A Whirlwind of Fun and Learning this Week!

Hello Families,

Thanks to this 2 hour delay, I have some extra time to write about last week! As usual, we had a lot of busy fun to account for our time at school.

Globe Trot Scott took us to Israel, England, Sweden and Mexico. He even put chocolates in the paper shoes we decorated when we learned about Pere Noel in France! As you can see in the photos, that was a hit! I am sure you heard about the Tomten who is found in Sweden and looks like a little gnome. We learned that he is nocturnal and can communicate with animals. We learned how to play the dreidel game and found gold chocolate coins in our shoes, too. We made poinsettias to go along with our study of Mexico and they are displayed on our classroom bulletin board – come take a peek! It has been really interesting, engaging and fun to learn about different traditions around the world.

This week, we will learn about some of the traditions in China and India during the holiday season.



Amy came to work with us this week, too. We practiced saying sorry and showing empathy for our friends. It was so good to practice these tricky skills with our positive, supportive and fun counselor, Amy. We acted out different scenarios that might come up and how to solve them in a positive way. Amy really makes it easy to learn skills to help us have friends, solve problems and manage our feelings.


The past few weeks, we have been recognizing the “Author’s Purpose” when we are reading Mo Willems books. We have been noticing how Mr. Willems does an excellent job of making us laugh or teaching us a lesson. So, during independent reading, we found examples of the author’s purpose in the books from our book boxes. Then, we shared what we found with one another. At the same time, we have been writing our own stories to entertain, just like Mo. Wait until you see these masterpieces…


Each week, we have been drawing and writing a plan for our time outside on Fridays. Here is a picture of all of our plans for the time. I have been SO impressed with all of the skills the children have gained so far with their writing. It is probably the hardest skill and they are really rising to the challenge. I am so proud of them!



On Friday, we were so lucky to have Lois Trombley – a dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist – lead us in an engaging workshop to enhance our trip to see Cirque Mother Africa at the Flynn in January. We were so lucky to have this opportunity. Lois guided us to explore the movements, music and acrobatics we might see when we go to the show. She even played a djembe drum and taught us a song from Western Africa. The children LOVED the workshop and Lois did an outstanding job tailoring it to meet the needs and interests of all students – K-4. More information about our session with Lois is below:

The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts came to OUR classroom!  We had a very special visit from the Flynn Center. Lois Trombley, a professional dance teaching artist helped us use the basic elements of dance (body, energy, space and time) to deepen our experience of seeing the student matinee of Cirque Mother Africa: Khayelitsha which features artists and performers from over 8 different African countries! We imagined together that our classroom was the Flynn stage and we were the performers on it.  Our teaching artist, Lois, taught us about the elements of African music and dance we will encounter, including the use of the djembe drum to communicate cues non verbally. Additionally we worked with partners to explore the concepts of mirroring, symmetry and balance. By “stepping into the shoes” of the people creating the performance we have been able to reflect critically on their work; appreciating all the creative choices, collaboration and problem-solving involved in putting a live performance on a stage.

The workshop was funded by a grant that came from Northfield Savings Bank, and also through our district’s professional development benefit from the Champlain Valley Educator Development Center (CVEDC) which is Vermont’s largest non-profit educational service agency (ESA), with professional learning opportunities reaching educators throughout Vermont.

In addition, each child (K-4) that participated in the workshop received a ticket/voucher for an entry into a raffle to win tickets to a show at the Flynn by filling out an online survey. I will put those vouchers in the Friday Folder so please take the time to enter the giveaway – who doesn’t love to win? And tickets to a show at the Flynn – amazing! We are so thankful for the continued support of our district and of the Flynn Theater. The arts have such a deep history here at Robinson and we are so thankful for the consistent support of our friends at the Flynn. What a special partnership.


(as an aside, I forgot my camera on Friday, so these are pictures of Kindergartners, just not the ones from our class! 😉

Finally, on Friday we made Panettone with Laura LaVacca who joined us for apple and pumpkin recipes earlier in the fall. She is the Nutrition Education Coordinator for the ANESU Food Service Cooperative. She shared this favorite holiday family favorite with us. We rolled the dough in some dried dates, raisins and orange zest and then baked it in tin cans. It was delicious! Thanks for sharing your time, effort and expertise, Laura!


As you could see from our Forest Plans shown above, we had lots to accomplish outside! It was COLD. But, we had a small campfire again as well as some roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. It was another fun day in the woods. We visited our sit spots and noticed how things had changed since we’d been out last week – SNOW! A few children worked on a canal, some children sold products from the lemonade stand, others were busy investigating the root system of a small tree and still others made a lean-to structure and packed the walls with damp leaves. PLEASE make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather this week. It is supposed to be the coldest Friday yet. WARM gloves (not knit gloves as they get wet fast and make hands COLD), hats, boots, warm socks and snow pants are necessary – dressing in layers really helps, too.


Upcoming Dates:

12/13 – I am out of the classroom to attend Professional Development Workshop at Mt. Abe for the day with all K-2 teachers in the ANESU district. Our focus is Science this year.

12/14 – MARS – Author Visit – Jason Chin – 8:05 with individual class visits to follow his presentation at the Assembly

12/16 – Forest Friday – Help your child to dress warmly!

12/23 – Winter Vacation Begins

1/3 – School Resumes in the New Year

1/3 – Whole School Field Trip – Flynn Theater to see Cirque Mother Africa





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