November Classroom Updates

Jennifer Stewart | Brevard, NC

The Otter class is exploring the theme of autumn. They read a book by Jane Yolen about the change of the seasons. They spend outdoor time collecting colorful leaves, seeds, nuts, lichen, moss, and rocks. The kids enjoy collecting sticks to build pretend campfires. Inside the classroom, they have enjoyed imaginative play with empty boxes, coffee grinding, bread cutting, continent necklaces, and  Hapa Zome. Hapa Zome is the Japanese art of beating up leaves with hammers, pounding natural pigment into cloth. They had a lovely field trip to Skytop Orchard where they picked apples and learned about how apples are grown.

The Owl class also had a trip to Skytop Orchard and the Kinders took a trip to the see the Art Guild Craft Show. The owls are exploring the life cycle of the pumpkin and cut open a pumpkin to explore its insides. They have new classroom materials to refine fine motor skills of pouring, spooning, using tongs, and mortar and pestle. These skills are important for emerging writing and reading skills. The students are also observing the colorful changes to the leaves and the birds on the classroom bird feeders.

The Acorns are continually involved in creating awareness and helpful choices for their individual selves as well as their larger community.  This is done by creating time and space to give and receive feedback, have peaceful conflict resolution, and share in new vocabulary around emotions. They have been exploring their world through adventures around campus as well as hiking to Black Balsam. The children have enjoyed studying the timeline of life – charting the first bacteria all the way to humans – as well as the timeline of humans. These allow them to gain a sequential understanding of the world around them. They continue to grow into strong readers and enjoy all the volunteers that contribute their time to the excitement of a reading Acorn.

The Monarch students are working through their studies of Ancient Civilizations, culminating in individual research projects. The Monarchs have selected their SLP and are developing a “TED Talk”-like presentation. They have welcomed two new students, William and Sofia. Sofia is the Guatemalan exchange student, which has inspired research into the country. Both of the students have settled and engaged wonderfully in the Monarch Community. They had a very successful trip to Buffalo Cove in October, and were thrilled to be able to participate in the bird research on Big Bald. In art, they are studying the ancient art of Egypt.

The Coyotes are studying under the larger theme of the Movement of People, and investigating the Age of Exploration. Along with these studies, they will be looking at world religions and taking opportunities to visit different religious buildings in our area. They continue to work on their winter production of a barnyard style “Romeo and Juliet”.  They look forward to beginning their studies on air quality and will be using the NC State kits to do local testing and experiments. They will soon begin their study of local non-profits as part of their community outreach. In art, the Coyotes are working on realistic self portraits, and in music, they are writing and recording original songs.

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