Lower Grades: April 8 - 12

The Lower Grades are working hard on memorizing lines and songs for our upcoming performance.  Each morning we spend around an hour practicing with the Middle Grades class.  We will also begin working on props and costumes.  In our classroom, we are focusing on beginning blends.  These are two-letter combinations such as /st/ or /cl/.  With these blends, each letter makes its own sound, but they are blended for words such as “stop” or “class”.  We enjoyed getting in the creek for play, helping to paint signs for our campus, handwork, as well as our Spanish and Mandarin classes.  Everyone loved meeting Officer Elijah and his K-9, Narbo.  It was both informative and entertaining to meet them and learn how they work as a team to keep us safe!

This week, we continue with our play practice and many other lessons both in our classroom and outside.  Please send water bottles daily!

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: March 25 - 29

The Lower Grades enjoyed our first week of the Play/Language Arts block. We spent time each morning practicing for our play that will be April 25 at 6:30pm in the church’s sanctuary. The children have their various roles and are all the learning songs. We played dramatic acting games and worked on memorizing the extensive list of colors in Joseph’s technicolor dream coat. For Language Arts we read, drew and wrote about the fairy, Tiptoes Lightly, and the Barefoot giant. We learned about “ing” and revisited “Magic e” (silent e).  

The weather was lovely and we spent a lot of time outside. The children worked in the garden and explored the wetlands with Ki Sonya. In Handwork, we are working on pot holders and hats with rounded tips that work on our skills with decreasing. We also painted a spring tree and practice drawing rabbits to celebrate spring’s arrival. Spanish and Mandarin are both moving along happily and busily. 

Spring Break should be a fun and, hopefully, relaxing time for all! Once we return, we will continue with our Play and Language Arts block. If the weather is staying warm, we will also resume water play in and around the creek. Please help your child come ready to change their clothes as needed! 

Enjoy! 

Warmly, 

Ki Melissa 

Lower Grades: March 18 - 22

The Lower Grades completed their last math block for the school year. We spent time with each of the four operations practicing and memorizing math facts. We also painted wooden pegs for our math gnomes and the children sewed felt hats and capes for them which they brought home on Friday.  Any unfinished gnomes went home with the needed supplies to complete them with the exception of a sewing needle.  The students used the blanket stitch to edge the cloak(s) and hats.  They worked very diligently and with great pride and delight on this project. Many children improved their sewing skills dramatically as well, as we worked on slowing down and/or improving our stitch consistency working on making even, thoughtful stitches. 

Our next block, led by Ki Kathee, focuses on our upcoming performance with the Middle Grades of Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat.  Our performance will be held Thursday, April 25th at 6:30 in the sanctuary (where we hold our First Friday assemblies).  During this block the children will spending time daily practicing their roles, lines and songs and also working on costumes and props.  We will also work on our language skills through stories and writing and continue to practice our developing math skills during the school day.  

This past week we again painted mountain scenes while wet-on-wet painting and also practiced drawing rabbits in a field with block crayons with great success.  We enjoyed our outside play while gardening and nature exploring where they made sun prints with Ki Sonya.  Handwork continues to be a favorite class.  In Mandarin, the children finished papers of practice strokes for Chinese characters and continued learning Spanish through various games and songs.

Warmly,
Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: March 11 - 15

The Lower Grades spent the week with Times and Divide Gnomes.  We began the week with our times tables for 10’s, 5’s and the 2’s.  All year, the children have been skip counting through movement activities during morning circle.  This is the base for learning multiplication tables.  During this week, we used bean bags and other movement activities as we learned the tables themselves (10=10x1, 20=10x2, etc.).  We used the gnomes’ gems and together made equal groups which we then skip counted.  Finally, I wrote the various tables on the board, we looked for patterns within the tables, and the students copied them into their Master books.  It was wonderful to see them making the connection between our skip counting games and multiplication!  We also divided gems into equal groups and as we learned more about division and remainders, finally dividing a pan of brownies equally among us (which, really, was the best lesson of all and certainly, the tastiest…just ask them 😉).  We also spent time estimating how many gems were in containers of various sizes and then, as a class, we counted them to see how close we were to the actual amount.  Next week, we will continue to work more with estination, the four process and also on drawing basic geometric shapes.

