Early Childhood

Under twinkling stars, students explored the planets of our solar system through light and shadows. Astronomers worked together to determine the placement of the planets of our solar system in their order from the sun. Students examined images of each planet noting their almost magical colors, patterns and textures. The beauty of the outer most planets especially sparked students’ curiosity and required further investigation. After paying particular attention to the details of these mysterious planets, artists experimented with ways in which to make colors appear similar to those that can be seen on the gas giants of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. On top of the light table, students observed how dish detergent interacts with food coloring and milk to make colors swirl around and take on a life of their own. By gently placing paper on top of the colors, artists were able to make a lasting impression of their creations.

Later in the week, students attempted to recreate a representation of gas giants using a different medium. After spreading out a thin layer of shaving cream, Early Childhood students used droppers to create spots of color among the whiteness of the cream. They then used a popsicle stick to gently swirl the colors. Once again they placed paper over the top and applied a small amount of pressure. Upon lifting the paper, the image was not immediately clear, however, once the excess shaving cream was removed, artists were left with beautiful twisting, turning color patterns. They delighted in noticing the similarities of their work and the four most distant planets of our solar system.

A Celebration of Learning- Mark your Calendar- Our astronomy unit continues to provide unique and meaningful learning experiences so we have decided to showcase our enduring understandings in a special way.  In lieu of a March First Friday, we will be holding a celebration of learning the evening of Friday, March 18 starting with a school wide Pot Luck at 6:30pm.  During the evening, you will be able to take a self-guided tour through the school to see the good work of all our students.  

Kindergarten

There comes a time in every school year when the children mentally, emotionally and very visibly do what I call ‘cross over’. All the discussions at morning meetings, one on one and whole group lessons, reading, reading, reading, invitations to ‘do math’, and writing for a myriad of purposes have purposefully but gently laid the foundation for what is to come next. And, here it is.  Our kindergarteners have most definitely crossed over into the literacy club, the math club, the world of being a student. There is a very different and palpable shift of energy in the room when children begin to read and write independently and when they see themselves as readers and writers. All the moans of “But I don’t know how to read” or “I don’t know how to spell that word.” have been replaced with “Can I read my book to Maggie?”  “Here, let me help you sound out that word.” or, “I can be the teacher today!”  This week, when asked for choice time proposals the children begged for more work to do.They raced to the basket of math journals so they could finish their page or start a new one. They poured through the library books looking for one that is ‘just right’ for them to read. They invented games to play with our sight word flash cards. And, they kept asking for more. 

But, it is never all about academics in school, or life and so I had the perfect platform to begin lessons on balance and too much of one thing not necessarily being a good thing. Using hearts we made out of salt dough, the children took turns adding them to a mobile hanging from the ceiling. They learned the important concepts of balance and adjusting...always adjusting...until something feels just right. I had to do a little begging myself to get the children to put down their pencils and go outside. Teaching them the importance of taking a body and brain break. Thank goodness the weather this week gave us ample opportunities to get outside and play!  One of our favorite moments was exploring through the back woods in the snow. Sometimes, just switching up the simplest of things opens up a whole new world for children and climbing under and over the trees proved to be quite an exciting challenge. 

Other things happening in kindergarten:

We counted all the t-shirts that came in for our Maker Faire bags and used the skill of putting them in piles of ten to make the counting more efficient.  WE COULD USE MORE SHIRTS if you have any. The bags turned out great. Please consider giving your time to come in and help cut and sew. Without prompting, the children also began teaching each other how to fold the shirts so we could put them away so neatly. Who knew we had such talent in kindergarten? Such skill sets we have!

We are hoping to present a ‘shadow show’ of Papa Please Get The Moon For Me very soon. We created the props and did one run through but realized some of our props are a bit clumsy and big. Stay tuned… more to come.

Lower Primary

This week Lower Primary students had the opportunity to go to the Hayground school to meet author R.A.Spratt.  For many students, it was their first time meeting an author!  R.A.Spratt began the book talk by blowing her trumpet and leaping around the room.  Lower Primary students were instantly engaged and hanging on her every last word.  They learned about how Spratt found inspiration for her books, and especially enjoyed listening to a story about a little pig nanny who strongly believes that Santa Claus is a criminal.  The entire experience was filled with tons of excitement and lots of laughs.  Thank you to Robyn, Bill, Nick, and Cynthia for driving and making this possible!  

In math we continued our exploration of telling time, this week focusing on elapsed time.  Lower Primary students became detectives as they solved several different elapsed time scenarios.  Students played several games this week, allowing them to become engaged, active learners.  From “Out of Time” to our timed “Do you have?” game, the students in Lower Primary had a very exciting math week!  Encourage your child to create a time math game of their own!

Planet exploration has continued this week.  Students learned many interesting facts about several different planets this week.  All of their research will be put to use when they collaborate on a larger project next week.  

A Celebration of Learning- Mark your Calendar- Our astronomy unit continues to provide unique and meaningful learning experiences so we have decided to showcase our enduring understandings in a special way.  In lieu of a March First Friday, we will be holding a celebration of learning the evening of Friday, March 18 starting with a school wide Pot Luck at 6:30pm.  During the evening, you will be able to take a self-guided tour through the school to see the good work of all our students.  

Upper Primary

 “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” -John F. Kennedy in his passionate speech about the United States’ space program’s aspirations in 1962. Upper Primary students listened to and watched parts of this historic presidential speech and learned of our nation’s then zest, passion, and eagerness for space exploration. The media and the general public were captivated by astronauts and their willingness to go into the unforgiving and dangerous environment of space. Students tried to imagine experiencing such fervor and enthusiasm for the space program. Every aspect of the astronauts’ lives, events leading up to the launch, and the mission itself were all televised and highly publicized. 

Students contrasted the past with today’s reality by reflecting on Scott Kelly’s return this week from his record-breaking time spent in space. After nearly a year on the International Space Station, Kelly’s mission and subsequent homecoming was a monumental step in NASA’s plans for future expeditions into deep space. Knowledge of how our bodies react to extended stays in space is crucial for eventual missions that will require astronauts to remain in space for extended periods of time. Despite the fact that this was a momentous occasion for NASA and the United States, students felt that there was minimal coverage in the media and a meager response from the public. Upper Primary attempted to decipher the differences between the political beliefs, government funding, public opinion, and technology available both then and now.

Students wondered about the future of America’s space program and what it will take for our nation to regain what has become an elusive sense of awe about space. Looking to the future, students are learning more about the many engineers and scientists around the country who are involved and invested in developing the technologies astronauts will use to one day make it to Mars.

 

A Celebration of Learning- Mark your Calendar- Our astronomy unit continues to provide unique and meaningful learning experiences so we have decided to showcase our enduring understandings in a special way.  In lieu of a March First Friday, we will be holding a celebration of learning the evening of Friday, March 18 starting with a school wide Pot Luck at 6:30pm.  During the evening, you will be able to take a self-guided tour through the school to see the good work of all our students.  

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AuthorAshley Millerd