This time of year is full of satisfaction tinged with regret for us teachers. The third-years are pulling away from us, but the younger children are stepping up into greater responsibility with pride. For example, when the thirds left to help the Upper Elementary class with the Greco-Roman feast, the remaining children cheerfully did their jobs in addition to their own.
All year on Wednesdays, we have had class meetings. This is both a community-building and problem-solving event. First, we spend some time appreciating each other. This takes several forms, but one is where the leader will ask a question such as, “Who noticed someone being kind to a person who was sad?” or “Who noticed a person who kept going when their work got very hard?” Several people will show particular appreciation to individuals for each example. Next, we discuss any problems that children or adults have recorded in our log. We finish with “the pulse”—where we send a hand-squeeze around the circle as a gesture of unity. While the meeting is run by teachers at the beginning, facilitation is gradually taken over by the children. It is a joy to see them taking ownership of this meeting which helps shape our community.
This week featured a wide variety of individual work in math, language, and other areas. Several children practiced cursive handwriting, others wrote stories. One of the literature circle groups prepared a puppet show for the class after a spirited discussion about heavy-handed methods of encouraging empathy (The Magic Finger) and another discussed the main character in depth, finding evidence in the story for their claims (Pippi Longstocking). Children also got a much-coveted opportunity to try out Lego robotics.
We had a very eventful week of school. Students had lessons on pronouns and have been practicing solving math equations with fractions and story problems. Many students have been interested in creating geometric shapes out of different materials and learning about asymmetry, radial, and bilateral symmetry. This week also had all the students help making food for Mary's Place and even a small group of them helped served them on Wednesday night. We also had a social lesson about the troubles that occur when we make assumptions and how we can help each other stop before it can get out of control. On Friday, students even got a chance to preview the 6th graders' Island Projects.
Lastly, we would like to invite everyone to our annual 6th Grade Graduation on June 22. It will be at La Casa at 1:30 PM. Not only will the 6 graders be graduating, but we will also have a short concert with the all of the elementary students singing and there will be a small ceremony for the 3rd graders that are moving classrooms next year. So, join us for a celebration of the past school year!
Have a good day,
Ben, Mary, & Ali
Mr. Ben, Ms. Mary and Mr. Robin
El Salon Morado Lead Teachers