Showing posts from 2018

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.

Math, Jobs, and Field Day Fun

In this math activity, students worked in small groups to identify and record shared attributes found in a quantity of buttons. In general, an attribute is a characteristic or property of an object such as color, shape, size, etc. Students first decided how to group their buttons into 3 groups by size. They then re-sorted their buttons by number of holes, then by color, and finally by a characteristic of their choice.

Sorting and patterning skills involve understanding relationships among sets, how those sets are represented, and analysis of those sets. By sorting, children understand that things are alike and different as well as that they can belong and be organized into certain groups. This type of thinking starts them on the path of applying logical thinking to objects, mathematical concepts, and every day life in general.

Extending the activity at home:

- How might you group your collection of stuffed animals? Can you find more than one way?
- Collect some items from nature…

Welcome to River Class 2018-19


Our Final Dance Class with Annie of 2017-18

We had such a fun final dance class with Annie this week! Annie brought in her collection of wind-up toys and the children learned about patterns and how to move their bodies in a multitude of ways. Children met the challenge of moving and freezing for 16 counts - not easy, but they did it! We'll look forward to more fun in dance class with Annie next school year. 

River Overday

River Class (and Sky Class) enjoyed Overday last Wednesday. It was a fun-filled afternoon and evening. We began with Dee reading a story to give the children time to relax after a busy recess. Then we watched an educational movie and children got to choose whether they stayed in River or visited Sky for this shared experience, including popcorn, of course. We had a fairly even mix as you can see from the slideshow.

Snack time and playtime followed. River and Sky students were able to hang out on the playground together. Snacks included fruit and chips and salsa. Dinner was al fresco and included pizza, carrots, and fruit. It was back inside for our talent show (although we did do a couple of our performances outside on our way to get s'mores).

The final event of the evening was a campfire with s'mores, ending with a Meeting for Worship. It was a wonderful Overday!

Lighthouses in River

River Class built some lighthouses that light up. First, we drew the lighthouse design. After that, we cut them out and put them on our bulletin board. We added some interesting facts to go with our designs. Then we taped or painted our tubes. We painted the boxes, which are the bases of the lighthouses. Students could add sand and shells if they wanted to. Then we hot glued the decorated tubes to the boxes. We put the batteries in the battery holders, and then we put the light bulbs in the light bulb holders. We put the wires through the tubes. It was pretty hard, but we did it! We tested the lighthouses and we showed Sky Class students how they worked.
(Written by two River Class students)

Our Third and Final Birthday Party

Enjoy our birthday slideshow - photos courtesy of Shannon
Many, many thanks to all our parent helpers for your help and contributions to make this final birthday so special. It was a wonderful celebration with beautiful weather, enabling us to eat al fresco. (We added balloon pictures from our dance class to make it even more festive.)

Physical Education Class

We continue to practice listening and following directions in class with added levels of difficulty and cooperation among students. They've enjoyed a variety of activities working on movement, teamwork, throwing, catching, dribbling and passing. Within the scope of physical work, we are incorporating growth mindset principles. Both classes watched a video, "Giraffes Can't Dance" and then brainstormed "Things we can't do yet." Lots of lively discussion around supporting each other and that making mistakes is ok. From there the class listed things they can do now and some were charged with teaching others how to do a skill (e.g.cartwheel, four square). It was quite beautiful watching young students share their knowledge and skill with others. As the weather warms we will be spending more time outside enjoying some traditional cooperative games and sample outdoor sports like ultimate frisbee, kickball, soccer, and tennis. 

Spanish Class

A group of River students is working on the farm animals' names “Animales de la granja.” They are also reviewing the colors in Spanish. Some students write confidently, others just copy the words, and others prefer to trace the words artistically.

Some students read fluently and others can read supported by images. The materials are designed to help every student feel success in Spanish.

Working in a cooperative way promotes the use of the Spanish language in the class.

