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So far Andrea Patel has created 117 blog entries.

Wonderful Winter Doings

Courage. Love. Alaska. These have been the three topics that have dominated our classroom recently.
First, courage – that was learning about the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., Ruby Bridges, and Rosa Parks. And about Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. And also about the lives of 26 other important and courageous woman leaders, from an alphabet book called Amelia to Zora. These stories naturally led into conversations about our own lives and times when we each needed to be brave in particular situations. Drawings and writings followed. We’ve also learned two poems on courage, which we will present at the soon-to-be rescheduled-because-of-weather Courage Assembly!

And then love – Valentine’s Day! We had fun making valentines for families and for our fifth-grade peer readers. Thanks to all who sent in goodies for the party! We learned that the Magic Valentine Potato (from a story by Daniel Pinkwater)  is real! And he (she? it?) brought potato chips for us to share with our fifth-grade friends – how nice!

Then we celebrated Alaska Day – so much fun! Starting with photos of my own trip to Alaska last summer (which I LOVED) included sharing the photo of me doing a polar plunge in 38 degree water (which took all of my COURAGE), the day moved easily between outdoor and indoor activities, all related to Alaska and/or winter. Ms. Doherty and Ms. Heddinger treated us to a delicious blueberry pancake lunch (blueberries being one of the fruits that grows well up there). It was a terrific day!

And then it was The 100thDay of School! Truly, the fun has not stopped all January and February!

 

And our amaryllis bloomed! We painted it!

      

Regular work continued, also, in between all of these special events. Each child is making their own alphabet book, and each has now completed a Venn diagram using colored pasta. These culminating projects hang on our wall. As a group, the class did wonderfully well sorting by one and two attributes. Some even challenged themselves, sorting by three attributes, with great success!

 

More classroom fun. Enjoy the photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By |2019-02-28T17:55:35-05:00February 28th, 2019|

“Keep fighting!” said the teacher.

Odd words, indeed, for me to say, but I meant them. I needed more fighting! Now, before you think I’ve lost my mind, let me put this into context. Last week, we were in the middle of a rehearsal for our play, The Land of Many Colors.  In this story, purple people, blue people, and green people live separate, happy lives until one day things fall apart, and WAR begins among them.  How do we act this out realistically, but safely? Well, at first the children play-fought with lots of smiles and laughter. But it didn’t really look like war. What they needed to learn was to “fight” without smiling, to fight without actually hurting anyone, and also  to fight without making a sound, so that the story’s narration could continue.  The play, performed last Thursday at the PS-LS Cooperation Assembly, was a success.  The children had learned admirable self-control that they used while “fighting.” And then, what fabulous cooperation they displayed as they rebuilt the ruined world they had made. The class had a lot of fun practicing and performing this play, and did a great job!

Cooperation Assembly 12-6-2018

Big thanks to all who send in blue and purple and green clothes, food, and stuffed animals. And extra thanks to Alex, who videotaped it!

In addition to our play, we’ve learned how to write the numerals 0-9, and have begun learning lowercase letters (now up to j). We’ve been talking about the idea of peace – what’s happening when you feel peaceful? And what does it mean to be a peacemaker? Writings and drawings now accompany both of these ideas, so come and see our bulletin boards. Some special gifts are being made in the classroom, and they will come home next week. I hope you enjoy them.

Have a wonderful winter break!

Andrea

By |2019-05-16T09:03:09-04:00December 14th, 2018|

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and boy, am I thankful!

This class couldn’t be any more fun to teach – really! They’re inquisitive, smart, thoughtful, caring, argumentative (on occasion!), chatty, and kind. They love to learn. They love to play. They like pretty much everything that we do in school. And October sped by so quickly. Highlights: our trip to Ioka Valley Farm was super fun. Although the weather was a bit raw, all had a great time!

