Every year when the calendar flips to October the teachers in Younger Kids are reminded of just how much our students have grown over the first six weeks of the school year. Our schedule and expectations are becoming ingrained for the kids and we can start to work on other goals that we have for them. While academic and personal goals are individualized for all of our students here at Rivendell, there are some common ones on which all students will focus throughout the year. Developing a sense of independence and responsibility falls into this category.
We place a great deal of emphasis on developing these traits in all of our students. When the bar has been set high for kids to develop responsibility and independence, challenges that they face change from daunting to exciting. The independent and responsible child tends to be more confident, caring and empathetic, traits that all people want to see in their children. Moving from, “I can’t do it!” to, “Can you help me do it?” to, “I can do it myself!” can take some time and effort, but as my Grandmother often said, “Nothing good comes easy.” As the school year progresses we will be working with all of your children in this area. We are excited to get to be a part of some of your child’s I-can-do-it-myself! moments.
This week we studied the Greek theatre and created masks inspired by the masks that the Greeks used in their famous dramas. We learned that often these masks were oversized and elaborately designed to show emotions to their massive audiences in amphitheatres. We discussed the different emotions that needed to be portrayed on these masks and encouraged the kids to pick a specific emotion and try to create it on his or her mask. Every student also picked a favorite Mo Willems book from those we read over the past month and wrote about it. Our Author of the Month for October is Rob Scotton and we are sure that his stories will bring as much laughter to our classrooms as Willems’ did.
Next Tuesday, October 2nd, from 6:30-7:30 Rivendell will be hosting our first Cupcake and Curriculum Night. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about our reading and writing curriculum, and you get to eat cupcakes! The focus will be on what literacy development looks like throughout the grade levels at Rivendell. Next month we will have another night when you can learn more about our math curriculum.
Our Sharing Theme for next week…
Something that Starts with an O like October!!
Have a terrific weekend!
Seth and Holly
It was another successful week here in the Younger kids. We are really feeling great about the work the kids are accomplishing, and have already seen their independence and problem solving skills develop. Thanks for helping us teach the kids independence and responsibility.
This week we continued our exploration of ancient Greece and Rome. The kids did a Roman mosaic project that will be decorating our hallways soon. This week we also learned about Greek and Roman Gods, and Goddesses. Each week the kids do a theme writing on our different units of study. At the end of each unit we will send a unit book home with all their writings, so you can look forward to that here in a couple weeks.
Halloween is a pretty exciting event around Rivendell School. To celebrate Halloween we will have a classroom party, as well as a Halloween parade. The party is run by parent volunteers and we very much appreciate their help. One thing that you can do to help is sign up to bring something to help make this party fun for the kids. On Monday we will have a sign up sheet posted outside our classroom doors. If you are so inclined, please take a look and sign up to bring something in.
With the official season of Fall being this weekend we thought that our sharing theme next week should be…………….
Something That Represents Fall
Have a good weekend!
Holly and Seth
Friday, September 14, 2012
It was another fun week in the Younger Kids classrooms. We are feeling like we are really getting to know what makes your kids tick after spending the last four weeks with them. We are impressed with the growth we have already seen and are excited about all the learning and fun to come.
This week we continued our study and Ancient Greece and Rome. We discussed architecture and completed two projects about columns. We showed the kids examples of modern architecture that were influenced by the styles of Greece and Rome. We also worked on a project that was inspired by the wax tablets that Romans used for writing. Many of the projects we complete this year will be saved and compiled into a portfolio of your child’s work at the end of the year.
Next week our exploration of Greece and Rome will continue. Our focus will shift the myths, gods and goddesses that were an integral part of life in these civilizations. We will complete projects about these stories through mosaics and painted pottery, two forms of art used extensively during these years.
