Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Our last few weeks of 2016 were filled with fun and exciting activities. Children participated in interest group selection once again. Choices included Holiday Baking, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Legos, Drama, and Origami Fun. We learned about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas traditions. Children played dreidel, watched a Kwanzaa dance, and had an opportunity to sing Christmas and other holiday songs at our Sing-Along every morning of our last week before Winter Break.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pumpkin Pots in Art Class

River students have been working in the ceramics center in art class during the past few weeks.  Students learned to make pinch pots and connect two of them by scoring and adding slip. The hollow ball that they created using this process was then transformed into a pumpkin by adding a stem and creating a scoring pattern to represent the sections of a pumpkin. Some children turned their pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern. After their work was fired in the kiln, they painted their pumpkins using acrylic paint.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

On the eve of Thanksgiving we always have a shared snack with the rest of Lower School. Each class makes a contribution. River students cut and washed peppers.

Sky Class prepares yummy breads
Friendship, pumpkin, and banana

Forest Class sets the table ready for the shared snack

Mountain Class provides a selection of fruit

Apple cider from scratch

Before we have our snack the whole Lower School meets at the stone circle for our Meeting for Worship. It's a time to give thanks. We then line up for our snack as pictured above.

Teachers serve the wonderful snack

There's plenty for everyone

Friday, November 18, 2016

Our first birthday party

Our first River Class birthday party took place today. We celebrate all birthdays in River Class, and we have a total of three parties over the course of the year. Today was a beautiful day to have a party. Children were able to sit outside and eat the wonderful food provided by our River parents. A BIG THANK YOU to all of our parent volunteers for making this such a wonderful event.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Salad Bar in River

A few weeks ago River students planted lettuce seeds. Today students helped harvest the ready-to-eat lettuce ready to be served up at our salad bar today. ENJOY THE VIDEO!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Our Halloween Celebration

Enjoy the video!

Many thanks to all our parent volunteers who made our Halloween celebration so wonderful!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Running laps

Children run laps around the building and collect a cube for each lap.

A teacher records the number of laps.

One mile = ten laps.

Laps give us a chance to do mathematics. How many more laps do I need to get my badge?

A second-year student has earned her 20-mile badge.

A first-year student works toward her 10-mile badge.

Friday, September 30, 2016

S'math - Probability

S'math is a combination of science and math. Our first S'math activity was Hop to the Pond, a game designed to get children thinking about probability. We played two versions of the game. In Hop to the Pond with 6 Frogs, we used a game board with space for 6 frogs, which are numbered 1 through 6. Students working in pairs took turns rolling a die. Whatever number came up, that frog moved a space. When a frog moved 8 spaces, it reached the pond and got to hop in. Then all the frogs went back to the beginning for another game. As a frog won, students reported it by adding a post-it with the frog’s number to a growing graph we created on the whiteboard. We emphasized that we are doing this activity as scientists and mathematicians, which means we report our results accurately, even if we want a certain frog to win.

Taking turns to roll the dice

Which frog will get to the pond first?

Recording our results

The next week we played Hop to the Pond with 12 Frogs. This time frogs were numbered 1 through 12, and students used 2 dice to see which frog moved. Several students caught on pretty quickly that it was impossible for frog # 1 to move in this game. Of course, this game generated a very different graph than the first. The graph generated by Hop to the Pond with 6 Frogs was fairly even with some mild peaks and valleys. As one student said, the game with 12 frogs generated a graph that looked like a mountain. Building on the observation about frog #1, we explored why certain numbers were more likely to be generated by 2 dice, and why the graphs were so different.

Hop to the Pond is fun!
Reviewing our results

River Read-Alouds

Dee is reading My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Ruth is reading The Faraway Tree Stories by Enid Blyton

Friday, September 23, 2016

The latest news from River Class

Field Day

Field Day - Enjoy the video!

Field Day was so much fun! Children were able to choose from a variety of activities including face painting, balloon launch, sprinklers, indoor art, bubbles, a scavenger hunt, and stopwatch activities.
We had lots of parent helpers and we're always grateful for the extra help. Thank you!

