Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This week's River News

This week in River Class

This week's Big Fish

Art Class 

Students work hard to complete their beautiful art.

If you'd like to see more of this art, please click
on the following link: Art Slideshow

Each student's flower is unique!

Laps on Tuesday afternoon

Running or walking laps on a Tuesday is a fun time!

Students are partnered up to go around the building.

They collect cubes. Ten cubes equal one mile.

Spanish Class

In Spanish class we are learning and practicing naming colors, days of the week, numbers to 20, greetings, cultural awareness and the Spanish alphabet through games, songs, written practice, short videos and class discussions. This week we watched a quick video that demonstrates the correct pronunciation of the letters of the Spanish alphabet. Click here to watch the video: abc

The kids learned some interesting facts about a few "extra" letters in the "abecedario" and really enjoyed a game of "Nombres" where I spelled the names of kids in the group using the Spanish pronunciation of each letter while they listened and guessed whose name was being spelled. You could play this game at home using family members' (and pets') names to practice Spanish together.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

News from River Class

Welcome to this week's blog!

This week's Big Fish


Monday Morning Music Mania

On Mondays, during Monday Morning Music Mania, our students get the opportunity to compose on the piano or bring in their own instruments to play. This is a fun, educational time, when students practice being a good, appreciative audience as well as being performers.


Students take turns to complete pieces of
a hundred board.
Pieces include vertical and horizontal

We practice addition facts the fun way.
It's fun writing on the board.
Completing the hundred board is
another math choice.

We solve problems in our math folders.
We can use manipulatives to help us.
We complete CGI problems.
We can time ourselves.
Chess is a choice when math
assignments are completed.
Tile cards include addition.

The 'IT' game

Each child gets to be the 'IT' in River Class.
The IT chooses two games to play. Games include
Sharks and Minnows (as above).

Story with Dee

Dee reads Martin's Mice by Dick King-Smith.

Design and Engineering

Charlie introduces the next Design and Engineering

Headbanz with Ruth

Part of our language rotation sometimes includes games
like Headbanz.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

News from the River

Welcome to this week's River blog!

This week's Big Fish - our first of the year

The Big Fish is able to share 'live' shares such as animals or family members.

Language groups are in full swing!

Ruth and Dee's language groups enjoy a range of activities during Language Arts time. Children work on individual workbooks, which include comprehension and writing practice.

Students also keep a journal in which they write down daily school and home activities.

Students have their own language box and pencil box. They even have a finger puppet each, which helps inspire them to write stories.

Language rotation will begin soon. This is when Ruth's group combines with Dee's group to form small groups. These groups rotate through a variety of language activities.

These small groups change on a regular basis. That way children get to know peers with whom they may not typically work or play.

Rotation activities vary. They may include journal writing, creative writing, paired reading, and creative choices such as outdoor painting or working with clay.

At some point we will include technology in our language group time. We will use iPads as tools to assist us in writing and producing digital stories. We use the Book Creator app and Drawing Pad app to create these stories.

 Above you can see an example of a 'creative' choice during language rotation.

A Special Sharing

We love parents to come and share with us. This Friday we had the opportunity to watch a special video involving children and nature. River children were curious and excited. They asked some great questions of our presenter. Please click on the link below if you'd like to see the video.

Research Time

Our Friday research involved children working in cooperative groups (as above) to answer three questions. 1) What is an inventor? 2) Name some inventions 3) Name some new inventions
  New invention suggestions included a flying car, a stretchable glass, a flying cell phone, invisible glasses, and a transporting slide.

Ruth read extracts from the book called Mistakes that Worked by Charlotte Jones.

Our New and Improved Aquarium

This year we have a new father and daughter team who have helped ameliorate our aquarium.
We are very grateful to our volunteers - thank you! Our fish are happy too!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Design and Engineering classes 
have begun in River and Sky! 

Children are born engineers and love exploring how things work. Our Design & Engineering program fosters engineering and technological literacy starting with our first and second year students. Our theme this year, Inventioneering, perfectly matches goals outlined for our Design & Engineering classes.

The River and Sky Design & Engineering program uses materials from a curriculum developed by the Museum of Science in Boston called, Engineering is Elementary. Charlie, the D & E teacher for River and Sky classes, attended a three day training in Boston two years ago. He has taught several EiE units to our youngest Lower Schoolers. We invite you to explore the EiE website to learn more about this program:

Our first lessons have focused on exploring the question, What is technology? Children were asked to share their thoughts about what technology is and then were given a "mystery bag" with a technological invention. They learned that simple objects such as a tape dispenser, a fork, an eraser, an envelope, a staple remover, and a Post-it pad were all examples of technology.

Students learned:

  • almost all of the objects we use every day are examples of technology
  • technology can be made of different kinds of materials
  • engineers design technology to solve problems 

You can review this concept with your children by asking them, How do we define technology?

In coming weeks River and Sky students will be exploring what an Agricultural Engineer does to solve problems in our world. Charlie will provide monthly updates on our Design and Engineering classes.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Welcome to River Class 2013 - 2014

Welcome to River Class! We are delighted to welcome new and returning students and families. We hope you enjoy our video.