Last week, we painted wooden pegs the same colors as the math gnomes and this week we began sewing hats for them using the blanket/quilt stitch and felt.  We will continue working on them next week as well.  The children are continuing knitting, working on hats and now flute cases for next year.  The pride and ownership they take over their handwork projects is lovely to see!  If you happen to have an extra skein of yarn to donate, that would be great.  We go through yarn faster than water!  We aim for natural blends, but we are flexible given our yarn appetites. 😊  The Middle Grades are working hard in the garden and each class now has their own garden bed.  The Lower Grades planted strawberries this week and also each student brought home basil seeds to plant and to give them a start at home.  Spanish and Mandarin classes are moving right along with their games, songs and activities.  

As we enter spring (I think it might be here for real now?!), please send your child ready for muddy, wet play.  Even if they think they won’t want to join in wet playtime, that feeling often changes when they are with their classmates outside.  Your child may leave their rain gear at school as we have our backpack “shed”  and can leave items over the weekend.  Finally, please be certain your child has a labeled water bottle daily.  It’s getting hotter in the afternoons, we stay busy, and hydration promotes learning and wellness.  Thank you!

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

The Lower Grades enjoyed our second week of our math block.  We met Plus and Minus gnomes as all as King Equals.  The students worked with both operations adding or subtracting 1, 2, and 3 (or 10-13) from numbers through 100.  We used gems, number lines, our fingers and mental math skills as we learned.  Being able to solve equations in a variety of ways with a variety of tools allows us to become more flexible in how we think about and work with math equations.  The children enjoyed the on-going story as well as working on their skills with number.  This coming week we will work with both multiplication and division.

We also modeled cubes into boxes and worked on both drawing and painting mountain scemes.  The students really enjoyed the process of laying colors on their paper with crayons.  We mixed red and blue paint to create purple mountains, and then red and yellow to create a sunset (or sunrise).  The children are enjoying both Spanish and Mandarin and the many songs and games in both classes.  Ki Sonya has kept them busy working in the garden and exploring our campus during nature study.

Please remember to join us for our upcoming Media Lite talk on March  22nd at 10:00.  Bring a friend!

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: Feb 25 - March 1

The Lower Grades started their new math block this week meeting four gnomes that must find the Secret of Numbers to break an enchantment cast upon them.  We reviewed basic numeral formation, Roman numerals, and the concepts of odd and even numbers.  The students enjoyed being able to tell if a number into the millions was odd or even!  Next week, we will spend more time with both addition and subtraction and work on discovering the secrets and math facts for both operations.

The children wet-on-wet painted a mountain scene and also drew another mountain scene with block crayons while we worked on layering colors.  For clay modeling, we turned our spheres into cubes and then into boxes.  It takes patience and dexterity to create sharp corners for both cubes and boxes using clay.  Hats and flute cases are on our knitting needles, and knitting is a popular free-time activity.  During creature feature, the children met a turtle and a bearded dragon, each having a turn to feel the dragon.  All the children touched her, and were impressed with how her skin actually felt.  We also enjoyed nature study with some creek time on a warmer day as well as time in the garden this week.

The rain seems to be here to stay and the cold isn’t gone yet either.  Please send your child with boots, raingear and extra clothes daily.  Each child has space in the shed to store extra items, so feel free to send them in to be kept at school.

Our Fundraising event is Saturday eveningMarch 9th.  Please consider buying tickets and attending, and bring friends if you’d like!  We are a small school, so all parent participation is helpful, needed and deeply appreciated!  We are also sponsoring a Media Lite talk in March 22nd at 10:00am.  We’d love a solid parent turn-out for that event as well!  It promises to be an informative and positive session to help us all tame that media monster! 

Warmly,

Melissa 

Lower Grades: Feb 11 - 15

Thank you all for making Parent conference week a fun and interesting time to talk about your child and to get to know him or her better.  I always come away from conferences feeling both inspired and blessed by our wonderful community of parents.  The partnerships between parents and teachers are a gift to each child!

