book that had seemed too hard (but totally wasn't)

  • trying spicy Indian snacks

  • spelling "adventure" independently

  • figuring out how to measure and mark half inches

  • drawing geometric lotus flower designs

I could probably fill a few blog posts with examples like these, but they happen so often that mostly I just try to take a moment to recognize them, and then we just go on with our day.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Had many adventures outside. We looked for different bugs, flowers and enjoyed the outdoor kitchen items.

* We read books on Spring, India, and bugs.

* The children collected items from nature. Then we played a game for what nature items would stick to contact paper. Some comments were "it's so sticky," "it's see through," "it's like a window." Next the children brought out their scissors and were allowed to cut up their nature findings.

* The children are really getting the hang of playing dominos and other games!

* Some of the Kindergarten children are excited to read to our Pre-K children during our work time. A few of the Pre-K students are starting to sound out words as well!

* The children have been talking about castles and dragons lately. They have been making detailed block castles and really working together on their creations. So many ideas are being shared. They have also been interested in tracing printed out pictures of castles and adding their own ideas.

* The children explored mixing watercolors, baking soda, and vinegar. They called the eruptions "potions" and decided they must be magical! They have also been playing in warm water, shaving cream, and coffee grounds.

* We planted zinnias that we can bring home to help butterflies and pollinators!

Tracy's 1st - 3rd Class

Our class is working on "setting the agenda" for the student led conferences next Friday. It's interesting to see what parts of this process are easy or challenging for students: reflecting on what they have learned this year, picking out special skills or pieces to share, recognizing their strengths, and setting goals.

In math, we are learning a few more big ideas and reviewing what we have been working on since the beginning of the year. Our first grade class is working on geometry and describing attributes of shapes. Our second grade class is working more with fractions and double digit addition and subtraction. Our third grade class is continuing their work on fractions and extending multiplication facts (ex: 4x6=24, so 4x60=240, and 4x600=2,400).

In writing, we are making nature journals as well as filling out the sheet for our upcoming conferences.

This class is reading and reading and reading! We take some time to do some word work, but my biggest challengs during reading time is getting them to stop.

Theresa's 4th - 6th Class

The children are working on their end of the year reports and are considering the many things that they have learned at Country Classroom. This has led to many sweet conversations, as children recall the first time they learned to tie their shoes or get on their snow pants.

The big kids rocked another math test. Everyone can see the end of their textbooks, and they are working hard to finish them.

We are starting to read "Tuck Everlasting." The eldest kids did a close reading of the first paragraph this week, and looked for the themes that will re-occur throughout the book. The younger readers continue to enjoy "Skylark."


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