The children are so excited to study the different systems of the human body! We started by learning about the Skeletal System. Did you know there are 206 bones in a fully developed human skeleton? We've been learning that the bones are what create structure in the body and protect internal organs. We look forward to adding on to our body model with a variety of materials to represent each body system.
Gung Hay Fat Choy! The children celebrated the start of the Chinese New Year on Friday, February 12th. We read the story of Tan and Gram and then designed our own Tangrams. At The Walden School, we celebrate the cultural traditions practiced around the world. We wish you all great happiness and prosperity this year!
To kickoff Black History Month, the children have been thinking deeply about this viral image pictured above created by Bria Goeller. We can see Kamala Harris walking with the shadow of a young Ruby Bridges, who integrated a New Orleans elementary school in 1960. This updated image, inspired by the original titled "The Problem We All Live With" by Norman Rockwell, portrays two important, influential American women walking at "the forefront of history" during their time. This week, we have been studying how Ruby Bridges' story and Kamala Harris' position as the first Black Female Vice President have made history. We are learning about how this will inspire change for all women and for BIPOC alike for many years to come. Through a variety of Biography and Autobiography texts the students are learning, questioning, and standing up for what is right, true, just and fair for all as we have committed to teaching anti-racism and inspiring activism at The Walden School.
The students in Grades 1 & 2 have launched into our Non Fiction Reading/Writing Unit in conjunction with our Planets & Space Science Unit. This also pairs well with the hands on Montessori materials about Our Cosmic Story. We blasted off into 2021 with this cross curricular subject by identifying our place in the universe. Pictured above, the students built a diagram of the solar system by using recycled pizza box lids, shiny wrapping paper, black paint, and pom poms. We are now traveling deeper to learn more in depth about Earth's immediate neighbors. The students are researching either an inner, outer or dwarf planet. We will use the facts from our research to form organized paragraphs with a main idea and details. We are looking forward to a Zoom visit tomorrow with Dr. Stephanie Jarmak, an astronomer and planetary scientist via the Skype a Scientist program!
Our next reading and writing study is How To Writing. The children have been exploring how to writing by following craft directions, sequencing stories, and observing the steps of modeled recipes. We realize that How To's can be found everywhere! From cookbooks, board game directions, YouTube, to verbal directions from adults, children are exposed to How To's every day! Now, it's the children's turn to write their own. For this year's annual Grade 1 & 2 Holiday Tradition Celebration, the children will instruct their peers on how their family conducts a holiday chore, food, event, etc. We will draft our ingredients and materials list, develop sequenced steps, and incorporate transition words to help educate our readers. We look forward to sharing our How-To Holiday Traditions later this month! Help your children to notice where How To's can be found in their daily home life!
In these pictures, the children of Room 203 are enjoying the "gloom" of a rainy day while reading independently by lantern light. For these Martin's Day lanterns, the students gathered and pressed autumn leaves and then arranged their favorites between tissue paper and contact paper using a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. During Art class, Miss Quincy enjoyed watching their compositions transform from two dimensions into three as they wrapped them around a base to make a lantern. The students then designed and created a beaded handle to attach to the top of the lantern. The peaceful glow of these autumn-themed lanterns are lighting the way as the children grow as readers and build their reading stamina! Using a variety of tools, we have been practicing multiple strategies to solve hard words. What a special way to cultivate a life-long love of learning while appreciating this rainy, autumn day!
Here's a sneak peek at our annual Character Day celebration! Rather than dressing up for Halloween, we save the last Fun Friday of every October to culminate the end of our Character Study unit! The students have been working hard to identify character traits and provide evidence from the text that they have chosen. The students designed their character out of textured materials, and then arranged and assembled traits and "says-feels-does-thinks" bubbles to make these adorable posters! We look forward to celebrating these colorful, vibrant, joyful characters on Friday!
The students have been learning about perspective and the different points of view of a story or event. In preparation for the October 12th holiday, we discussed the meaning of "indigenous" and how animals, plants and humans can be "indigenous," or native, to an area. We learned that the Taíno were the native people of the Caribbean islands where Christopher Columbus first arrived and "discovered" the Americas. Through the eyes of a young "Taíno" boy, the book Encounter by Jane Yolen helped us to develop a more empathic perspective on this pivotal event in history. We explored life prior to 1492 when Europeans began to settle and colonize in North America and the impact their arrival had on the Taíno. We celebrated Indigenous Peoples' Day by studying their culture by creating petroglyphs on rocks pictured above!
We are so happy to have Mrs. Goodwin back to school with us. The children are excited to delve more deeply into our Insects unit. Today at recess, we spotted many Bagworm Moth cocoons hanging from the fence and trees nearby!
We have embarked on a year-long journey in our Culture studies exploring what makes us human! Pictured here are several of the books we've read to discover and celebrate the similarities and differences that connect us all. Each hand represents a child or teacher in our class with something that makes us unique and different from others in our classroom community. Throughout the year, we will learn about the various cultures and indigenous peoples from continent to continent! Starting with North America this fall, we are excited to explore how humans, particularly, Native Americans, adapted to the biomes across the land and found ways to thrive and survive.