Dear Maple Families,
As the seasons are starting to change around us, our class rhythm is finding its groove. Over the past weeks, we’ve seen so much growth and excitement all around us.
Going to the library this month was just the beginning of two whole strands of possibility in our class – both going somewhere new and starting our Fall Study of Bainbridge Island birds. At the library, children were supported in looking through books relating to our local birds, as well as finding independent reading choices for them to check out. Our group of third years had the bonus adventure of waiting quite a while for the bus! All Maple children came back asking about future field trips with great anticipation. We will definitely continue to find ways to extend our studies into the outside world around us.
The Fall Study has begun most strongly in art with Isobel. She helped each child select a bird so that they could learn how to draw both their unique bird and its nest. There has been much talk about painting and drawing with feathers as a result! The coming weeks will see the children diving deeply into structuring and writing their own research project for that bird or another from our local ecosystem.
To help us build towards the work of the Fall Study research, many children have been learning how to write a simple report on an animal of their choice, or on a human civilization. Alongside this work, our reading and writing lessons are humming along well. In addition, we seem to have had a small explosion of interest in grammar, with so many children busy finding specific objects or performing specific actions to fully embody their understanding of the functions of words in our language.
Indeed, there are many ways that learning is fully embodied here in Maple! Finger knitting is still quite present, of course, but children are expanding their capabilities into weaving, sewing, and painting with watercolors. These skills are such clearly products of the hands, but so are many of our other subjects here. Studying the layers of the earth involves pouring various liquids into test tubes; students are learning just how easy it is to drop the beads when doing long division with the racks and tubes; learning to modulate your power to allow the tone bars to make a pleasant sound needs practice; and really dedicating oneself to appreciating the enormity of the multiples of 10 up to 1000 can sometimes require a team of imagined robots that make the work move easily.
We are looking forward to meeting with you all during our conferences; it will be a great pleasure to share more about your specific child’s journey through the year so far.
Joelle, Cley, and Katie