Sunday, September 29, 2013

A glimpse at class lessons

For the past couple of weeks, Laura's class has been studying the author Mem Fox. Mem is from Australia and uses native animals in her books as characters. So naturally we have been learning about the geography of Australia and several native animals like the emu, wombat, koala, and dingo to name a few. This week we read Possum Magic together and did a couple of extension activities. In the book, Grandma Poss has magical powers and uses one on Hush, her grand possum baby making her invisible. Grandma Poss has to find a cure to make Hush visible again and they go all around Australia looking for it with different ingredients. We picked our favorite native animal and created a magic power for them. Then we illustrated the powers and wrote a caption for each. We also created a magic potion that made our power possible with different ingredients, like koala toenails, emu feathers, and kangaroo boogers. We have one more week with Mem then it's on to another author.

In math we have been learning to skip count by 2's! We did a sorting activity, sang songs, found all kinds of patterns using the 100's chart, wrote numbers in our journals, and made a tall stack of ice cream scoops illustrating 2 through 20. Next week is 5's!

Caitlin's class launched writers workshop this week! They have two class lesson days devoted to writing workshop and have come up with several ideas. One of them is a 9th street school newspaper with articles, interviews, and photographs completely composed by the students. They spent some time decorating their notebooks, getting ready to write write write! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Rocks! Cardboard! Rain! Week 3 at the Schoolhouse

Every year we take a trip to Shoal Creek and hike through the mud cliffs. Last year the water level was too high and we didn't get to go. We all had a great time and enjoyed the outdoor scenery. It did heat up in the afternoon, but the clouds floating by kept us going. There were huge rocks to explore and the kids found lots of crystals and fossils to add to their personal rock collections. We will definitely be back next year!

We started our Cardboard Challenge unit, focusing on building and architecture, and will be participating in the global event on October 5th. Our studio has transformed into cardboard heaven! We sketched ideas on what to build and started the construction process and will continue building this week. Monday we are visiting a real architect to see what his job is all about. 

Saturday we had our Fall potluck and showcase for our 'Whoo Am I' unit. Showcases are a time for family and friends to come and see all the work we have done for our unit of study and other activities. We celebrated with yummy food and quality time to get to know all of our schoolhouse families. We had a blast! 

Watch our Cardboard inspiration about the amazing Caine!  
Caine's Arcade Video

Sunday, September 15, 2013

First full week of school

What a fantastic first full week of school! Things have been moving full speed and the kids seem to be getting the swing of things around here. Practicing our schoolhouse routines and schedule was our main focus for the week. We are also continuing to learn more about each other every day. 

Monday we headed to Deep Eddy pool via bus for our annual swimming experience, only to discover that they were closed for maintenance. Harumph! Instead, we walked to our neighborhood pool and swam. It tuned out to be a fantastic swimming day. 

During self-directed time, the kids have been hustling and bustling between swimming, fort improvements, building with blocks, and imaginative play. Friday we opened our time capsule from last year and put in our new artifacts from this summer. It was exciting to see how much has changed in one year. 

Tomorrow our field experience is at Mud Cliffs on Shoal Creek! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Welcome to a new year at the Schoolhouse!

It feels great to be back in session for the 2013-2014 school year! 

A warm welcome to our new and returning students, families, and friends. We have an exciting year planned and are ready for the adventure to begin. 

The first week of school was orientation and the start of our first unit, 'Whoo Am I?'. We learned the ins and outs of the schoolhouse and practiced our routines. Here is a brief look at the schoolhouse and some of our procedures.