Focus on Physical Education

We started off the school year establishing rules for PE class. Students continue to practice listening and following directions and being supportive classmates. We greet each other every week with a high 5 to help us remember the following:

Eyes watching
Ears listening
Body still and ready
Voice off
Brain ready to learn

A growth mindset is reinforced in every class and we encourage all students to at least try an activity and not be afraid of making mistakes. We are currently focusing on fitness and learning how our heart and lungs respond to a variety of movements and activities. So far students have played FIT DECK Tag, designed obstacle courses, and played a variety of chase and evade games, worked together with a very large parachute and enjoyed some competitive Battleship using scooters, yarn balls, and bowling pins. Students love to keep moving and especially enjoy any activity that involves dodge balls or scooters. During the winter months, we will build on their motor skills by a…

Halloween Slideshow

Enjoy our Halloween Slideshow! (Pictures by Ruth Gaskin and Shannon Salentine)

Halloween Fun

Halloween was so much fun. We enjoyed a hayride, Halloween math, a parade, a story, a play, and a party. Thank you to all the parent volunteers for making this such a fabulous, fun day! A slideshow with more pictures of our special day is coming soon.

Skills Groups

River Class students are divided into three skills groups after two or three weeks of being in school. We divide children up according to age, social needs, learning needs, and generally what seems to be the best fit. Charlie, Dee, and Ruth typically have a group of ten students each. Charlie usually works with the beginner readers and writers and Ruth and Dee will work with a mixed group of both first- and second-year students.

Skills groups take place Monday through Thursday every week. They consist of math and language arts activities, but of course, math and language learning takes place at other times throughout the week. Our calendar time is a perfect example of that. Each child takes a turn to be Person of the Day and leads the calendar time. The class says the date both in English and Spanish and students will contribute calendar sentences such as Halloween is on October 31st. We have pattern cards, so children learn how to identify patterns in different ways using colors, sha…

Our First Birthday Celebration

For the past few years, we have celebrated students' birthdays by having three parties over the course of the school year. This guarantees that each child is celebrated at some point in the year and reduces the amount of sugar we would consume if we had individual celebrations.

We have the children make a birthday graph (as pictured below) and then we divide up the children into groups of ten by referring to the graph. Before we made our paper graph we made a human one with the children. They learned about bar graphs and the number associated with each month.

Our actual celebration involves the celebrants introducing themselves and telling us their birthday and age. Parents of the celebrants are invited to come and join the celebration and volunteer to bring gifts of food and/or time and support.

This year's first celebration was absolutely terrific! We were blessed with beautiful weather and many wonderful parent volunteers.  Thanks to all of the parents for making this such…

River Class Community

Using queries to reflect on life experiences is a common Quaker process. When we speak from our own perspective, we offer others a chance to learn different ways of thinking.
Instead of dictating a list of classroom rules, we used a query to elicit from the children how they would like to their school to be. We asked, “What kind of community would you like River Class to be?” The children generated thoughtful, honest answers. 
Here’s what they said: Make friendsEnjoy school, have fun learningRespect each otherBe treated in a kind wayHave a positive attitudeSettle our differences peacefullyTake care of material and furniture in our classroom When students are given the opportunity to describe what they want, they often share insightful and meaningful reflections.

Gardening Fun and Cooperative Groups

Gardening Fun
River Class work in their job teams to help plant lettuce. Our first group of students digs trenches.

 We have our very own garden square.

Students take turns to use the shovels.

 Each job team helps to either dig or plant seeds.

We have fun working together. We hope to have a salad bar when the lettuce is ready to harvest. We'll keep you posted.
Cooperative Groups
During research time we have the kids work in groups to solve problems together. Last week's challenge was to come up with 20 different sounds. Our second-year students modeled how to work cooperatively in a group by listening to one another and taking turns. Children get lots of practice over the course of the year.

A team leader helps organize the group. An older student is typically chosen for this role. However, as the year progresses, first-year students often volunteer for this task.

We will be working on our theme of SOUND over the course of the year.