First Graders?! How Did That Happen?!

Greetings, Families!

We’ve been so busy lately it has been difficult to keep up with this part of my job! We are wrapping things up in Kindergarten – which seems unbelievable to me. It has been a year full of fun, learning and growth for all of us. I’m so proud of all that we’ve accomplished together and I’m so excited for all the new adventures that await in First Grade! Thank you all so much for sharing your amazing, funny, spunky, sparkly, caring, bright, and enthusiastic children with me this year. Thank you for all of your support throughout the year – field trips, supplies, emails, notes, snacks, folders, the whole caboodle – we couldn’t have done it without you!

This class in particular will always hold a special place in my heart as it is my last Kindergarten class at Robinson. Though I’m melancholy about that notion, I’m getting more and more excited about teaching 3rd/4th graders – as long as they aren’t too terribly tall!?! Who knows, maybe I’ll see you all again in a few years? My fingers are crossed!

Below are some photos from our work (play) lately – from Shelburne Farms to our final Book Buddies session to building and creating together outdoors and in the classroom – we’ve had a blast this year!

Have a fantastic summer!

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Busy, busy, busy!

Hi Families,

It is even hard to remember all that we’ve been doing these days as it has been SO BUSY! Over the last few weeks, we’ve been on three field trips – two to the Flynn Theater and one to Mt. Abe to see our amazing art work on display. As you will see below, I managed to take zero pictures at the Art Festival and only one at the Flynn. Even I’m flat out too busy to take pictures!

 

 

The true highlight of the last few weeks was the official ribbon cutting ceremony in the Outdoor Classroom! After installing the kiosk in December, we wanted to wait for warmer temps before celebrating all of the work that it involved. So, last Friday – we did it! It was so amazing to have so many of the supporters of this project here in our classroom learning from our students about how we learn in the outdoors. We enjoyed awesome ramp pesto and bubbly water. We are SO THANKFUL to the following people for making our project come to life – Peg Casey, Keegan Tierney, Erik Vose, Peter Lake, Edorah Fraser, Andy Young, Laura Collaro & Ben, and generous support of The Otter Creek Audubon Society. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone who helped with this project and all the others that we dream up. It was such a special day.

Important Dates to Remember:

5/15 – Early Release 

 

5/25 – Last Day of ELP

5/28 – Memorial Day, No School

5/30 – Last Book Order Due 

6/6 – Kindergarten Shelburne Farms Trip – 9:50 departure

6/14 – All School Field Day at Common Ground; 6th Grade Graduation

6/15 – Last Day of School

 

Lots to Report from Kindergarten!

Hello Families,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying this nicer weather! It’s been so nice to go out with out 4 layers on! We’ve been busy here in Kindergarten – hence the long delay in blog posts! Sorry!

We are learning about backyard birds and we had an awesome 4 Winds session to kick things off. Since then, we’ve learned a good deal about a variety of birds and we plan on writing a report about our favorites. Did you know there are 10,000 different kinds of birds? Ask your favorite kindergartener what he/she knows about birds! You will be impressed – they’ve learned so much already!

 

 

Our class earned another 700 “wormlings” so we celebrated with a Pajama Day and Bring your Stuffy to School day! It happened to also be the day that we had Tai Chi and Forest Friday – never a dull moment here!

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We had another installment of our Tai Chi with Shaina from Tai Chi Vermont. We had one session on Tuesday to learn some new movements – many that had to do with our inner fire and becoming dragons! Then, on Friday, Shaina came back to practice again and this time we had some parents and community members join the fun. Many thanks again to 5 Towns Friends of the Arts for funding our Tai Chi – it’s been amazing! We have one more session coming up on June so we hope you can make it!

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Our Whole Crew
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partner tai chi
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Shaina demonstrating

 

Before break, Barbara Paulson came to create puppets with us and taught us how to manipulate them just like professional Puppeteers! Barbara is the creative mind behind No Strings Attached Marionette Company and she is amazing. The children loved meeting her puppet – Catcher. They learned a lot about how to draw a self portrait and to build a puppet using all kinds of amazingly fun materials. The finished products are amazing and we shared them ever so quickly at MARS on Wednesday before we had to jet out for the Flynn theater! As an aside, the Cirque de Mechanic was AmAzInG!

We shared our puppets at the Assembly!

