My class has shown a real sense of responsibility and caring for the group and for each other as we went through the many experiences of the week. As I have said all year, I am very proud of this class and this week, they were particularly present in everything that we did together. I think we all have learned again that we should never take anything for granted.
Our fifth trip to New York was a joy for everyone. The students were complemented at every place that we visited including the museum and the restaurant. Before our visit we had looked at the many museum booklets that I had picked up at the museum on the weekend and everyone had a good idea of what they wanted to see. The armor section was a particular hit but we also visited many other areas including the Egyptian, Roman, Asian, African, musical instruments and various other art exhibit areas. I have never experienced a group so involved in reading and asking questions about the many things that they saw. One of my students asked me when I started doing New York trips so I went through our archives of bulletins and found that they started in 1996. Interestingly enough one of our first trips was to see the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and in the bulletin piece it said that I had gotten a bargain – and that was $65 tickets for $17! I guess it’s not too bad then that 18 years later I was able to get tickets to Richard III for $25. I figured that with five trips a year, I would’ve taken 90 trips with the class up until to this point.
In searching the bulletins I also found out the answer to another question and that question was – “When did we start giving kimonos to graduates?” the answer to that question was 1982 – 33 years ago. Parent kimono kits are now ready for C, E, and S. Graduates will be doing some special activities with Susan and Chris during moving up week next week.
This week our history presentations reached a total of 50, 13 of them this week. They were on Zimbabwe, life expectancy, the Roman Republic, early Russia, middle history Russia, Russia becomes a world power, early European expansion, causes of World War I, timeline of World War I, the Mayans, Russian history, the great pyramids of Egypt, Confucius and his teaching, Julius Caesar, American, English and Japanese Leaders in WWII, Effects of WWII, and Early people crossing into America. As with everything we study, students are starting to see the things that they’ve heard about in these history presentation or learned coming up in other parts of their lives. Speaking of that, Richard III came into the news in two ways. Mark Rylance has been nominated in the category of best actor for Richard III, and Jill brought in an article in which Kevin Spacey, who has played Richard III throughout the world, has a new video coming out on Friday about that experience.
This week our schedule had math work, music from Nicky, art work and creating a new display area in the stairwell, reading our new book Uglies, looking at the booklets from the Metropolitan Museum, cooking, reading partners with the younger class, a writing of the fifth New York trip, and finally the practicing of an 11 page condensed version of the play, The Taming of the Shrew.
Sara had her second cooking session with the class making seasoned chips, sloppy Joe’s (beef and vegetarian), pasta salad and Blondies.
Congratulations to I for finishing all of the books in the Key Curriculum series.
I gave the class “would you rather questions” to answer which I will use for part of my parent meeting on Monday, May 19. At that meeting we will talk about my class for next year, how they are growing and how their interests are changing, and about their input into the class this year how that has helped to create a positive and full atmosphere. I will also ask parents who have gone on New York trips to share their observations with the other parents.
Don’t forget we have sleepover day with three main goals. The goals are watching Star Wars so that we can read the book that Rosalie gave us that presents the story of Star Wars in Shakespearean language, watching the video of 12th Night which was produced by the same company that we saw do Richard III, and having our third cooking session with Sara to make our dinner and our breakfast.
This week we are taking advantage of breaks in the rain to garden. Although we were disappointed about having to reschedule the Kateri trip, we were lucky that it was possible to go on May 13.
Every day from now until the end of the year is chock full. Please let us know of any days you know your child will be out.
Next week we are looking forward to having R, Z, C and C join us for moving up week. We will be working on plant science which will include activities, projects and helping them become part of the ongoing middle class garden work. Middle classers work hard every year and will be happy to help moving uppers find a place in our garden crew.
The week after moving up week we will be starting micro society. We will be creating our own “worlds” based on Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythologies. S, S and A will be helping me run this as part of their work as 3rd year students.
It has been a very busy week!
On Friday of last week, we had a wonderful readers’ theater workshop run by the Algonquin Arts Theater. Audra, from the theater, came with props, scenery, and costumes to use, scenes written out, and a list of characters. The book we used was “County Fair” from the Little House picture book series. The class was already familiar with the story as we had read it as a class a couple of times during the year. They knew the characters very well because they are in the book “Farmer Boy”, which we are currently reading, and on which the picture book is based. The children chose parts to play or jobs to have (props, costumes, scenery). The class had a discussion led by Audra about the characters and what they might be thinking, as well as what was happening in the story. The children then did an improvisation of the story with Audra leading them. It was lots of fun! We are working this week on our own version of readers’ theater using a book from the Mr. Putter series.
On Tuesday, we took our trip to Manasquan Reservoir. The wind prevented us from going out on our boat tour, but the class had a great day anyway. We had a naturalist guide us on a nature walk. Then we went inside the Environmental Center and learned about the animals that lived at the Reservoir. The naturalist brought out a tree frog and a fowler’s toad for the children to see. Then she brought out a box turtle and a painted turtle. After talking about the difference between the two turtles, we had a turtle race. She then brought out a corn snake which all of the children had a chance to pet. We played a habitat game where each child was given a stuffed animal and asked to place it in its correct habitat on a carpet decorated with a pond or on a tree. After lunch we toured the Environmental Center. We had the place just about to ourselves which was great. We saw the bald eagle chicks (eaglets) on a video camera that was pointed at the nest. We also looked at fossils found in Monmouth County, brook trout babies, water bugs, and more frogs, toads, turtles, and snakes. We then took the nature trail back to the parking lot and headed back to school. It was a very full day, and everyone had lots of fun! Thanks so much to Dina, Stan, Megan, and Letty for driving and chaperoning our trip!!
Yesterday and today we had a visitor to our class. The kids were so excited to show him all around. He was surrounded by half the class trying to show him everything in the school and tell him all of the rules. He will be visiting again tomorrow.
Our Shakespeare’s World project is up on the walls. Please come in before or after school and have your child show you the bodies, history drawings, and fact writing and drawings. All of the bodies are just wonderful. Each one completely different. Thanks so much to Kim for helping the children execute their ideas. Many hours and hot glue sticks later, the results are wonderful!
To all of my sewing volunteers. I have two more portfolios ready to go. Because Kim has been out, I have not had a chance to get any more ready, but they will be soon. Please check with me at the end of the day and I’ll give you what I have. Thanks to Melina for being the first.