The Lower Grades finished their third Language block of the school year.  This past block focused on phonics and conventions of spelling.  Many students worked with short vowel sounds and writing word families based around those sounds, while some children worked with long vowel pairs and word families based upon those.  We also learned four common diagraphs (/ch/, /sh/, /th/, /wh/) and their sounds and worked with sight words as well.  Please continue playing sight words games with your child at home.  The children who can easily recognize sight words have an easier time learning to read as a whole.  For students already reading, sight word games can focus on spelling these words as well as reading them.  I typically use the Dolch sight word lists (though there are certainly other lists you can use) which offers lists with increasingly challenging words.

Our next block will be math-based and focus on the four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Through stories, the children will practice each process and see how they can work together.  We will also focus on basic math facts and rules.

We will continue with our foreign language instruction, handwork (our knitters are happily engaged in a variety of projects), clay modelling, wet-on-wet painting, music, games, gardening and nature study as we start to welcome our early spring weather (fingers crossed!).  Please be sure your child has all their rain gear and boots that fit as we will continue to play and learn outside on daily basis.  While our students typically know their own gear and each other’s as well, please remember to label everything clearly.  It helps the adults, who find items in interesting and unexpected locations, return them easily and quickly.

Finally, please take time and look at our calendar of events for the coming weeks.  Spring promises to be a busy and active time for our own growing school!  Your time, energy and support keeps us and growing and blossoming in wonderful ways!

I hope you all enjoyed your winter break!

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: Feb 4 - 8

The Lower Grades had a week filled with building words and writing. We built word families with short /o/ and short /u/ while other students worked with long vowel sounds. We also made our own letter cards to build words sound by sound. Examples are finding /p/, /e/, /n/ for “pen” or /squ/, /a/, /sh/ for “squash”. 
In Math, we played Wake-up Giants with dice, small group adding games with dice, and Guess the Number game through 100. 

All the students are knitting happily on needles and working on various projects. It been a fun journey watching them begin and develop their knitting skills. They continued learning strokes for Chinese characters and playing games in Spanish. For modeling with clay, we practiced making cubes, hollowing them out, and turning them into open boxes. We also enjoyed extra outside play this week with our warmer weather as well.  

Next week are Parent-Teacher conferences. Dismissal is at 12:30 all week. Aftercare will be available each day and is also available for signup during conferences. The following week is winter break. I will do my best to have your child bring home all their items of clothing for washing and repairs as needed. Some students are outgrowing their rain boots too so please be on the lookout. 😊 

Warmly, 

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: January 28 - Feb 1

The Lower Grades had a busy week learning and playing.  We continued working with words families focusing on either short vowel words or long vowel combinations, depending on each student’s needs.  We shared the story, The Secret and Magic Name of the King as we worked on the /i/ and /o/ families and also copied captions for our drawings.  We started simple dictations this week, extended our sight word “wall” and played sight word bingo.  In Math, we revisited building numbers on our place value charts with the focus on regrouping while adding.

This week children enjoyed painting a lake scene for the second time.  Each week, we paint using the wet-on-wet Waldorf style of painting.  The students watch a demonstration of a painting and then recreate that same painting on their own.  The following week we free paint.  The week after they recreate the same picture from the demonstration.  Exploring both color and technique is interesting and fun for all of them.  In Mandarin, they began learning and practicing the various strokes for writing characters while in Spanish they played games and sang songs.  In German, they met Poppy, a puppet, and sang to call her out of hiding as well as to say good-bye to her.  Assembly was again successful and the children all did a wonderful job reciting their circle time poems and games.

Tomorrow nightTuesday, February 5th, is our All School Parent Night.  We are looking forward to sharing more about what we bring to our students in the Grades and kindergarten programs.  Please sign up for Parent-teacher conferences if you haven’t done so yet.

Warmly, 

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: Jan 22 - 25

The Lower Grades began their new language block this past week.  We are reviewing short vowel sounds as well as learning four basic diagraphs (/ch/, /sh/, /wh/, /th/) and practicing two and three letter blends (/pl/ as in plan, /str/ as in strap).  We built word families around short /a/ and short /e/ using these concepts, creating both real and nonsensical words and identifying which is which.  As we move forward, we will look at vowel pairs and their various sounds.  We are also increasing our sight word bank and creating silly sentences using our word families and sight words. 

