January 2018 Classroom Updates

Jennifer Stewart | Brevard, NC

The Otters have increased their focus on handcrafts, an excellent use of time indoors during the winter. The children have made cuff bracelets and pillows. They are working on their button-sewing technique. During the “arctic blast,” the Otters studied liquid and solids by freezing ice ornaments outside. They have also been discussing life in the animal kingdom during winter. They will visit the Transylvania library this week for story time. The Otters welcome Amelia, a new student in their class.

The Owl Class has been busy studying the skeleton and digestive system using a small, plastic skeleton they call “Skelly.” The books and puzzles on this topic are very popular. One student brought in animal bones to share with the class. They continue their study of master artists. Recently they learned about Gustav Klimpt’s The Kiss. The class is very excited to hear more about Mr. Nick’s newest addition to the family, a baby boy!

The Kinders are now using a checklist to learn how to keep track of their completed lessons. They just finished reading The Tale of Desperaux by Kate Dicamillo in Literature Circle. They are beginning Cynthia Voight’s Young Fredle, the story of a young mouse who must make his way through the world alone after being cast out of his home.

The Acorns have been very busy with their studies of the Human Body including body systems and cells. The students are getting deeper into their studies of spelling, reading, and math, particularly with fractions. They are reading Peter Pan and Wendy in Literature Circle. The Acorns recently visited their reading buddies at the Transylvania Vocational Center and shared a song with them. They are finishing up their Read to Feed program, in which students get sponsored for reading books. The money then goes to Heifer International. The Acorns welcome Maddy, their newest classmate.

The Monarchs began the new year with a hike into the Bracken Preserve adjacent to campus. Each student had some independent time to set goals for schoolwork, school behavior, and school relationships. They created a nature sculpture to represent these goals. The Monarchs are studying Simple Machines and Technologies. They are also working on their Historical Interviews. They will choose an elder in their family or community and schedule a time to speak with them. They will then present this to the class. They are working on maps of the U.S. complete with state capitols. The students have been given a folder to organize their ongoing assignments, schedules, and Personal Responsibilities Checklist. The Healthy Relationships program will soon begin.

The Coyotes wrapped up their projects and studies on the Civil War and the U.S. constitution before the break. They are now deep into their studies of Washington DC in preparation for their trip at the end of February. The students are each creating a detailed map of central DC, including major landmarks, roads, transportation hubs, and natural features. They are planning activities and logistical details regarding the trip. The students are also brainstorming fundraising ideas to pay for their field experiences. The Coyotes are beginning new books in the Fantasy genre. They will focus on theme and understanding unfamiliar vocabulary through context. The Coyotes will also be participating in the Healthy Relationships program.

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