Dear Maple Families,
Welcome back! We have had an exciting and energy-filled start to our year. We’re delighted to have such a lively class that is so full of new ideas and questions.
Though we do usually have our fair share of quick check-in assessments with the children to see what they know and what they are ready to learn, we have also spent so much time in a large variety of interesting lessons. From the Story of the Universe and The Beginning of Life, to sewing, weaving, fractions, word study, and so much more, every day is humming with new discoveries. Our weekly classroom virtues of friendliness and curiosity have been supporting us through it all.
As we like to do each year, we began with a few days dedicated to our all-elementary community-building practice of creating our MCS expectations. This year, the children chose to title this document The Pinky Promise. This child-generated community agreement focuses on what the children believe they all need to be happy and successful together in our learning community. While these meetings are a big effort for all, especially our newest students, this community labor generates a solid base of mutual expectations that we all come to rely on through the year.
After that opening effort, we began what we have come to think of as the “normal” school year! Students have been excited to learn how to work with the pin maps of North America, South America, and Oceania. We have spent many, many moments together watching heat change matter. Bead chains have been spiraling around rugs. Animals have been sorted by how they move, where they live, and how they reproduce. We have explored our number system up to a million and seen just how big and hard to carry around the classroom it can be. There have also been explorations into large multiplication, fraction addition and subtraction with different denominators, and making big numbers with various materials. There have been enormously long finger knitting chains and tiny needle books. We have begun to take apart words into roots and suffixes. We have also begun to explore the words jobs hold – finding an object without a name is a big puzzle that connects them so well to what it takes to be a noun. During my week’s absence, our guest star, Meghan, brought in an entire Peacemaker exploration just in time for International Day of Peace. We have also been singing and learning how to repeat rhythms. It has been a very, very full month! We are so happy to be back together and launching a beautiful school year.
Joelle, Katie, and Cley