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Here are a few shots from our last few Forest Fridays. Flowers are blooming and there are short sleeves! Ahhhh spring!

 

Hope you are all doing well! Here is a list of a few dates to keep in mind! Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

5/8 Fine Arts Festival Concert, 6:30 at Mt. Abe

5/10 –  Fine Arts Festival – Our whole school will visit the Fine Arts Festival before lunch

5/11 – Flynn Trip, a.m. and Kiosk Dedication in Forest Classroom at 2:00

5/11 – Reception for Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Olympic Skier and Starksboro native in the gym at Robinson beginning at 5:00.

5/16 Early Release

5/25 Last Day of ELP

5/28 Memorial Day, No School

5/30 – Last Book Order Due

6/12 Field Day after lunch

 

6/14 6th Grade Graduation

6/15 Last Day

We Have Opinions, Too!

Recently, we have been learning about Opinion Writing during our Super Awesome Writing Squad sessions. We have read stories and shared our ideas of why we favored one book over the other. On Wednesday, we read a story called Duck! Rabbit! and shared our thoughts about why we thought the character was a rabbit or why we thought it was a duck. As you already know, Kindergarteners have strong opinions! In an effort to celebrate those while working on making more complex sentences – we work on Opinion Writing! As an aside, we are learning how to spell “because” as it is an important word to make sentences more complex.

Since we went to the Shelburne Museum on Thursday to view the exhibit, “Puppets: World on a String,” I thought it’d work to have the children pick their favorite puppet and write an opinion piece when we got back to school. So on Friday, with a photo of their favorite puppet in hand, the children got to work with lots of purpose and excitement. I am especially proud of how they didn’t just say something like “I liked the Blue Princess because I liked her.” Rather, they offer details about “why” they prefer one puppet over the other. Below, you can see the results of their hard work. I’m just brimming with pride about their AmAzInG writing. I know that you will be, too.

 

 

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My favorite puppet was the blue princess because she is pretty. I like her dress.
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My favorite puppet was Queen of the Night because of her dress.
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My favorite puppet was the men because they had cool faces. They have cool noses. They [have] cool mustaches.
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My favorite puppet was the Blue Princess because I like her dress. It is fancy.
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My favorite puppet was Flower Princess because I like her dress.
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My favorite puppet was Mr. Frog because it is my favorite color and it is cool and it is really good carving.
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My favorite puppet was Flower Fairy because she has a crown and eyeshadow and a cool dress.
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My favorite puppet was the shadows because it looked cool. The thing that was cool was the ghosts.
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My favorite puppet was the Snow Queen because her makeup was very beautiful and her hair was also beautiful.

Many thanks to Sam Sawyer and Molly Meader for joining in on the trip to the Museum. It was a small exhibit so they were both so helpful in keeping the children engaged and interested. I couldn’t have done it without you! Also, thank you for sending in the permission slips and museum fee so quickly and for having your children ready to go on that day! It is always fun to explore the wider world that we are lucky to have here in Vermont!

If you are interested, the Shelburne Museum is having a celebration of the puppet exhibit TODAY – 3/24! I have included a link below that will fill you in on the festivities! It runs from 10-3 on the museum campus. I’m sure your Kindergartener could lead you around the exhibit first!

https://shelburnemuseum.org/event/puppet-day/

 

Whatever you do this weekend, enjoy the time with your favorite Kindergartener!

 

Dates to Remember:

3/29 – Early Release – 11:45

3/30 – No School for Students – In-Service

4/2 – No School for Current Kindergarteners – K Registration

4/23-27 – April Vacation – No School

5/2 – Flynn Theater Trip to see Machine De Cirque (K-6) – 9:30 show

5/11 – Flynn Theater Trip to see Dragons Love Tacos (K-2) – 9:30 show

 

Things We’ve Learned since February Break, Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, Problem Solvers and Changing Perspectives

We’ve hit the ground running since returning from our February vacation. Here is what your children said about what they’ve learned so far:

Cole: I learned how to measure things using a snowball ruler.

Sylvan: I learned that we can make different connections; text-to-text and text-to-self when we read.

Raein: I learned how to draw a hexagon.

Cameron: I learned how to draw 3-D shapes. I liked drawing the cube.

Heaven: I learned about drawing castles in Art. We used cray-pas and paint.

Marleigh: I learned about compound words. They are two words that make one word – like “sea” and “weed.” You put it together and you get one – “seaweed!”

