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Classroom Updates

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Acorn Nursery News from Ms. Jan:

What a week it has been already welcoming our new little Nursery guests who will be in our class next year into our classroom.   Each year we forget how strenuous the process is to fill our class for the next year.  The new little ones are physically tiring but also take a lot from the teacher's etheric, life body, as we try to see them in the classroom without their parents, some of them for the very first time.  We are so proud of our class and the wonderful little hosts and hostesses that they have been through this process, sharing their classroom and their teachers with our guests.  It is so sweet to see them comforting the little ones when they ask for "mama" and so dear to Emery and I as we remember our own students asking for "mama" not long ago.  And so another growth period begins, preparing to start a new class of students, keep some along for another year and say "goodbye" to some that are ready to move on to the next step of Kindergarten.

Jasmine Kindergarten News from Ms. Diana:

We continued singing our spring songs and now even Ms. Nicole in the office knows the circle verses that she can hear us joyously recite in circle.

My gratitude for the beautiful fruits and vegetables that you kindly send every week! There was not even a drop left from the vegetable soup that we’ve made this week! Thank you! On Wednesday and Thursday, a special visitor from the Waldorf association(AWSNA) has had the chance to enjoy and interact with our children. While visiting our class, she was amazed to see the beautiful bread that comes out of our toaster oven!

Magnolia Kindergarten News from Ms. Heidi:

With caterpillars, chrysalises, a puppy I brought to school for the day, a baby bird who fledged right into our yard and took refuge by our rain barrel, and new blossoms everywhere we look, last week in our kindergarten  was filled with experiences of spring. We even got a surprise glimpse of our neighborhood King as he set off to his job in his royal automobile. One beautiful morning, we sat outside at the picnic table  and juiced the rest of the satsumas Ms. Cindy brought us. Each child juiced two satsumas to make the most delicious drink you can imagine!

Inside, many of the children have rediscovered their workbaskets and have been crafting outfits or accessories for their Wee Ones. Our three Sunflowers have just finished their winter sewing project and are about to embark on their final Sunflower challenge: making a doll and a blanket to wrap it in.  Busy hands can help guide restless or rambunctious inside energy into a more reflective and purposeful choices. Over the next couple of weeks, we will offer several spring projects that the children will be able to bring home to help celebrate the season at home.

Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:

This past week I introduced the play “White Snake.” At this point, I have been going over the lines. Students are learning; the vocabulary words from the play, to say each line clearly, to work in a group setting, to identify the rhyming words in the play. This coming week I will assign parts. I am emphasizing the fact that there are no small parts. Everyone is going to get an important part in this class play. I have been observing them all year and will choose the part I feel like would suit them best. 

Math practice class started this week and I taught them a new card game. They are loving these games and getting so much faster at identifying addition facts. 

Gardening is going beautifully! We have many sunflowers sprouting and the butterfly attractors we planted are beautiful. We have so many caterpillars that they have practically eaten all of our milkweeds. Next week we will start fairy gardens. Each child will get a space to create their own little world for the fairies live. If you have small succulents we could get a cutting from that would be wonderful. Thank you, Kate, Remy’s mom for joining us and helping out for gardening! 

Grade 2 News from Ms. Mullen:

We finished up our final heroes block learning about a powerful female pirate who organized thousands of other pirates under her and controlled the seas. The children really dove into this story. We focused on each long vowel sound, one by one, and the different letter combinations that work together to form them. We did this via word lists, matching games, and their own writing samples. We also had a gallery walk where children got to choose the two drawings from their main lesson book that they were most proud of from the year and we got to see everyone's beautiful work. On Monday we will begin our final math block of the year! In our morning math warmups we have been playing a game called "make 12" and "make 20" where I clap a number and children have to see how quickly they can figure out how to make 12 or 20 (their choice). 

Grades 3 / 4 News from Ms. Flores:

We are having so much fun in our Zoology block! This week, the class completed their study of armadillos, and we began our look at gorillas. The students asked so many good questions about the animals we are studying. Students were curious about how the animals changed over time and what humans can do today to help endangered animals. The class also learned about how all living things are named and categorized in specific ways in order to help scientists work efficiently. We practiced putting animals into the appropriate Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. Along with this conversation, we discussed what makes an animal a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore, and the difference between an vertebrate and an invertebrate. This knowledge was reinforced through book work and games. In one game, I gave the children three clues (diet, movement and habitat) and asked them to tell me what animal I was thinking of. They excitedly came up with each animal. Towards the end of the week, a few students led the game. A great week! 

Grades 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:

MAIN LESSON: BUSINESS MATH / GRECO-ROMAN HISTORY - On Monday, we had a visit from Ted Braude, who spoke to the children about creating a calm, peaceful place in each child's "inner space" even when there was some tension.  We then discussed how this work can help create a healthy social environment, as each student works to "find their center" and approach difficult situations with more optimism.  On Tuesday we had a grand review of our work, and learned at last about the types of investments that Mr. Nelson recommended for the class.  Wednesday morning, before the quiz, we had a second review since I was unable to offer Homework Club the day before.  The quiz took about an hour to complete for most students.  The class average was 78%, with six students scoring below the 70% passing range, and six students scoring above 90%.  The highest score (shared by two students) was 100%.  We tried a different strategy this time of having a class scribe volunteer (this time Vince and Chad shared this duty) write down the key notes for the class so that the rest of the students could simply listen to the review.  I also tried to write more corrections for the students on their papers.  Later in the day, those students who needed to retake, or whom I suggested should retake, found a copy of these notes in their desks.  When possible, I attached the notes directly to their quizzes.  Retakes will be issued Tuesday during Homework Club or by appointment (please contact me).  Please note that I will be changing the numbers on the quiz and rearranging the order of the multiple choice options for the retake to ensure that the students learn the material, and don't simply memorize the answers.  Later in the week, I brought us back to Ancient Greece to hear one of my favorite myths, that of Demeter and Persephone.  I also introduced the idea of the city-state, and began speaking about how such places came to be.

Grades 7/8 News from Mr. Pauzolis:


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