 

The children enjoyed building patterns with pattern blocks as well as copying patterns from cards. We began making pot holders using looms and fabric bands this week.  The children have been coaching each other through the process, which has been fun and mostly effective . In Handwork, children are at various stages with their projects.  All children are working with knitting on two needles creating various projects depending on their skill level.  Spanish and Mandarin are going well.  They will being drawing the characters  for numerals in Mandarin this coming month.  For Nature Study, they looked at and touched various animal pelts and learned more about our various woodland creatures.  In Gardening, the students helped to move manure to the compost area.  As always, Forect-cess, our Friday time out in the woods, was the most fun (just ask them!).  The children are exploring the woods between the Dome and Kindergarten play area with zeal!

Please join us Tuesday, February 5th from 7-9 pm for our All School Meeting.  Parent Conferences will be held the week of February 11-15th.  We will have school for half days that week. 

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: Jan 14 - 18

The Lower Grades had a fun and busy week. It felt great for us to be together again!  While we hadn’t been together as a class for quite some time, the children were ready to be back together for all our learning and playing!

We spent the week with the story, The Four Seasons, as the base for our form drawings. The children enjoyed moving the various running forms (continuous vertical forms that repeat for the width of the page) in a variety of ways such as moving forwards, backwards, on tiptoes, galloping, etc.  They also practiced drawing each repeatedly in air and on paper before drawing the form one final time for their Master Books. The children also chose parts and acted out The Four Season story as well, amid much laughter! 

This week we enjoyed continuing in Mandarin and warmly welcomed Ki Evelyn as our new Spanish teacher. We got right back to work with Ki Ieva for handwork and got busy with Ki Sonya for both Gardening and Nature Study. Each morning we are practicing with all grades classes for our maypole dance held during our Grandfriends tea.  The children are learning to move together in rhythm and pattern. They made great strides between Monday and Friday!  We also enjoyed experiencing the train layouts from the Southern Museum in Kennesaw.  Thank you to Christopher Banz’s dad, Ki Richard, and his associate, Ki Josh, for setting up and sharing the trains with us.  The students loved it!

For our next block we will be working with word families (“ig” pig, jig, rig; “ale” pale, tale, sale; “uff” puff, fluff, etc.).  Word families support both reading(sounding out) and writing (spelling).  We will work together to create the various word families (nonsense words included), write silly sentences and learn spelling rules as we go. 

The cold weather is back!  Please send your child in layers!  Hats and gloves, while no fun to keep up with, helps keep their heads and hands warm while we work and play outside.  While the dome is warm and comfortable, it does take it a bit of time to get there on the coldest mornings.  Layers help the children stay comfortable throughout the day.

Warmly, 

Ki Melissa




Middle/Lower Grades: Dec 10 - 14

PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS.  IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE WEEK..  As we bring in the end of this semester, I am sad that some of you are not with us.  Please know that i wish you all the very best for a beautiful holiday season filled with love and laughter, and I will be eager to see you again next year.

Ki Melissa and I will combine our classes this week.  It will be a time for wrapping up our basket project.  in case you didn't hear, I apparently boiled some posion ivy when i boiled the vines to strip them and make them supple, and I have a full blown case of the scratches!!  I am highly allergic to it, and my guard was down because it was winter.  Lesson learned!   Thank goodness I got the steroid shot today.  I think I'll be able to be at school tomorrow and we'll work on the baskets again, although I might not touch anything unless I have rubber gloves on.


There wlll be a little special time each day as follows:


Tuesday
 will be board/card game day. If your child has a favorite board game to share, please ask them to bring it.  I will be bringing mankala, parcheesi, skip-bo, several decks of playing cards, dominos, and a couple others. We'll divide into groups and try to have each group play at least 3 games.  Each of the games involves counting.  I'm quite sure that playing myriad games like this when I was a child led to my love of numbers, and my ability to "count in my head."


Wednesday is wear-your-pajamas day. We will have popcorn and almond milk hot chocolate and Ki Melissa and I will be reading stories to the class about Winter and holiday celebrations.

Thursday morning we will have tea and "biscuits,"  AKA cookies, and fruit ( with maybe some chocolate to dip it in.  So that we can accommodate all of our students' dietary needs, the cookies need to be vegan and gluten and sugar free.  The Middle grades don't have any nut allergies, but there may be some in the Lower grades, so we'll stay away from nuts in the cookies.  It's hard to make cookies without sugar, but I'm going to try my hand at using agave nectar.  I have holiday flavored herb tea, so no caffeine.  If you have a tried and true recipe, please send it to me.  Otherwise I will be relying on the internet.

