October Update from the Madrona Class

Dear Madrona Families,

October has felt like a month of coming together and celebration. Not only are students collaborating on a variety of group projects, stories, and experiments, we had many birthdays this month! Ari, Theodore, Zach, and Jaclyn all celebrated another journey around the sun. It has been fun to see photos and hear stories from families. We also welcomed a Suquamish elder, Barbara, to tell us stories. She shared the Suquamish Creation Story and the Basket Ogress with the whole elementary group.

In the classroom we have focused concerted attention on our Fall Study: Flora of Bainbridge Island. Each student is a part of a group that is focused on either trees, shrubs, or herbaceous plants of Washington. Each child is then researching at least 5 plants within that category. At the end of the month we are hearing from Evan Bombardier, an arborist; Nick Schneider, a forest ecologist; and Abby Rappaport about ethnobotany. We are so thrilled to be able to learn from experts in the field!

Our students have also begun literary analysis in our shared Lit Circle groups. We begin Lit Circle discussions by focusing on the components of a story. During discussions we have a focus, i.e. setting, characters, or plot elements, in addition to talking about what is happening in the story and what we think might happen next. Ask your child how their reading is going, what is happening in the story and to share their thoughts on the focus of the week. The books we are reading this round were selected for their strong settings: Where the Red Fern GrowsHoles, and The Phantom Tollbooth. 

As the end of the month approaches, our students are splitting up into Halloween celebration committees: decor, food, and games/activities. We look forward to hosting a fun celebration in the afternoon when the students can change into their costumes, enjoy some creative games/activities, and share yummy treats.

October is also a wonderful time to come together with families at the Autumn Gathering and the Parent-Teacher Conferences. Connecting with everyone in-person is such a valuable opportunity.

Looking ahead to November, we are shifting our cultural studies from plants to early humans, first peoples, personal histories, and history of place (Bainbridge, Washington, the US). We will venture out to the Suquamish Museum (November 8th) and the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum (November 21st).

Jaclyn and Zach

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