Snippets from our Schedule

A fun S'math activity - more in the next blogpost

Hop to the Pond activity

Enjoying snack with friends

Writing stories in skills group

Enjoying lunch

Person of the Day - each student takes a turn to do calendar

Meeting to resolve conflicts in a peaceful, caring way

End-of-day jobs

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Welcome to River Class 2016 -17

Ruth, Charlie, and Dee welcome you to River Class. We're looking forward to another fabulous year!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Overday in May

May's Big Fishes

River Class Overday

Our Overday was a huge success! We began our Overday at 3 pm. Children enjoyed a yummy snack together outside. Playtime with Sky Class followed. Children played basketball, beckon, and had fun on the structures. We had a delicious dinner al fresco followed by more playtime.  The talent show was next. River children enjoyed a variety of acts including singing, piano, violin, drama, magic, jokes, dancing, martial arts, and basketball. We concluded our wonderful evening with a campfire, s'mores, and a Meeting for Worship, when children were able to reflect on their year in River. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you (our River parents) for making Overday possible. Your food contributions and time volunteering made for a very successful event. Thank you!

Check out these stop motion videos made in art by River Class

Monday, May 9, 2016

April News

April's Big Fishes (pictured above)

Fractured Fairy Tales

We recently began a fun language group unit on fractured fairy tales. Natalie, our librarian, (pictured above), introduced our River students to traditional fairy tales. Children then partnered up and read fairy tales together. Natalie continued the unit by teaching a lesson on how to fill in a story map, and then the children proceeded to complete their own individual story maps based on their chosen traditional fairy tale.

Children pick out books
Partnered reading

Natalie continued the fractured fairy tale unit by introducing the children to fractured fairy tale books. Children were then able to choose their own fractured fairy tale to read either independently or with a partner. They then chose a fairy tale on which to base their own fractured fairy tale. Students then wrote story maps for their chosen fractured fairy tales. Using their story maps as a guide, students began to write their own stories. Students had opportunities to use our new document camera to enable them to share their stories with the rest of the group.

Natalie shares a fractured fairy tale
Students pick a fractured fairy tale to read
Students help Natalie complete a second story map
Students share their stories
The document camera makes it fun

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Matisse in Art and Dance

March's Big Fishes

Matisse in Art and Dance

River teachers have shared the children's book, Matisse's Garden by Samantha Friedman with their class. Natasha (art teacher) and Annie (dance teacher) have been creating a series of classes that explore aspects of the bold colorful nature of Matisse's imaginative designs. Using a common focus of positive/negative space, shape, repetition, and placement, the children have been creating art and designing dances. They have been exploring these concepts, developing skills and creating artwork and dances that will be shared with the rest of their class after Spring Break. 

Children have been working in pairs and collaborating in the process. When the children have a chance to embody the concept or "paint an idea in space" as well as "dance an idea on paper," the learning takes on a magical quality as well as a special way of knowing. The past two weeks have been an exciting time as the children have translated images from one form of expression to the other amidst laughter and connection.

Enjoy the Matisse in art and dance video!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Essence of Soul Writing

Students in River Class have recently been learning about soul writing, which involves the use of one's senses. They were taught how to write about their observations when they are outside in our beautiful, natural spaces. Kathy, our resource teacher, (pictured above), recently gave a lesson to help River students identify and think about sounds, sight, and touch in relation to soul writing.

The language arts lesson continued outside in the serene spot called The Stone Circle. Students had the opportunity to write about what they saw, heard, and felt. This type of language exercise helps children develop a more meaningful connection with the natural world around them.

Students worked in tiny clusters and/or on their own special rock to observe, reflect, and write. The CFS campus is the perfect environment for this activity; we are surrounded by a myriad of trees, rocks, grass, birds, and squirrels.

Ruth checks in with individual students
Teachers (pictured above and below) are available to help with vocabulary, ideas, and punctuation.

Dee helps a student with her soul writing

We ended the lesson with sharing time. Students proudly shared their work with one another. The sharing time helps motivate children and gives them a chance to work on their read aloud skills. They learn so much from one another.