Lennox: I learned about beginning sounds in words.

 

During the first week in March, we celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Some schools do campus-wide activities to celebrate this Read Across America Day. Dr. Seuss is such a widely read author and we love the silly word play he employs! We had our own little Dr. Seuss celebration. We read Green Eggs and Ham and made a tic-tac-toe game for it. We read Cat in the Hat and made hats just like the cat. We read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and made goldfish graphs and munched on goldfish crackers. Fostering a life-long love of reading is one of my favorite parts of teaching!

 

In math, we have participated in a few “Problem Solver” experiences this year through our Math Menu Workshop. Over the past few weeks, we used the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a jumping off point to organizing data. Children had to organize and to record the items eaten by the caterpillar into categories – “Healthy” and “Not Healthy.” It was fun to see how they chose to record their ideas. Then, we did the task as a whole group. Here are a few ways we came up with to organize the items in the story:

We are so lucky to have Amy and Ms. Cynthia teaching us from the “Changing Perspectives” Curriculum. You can read about it here: http://cpne.org

 

Finally, we have been having an AMAZING amount of fun in the Outdoor Classroom – again! With this week’s early release on Friday, we went out in the morning so we wouldn’t miss it. We even had a “fresh off the campfire” popcorn snack – YUM! As an aside, we are running low on firewood, so, check the sign up genius to see if you can fill a slot! Here’s the link to the sign up and thank you in advance:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f084faeaf29a3f85-firewood

 

 

Many thanks for coming in for Parent Conferences this week, too! It was so exciting to meet with all of you to share about all the growth and learning that your children have accomplished so far this year. Kindergartners are the best! I love to share about all the reading, writing, math and community skills that your children are building each day! Along with the check sheets about literacy and math I gave you at conferences, the formal report card will come home on Friday 3/16.

 

Dates to remember:

3/22 – Shelburne Museum Field Trip – leaving around 8:30 and returning after lunch – PLEASE return the permission slip and the admission fee by 3/15. And don’t forget to pack a lunch if you indicate that on your slip.

3/23 – Book Order Due – online or paper form

3/29 – Early Release

3/30 – Inservice Day for Teachers – No school for children

4/2 – No School for current Kindergarten Students – K Registration day for incoming students

Looking Ahead:

Please let me know if you are interested in joining us for either of these trips! They are always amazing!

5/2 -Flynn Theater Trip to see Machine De Cirque (K-6) – 9:30 show

5/11 – Flynn Theater Trip to see Dragons Love Tacos (K-2) – 9:30 show

 

100 Days Smarter, Valentine’s Party and Fun in the Woods!

We’ve had lots of fun in the snow in the outdoor classroom lately! Serious fun! Lots of sliding, sledding, digging, building and climbing. It has been a super fun season in the woods so far. We hope for more snow before winter calls it quits but it looks like the temps are going to be in the forties and beyond this week so we can just hope for the best. Look at all these gleeful learners exploring the world together. So much joy right here!

 

We celebrated the 100th Day of School by writing about what we could do if we were 100 and what we could not do if we were 100 years old. See the results below. I love the drawings they did of themselves as older folks – many laugh lines, reading glasses, and receding hair lines. Adorable!

 

Here are some pictures from our Valentine’s Day Party! We decorated sugar cookies and had a blast sharing cards. Many, many thanks for all of the supplies you sent in so we could have a super fun event. The Cochran’s group had to eat and run, but, they seemed to handle it just fine!

 

We participated in some STEM activities for the 100th Day Celebration, too! We built towers with 100 Dixie cups, made the number 100 with Legos, designed glasses with 100 glittery pipe cleaners, made towers with play dough and 100 toothpicks, created a tower with 100 cookies (and managed not to eat them!) and used 100 pattern blocks to make a party hat!

Please let me know if you need to change your conference time as soon as you can so that we can meet!

Hope you all had a lovely break!

Upcoming Dates to remember:

3/5 Parent Conferences, 3:00-7:00

3/7 Parent Conferences, 3:00-7:00

3/9 Early Release

 

3/16 Report Cards Sent Home

Fun Making Words in the Forest, School-Wide Worming Celebration and 4 Winds

 

Hi Families,

Here’s a quick update about our work lately! We just had a super fun and interesting 4 Winds on Friday about Galls – like the one that Sylvan is investigating in the photo below. We had a lot of fun classifying and exploring galls on different plants. We weren’t able to go out for Timber Tuesday or Forest Friday last week, so, on Friday we went out for about 45 minutes before our 4 Winds session. It was well worth it – there’s lots of snow and a cool ice path that the kids LOVED!

