Early Childhood

This was an exciting week for Early Childhood students as they welcomed new guests into the classroom. Upon the arrival of about fifteen ladybug larvae, EC scientists closely examined their tiny visitors. Using magnifying glasses, every detail of the larvae were taken in. Observational drawings were created taking the color, the shape, and the number of legs on the larvae into consideration. In their larvae stage, ladybugs look extremely different from their adult stage. Scientists will continue to observe the ladybugs as they progress through their metamorphosis. With a little patience we will soon have full grown ladybugs that will be released into our garden to eat aphids and keep our plants healthy.

During our EC Morning Meeting we played a game in which students practiced their number recognition and counting skills. It was impressive to see the respect exhibited as each child took a turn drawing a card from a deck a determining which number they had chosen. They patiently waited for their friends to deduce whether they had chosen a “6” or a “9,” a “3” or an “8.” Once the number was ascertained and confirmed by peers, mathematicians gave their grass seed the allotted number of squirts of water. Compassionately, the students made certain that both Megan and I were given a turn to play too. So lovely to see our Community Values in practice!

Kindergarten

Kindergarteners came back to school Monday morning to discover so many things growing in the garden! Hints of red radishes popping up out of the soil, teeny tiny yellow squash, hints of strawberries, and lettuce...lots and lots of lettuce. They also discovered the tendrils on the sugar snap peas and identified a problem when they saw one tendril grabbing onto another plant! Being the true problem solvers that they are, many solutions were immediately proposed: "Cut the tendrils off!"  "Put up a sign that says, 'no grabbing allowed!'" And, our gardening experts came forth to explain, in amazing detail, how to create a trellis for them to climb up with posts and string. "It's like a jungle gym for plants!"  "Those little guys need those tendrils to grow!" We were able to harvest a few radishes and have a taste. We will be graphing our taste test results as the harvesting continues.

Our "Take a Chance" garden has inspired more wonder and inquiry. While at Sang Lee Farm a while back, Jamie asked, "What would grow if we just planted a lot of these vegetables right in the ground and we didn't' use seeds?" And so, we put on our scientific thinking caps, made more hypotheses, and set up our experiments. Things we are trying to propagate from the food source this week: carrots, onions, pineapple, lettuce and sweet potato.  If you can send in any of the following items, we can keep going with this exploration. Thank you!  Garlic Head, Tomatoes, Seed potatoes, Ginger Root, Celery, Lemongrass, Bean Sprouts, Avacado, Basil, Cilantro, Turnips.

Other things happening this week:

  • Cleaning out the fish tank
  • Unloading wood for the garden fence
  • Field Trip to Quogue Wildlife Refuge
  • Happy Birthday Micah!

SEE YOU AT GROW ON SATURDAY! 

Lower Primary

This week in Lower Primary, students continued working on their weathering, erosion and deposition projects with their groups.  They spent time collecting natural materials outside to use to “paint” their pictures.  One group collected yellow flower petals to use for the sun, while another group used sand to create rocks on their drawing.  Careful planning and collaboration was evident as I was able to witness groups talk through each step and decision that was made.  Each day I am in awe as I observe Lower Primary students use their community values to create successful working relationships with one another.  

Lower Primary students have been learning about story elements all year long.  From setting, characters, problems and solutions to what usually happens at the beginning, middle and end of a story.  For many weeks, they have inquired about writing their own fiction story.  After reviewing all of the elements, students began their first fiction story that includes one of the earth changes that we have learned about.  We began the writing project by using a graphic organizer to frame their ideas and now they have begun taking their notes and formulating sentences.  I am so impressed with their imaginations and the storylines that they have created.  

Our field trip to Quogue Wildlife Refuge was wonderful!  The students in Lower Primary enjoyed getting outside and learning about plants and animals native to Long Island.  Using their senses they were able to discover so many different animals as we walked the trail.  Ask your child what their favorite find of the day was!

We want to give a big thank you to Robyn for coming in and helping Lower Primary bake cookies for Grow!  We look forward to seeing you all at the event on Saturday!

Upper Primary

"Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not a preparation for life but is life itself." John Dewey

This week Upper Primary went on their first ever trip to the city. In addition to the connections students made to their curriculum, the social lessons gained during this experience seem to be endless. Having the courage to take on such an endeavor without the familiarity and security of a parent took a tremendous amount of courage and trust. Heading into the city on a public bus, catching a midtown bus and then navigating through a busy museum was a huge responsibility. Students proved their ability to be both accountable for themselves and reliable to their peers over and over throughout the day. Relationships among the group were strengthened as cooperative interactions and discourse took place as students walked through the exhibits. On the return trip home, Upper Primary students showed that they have the capability to deal with unpredictability when they had to change Jitney busses not once, not twice, but three times. Understanding that some situations are beyond our control and being able to go with the flow and trust in others is a life lesson that eludes many.

Even with an entire day in the Museum of Natural History it is a nearly impossible feat to see everything. With our limited time, we were very purposeful in choosing the exhibits saw. We began in the Rose Center for Earth and Space with the Big Bang and walked through the 13 billion year history of the universe. From there, we focused on Earth. Students connected with exhibits that helped explain how the Earth evolved and even found a Geological Timeline similar to one they created back in their classroom. We also visited the extraordinary Fossil Halls, where students gasped at the sight of the museum’s latest addition, the 122 foot long Titanosaur. In the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins students were able to get an up close look at the history of human evolution. This was a favorite part of the day for many. This day encompassed so much. What was especially lovely about the day was that while many have been to the museum, some many times, on this visit students were able to connect with what they were seeing on a new level.

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Authorsharon cook