Wow! It's hard to believe that it is already the end of week 6 of this school year. I was hoping to get a blog post out earlier, but it has been such a busy few weeks settling in here at Richmond Elementary School. We have been busy learning about our new building, settling into new routines, and getting to know some new classmates.
Students have jumped right in to learning routines and how to use materials for our math and literacy blocks. We have continued to structure our academic blocks as centers - 1:1 or 2:1 direct teaching, games in small groups with teachers and students to reinforce skills, and technology-based games to reinforce the skills even further. Students have really responded well to this system in both literacy and math. They are already learning so much!
Not only have students been working hard on academic work, but they have been enjoying exploring both of the playground options here at RES during recess time and attending unified arts classes - Music, Art, Library, PE (twice a week!), Enrichment, and Spanish. It seems as though Spanish has become the surprise favorite so far. I'll post another blog post with all the fun we've had in those classes so far.
We are planning on doing some cooking again this year because it was so successful and fun last year. We started with our first cooking opportunity today by making applesauce using some apples donated from a local farm (thanks, Arlo's mom!). Students enjoyed putting on the aprons and head coverings we had made a few weeks ago and working to create something as a team. Our classroom smelled delicious as the apples cooked down!
This was a week full of end-of-the-year activities and reminiscing. Students who have been attending other classes at JES joined those classes for a portion of Monday for field day activities at Mills Riverside Park. It was a beautiful day for outdoor fun! There was also a 4th grade moving-on ceremony and breakfast on Tuesday morning in which our 4th graders participated. They will be heading to Browns River next year.
Outside of all of that we have been wrapping up our school year with students playing games and preparing to say goodbye. Students are feeling sad about Mr. Z's move as well as the 4th graders moving on. On Thursday we dug up the time capsule that we buried at the start of the school year. It was exciting to reminisce about who we were then and who we are now (even if some people's things in the box got a little wet). Students who weren't in our class at the start of the year were not really sure what to expect, but they were able to enjoy the surprise of it all right along with us.
As some students will not be at school on Monday we did some closing activities today including a slideshow (which will be emailed to parents) and a cleanout of cubbies. Students have been helping teachers pack up the classroom and prepare for the move across the district as well. The walls are starting to look bare, the bookshelves are getting cleaned off, and there are some moving boxes ready to go. We look forward to Monday and celebrating the last day of school with students who can attend. We will keep it fun. We will say goodbye to Mr. Z, Kayden, and Justin. And, we will say "see you soon" to those students that Ms. Davis and Mrs. C look forward to seeing again at the end of August.
It was another busy week in our classroom. Students worked hard to complete end-of-year assessments with teachers in both literacy and math. We have seen great progress for a lot of students. We tried to mix in some fun with all the hard work including games, building breaks, movement breaks, and outside fun in the beautiful weather!
The end of the year has also brought with it some exciting opportunities in the larger school community. We give our students the option to attend or not attend these large group activities because they can be fun but also overwhelming. One morning there was a dance assembly, and one afternoon the 4th grade performed a play about Vermont history. Both were enjoyed by those who attended them.
On Friday students learned the sad news that Mr. Z will not be with us next year. He is relocating to North Carolina over the summer! Fellow teachers are sad to see him go, and students seemed sad to see him go. But, there were lots of great questions and kind words expressed! Plus, we all still have 6 more days to enjoy him being with us as this school year wraps up. We will miss you, Mr. Z!
It has been a busy few weeks around the multiage classroom. Students have been reading; students have been writing; students have been playing math games; students have been building; and students have been having fun! As the end of the school year approaches there has been a rise in 'bumps' for students each day. This is common for this time of the school year as students anxiously anticipate or anxiously worry about the impending summer. We have been utilizing our social cognition time each day (as well as moments throughout the day) to teach students replacement behaviors and strategies for dealing with frustrating classmates, handling feelings of anxiety, and continue to keep our classroom community a positive one. The nice weather has allowed for walks each morning again. What a great way to start each day!
Along with all the traditional learning students are doing as well as the social thinking knowledge they are gaining, students worked hard with Mr. Bouchard in Enrichment on an air rocket unit. You probably noticed student rockets coming home this week. They all worked hard over the course of a few weeks to construct these rockets - following a general plan but also making them uniquely their own. Last week students launched them to see how their construction would work. Taking the knowledge they gained from that day, some students chose to make some changes to their design or the appearance of their rocket to make it even better. We launched again this week and it was quite a celebration to see how high and how far these rockets could fly with the air pressure pushing them.
This most recent week was also a week of celebrations. There was a whole school celebration where an ice cream truck came and made creemees for all students and staff. It was so delicious! Then we also needed to have a classroom celebration as students as a group had gained enough kindness links to fill our jar. We had a technology celebration on Friday morning including a choice of Mario Kart Wii, computer games, or iPad games. These celebrations are so important for the community of students that we have tried to create this year, and students work hard to show above-and-beyond kindness to each other. We saw a lot of older students helping younger students this week as well as younger students working together nicely. Good job to all!