Last week was full of special events! As much as we love the excitement and the opportunities it allows students, we are looking forward to a somewhat calmer week. Along with our weekly lessons and assignments, we had a great deal of helpful parent volunteers observing, driving to field trips and coming to the classroom to volunteer. This week we began our chemistry unit, and students were introduced the Periodic Table of Elements and the organization of the universe.
On Monday, we went to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery with the Kindergarteners and the Upper Elementary. We got to see the many places the salmon swim through each year, different types of salmon, and how a salmon grows from an egg to an adult salmon. There was also a park nearby where we had lunch and played games.
On Wednesday, we had our monthly Library Trip to the Sammamish Library. Many thanks go out to Savita (Arjun grade 2) and Salman (Aamina grade 2) for volunteering to drive and help out at the library.
On Thursday, we had the local Firefighters visit and talk about fire safety. Our students had many important questions to ask and were very excited to meet them. We also did some cooking with Ms. Karolina who helped us make pumpkin soup and banana ice cream. The students love to get the cook and prepare food and they are very thankful for Karolina (Iza grade3) help.
On Friday, We had Jason (Aubrey grade 1) come in and do a little chemistry/cooking project with the students. He had brought some liquid nitrogen and some materials to make ice cream. The students were amazed at being able to make ice cream so quickly with the liquid nitrogen. The Upper El joined in small groups. Parent volunteers Meeral (Aamina grade 2) and Karen (Sophie grade 1) came to classroom with to give students spelling pre-tests and math drill practice.
We want to let the parents know more information about our weekly class meetings, so we are going to have it as part of our weekly email.
Class meeting starts with everyone at circle with a quick game of “Quack-diddle-Oso.” Then, we take time to appreciate each other. These rituals help us build community and ease into problem-solving in a peaceful, manageable way.
Students write down thoughts and concerns about school in a notebook throughout the week. The teacher uses this list as an agenda for the meeting. When it is decided what to do about the issue, the teacher uses a big pencil to check it off.
- Students have been feeling uncomfortable with other student’s saying certain words or phrases at school, i.e. “What the heck?” We discussed what the word meant and why people felt uncomfortable with it. Students felt that it is impolite to use certain words of phrases if it makes someone feel uncomfortable and they won’t use them at school. We also came up with other words or phrases that could be used instead and agreed those were appropriate for school.
- Students have noticed some shoes being left out of lockers and are worried they might trip on them. Students agree to make sure they put their shoes away in their lockers or move their dirty shoes to the boot rack. If it continues, we will start having a classroom job of “Shoe Checker” to make sure our outdoor environment is safe and clean.
- Some students were feeling excluded at recess. Some students called it rude and felt hurt by it. We talked about the feelings we have when exclusion happens and agreed to not exclude anyone at school.
The classroom meeting ends with everyone holding hands and sending a “pulse” to each other with a gentle squeeze. Again, ending our problem-solving meeting with a peaceful ritual reminds us all that we are still a community.
This week, we have Ms. Michelle returning on Wednesday to do some art with us. This month’s artist is Vermeer. Students will look at his work with light and experiment with some art of their own.
Our field trip to go see “Pippi Long-Stocking” at the Seattle Children’s Theater is happening tomorrow. Please be sure to leave a booster at drop-off if necessary, and be sure your child is dressed in warm layers.
As I imagine you are all aware, Thursday is Halloween. We do not over-emphasize Halloween at MCH, but we do take notice of it by creating Spooky Lunch and Super-Spooky Lunch. To channel the sometimes-intense Halloween-related energy, we conduct mild transformations of the classrooms before lunch so that children can have a festive and entertaining experience. We tell spooky age-appropriate stories, change the lighting, add some decorations and have some fun. After lunch, we return to a normal work time. School ends at 3:25 on Thursday, just like every other day, so we ask that you not pick your child up for Halloween related festivities until dismissal. It is disruptive to the children, the classroom and the learning if some children are leaving earlier than normal. We do not wear costumes to school on Halloween.
Have a good day,
We’ve attached some pictures from the past week to this email.
Jessie & Ben