Elementary News, Fall 2013

It has been an exciting and rewarding start to the school year and gradual slide into Fall and the cooler weather. The Elementary class is off and running. Our lower elementary students have been busy transitioning from their Children's House class to a new beginning as elementary students. 2nd Year students are finding their way back and the 3rd year students and 3rd year students are easily reconnecting to the rigors of academic work. Upper Elementary Students have been learning to accept new students into the clique and appreciate differences. They are also rising to the challenge of self-monitoring and completing projects without much prompting.

All of the students were captured with our opening Monarch Butterfly project. We raised and released 23 Monarchs from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly this fall. We continue to follow their progress through the Journey North website and will have Spring projects to complete this study this entire school year. We hope to plant a butterfly garden this Spring after researching the plants to attract butterflies. We should also be receiving responses from several schools throughout North America Mexico through Canada) that we contacted via the Journey North project. Such fun through learning! We'll keep you posted.

Our Lower Elementary (1st through 3rd Year) Students have been working with fractions through pre-algebra. Some have taken an interest in memorizing addition and multiplication facts and tables, word problems, commutative properties of addition and multiplication, to name a few. Others have enjoyed exploring equivalencies with fractions and addition with like denominators.

We continue to explore the body parts and body functions of Vertebrates and  complete many animal studies. he second and 3rd years have joined the "Vertebrate Club" and the first years have been introduced to the 5 Kingdoms of Life.

All of the students have seen Dr. Montessori's Great Lesson - The History of Writing.

The entire class completed leaf studies and several children completed a scientific leaf study.

The entire class has been enjoying the Greek Mythological Story Study and many children completed their very own God/Goddess of Olympus study. The stories have been very amusing and a bit horrific at times. They enjoy hearing of the Gods and Goddesses human frailties. It makes us examine our selves.

The study of Biography culminates in our Annual Peacemaker Study. This year as in the past, we have an amazing array of characters from Mother Theresa to Jesse Owens, Malcolm X to Johann Gutenberg. Presentations complete in character costume occurs over a 2-day period. Some children present in the evening, others in the morning.

Basic and Advanced Land Forms have been explored by the Lower and Upper Elementary Children. The former will aid and assist map making and the latter will be used for the Imaginary Island project which spans the duration of their time spent in Elementary.

We have, as a class, had our ears opened to the Chinese language courtesy of our Children's House intern Jamie Hui two times a week. You might not be surprised to hear them sing in Chinese!

Soccer has dominated our Fall Physical Education unit. We are moving to the zen Yoga for the final hectic months of the calendar year. In the winter the Upper Elementary students will go off to ski at Pat's Peak while our youngest will be in "learn to skate" in Nashua. Both programs offer fantastic opportunities for our children.

Upper elementary children have been exploring the shared inquiry process through Jr. Great Books and The Greek Study. Many students are finishing preliminary civilization studies in preparation for their own ancient civ study. As a class we are exploring ancient greeks beyond the myths. We are moving toward declaring independence in our American History studies. We have met interesting concepts and characters like William Penn and the Dutch settlers in the Hudson Valley.

Mr. Jim has been putting the upper elementary students through their mathematical paces - ever challenging them and having them practice with the IXL program.

photoOur field trips have been varied and connect to our units of simultaneous study. Ocean Discovery Day had our older elementary students dissecting squid and mapping the ocean floor. The Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner, NH, was an excellent introduction to Native Americans for all our students.

This is but a brief capsulation of what we have been up to. Where are we going?

I'll have to save our activities for Nov and Dec for a separate newsletter but rest assured - we will be up and running!

Sincerely, Claire

ElementaryCarolyn McKinney