The first month of school got off to a great start in the Madrona class! We had many opportunities during the first week of school to get to know and work with the Maple students. In multi-age Welcome Groups, Maple and Madrona students ate lunch together and participated in co-creating our Elementary program expectations. The children generated expectations for what they need to feel safe and ready to learn at school. From exhaustive, student-generated lists, we organized their ideas into categories, then formed positive statements for each category, to include all of the ideas they generated. At the end of the week, each Welcome Group performed skits to demonstrate each expectation. The Elementary voted on a student-generated name for this year’s collection of 12 expectations: The Scroll of Justice. These will serve as the foundation upon which we can resolve conflict and support one another throughout the year. Each Elementary child signed the Scroll as their commitment to uphold each expectation.
At the start of any school year, time and lessons are devoted to community building, routines, expectations, and procedures. We took many opportunities to go outside for our community building: from “tug-o-peace” and capture the flag to our Suquamish land acknowledgment at the Fairy Dell trail shore. Within the classroom, students are acclimating to journaling, goal-setting conferences, presentations (lesson) and follow-up, and setting up Google Classroom accounts for word processing and emailing.
In the Madrona classroom, there has been a flourish of writing with students working on personal narrative paragraphs. Some chose to incorporate “two truths and a lie” into their writing to engage readers. Following the First Great Story: The Story of the Universe, children were inspired to perform science experiments, create their own, and test a variety of volcano demonstrations. We devoted much of the month to International Peace Day, which is recognized on September 21st around the world. Our 6th years, Eeboo and Theodore, presented the origin and purpose of the holiday to the whole school, while Ari introduced our Peace Day project: each student created a flag to represent one of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From clean water, to gender equality, or ending hunger, each Madrona student identified SDGs that were important to them.
Our read alouds this month: Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman, highlights a diverse community coming together over an urban garden; and the stories of Sherlock Holmes, which explore the classic mystery genre. What stories are you reading at home with your children?
Onward to Fall! We look forward to: launching into the Fall Study: Flora of Bainbridge Island; Lit Circle beginning in October; and field trips to local museums.
Jaclyn and Zach