Assistant Handbook Area
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|File Size:||163 kb|
Well the first week is over! Give your little ones a break in the afternoon while they get used to the schedule. It's not unusual for 1st and 2nd graders to have meltdowns in the evening at this time of year. (Teachers too) It was a great week full of moments that are staying with me; smiles, conversations, laughter, negotiations, discussions, walks, hugs, a few tears quickly remedied, games, wrestling, snuggling with Fern.
We welcome Noah Nevelle back to the Academy, along with new student Kellan Gary. One of my favorite things to observe and guide in September is the formation of new relationships, and the subtle changes in existing ones. The contact list went out to encourage playdates and communication between the parent community. Please take some time to nourish your students' relationships outside of school when possible.
Thanks so much to "Nana" Janous! As a retired schoolteacher, Grayson and Annabelle Janous' grandma had some math games in storage. She brought them in for us to look at and we put them right to work. Friday morning we learned three new games and will keep going through the big bag.
Some of you may remember that last Spring we had a leak which resulted in a weekend repair of ceiling drywall upstairs. We patched the roof temporarily, knowing that the summer held a project in store. After getting bids around $8,000 for a standard composition shingle roof, we decided to invest in a metal roof, built to last here in the Pacific NW weather. Many thanks to Uncle Rob and his buddy Ryan who were both indispensable in saving the labor cost by doing it ourselves. We performed a full tear off and replaced 20% of the plywood underneath, along with installing new face-board mounted gutters, to replace the existing antiquated "built-ins". I'd have pictures of my blisters here but they were disgusting. One added benefit is the attic venting was aggressively expanded to help keep the Academy cooler in warm weather. Some of the heat will also be reflected by the roofing instead of absorbed.
One of the most important tasks in the first few days of school is to build community. One of the best ways to do that is through a multi-age team project. Each multi-age team made a school cheer banner, then presented it to the class and proudly performed their cheer! Each person on the team had an official focus, although the roles were fluid. When we debriefed this project, discussing what we noticed about the process, many students noticed that younger students filled leadership roles at times. There was a list of required elements which didn't fit into this picture. As we "assessed" each team's performance we compared their banner to the list of required elements. These kind of projects are a hallmark of cooperatively oriented classrooms. They take on even more significance and purpose in a multi-age environment. There will be many more in the months to come.
Keep your eyes peeled for pictures of another new student, Sam Szilak, in 2nd grade. Can you spot him in one of these pictures? To go along with the other new students, familiar faces Ali'i Reek & Tony Santerelli from VSH downstairs!
Some other highlights from the first full week are:
-Examining the sculpture, "A Ladder for Booker T. Washington" from our Picturing America curriculum (Nat'l Endowment for the Humanities)
-Taking a walk in nature to practice using our "Careful Eyes" as a part of the cognitive habits focus for the year. "Careful Eyes" means attention to detail and forms the C in our acrostic for the yearlong theme; C-O-N-N-E-C-T.
-Checking out our textbooks, and reading from our first chapter book; The Candy Shop Wars; Book 2 Arcadeland.
-Our first talk of the town meeting to establish rules of order, make some proposals, and vote!
-Looking at new images from the NASA website of Pluto and watching a visualization of the more accurate vortex motion of the solar system as it flies through space.
-Noticing that vortex/spiral patterns are life patterns and exploring the structure of flowers based on that
-Learning about our community as we watched the beginnings of an oral history project about Issaquah!
It's going to be an awesome year! Remember to build the habit of homework, AND reading. Younger students should shoot for about 20 mins of math, depending on the family circumstances and then read, or be read to!
Week 2 here we come!