Upper Grades: First Week of School

Greetings, Upper Grades Families,


Our school year has started off beautifully!

Our classroom is bright and crisp, with its new desks and chairs for everyone! It feels wonderful. On the first day, I gave the students their bundle of supplies, one student at a time.  They were touched by the beauty of the handmade crayon pouches, and there's nothing quite like the thrill of untouched colored pencils and beeswax crayons.  Some said it felt like Christmas.  I know they will take care of these and other beautiful and practical tools they will continue to receive at certain times.  

Five of the nine students are new to The Garden School, as am I, and we are all learning and creating routines and expectations.  The structure we are forming now will serve us well throughout this year of learning, hard work, creativity, and community building (fun!).

My intention is for our class to embrace their position as the oldest students in the school, and the leadership responsibilities that go along with that. I am excited about helping them increase their already impressive capacity to have real respect for others.  They have already touched my heart with their powers of inclusivity and kindness. 

In the coming two weeks we will have a language arts block, focusing on a section of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem, The Song of Hiawatha.We'll be immersing ourselves in this story from pre-colonial times, through Longfellow's rich imaginative language.  We will be writing and illustrating sections of the poem, along with creating our own poetry in the meter of Hiawatha. I've already read a portion of the poem to them, and shared my husband Steve's recent experience of taking an original poem written in Longfellow's hand up to the Longfellow museum in Portland, Maine, on behalf of a client.  


Before we begin our main lesson work each morning, we work on mental math, learning songs, and doing verses and movement to warm us up for the day and bring us together.  

I look forward to learning and growing with your positively wonderful children!