Remember that dismissal is at noon on Thursday.

Have a wonderful week!!

Lower Grades: Dec 3 - 7

The Lower Grades worked specifically with multiplication and division this past week through our stories with Mul de Pleir and Prince Divide.  The students gained a sense of how multiplication and division work together and how number sentences are written.  Using colored gems, the children multiplied and divided, wrote various number sentences using the appropriate sign and also copied the two and tens times tables.  The skip counting activities we do during our morning circle, help this process make sense for them.  During Spanish the students have been coloring pictures of fruits and vegetables and traded them at a “store” with Don Andres, while in Mandarin the children began learning to count and picked it up so fast! 

For the first week of advent, which is the week of stone (minerals, crystals and seashells), we enjoyed lighting the first candle on our advent table.  The children each chose a tiny seashell to keep, learned a poem and copied and illustrated the first verse of the poem.  Next week, we will begin the week of plants, making a craft to complement the week and continue learning the verses.  This week we will be continuing with our math block and spending the week exploring the relationship between addition and subtraction, again through story and looking more at number families. 

For wet-on-wet painting, we blended the three primary colors in various forms, for a fun craft, we made window stars as a class and then on our own to bring home.  Window star paper would be a fun holiday gift though I am sorry to say the kits that include instruction book are now only available for a ridiculous price on Amazon and I didn’t find them elsewhere.  There are directions online and other books available separately.  Our prolific finger knitters are now starting knitting on needles while our class knitters are completing first and second projects.  The children are all pleased with their developing skills as they well should be!

Please make sure your child has all their wet/cold weather gear in order.  Some items are being stored in our backpack shed and others at home or in backpacks.  The children will need their boots, and full rain gear based on the weather reports.  It will be muddy even if it isn’t raining.  Let’s keep being prepared!! 😊

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: Nov 26 - 30

The Lower Grades had a great start with our new block focusing on the four processes. We met all four processes (multiplication, division, addition and subtraction) via story, giving them each unique personalities. The children drew pictures, copied summaries and worked on each process with our counting gems (and trail mix on Friday—food is fun to count 😉). We modeled table settings with clay, played sight word bingo and memory and enjoyed a hike with Nature Exploration. We also celebrated Anya’s birthday with hot cocoa and apple cider on Wednesday. 

Please keep in mind that we are learning and working every day on new lessons and concepts. Morning circle is the time we practice math through movement as well as learning many verses, some we will share during assembly. When your child is late, they are missing a valuable part of our day. Please make every effort to have your child at school on time every day!  

Warmly, 

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: Nov 12 - 16

The Lower Grades finished a second reader this past week based on the story, The Lazy Gnome.  The students wrote sentences and drew pictures following the storyline.  We made the various fairies the lazy gnome learned from using wool roving.  The children practiced reading their pages daily aloud and to themselves.  Many books went home this past Friday to be read at home.  Please bring them back the Monday after break.  If your child’s book didn’t come home, they can bring it home after break if desired.  😊

The Thanksgiving/ talent show potluck was a success.  Thank you to all our families for making it a fun-filled and relaxing event!  And a big thank you to the sun for shining!

When we return from Thanksgiving break, we will begin our next math block based on the four processes.  Through stories and using manipulative, the children will meet each process (multiplication, division, subtraction and addition).  The stories are meant to evoke feelings for how each process works and how they compliment each other.  This works through the idea of multiplication making plenty and division helping her to share; Minus gives everything away while addition accumulates and by working in tandem these processes both save and give in balance.  We will be using manipulatives to explore each process and recording equations as we go.