At back to school night and in our conversations with many parents over the years we have heard from you that when you ask your child at the end of the day, “What did you do at school today?!” many of you get the answer, “Nuthin.” Recently we read a great suggestion from noted Speech Pathologist C. Woodruff Starkweather to get your kids to open up about their day…
“We suggest that you make a few comments about your own activities. This will usually stimulate your child to begin talking about his or her activities as well. Tell your child what you had for lunch, or what you heard on the radio, or who you saw on the bus. If something pops into your child’s mind at this time about the school day, he or she will spontaneously share it with you. Spontaneously shared information is much more likely to be fluent.”
We would love to hear from any of you who try this strategy and whether or not it was successful!
Our Sharing theme for next week is…
Thank you to all of you who were able to make it to back to school night last night. We know it was a lot of information in a short amount of time. If you were unable to make it please look in your child’s Friday Folder for the handout we passed out. Also please let us know if you are not receiving the Rivendell Sunday e-news and we will get you on the email list. The Sunday e-news is a great way to be informed about what is going on in and around Rivendell.
Math, reading, and writing work sessions are off to a great start. The kids all seem very excited to learn. As always, we see teaching as a partnership, and we thank you for all that you are doing with your kids at home to support their skills and learning here at school. Please take time this weekend to go through your child’s Friday Folder with them. They worked hard this week and are very proud of their work. Friday Folders will come home every Friday filled with the work your child completed that week. This work is sent home for you to keep. Please bring back the empty folder the following Monday.
The Sharing theme for next week is…………………………….
Something with a Number on It
Have a great weekend!
Holly and Seth
Friday, August 31, 2012
What a fantastic first full week we had. Your kids continue to impress us. They are learning the rules, expectations and schedules associated with Younger Kids. We spent time reading stories, learning about Ancient Greece, exploring math manipulatives and having fun with friends.
It was wonderful to see so many of you at our school picnic last night! The kids seemed to love spending the special time at school. We hope that all of you are feeling what we think is one of the truly special aspects of Rivendell, the sense of community that exists here.
During the next few weeks we will continue to add more and more of our regular work times to our schedule. We have completed short informal assessments with all of your children and are excited to see how they do with the individual work with which we will be challenging them. One of our main goals during these initial work times is to help our students to increase their confidence and develop the belief that they can do their work successfully.
Next week we will begin a fun time that will happen every Friday, Sharing. Sharing is our version of Show and Tell. Your child may bring an item that fits our Sharing Theme from home every Friday. Every week the theme will change so look for the Sharing Theme every week in the Friday Note. We recommend that you help your child to practice saying three interesting things about her or his Sharing item. For next week the Sharing Theme is…
Something You Do Very Well
We hope you have a great long weekend!
See you Tuesday…
Seth and Holly
Friday, August 24, 2012
We did it! We made it through the first short week of Younger Kids. The first few weeks of school are spent learning about the rules and routines and are spent getting to know each other. Every Friday we will send out an email with a Friday Note similar to this one. These notes contain important information about what we are working on at school and things we need your help with.
Hopefully your child has been coming home each evening with a lot to say. We are packing our days with get-to-know-you activities, as well as devoting a lot of time for social interactions. Our hope is that the class starts to feel like a family. Rivendell will be having a whole school picnic on Thursday, August 30th, at 5:30. This is a great time to come, meet, and socialize with other Rivendell families.
The kids are off to a great start in developing their independence and responsibility. It helps so much if you send items in their lunch that they are able to open. Remember that if you would like your child to have milk with their cold lunch send 50 cents. Another way to help them learn responsibility is to encourage them to write their own name on their lunch ticket and have them put it in the lunch ticket bucket. While we are on the subject of food some reminders about snack. In Younger Kids we do a morning snack after morning break. This snack is to be provided by you. We ask that this be a healthy morning snack and to save the cookies or treats for lunch. Some kids get hungry towards the end of the day. If you would like to send an afternoon snack with your child they will have an opportunity to have it during afternoon break.
I am sure that some of you who are new to Younger Kids and Rivendell have many questions. We will be having a back to school night Thursday September 6th at which time we will be going over our schedule, the curriculum and day to day routines. If you do have any questions before this time please feel free to email us. Seth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Holly can be reached at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend!
Holly and Seth