 

Here are some pictures of the ice that had taken over the outdoor classroom – we had to walk in the back door of the classroom from the playground side since everything was sheer ice! However, ice never got us down as you can see from the smiling faces!

 

 

Last week, we participated in a school-wide activity to celebrate earning a whole lot of “wormlings” in the last few weeks! We worked with our Book Buddies from Mrs. Beecher’s class to make snowmen that tell about how to “Respect Ourselves,” “Respect the School,” and “Respect Everybody.” The kids LOVED the activity and the school looks so festive with all the colorful snowmen decorating the halls.

 

 

Two weeks ago, we brought our sight words outside and practiced reading them with our friends. Then, we wrote them in the fresh snow using food coloring! Super fun way to reinforce skills we are learning in the classroom.

Send back those Parent Conference Sign up Sheets as soon as you can so we can get those scheduled. Thanks!

Hope you are all doing well!

 

Dates to remember:

2/7  – Early Release

2/15 – Valentine’s Day Party

2/16 – Book Orders Due – online or paper forms

2/19-2/23 – February Vacation week

2/26 – School Resumes

3/5 – Parent Conferences, 3:00-7:00

3/7 – Parent Conferences, 3:00-7:00

3/9 – Early Release

4/2 – In-coming Kindergarten Registration – No School for Current K students

 

Happy 2018!!

Greetings, Families!

I hope this new year finds you doing well and finding some goodness in all of this frigid weather. The snow this afternoon is pretty – I hope it sticks and the temps stick above zero! It’s been hard to get outside for Tuesdays and Fridays since our start back!

We started our year by making a goal that we’d like to accomplish this year. We decorated a self-portrait. They turned out really cute! Here’s a list of what we’d like to do this year.

Heaven: I want to get better at riding a horse better.

Raein: I want to get better at not hurting myself.

Lennox: I want to get better at drawing.

Cameron: I want to learn how to tell time on the analog clock.

Ava: I want to learn how to read.

Marleigh: I want to learn how to fly and how to cook in the oven.

Sylvan: I want to get better at drawing Dogman.

Cole: I want to learn how to drive a snowmobile.

Autumn: I want to get better at drawing.

 

 

Since it was raining cats and dogs last Friday, we did our 4 Winds lesson about “Animals in Winter.” It was a lot of fun to act like we were hibernating, migrating, or going dormant. We also created some dried grasses arrangements. Many thanks to our fearless leaders – Andrea, Mary and John.

 

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We had a super time outside on Tuesday. It was so fun to play in the snow. We even wrote some words with food coloring in the snow and found lots of animal tracks. As you  can see, the big rock has some ice these days and it is perfect for sliding! We have some video clips from our sliding but you have to “upgrade” the blog to be able to support video clips and the free WordPress site is more in my price range?! I will try to send some of the clips via email so you can see them!

Hope you are all doing well.

 

Here are some dates to remember:

Friday 1/19 – Book Orders due – via Scholastic Website or paper forms which were sent home before vacation.

Monday 1/22 – NO SCHOOL for students – In service for Teachers

Wednesday 1/31 – Fundraiser at Bluebird BBQ in Burlington to Benefit the Cochran’s Ski Program

February Vacation Week 2/19-2/23

School Resumes: 2/26

One more thing…

Here are some pictures from their work in the Art Room with Miss Joy!

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Amazing Writing and Tai Chi in Kindergarten. Our trip to the ECHO Center in Burlington and construction in the Outdoor Classroom. All this and a Holiday Party, too!

Hi Families!

I hope this reaches you in some cozy place – man it is COLD outside! Even this gal doesn’t want to go skiing. I’m not as tough as my boys – they are covered up and on the hill. Though there’s no end in sight for this cold, here are some fun memories to keep you warm and give you something to do!

 

 

We have been working really hard on writing this first half of the year. Now that we’ve got the hang of where the pictures go, how to make the labels and add details in sentences and in pictures, we’re moving on. Lately, we’ve been practicing things like – spacing between words, stretching out and writing all the sounds we hear in words, and adding punctuation. Here’s Sylvan’s “Weekend News” story about going to Wesley’s party. He and his classmates are working hard to make sure their writing is clear and understandable to their audience. Keep up the great work! I can’t wait to see all the “Vacation News” stories that emerge on the page next week!

