Friday, September 26, 2008

Ready for flight

This morning a crowd was gathered around a bowl on the front desk. A butterfly was emerging from its chrysalis! Within moments its wet and crumpled wings had begun to dry. Children checked on it all day. Now it is outside, preparing to take flight.

It is a wet Friday afternoon, the day after Meet the Teachers Night, at the end of a beautiful (and long) week. Still, it was pretty sane here this afternoon. 8th graders were reading The Crucible aloud. "I find here a poppet Goody Proctor keeps. I have found it, sir. And in the belly of the poppet a needle's stuck! I tell you true, Proctor..."

In another room sixth graders were using a formula to plot points on a graph. Seventh graders were in the science lab discussing the dynamics of the sound a police siren makes coming towards you and then receding.

K-1's were drawing from their own collection of autumn words. 4-5's were silently reading. 2-3's were running around the gym like maniacs.

Then I stopped in Pre K. They were carefully listening to a Bach cello suite. As they listened, they told what it sounded like. "Meg, it's water flowing in the ocean." "It's a pirate ship at sea, with pirates flying out."

I just checked. The butterfly is still there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The next day...

Chingachgook is exciting, challenging, and beautiful -
as you can see.
But no one looks happy after being
stung by a bee!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fun at Chingachgook

We say that after Camp Chingachgook, no one is new. The kids bond through challenge and fun. Not to mention sleeping outside, climbing Buck Mountain, canoeing, encouraging each other on the high ropes, sharing mealtime chores. Each year there is something new for everyone.

Everyone comes home tired and smiling. Especially the teachers!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's a Monarch!

The big kids headed off and Pre K headed out to look for butterflies!

Grades 4 - 8 left this morning on a perfectly beautiful day with piles of duffles and sleeping bags for 3 days at Camp Chingachgook on Lake George. Excitement was in the air, and then the buses left and it was pretty quiet.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Otherwise today...

K-1's have been carefully observing and recording what is happening with their Monarch caterpillars. Amazement set in as a caterpillar spun its chrysalis in what seemed like the blink of an eye!

Something new this year - Pre K children are working with specialists each week in physical education, Spanish, and music. Today they were throwing and kicking balls with Darcy. Their energy, enthusiasm, and silliness are boundless! Darcy's too!

6-7's are working on the science of sound and have made unusual musical instruments. An impromptu band performs.

Mug shots

It's not that easy to get pictures of middle school kids in action - they mug for the camera!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Scientists at work

2-3's are learning scientific methods. Goggles-on, hands-on, minds-on!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To see what we could see

K-1's went outside this morning with science teacher Katie Perry to see what they could see. The first thing they saw was a snake! Then a huge spider, maybe a wolf spider. Katie got it into a jar for further observation. Little crickets were hopping all around and the kids captured a few.

An article in the latest Newsweek features "green" education that doesn't have to cost a lot. Studies reinforce what we know at Parker already, that nature-based learning is powerful. The article says "teachers with green lesson plans use the natural world as a tool, like leading a study on an ordinary stream, which can include language, math, and social studies." It teaches them to be good citizens and good thinkers.

As an educational researcher in the article says, "If you take kids outside, it typically engages them..." Judging from Parker kids, I'd agree.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mondays are for cookin'

"After Club" has taken off under the lively guidance of Michele, our Pre K 4 and K math teacher. Mentors in grades 4 - 8 have signed on to help the younger children and organize activities. Mondays are for cookin' and today it was crazy shape pretzels. Yum yum!

Fall Community Work Day

Kids, parents, grandparents, and teachers all joined in on a beautiful day to paint, rake gravel and sand, refinish woodwork, wash windows, and lots more! We had fun and got the greenhouse to the stage where the students can build the benches (thats what they call tables in greenhouses) from donated wooden pallets.

We had over 15 families and a dozen faculty and staff pitching in - Thank you everybody!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

School in the great outdoors

4-5's spent a pleasant hour reading in the tree house - a great way to end the second day of school.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

By 11 a.m.

First Day!

Big smiles - new backpacks, new hair-do's, new teeth, new school year!