On Friday I took the opportunity to talk to my class about six of our main rules that we have been focusing on for most of the year. These rules were: not chewing gum, being more respectful in bookcorner when people are speaking, asking for permission to use the Internet, not using bad language, no cell phones in the classroom, and no shoes. We have made improvements in following all of these rules, but obviously I wouldn’t be talking about them if they were not still a concern. I am asking for parents to continue to reinforce these rules and remind their child, as I do, that even if they are not breaking these rules they still have a group responsibility to help me enforce them.
We have set up one of the canopies on the deck for students to work outside and enjoy the warm weather and the breeze. This has helped my class to mix more with other people because the common goal is to work outside, not socialize. I am happy to see that this simple change is providing new opportunities for people to get to know each other better. I had another activity this week to help people mix in the class. I picked partners for each student at random to work on a Problem Of The Day that I had created using the Earth Matters book. This involved finding the mathematical answer to about 15 questions and coming up with one final answer for the entire sheet. Two groups were able to get the correct answer with several groups coming very close. Everyone seemed to enjoy the activity. B and H are working on doing a “T.V.” format game show to help us review other material we covered in the Earth Matters books.
S, with the help of the class, has decided on a painting to recreate on our classroom wall. There were three choices- Monet’s Garden, Hokusai’s Wave, and Monet’s Pink Flowers. The one they chose was the wave. They are going to use the grid method and enlarge this painting to the size of 6 by 11 feet!
Our schedule also included K’s ducks, K’s villains, J’s technology presentations, Paris maps, work on independent projects, music, phys. ed., Scope mini play and articles, and base 7&9. L is using J’s fish format for a new project to present Medieval weapons.
Math work continues with I completing the 150+ page Geometry 7 book in only 3 days! A has completed 37 of the 38 Key Curriculum books and has only one more book to complete the entire series!
My presentations on adolescence covered many more adolescent rituals which included: Senegal adolescent forest ritual, Bali teeth filing, Bar Mitzvah, Native American wilderness experience, Scarification, Quinceanera in Latin American countries, and Coming of Age Day in Japan – a national holiday. When I asked the class which ceremony they would like to participate in most, they overwhelmingly chose Coming of Age Day. This holiday is celebrated by all 20 year olds in Japan because at the age of 20 you can drink, vote, smoke, and drive. The class soon started to physically act out trying to do all of those things at one time which was quite funny to watch and to think about how these random privileges were related or not related to each other.
Next week graduates will be spending time out of the building on Tuesday with Susan, with me on Wednesday and working on a special project with the younger class at the end of the week. For more details about their week, read Susan’s portion of this bulletin. I am looking forward to having the five mover-uppers in my class next week. I have done much of the planning for the beginning of that visit with many projects that will help us mix and get to know each other better.
The Middle Class had a great trip to Kateri today. More details to follow next week.
Tomorrow the class will be participating in The Great Mile Walk. Please read the details about tomorrow’s Great Mile Walk later in this bulletin and make sure you child applies sunscreen at home before they come to school tomorrow and wears appropriate shoes for walking (please no flip flops). Hope to see you there!
The 5 mover-uppers from my class are very excited about visiting the older class next week and I am looking forward to having the 5 mover-uppers from the younger class visit my class next week. If you are the parent of a mover-upper, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding moving up week.
Let me start by thanking Kim, Megan, Debbie, Susan, Letty, Frank, and Chris for chaperoning our fun trip to Jenkinson’s Aquarium. Although the weather started out a little bleak, it soon brightened and we were able to walk on the beach before having lunch and taking our tour. Our tour was really good, mostly because we had a great tour guide. The aquarium had a few new exhibits, so everyone had something that they hadn’t seen before. The trip was a great follow-up to our underwater project that we worked on at the beginning of the year.
Although the trip was great, the bus ride was difficult for a few of my class who experienced motion sickness. As I begin to plan our next trip to the Staten Island Zoo, which is on Tuesday May 14th, I have decided that we should drive in cars rather than take the bus. I have a number of parents who have already volunteered to chaperone, but if anyone else is available to chaperone and drive please let me know ASAP, I think I need 1-2 more people. Also I need every child in my class to provide his/her own car seat, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if it is please let me know.
This week we have had two really sweet visitors. They have enjoyed their visits and fit in with the class really well. We have continued to work on our Environmental project, creating a surprise which will come home at the end of next week. We have also talked a lot about the Great Walk, worked on journals, math, and creative stories. Robin has done a great job finishing all the portfolio covers, with sewing help from Debbie and Jen P. Next week we will begin the process of putting work in the portfolios in preparation for our Parent Portfolio Open House on Thursday, May 23rd at 6:30 p.m.
Next week is moving up week. I know my 5 mover-uppers are really excited to spend the time with Kathey.
MUSIC WITH HELEN:
Older Class – Our growing music group in the older class is putting the finishing touches on our septet performance to take place later this month. We are working on variations on a simple melody (in 7 parts) and improvisation.
Middle Class – we did not meet for music this week because of a scheduling conflict but next week we will continue to polish the music portion of Bepop with Aesop and I am happy that next week we will include mover uppers!
Younger Class – our two songs for the end of year are coming along. Today we were able to practice outside and add some movement to our music.