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This fall, we received notification that our project, “Tai Chi for All Seasons,” was generously funded by the 5 Towns Friends of The Arts. The project centers around teaching our Kindergarten students about the basics of Tai Chi and then inviting community members in to join us in the practice. I thought it might be a cool intersection of K skills like self control and being grounded in our bodies with our connection to nature through the Outdoor Classroom and with the greater, 5 Town community. Many of us were excited to learn the connection of Tai Chi to the Martial Arts. Ask your child to show you “ward off” that is part of the sequence that Andreas taught us.

While we’d hoped to do the sessions for the winter outdoors, it was just too cold. So, we had our first session with teacher, Andreas Landolt of Lincoln in our classroom. The children did a wonderful job with such a still, quiet and controlled activity. It was so awesome to learn. We will practice again with Andreas in April and June. We’d love to have you come to join us for those next sessions, so we will keep you posted as we get closer! If you have any connection to the 5 Towns Friends of the Arts – please pass along your gratitude for their support of our project and the others in our community! We couldn’t have done this without their generous support. And, if you are so inclined, support their mission with your time and/or money so they can continue their work.

 

AS you can see from the photos, we had a really awesome time at ECHO! The children had a blast building, exploring, learning and working together throughout the day. It was a really fun time. Thanks so much to our brave chaperones for joining us!

Last year, we wrote a proposal to the Otter Creek Audubon Society to grant us funding to build and to install a trail head kiosk in our Outdoor Classroom. We were so honored and humbled to be chosen by the organization and awarded over six hundred dollars toward our vision. As with most good projects, it took a village to make it come to life. Myriah Cogswell was a supportive and creative mind who helped envision and sketch our idea. Peg Casey was instrumental in connecting the dots of materials and skilled builders. With the great eye and skills, Keegan Tierney built and led installation of the kiosk. Many thanks to Erik Vose and Peter Lake for supplying the good humor and sweat equity on a chilly day in busy December to get the kiosk in the ground. It is so beautiful and we couldn’t have done it without any of these amazing folks. We hope it to be a hub of communication, showcasing and learning for our school and the community.

 

Finally, who doesn’t love a party as a send off to vacation? We had a total blast making bird feeders, baking muffins and enjoying hot chocolate by the fire pit. It was a bit cold but we were so happy to be celebrating together outside.

Hope you are all enjoying some down time. I wish you all the best for a happy, healthy and fun 2018!

Thanks for sharing your amazing children with me!

Globe Trot Scott, Building and Moving in the Forest and a Visit from the Firefighters

Hello Families!

I hope you are all doing well and have enjoyed a nice weekend. This can be such a busy time of year, so, I hope you can find some rest and relaxation along the way.

This past week was busy and fun. We visited Mexico, Sweden and Israel with our magical friend, Globe Trot Scott. The children are really loving learning and traveling around the world. They are taking great delight in locating each country on their map, enjoying sweet treats (chocolate coins from Israel) and creating fun crafts – like our Tomten from Sweden. Many thanks for sending in all of the goodies to make this possible.

 

We also had a visit from the Starksboro Firefighter Team and we talked a lot about Fire Safety at home. The children really liked trying on the gear and seeing the awesome truck.

 

 

Finally, we had a blast outside on Friday! We practiced the positional words from our math calendar pieces by playing a game where a bear goes around a tree, under a tree and through a tree. The children also made their own bear puppets that they could practice the concepts on their own in the woods. Finally, we made a super solid lean-to type structure and even covered the roof with leaves. It was awesome!

Dates to remember:

Tuesday 12/12 & 12/15 – Tai Chi in the Outdoor Classroom – sponsored by a grant funded by 5 Towns Friends of the Arts

Thursday 12/14 – Field Trip to ECHO – if you indicated that you are packing a lunch for your child, remember to send it!

Thursday 12/21 – Winter Party – we will be doing the crafts ahead of our usual time in the outdoor classroom. We will start the crafts at 10am. If you signed up to send some materials in please send them in ahead of that time. Thanks to those of you who already sent items in.

Friday 12/22 – 1/1 – School Vacation

Tuesday 1/2 – School Resumes