Happy Thanksgiving! ❤

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: Nov 5th - Nov 12th

The Lower Grades had a fun first week in our new classroom space, the Dome.  It fits perfectly with our class energy!  The compostable toilet was easily embraced and everyone quickly and happily settled in.  Thank you all for sending your children with rubber-soled slippers.  It makes getting from our backpack shed to the Dome an easy transition.  We are able to leave our gear in the shed over the weekend which is a nice bonus.  If you want everything to come home on Fridays, please let me know and I will do my best to help make that happen.  Same with having items left at school.  Please add rain pants if you haven’t done so already.  😊

This past week we made our first readers.  (If you read last week’s Monday Messenger it mentioned word families, but I changed that 😉.)  The readers were based on a story we shared in class, The Prince Who Could Not Read.  Each day, we wrote a sentence and drew an illustration for various parts of the story and re-read our pages many times.  We worked on our copywork (neatness, correct letter formation, spacing), sight words (underlined in red) and sentence structure.  On our last illustrations we started adding in some background details in our pictures as well.  For students learning to read, pointing along with each word as they read is an important skill, along with sounding out simple words.  Please make sure the readers are all returned to school as we will continue to use them.  Next week, we will make a second reader based on a new story.  Students who are currently readers will be working on a book based on short stories and writing simple summaries.  

In Math, we are continuing to work on place value, building various numbers through 99 using our beads and tens “sticks”.  Students are building individual numbers or working on adding and subtracting single and double-digit numbers based on their needs.  In Modeling, we formed our clay balls into paddies, then into five-pointed stars and finally into a human figure (five points = two arms, two legs and a head).  In wet-on-wet painting, we painted rainbows, working on a specific brush stroke and blending colors.  The students enjoyed Music class with Ki Kathee, Yoga with Ki Nina, Games with Ki Nnamdi and Foreign Language with both Ki Serina and Don Andres.  In Handwork, we are learning with Ki Andrew and Ki Ieva and working on our knitting skills.  Students new to knitting are finger knitting and enjoying the process immensely.  They will transition to knitting with needles during the school year.

Warmly, 

Ki Melissa

Middle Grades: Nov 5th - Nov 12th

As I look at the weather forecast for this week, I am reminded of the importance of having raingear every day, and an extra set of clothing.

In case you ever need to know, from the northeast door of the building to the gate at the farm, along the path, is a 912 foot jaunt.  We measured it this week by using a 25 foot piece of string and going hand over hand.  I had fun, and now I know that each day we walk just under 1/2 mile there and back.  Our discussions about measurement was accompanied by the addition of the 12's multiplication table.

This week is going to be all about weight.  After we start by comparing items by weight, we will be building balance scales, then I will bring in a digital scale and we'll see how accurate our handbuilt scales are.  

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, November 14 - book reports due

Friday, November 16 - Thanksgiving Potluck luncheon; early release

December 1 - Community Work Day

Friday, December 7 - First Friday Assembly - Strings Ensemble first performance!!

Have a great week!  Hope to see you Friday at the luncheon.

STRING ENSEMBLE

The Strings Ensemble is progressing nicely, and without putting too much emphasis on performance, I think they are ready to play several tunes for students and parents at the First Friday Assembly on December 7.  I would like for the students to wear similar colors for the performance - tops in primary colors, preferably polos or button up; navy, black, or khaki pants or skirts; and no large bows or shiny jewelry.  

At this point in their progress, students should be practicing the violin at least 10 minutes per day on Strings Ensemble music, which includes exercises and scales, in addition to the music they are practicing for their private lessons. Beginning in January, I will be checking their practice routine by sending home a weekly practice chart.  Please start thinking now about possible rewards at home for practice without prodding.

Lower Grades: October 29 - November 2

The Lower Grades finished out our Qualities of Numbers block this past week.  During this block, we explored the values of the numbers one through twelve through Grimm’s fairy tales, drawing, using gems and writing many addition sentences.  The students’ ability to create addition equations blossomed by the end of the block!  The students who are already adding and subtracting, used dice and larger numbers to practice and develop their skills and also showed great progress!  We finished up this week focusing on place value to the hundreds place (and a quick visit to the thousands place too).  Using beads, pipe cleaners, number flips and a bell, the students built numbers to 100 and back to zero one by one.  This is an activity that let them see clearly the concept of grouping and re-grouping in the ones, tens and hundred place values.

We are again moving into a language block and will be spending the next two weeks working with word families (i.e. “at”- cat, mat, sat or “ai” rain, paint, train) and writing sentences incorporating these words.  We will also be settling into our new space, The Dome.  The classroom and supplies were moved in Friday (thank you Elexa for your help and use of your van!).  It should be a great space for us and lets us stay a little more settled (no more cleaning up the entire room on Fridays 😉).  Please remember, send your child with slippers with rubber soles, rainboots and raingear.  They will benefit having boots with them daily.  We will be in and out of the building at various times during the day.  Boots will help them transition on the wet days easily and comfortably.  The Lower Grades has their own boot bin to make storing them easier.  We are also using the shed net to the dome for hanging backpacks and coats.  It should all work out nicely.

 Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Lower Grades: October 22 - 26

The Lower Grades had a smaller group this week as there are a couple different “bugs” in the air.  Extra rest is a huge help for wellness!  We had a busy week working with the numbers seven through eleven through stories, movement songs and using gems.  They students heard stories, drew pictures and created many addition equations using gems or dice.  The hundreds chart was introduced to some students as they work on larger number addition and subtraction equations. Next week, we will work with the number 12 and begin a place value game that clearly shows how and why we change from nine to 10 as well as 99 to 100.  In Language, we played sight word bingo and they are learning to recognize more sight words.  We also started a sight word wall so they can access these words quickly and easily when writing.  During this time, we are also now breaking into small groups to work on our reading, writing and phonics skills.

Friday, November 2 is our First Friday assembly.  The Lower Grades will be hosting, which means they will be introducing each class as they come up onto the stage to share what they have been working on this past month.  It will be a half-day, so please plan on meeting your child at the picnic tables between 12:15-12:30 for early pick-up or sign your child up for our Aftercare program. 

We have had a quick jump-start into early winter!  Please send your child with warm clothes and update their extra clothing in their backpacks.  When it rains, the playground is muddy and extra clothes are often needed after a fun time outside!  We usually stay outside for our morning circle after morning playground, and being dressed appropriately makes for a better experience.  Boots are still always needed!  We have a storage chest outside the doors for boots to be stored.  Please keep check that your child has boots and please take them home over the weekends for cleaning and drying out as needed. 

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Middle Grades: October 22 - 26

The Middle Grades students will spend the next couple of weeks measuring.  We will start the week by measuring with our bodies - thumbs, feet, hand span, elbow to tip of finger, stride; and steadily move to the tools of measuring - rulers, scales, and the ways that we calculate measurement.

We are getting into The Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and learning about the hard work involved in being a farmer.  We will continue learning about farming and gardening.  A month ago we planted spinach, kale, and collards.  Today there is nothing left of them.  Something ate every plant right down to the ground.  I'm guessing rabbits or rats.  We have to design a way to cover the beds when we aren't down there before we replant.  If any of you have any ideas, please contact me so that we can move quickly to have at least a few cool season edibles.

I will be distributing a new round of biographies this week.  Please help your child get on a schedule to finish reading the book at home by the end of next week.  Book reports will be due the following Wednesday, November 14.  The format will be the same as before.

Practice the 6x's!!!!!!

And have a spooky week,

Ki Kathee

Lower Grades: Oct 15 - 19

The Lower Grades class worked with the numbers up to six though stories this week, practicing movement patterns and numeral formation along with building number sentences using gems and then recording them for our master books.  Students also used dice to build and solve larger number equations as well.  During our first blocks, the children and I drew pictures together, however for this new math block they are copying pictures with little direct instruction from me.  They are doing wonderfully and seem to be happy with the process as well as their final product. 

As we did not fully meet every alphabet letter, we also learned about the letter “x”.  We read the story of “The Wolf and the Fox”, thought of many “x” words and worked on letter formation.  During clay modeling, the students have been making spheres into paddies, then pressing in six places and pulling out six arms of clay that turn into four legs, a head and a tail to create animals, both realistic or imaginary.  For Language, in addition to our work with “x”, we played sight words bingo.  In Handwork, the children are working on their knitting skills.  As this is a slow, repetitive process that requires one-on-one or small groups, the children are also sewing using blunt-tipped embroidery needles and plastic canvas grids focusing on the blanket stitch to start.  They are enjoying it all very much!

This coming week, we will continue in our math block learning more about the qualities of each number through stories, arts and movement.  Please send your children with jackets each day as the mornings will be much colder and we will be spending time outside each day.  Water bottles are still necessary as well.  We will still be going to the creek, however, as the temperatures drop please send your child with boots.  This way they can play in the water, but keep their feet dry.  We will be discouraging getting clothes wet as a general safety precaution moving forward.

Warmly,

Ki Melissa