As I said last week Susan gave my class a 10 minute version of the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream that she wanted them to present to the younger class. All she thought they would do would be read the script but what happened Thursday afternoon was magical. The entire class got so excited about this project that they started looking for costumes in the closet and talking about their roles. We moved the couches and created a circular stage area, Younger classers came up to join us, and the show began. Everyone in my class had a wonderful time being the characters, and the end product was exhilarating. Shakespeare is turning out to be quite an adventure for them and a lot of fun. Kathey and middle-class heard about our production and asked us to perform it for them the next day which we did. Kathey took pictures during the performance and the looks on the older and younger class students faces were full of wonder and avid concentration. On Monday we had another great session covering the play with the 40 quotes that I looked up over the weekend. E had also on her own made a sheet with 12 quotes. The class took turns reading the quotes from the papers and even fought over who could say some of them – students wanting to say quotes that were said by their character in the mini play.
If that wasn’t enough excitement and believe me it was excitement, we also started talking about the creation of the haunted house. Because of Sandy it turns out that only two of my students have ever worked on a haunted house before, so everybody was a bit nervous but so excited. We talked about the many things they could do and set-aside most of Tuesday to work on it. Sara was such a great help and the class worked tirelessly until the things they imagined became a reality. E and C stepped up on their own to check to see what everyone was doing and to put a plan in play for how all of the pieces would fit together in the haunted house tour. The room was transformed, and ready for us to start giving tours today, Thursday. Creating the haunted house is an amazing process from beginning to end.
Our third group reading book, Hoot is also turning out to be success. We are now a little over a third of the way through the book and reading sessions are going well. The schedule included math workbooks, phys ed, creating paper bag donkey heads (from A.M.S.N.D.), and communications work. H completed decimal book number three. V & I completed geometry one, and A completed the entire algebra series this week. On Friday we will be having a timed times table test and asking for mentors to help people who still need to learn these tables – knowing the times tables will makes their lives so much easier when it comes to math work. Also by Friday morning everyone should have completed their letter report which involved writing a report on a topic of their choice from an assigned letter of the encyclopedia. This report was supposed to be one typed or written page long. Talking about writing, if you still have writing that were given out at parent conferences, please send them back to be put into the writing drawers.
In November, we will be going to New York by taking train from Middletown Station. We arrive in New York and will take the subway down to lower Manhattan. Our first stop is to see the new Canstruction exhibit in the Wintergarden. We will pass the new World Trade Center on our short walk from Chambers St. Station. We will have lunch in the Wintergarden and then take the subway back up to 23rd St. We have another short walk from 23rd to 26th street to the National Mathematics Museum. Dinner is four blocks away at a Thai restaurant and after dinner we have our longest walk, which really is not that long, up to Penn Station on 34th St. We will have Krispy Kreme donuts while waiting for the train home. Parents will pick up at Middletown Station.
The excitement surrounding Halloween and the anticipation of the Older Class haunted house has been the focus of the week. Discussions about costume details, trying to guess the theme for the haunted house, and social events like parties have put everyone in a festive mood. Several of the Middle Classers volunteered to sing with the Young Classers at the nursing home on Tuesday and enjoyed the opportunity to sing old favorites and help Susan and Robin.
Our other excitement of the week was returning on Monday to find our beautiful new walkway and flower beds. My class especially is looking forward to planting in the spring. Thanks you so much to T and his crew for a job well done.
Our Prism City is taking shape and can be seen on the loft in the library. The children have begun doing their own extensions by combining other shapes to build a variety of commercial buildings for city. The theme of geometric shapes was carried over into art pieces following a lesson by Mo on color theory and made by Middle Classers on Friday. The children worked in pairs to create a collage of opposite colors using squares, circles, and triangles which are hanging in the classroom.
Thank you to I for reading his essay to my class. They were very impressed with his writing and commented that they thought the contest judges must have also been impressed with his vocabulary. We plan to have other students read their essays including N who also wrote an excellent one. We followed his reading with a discussion on essays. My class has decided that they would like to find out about essay contests that might be coming up.
Thank you to all the Older Classers and Jay for putting on a performance of A Mid Summer’s Night Dream for us on Friday. My class was completely enthralled by the performance and the characters created by each individual actor. Great Job!
Shakespeare continues with Susan reading the children’s version of Hamlet and the books being made available to Middle Classers to read on their own.
Please check to make sure your child has a cold weather change of clothes in their locker and check lost and found and the yard for clothes that are shed in this changeable weather. We have several sweatshirts and jackets left outside every day.
Thank you all for your caring thoughts. It was a difficult week last week. I am so thankful to Kim for taking my class while I was with my family. Thank you to Susan for helping Kim as well. I wouldn’t have been able to be there to help my Mom without all of the help in the classroom. Thank you to all the Little Classers who made me such wonderful cards and pictures. The kids are so amazingly caring. I came in at the end of the day on Tuesday to meet with parents for conferences. I was greeted with lots of hugs as the kids all came running to meet me. My Mom came in for part of the day on Friday so that she didn’t have to be alone all day. She loved seeing all of the kids, and got huge hugs when she left after lunch. It really made her feel so good.
Last Friday we went on our pumpkin picking trip. The kids had great fun with a hay ride, corn maze, huge stack of hay bales to climb, and a crawl through hay tunnel. We then walked through the pumpkin patch and the kids each picked their pumpkin (it had to be no bigger than their head!).
Frank (Rebekah’s husband) brought our class a huge pumpkin last week. Thanks so much Frank!! Susan and Kim had the children measure and weigh that pumpkin, and guess if it would sink or float. This week Susan found a big bin and we tested to see if this huge pumpkin would float or sink. To the amazement of most of the kids, the pumpkin did in fact float! (And in the process of doing this experiment, Kim got sprayed with water… sorry Kim!) We then talked a bit about why a pumpkin would float when it was so heavy.
This week we focused our writing and math on the little pumpkins that the kids selected last Friday on our trip. Each child measured height and circumference of their pumpkin, weighed their pumpkin, and tested to see if would float or sink. They also wrote describing words about their pumpkin and drew a picture of it. We then decoupaged jack-o-lantern faces onto the pumpkins. They came out really cute.
On Tuesday, my class did an amazing job of singing their holiday songs at the nursing home (or singing for the “old people” as some of my class told me). All of their costumes were wonderful, and the residents at the nursing home were so happy to see them all and listen to the songs. After singing numerous songs, including three rounds, the children went around and said happy Halloween to all. The smiles from both the residents and the kids were just priceless. I was so proud of them, and I really think they understood that they did this to make other people happy. Thanks to Kathey for allowing me to borrow some Middle Classers to fill out our sound. They did a great job of helping on Tuesday.
Today is Halloween. As is the TNS tradition, the Older Class created a haunted house for the rest of the school. The kids had a choice of different levels of scariness, from not scary at all with the lights on to lights off and the works. The children went up in groups of 3 along with a grown up. You’ll have to ask your child what level they chose and what they thought of the work the Older Classers did.
Hope everyone has a happy Halloween, with lots of treats and not too many tricks!