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Transition Times

The mild weather this week (no snow fell!) had us all reveling in the changes of spring. We moved the desks down to our tent to help make outdoor learning easier. We used the front porch for reading groups, bubble blowing, and painting. The older kids made a pretty challenging obstacle course during their PE time. The younger kids finally got to hold their Endangered Animal Celebration. They were so very excited to share their animals and books with all of our families. Play in the woods had a mellower feel than it does sometimes - many of the kids were making "houses," nesting into the pine needles and collecting sticks for building. Everyone is talking about how we are going to return to full time in person learning and how that transition will impact all of us.

Tracy's PK-2nd Grade Reflections

"I want to be in Italy" was the refrain of a song we listened to last week, and it keeps running through my head. We study a different country every year so we can get a little insight to the many different ways that people live all around the world. This year's Covid-19 constraints have left many of us feeling like we are stuck in one place. I've been enjoying the chance to travel (even if it's in my imagination) to somewhere new. The children let me know the things they already know about Italy:

  • It's shaped like a boot and on the Mediterranean Sea.

  • They eat pasta and pizza.

  • There was a big volcano explosion there.

  • There's the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

They also wrote or dictated some ideas of things they would like to know:

  • What else do they eat in Italy besides pasta and pizza?

  • What language do they speak?

  • Do they have pets?

  • What is school like for kids?

We started to delve into some of these questions. The kids were intrigued to notice some words that are very similar in Italian and Spanish like "grazie" and "gracias." We read a bunch of different picture books that were set in Italy and looked for nonfiction information in each of the books. Each one gave us a different perspective on Italy - Strega Nona Meets Her Match, Arrivederci Crocodile, Vivaldi and the Invisible Orchestra, Dancing on Grapes, Madeline and the Cats of Rome, The Year I Didn't Go to School, and Olivia Goes to Venice. We spent time in cities and the countryside, in history and in present day, and from the point of view of children and crocodiles.

Theresa's 3rd-6th Grade Reflections

The big kids at Country Classroom will be finishing up projects in the next two weeks, so that we are ready to start fresh when we all return to full time.

In reading, they finished The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate. The book ended beautifully, with the main characters finding beauty and joy. Reading it together was enjoyable for everyone.

The kids are starting a new piece of fiction. The kids all have ideas and are writing every day.

Mostly, though, we are excited (and perhaps a bit nervous) to return to full-time. Last week, we spent a lot of time talking about what that is going to look like, how it will be different, and what changes we can expect. Mostly, we will not be able to be as flexible as we have been. With only 4 kids, it has been easy to take an extra 10 minutes in writing, or an extra five minutes in recess. With more children, and when we are sharing the space with many others, we will have to more carefully follow the schedule.

That said, it is going to be so much fun to have a full school! We will be able to play more games, listen to more people's ideas and do bigger projects!


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