This week was packed full of fun and energy as our eager students could not wait to open up their new café! We devoted some time each day to go over the logistics and planning so we would be prepared for our first customers. We expect this café to evolve with time and open up new opportunities for learning and team building. The students continue to come up with new ideas every day, but we can only incorporate so many at one time. I am thrilled that they are so passionate about the experience! We confirmed a visit from the owners of Sugar Magnolia on Tuesday morning. The timing cannot be better as we will be able so share with them how the opening went.
This week we celebrated two October birthdays at our monthly birthday breakfast. The students look forward to this monthly celebration and parents and siblings are always welcome to join us.
Lately the students have been working in teams to complete activities in class. Some of those activities included making a poster for one of the kingdoms of life, designing game boards based on books they read, or creating slideshows about their personal interests. This is a tight-knit group of students and they have a great time learning and interacting together! We hope you can stop in Friday morning, October 18, for the opening of our cafe at 8:00 AM!
There has been a variety of activity in and outside the classroom lately. The soccer team began the week with a victory over The Southport School. They showed great teamwork and sportsmanship throughout and should be proud of their efforts! A few students completed their endangered animal research and are ready to share with the class. We started rotating our daily outdoor recess between the field, playground, and outdoor classroom areas to mix things up. The students enjoy alternating between the different spaces. We prepared three cinnamon swirl breads as a practice run for the Happe Cafe. This was a great lesson in measurement and following directions. As you can see from the photos, although each group used the same recipe, the breads turned out differently. On Friday, they will share the bread with faculty and staff to promote the cafe. Our grand opening is planned for the morning of October 18. We hope you can stop in to support their efforts!
Our week started off with an amazing field trip to the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, CT. The students got to see live specimens during the first activity of the day centered around animal adaptations. Next, they used nets to collect animals for the pond study. These kids were expert frog catchers! Finally, after lunch they ended the day with a program about insects. Part of this program was spent outdoors collecting insects in small containers. They learned that insects have three body parts (head, thorax, abdomen), six legs, and antennae. In the classroom there is a buzz of excitement as many students are making game boards based off of books they read. Some students are using their time in the MakerSpace room to design the boards or make playing pieces. Our next culinary activity will be nut free pesto using the basil from our garden. The garden will get a makeover soon for the fall season, so be on the lookout as you pull through the back entrance to the school!
In the Art Studio, our young artists from Lower Elementary through Middle School kicked off the school year by putting on a Tiny Art Show! Each artist was given a choice between various small canvases, paper, and even shells to create their tiny artwork on. Students practiced layering art materials such as colorful sharpies and tempera paints, as well as practicing color mixing techniques. There was no specific prompt for what to paint, but rather it was an opportunity for each young artist to trust their creativity and express themselves. The challenge, however, was the small size restriction. Students had to problem solve ways in which they could fit their designs and ideas onto the tiny canvases, as well as how to carefully apply paint with small paintbrushes so as not to lose any detail. It was wonderful to see the variety of artwork created!
Once their tiny artwork was complete, we set up a display in the hallway for the whole school to enjoy. Magnifying glasses were set up with the display so everyone could take a closer look at all of the wonderfully unique tiny works of art!
This week the Upper Elementary students spent some time as community helpers lending a hand in various ways. Some of these tasks included sorting and delivering lost and found items, cleaning up the garden beds, assisting primary students during morning drop off, and tidying up the zen garden. Our community helpers were eager to help out and their tasks will rotate and change throughout the school year. In our classroom, we made stuffed peppers using several peppers from our garden. They came out great and a few students that were not fans of peppers were surprised they enjoyed the taste. Next week, our goal is to make pesto using basil from the enormous basil plant from the same garden. We met to discuss our coffee shop plans and the students agreed on the name, Happe Cafe. They made logos and voted on the logos during student council. At the conclusion of our week we enjoyed some time on the trails during recess.
I’m so excited to be part of the FWM family and share my passion for language with the children here! In World Language, the children have been diving into stories each class. Storytelling helps students acquire language in a compelling manner and allows them to see words used in context rather than simply learning them in isolation. The children learn actions to correspond with new vocabulary words.
In alignment with their author study for September, primary classes heard Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo, ¿Qué ves ahí? (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? By Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle). With the story, they were presented with names of different animals along with their colors. Next, we will work on categorizing living and non-living things, just as they are doing for science this month.
Lower Elementary has been acquiring the skills to discuss which foods we like and do not like. They have been using the story, ¡No me gusta! from the No Me Digas elementary Spanish curriculum. We have been singing and sharing about our favorite and least favorite foods.
Upper Elementary has practiced retelling stories and sequencing with the stories Isabel va a la escuela and Los Peces, and Los Tiburones, all from The Storyteller’s Corner. They have learned to talk about leaving or staying, how they are feeling, and they have practiced counting 0-10 and backward.
Middle School just started our Free Voluntary Reading, which is at the beginning of each class. All middle schoolers choose a book to read and spend the first five to ten minutes of class reading in Spanish. Aside from this, they have been singing and hearing stories to say who people are, what they say, and what they like and do not like to do. Then they applied these skills to begin writing their own stories about themselves.
The 100 Mile Club is off to a great start!
Students are running during morning fitness, recess and PE class. The philosophy of 100 Mile Club is to engage and empower children and families to achieve a healthy lifestyle through physical activity nationwide; preventing childhood inactivity and obesity, one child, one school, and one community at a time.
The 100 Mile Club met for the first time on Wednesday, September 11th! It was a great turnout with over 30 students in attendance! First, we spoke about the 100 Mile Club program and goal setting for the year. We then headed out to the field to start our running/walking. Students independently tracked their laps around the field by collecting a popsicle stick every time they ran or walked one time around the soccer field. We ended the club five minutes early so that they could count their popsicle sticks. Many students were so motivated to run, they asked if they could run even more laps!
I encourage parents to sign their child up for the after school 100 Mile Club on Wednesdays from 3:15 to 4:00. Parents are also welcome to join us to walk and run on the soccer field during the club. Pick up for the club is at the front lobby at 4:00. Please note: the club does not meet on some Wednesdays so please refer to the calendar for those dates. The age group for this club is from grades 1 through 8. When your child receives their t-shirt after completing 25 miles, please have them wear the shirt on Wednesdays. I hope to see you on the field!