Showing posts from 2013

Happy Holidays from River Class

This week's Big Fish

Kwanzaa Celebration

Dee leads the fourth year students in our Kwanzaa celebration.

Kwanzaa is the Swahili word for "first", and it signifies the first fruits of the harvest. Based on age-old African harvest celebrations, Kwanzaa begins December 26 and ends January 1. This holiday celebrates the harvest and the collective efforts of communities. Dancing traditionally plays a major role in such celebrations.

Former River Class students share about the principles of Kwanzaa.

River students enjoy a shared snack of fruit and nuts with the rest of the Lower School community.

Traditionally, teachers serve the students a snack provided by Lower School families - thank you!

Holiday Interest Groups

Our holiday Interest Groups were a great success! Children enjoyed a variety of activities such as Legos (pictured above).

Bedtime Buddies was a lot of fun. Children made colorful stuffies to keep them company. 

Stuffy Hats and Vests was also a fun option. 


Latest from River Class

This week's Big Fish
Art with Jamie

Jamie, our Middle School art teacher, has been visiting River Class for the past few Mondays to share his artistic gifts with all of the River children. Students have an art lesson in small groups. Children decide what they'd like to be able to draw or improve on. They are grouped according to their preferences. 

The last three weeks children have been drawing dogs, cats, and horses. Jamie demonstrates on the board and also uses technology as a resource in the event that a student wants to try to draw something else. Children have an opportunity to practice their drawing skills during center time on Mondays and sometimes Fridays. We have a variety of drawing books in the classroom to help support students' varying interests. Upcoming groups will include fantasy, people, clothes, birds, vehicles, more animals, and birds. River students have been very excited to work with Jamie! 

A student is practicing drawing horses.

A student is proud o…

Latest from River Class

This week's Big Fish

Design and Engineering

Students are working in pairs to design, build, and test a hand pollinator for a model of a specific flower utilizing the results of tests they conducted to determine which materials were best at picking up and dropping off pollen.
Children are using their knowledge of pollination, materials and their properties, and the Engineering Design Process to design and improve their hand pollinator for their model flower.
Students are engaging in activities where they: brainstormed ideas for their hand pollinator designs were asked to consider the design constraints imposed by different model flowers created and tested their hand pollinator designsanalyzed their hand pollinators for strengths and weaknesses based on observations made during testing imagined ways to improve their designs and implemented some of their improvementsStudents are learning that: engineers use a series of steps to find solutions to design problemsa human-made design (techn…

News from River Class

This week's Big Fish

We hope you enjoy our latest video

This week in River Class

This week's Big Fish
Art with Natasha

Natasha, our art and Sky Class teacher
Pumpkin Art

River and Sky students completed this lesson over the course of two art classes. In the first class the students learned how to draw a pumpkin using curved lines. We began by looking at a pumpkin and noticing the segments. Once the drawings were complete, the students painted their pumpkins. They had fun mixing the three colors of red, yellow and white to create the many shades of pumpkin colors that you see.

In the second class, the students cut their pumpkins out with scissors and then created the pumpkin faces using primarily black and white paper scraps. They used watered down glue to adhere the face designs to the pumpkins.

This week in River Class

This week's Big Fish

What's new in Design and Engineering?
River and Sky students have been:
Making predictions about which materials and properties of materials are good or poor choices for a hand pollinator design.Conducting controlled experiments to observe and describe the efficacy of materials for picking up and depositing "pollen."Analyzing and comparing results of the experiments to inform decisions about their hand pollinator design.
Science concepts taught include:
•Different materials have different properties.
•Pollination is the reproductive system by which many plants produce new seeds.
•Pollination can be accomplished by wind, insects, other animals.
•Flowers have specific structures with specific functions. 

Students were able to see which materials picked up and dropped off pollen the best.

They will use this information as they develop their hand pollinators in the next step of this unit.

Materials used in the pollen experiment:

This week in River Class

This week's Big Fish

Check out our latest Halloween video above

S'math We have just finished our first six-week rotation of S’math with the students is Sky and River.  Abby and Tom each did three different activities over the course of three weeks with one class.  Then they switched groups and did similar activities with the other class. 

Tom (Sky Class and S'math teacher)

In Tom’s first activity with Sky Class, each group was given a charge coming up with a name for their group by using the process of consensus.   The second week activity was taking the group hiking on the nature trail that surrounds the school. The second week, the students hiked down the gravel driveway to the entrance of the nature trail.  It was established in 2001 by a group of Upper School students. It is about a mile and a fourth long. It circles around in back of the Klopfer’s land, past the Davis horse farm to the Upper School baseball field and then follows the creek back to Lower School. The s…

This week's Big Fish

This week's Big Fish

Physical Education 

We hope you enjoy the above video about our Physical Education class with Alex and Jonathan. Our Pioneers and Planners are either with Alex or Jonathan to begin with and then switch part way through the year. Physical Education takes place every Thursday afternoon. Children learn a variety of skills including how to throw and catch, how to follow directions, and how to warm up their bodies.

This week's River News

This week's Big Fish

Design and Engineering Update:
River and Sky students were introduced to the field of agricultural engineering after hearing the story, Mariana Becomes a Butterfly. The book presented several opportunities for students to focus on the role of insects in natural systems. Mariana’s aunt, Tia Leti, an agricultural engineer, shows her niece how hand pollination tools are a good example of a technology that imitates nature, specifically the role of pollinating insects.
The lesson helped students: ·Recognize that insects are a part of the natural world.
·Understand that insects can be helpful and harmful.
·Identify the parts of a natural system of pollination.

Students learned: ·Pollination is a natural system and that natural systems are made up of parts.
·If parts of a system are missing, the system doesn’t work.
·Agricultural engineers design and improve technologies for agriculture.
·Humans can engineer technologies to manage, replicate, or restore natural systems.

Every s…