Dear Maple Families,
Wow, what a January! We came back strong and ready after break, with lots of enthusiasm and curiosity.
Coming back into the classroom after a two week break offers us all a chance to see it with new eyes; it always surprises them all when they see the moderate rearrangement to the classroom that typically happens after a big break like that. Rearranging the classroom often brings them new questions and interests, just by virtue of a different perspective on the materials on the shelves. Each child came in with new confidence and eagerness for so many new lessons, all across the classroom.
This was a month that was very full of families in the classroom, as we had many birthday celebrations and the start of family classroom observations. It has been a joy to share our classroom community with so many of you, and we look forward to continuing this connection as we roll into February, with its own full set of birthdays to celebrate and observers to host. If you have not yet observed, do know that our children are excited to be greeters for our observers. They are delighted to welcome you in and offer you tea to drink while you observe. They are less excited about washing your mug afterwards, but they are quite adept at it!
Tea drinking is something we re-introduced by request this month as well. In addition to our snack table, tea drinking gives the children a lovely opportunity to exercise their desire to socialize and learn about each other. Mint tea is a favorite of many, though some profess to love Chamomile or lemon tea most.
This month we were also fortunate enough to have two editions of an All-Elementary field trip to the Suquamish Museum. We enjoyed a lovely talk from a docent, then a scavenger hunt and time on their excellent playground. This is consistently a highly educational field trip that allows us to connect with the history and present of this land that was once exclusively tended by the Suquamish people.
The children continue their deep love of handwork – many large looms have been made and used, and we’re beginning to hear questions and hopes about knitting, not just finger knitting. Reading lessons are a big focus right now for many children, and learning cursive has become a parallel big project for many. Third year children were just introduced to their own copy of what has come to be known as “What Every Third Year Can Show,” a document designed to help them begin to structure their goal setting with Fourth Grade readiness in mind. Children are working on multiplication on the checkerboard, squaring numbers, using our Large Bead Frame and its special paper, and practicing their multiples. children are also incredibly motivated to “do grammar” with our highly interactive grammar “Command Cards.” The children are also deeply interested in research and presentations, as well as science and other cultural lessons. So much is going on in our classroom right now that it’s hard to convey the sense of variety and vitality that it holds.
February, especially with its fun Valentine’s Day celebration, will likely feel as short and sweet as can be. We are so looking forward to what our work together will look like this month!
Joelle and Cley