Music Class

River and Sky classes have been playing xylophones in music class, which are currently set up with a 6-note scale (CDEFGA). We're learning a number of patterns in major and minor keys that fit with simple songs such as "I've Got a Dog" and the "Round and Round Round." First-years have focused on mallet technique and coordination, while second-years have learned to play the "Bird Round" melody on their xylophones and have started improvising in both C major and D minor. We recently voted on our class Springfest song, and results will be announced before Spring Break!

Afghan Bazaar

We had a fun, exciting time this afternoon visiting the Afghan Bazaar, which was organized by third- and fourth-year students, teachers, and volunteers. River and Sky students were able to visit all the different stalls which included Afghan food and drink, weaving, mendi art, Nauruz (the vernal equinox celebrated by 13 countries in the world including Iran and Afghanistan), a collage, and kites and games. 

Dance and Decorating

Students have been decorating their lighthouse bases ready to attach their lighthouses. They will continue decorating next week, adding sand, shells, and rocks. We will finish the project by adding a light, using what we learned during our electricity lesson. We will review circuits and switches during this time.  
Below you see the children moving and connecting in dance class. We begin dance in February. Annie typically begins the class with a whole-class story and then we split into our two groups, Pandas and Panthers and head to the Multi to do warm-ups and a variety of fun activities. Annie uses recorded music and percussion instruments both for inspiration and to help with rhythm. Children have an opportunity to make special requests using Annie's mailbox.

Voting Party

River Class students had their voting party today. Over the last few weeks, we've been reading the nominees for the North Carolina Children's Book Award. Natalie, our librarian, reviewed the 10 nominees with the children, asking what they remembered about each book. She then explained the voting process and showed the children how to operate the iPad. Each child voted and was able to get an I VOTED sticker for their participation. We ended with yummy popcorn and the results. Natalie's holding it in the picture above. Yes, you guessed it, the favorite in River Class was Quit Calling me a Monster!

River Celebrations

Our Second Birthday Celebration

We recently celebrated our November through February birthdays. Many thanks to our parent volunteers for making this such a special time.

Our 100th Day of School

Our 100th day of school was so much fun. We shared our collections of 100 and took time in language groups to guess what was in our boxes. Activities included making necklaces, bookmarks, and cool glasses. We also walked a 100 steps, read 100 words, and wrote a 100-word story together.
River students visited Sky Class to view their collections and vice versa.

Fun in Centers

Center time is always a fun time for the students of River Class. Children get to pick their favorites from a variety of activities. These include iPads, basketball, drawing, sidewalk chalk, jump roping, reading, origami, the maker center, board games, and building. Ask your child about his/her favorite.

Author Visits Lower School Today!

Published author Sarah Mlynowski visited a very excited Lower School today. Sarah has written numerous books, including co-authoring the Upside Down Magic series (as pictured above). It was interesting to learn more about Sarah's writing process and how she was inspired by another author, Gordon Korman.

Sarah introduced the different characters in her book and the magical powers they get to have when they turn ten years old. Are they Flyers, Flickers, Fuzzies, Flares, or Fluxers?

Sarah asks our Lower Schoolers if they would like to be authors. I think you can guess that many hands enthusiastically shot into the air.

Of course, our curious Lower Schoolers had lots of questions for Sarah. "Where did she get the idea for Upside Down Magic?" For Sarah it was more about working with a team. "What was her favorite book?" Well, her most fun book was Cold as Ice from the Whatever After series.  "What do you do if you have writer's block?" One of her resp…

Coming soon!

Our hundredth day of school will be celebrated on February 13th (assuming we have no more snow). Take a look at this slideshow from last year to get ideas for what to bring in. Collections need to be on the small side such as a hundred cards, pennies, pasta pieces, lego pieces, shells, etc. We will be sending home a special box to hold the collection.

Special Guests in Lower School

Last Friday, Lower Schoolers enjoyed a special visit from author Matt de la Peña and illustrator Loren Long, who shared their collaborative book entitled Love. River Class students also enjoyed watching Matt read his award-winning book, Last Stop on Market Street. Here is a link to that particular video: Matt reads Last Stop on Market Street