We also had a wonderful Halloween:

We’ve lately been doing an author study on Karma Wilson, who wrote the Bear Snores On  series, and also enjoying many books by Cynthia Rylant. Wilson’s books are written with terrific rhyme and rhythm and humor, and they offer a great contrast to Rylant’s, as her style is softer and her content more reflective. In addition, we’ve read books about Thanksgiving and listened to Native American stories at rest time. Each child has written and illustrated something for which they are thankful – these will be displayed starting next week, so come and see.

The children’s Halloween, Who Do You See? books have gone home, and their completed math Pattern Books are in today’s backpacks. This class continually surprised and delighted me with their ability to create complex patterns of all sorts, using unifix cubes, dots, and beads, as well as their ability to draw lively ghouls, ghosts, and goblins!

Cooperation has been our overarching theme this fall. In a few weeks, we’ll gather at a small assembly with B2-Grade 3 and present a class project. In the meantime, we practice sharing and working together daily, as evidenced by our Friendship Lunch last week!

 

This year we had 30 (!) children seated around the table – it was so great to see so many little faces together.

All enjoyed spaghetti, meatballs, cornbread, homemade butter, and chocolate-covered pretzels.

 

 

A HUGE thank you to all the parents, from all the grades, who came in to help!

October also held our Parent-Teacher conferences. These are always a valuable time to talk in depth about each student. Thank you all for making time to come and meet with me. I offer my thanks for your support this year, and I’m grateful for all the joy your children bring to each other and to me. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Andrea

By |2018-11-19T14:18:37-05:00November 19th, 2018|

18 days into the year!

It’s just turned from September to October, and our class has spent a total of 18 days together. Not very much time, really, and yet, what a lot we’ve accomplished! We are a class now; no longer a collection of individuals. What bonds us, what is that magic glue?  That’s easy to answer. Talking, singing, and playing games together. Learning to look one another in the eye and listen. Helping each other. Showing compassion when a classmate is sad. Taking our first trip together to Magic Wings (more on that later!). Sharing. This “coming-together” in these early weeks is so vital, and sets the stage for happy and productive learning for the rest of the year. Its importance cannot be understated.

Meanwhile, our classroom has been full of activity. Everyone has come up with a school “Hope & Dream,” and from these we’ll develop our classroom rules over the next few weeks. In addition, everyone has completed September portfolio art, Four-Square, and Weekend News. Each has made a self-portrait – these will be hanging up shortly – come and take a look!

 

 

 

Our focus in math is on shapes and patterns, and work with pattern blocks, pegboards, and beads continue to be popular choices.Here are some of their creations!

 

 

 

More: we’ve also written class books together and had “Mixer” with Grade 1-2. We’ve gone to the Library and shared stories with the 5th grade. Dr. Segar came to our room and taught us some fun songs. Our twice-monthly Community Circle, with two-year-olds through third grade, have been a great time to gather as a larger community, to play games, to sing, and to hear what’s going on in other classrooms.

 

Caterpillar update: our 25 healthy, fat caterpillars have each gone into a chrysalis! The children were able to witness several caterpillars actually forming their chrysalis – a rare sighting in the classroom. The class has documented the egg, caterpillar and chrysalis stages. We expect our first butterflies to hatch next week. This too, we’ll document by careful naturalistic observation. Our trip to Magic Wings was great fun, and I send out thanks to Alex, Rachel, and Jennie, who were our parent drivers and chaperones. We had a wonderful time there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m having a great time with this class, and they are, too, with each other. Earlier last week, during Inside Choice, play spontaneously arose where all nine decided to create an airplane. With great enthusiasm, they made choices: “Let’s fly to Paris!” “I’ll be a pilot!” “Me, too!” Others chose to be flight attendants or passengers. They used their rest mats to form seats and brought in food from the dramatic play area to serve to each other. It was so much fun that I promised to make time for some more “airplane time” soon. Who knows next where their imaginations will take them? I, for one, am eager to see!

Andrea

By |2018-10-01T22:31:11-04:00October 1st, 2018|