Friday, May 30, 2008

More fun with worms

Eight drummers drumming

Two days in a row of African drumming! Our own after school drummers performed this morning at assembly to a very appreciative audience.

I love it when they practice in the room adjacent to my office. Right now the band is practicing - they sound wonderful. 4-5 recorder players were practicing two part harmony the other day on the other side of my wall - much to my delight!

The First Graders Remember the Year’s Math

I got this list from Liliana.

The first grade math children were asked to name what they remembered learning in math over the school year. Here is a list of their thoughts in the children’s own words and order of brainstorming. What a rich year - and what memories!

*How to add

*How to subtract


*Learning Euler’s Law

*Filling in shapes with pattern blocks

*Making polygons and polyhedra

*Making 2008 by ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands

*Skip counting by 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, and 10’s.

*The Squirrel Math Play

*The day’s number by ones and tens

*Math books: Sir Cumference and the Sword and


The Greedy Triangle

*We made guesses about how many rectangular prisms we have in the block center

*Measuring things and writing about it


*Pi Day – circumference, diameter

*Abstract art with shapes

*We made cubes with interlocking cubes and with paper

*We made boxes

*We learned about prisms: rectangular, octagonal, triangular, hexagonal, and pyramids, cones, cylinders

*Word problems

*We measured markers, crayons, blocks and other things by inches

*We compared and measured different size things

*Number stories

*Math walks and math outside

*We made playdough



*Math games

*Counting and making groups of things and people

*Weaving patterns

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Worms and beautiful weather

Pre K 4's were visited by a worm expert who showed them how to find earthworms and castings. Looks like everyone was enjoying a break outside today!

African drumming and dancing and Indian clothing

Michael B. (top picture on the left), Parker class of 2005, visited today as part of the Buxton School African drumming and dancing troupe. They performed with so much energy and added lots of audience participation. Our own African drumming group will perform at assembly tomorrow.

Michael was the mayor of "Parkerville" many years ago in the old Parker building in Wynantskill. His sister, Eve, also a Parker graduate, just completed a degree at Yale in neuroscience.

2-3's had a visit from Veda's family who demonstrated how to wear a sari and other Indian clothing and talked about Indian culture and customs. Heath makes a great model!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This morning

Pre K fish week looks like fun! Eighth graders are working with Karen and alumnus David C., our video production experts, on video yearbook. Middle school music class is listening to West Side Story. Sarah is taking a look at graduation decorations. Fifth grade math class is outside measuring circumference.

This morning Pre K , K-1, and 2-3 got together in small groups to share design ideas for their bird and butterfly garden. They are envisioning a bird playground with baths, fountains, squirrel stations, berry bushes, pansies, milk weed, a rock path and many whimsical features. And of course, worms.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thinking inside the box...

That's Thomas Christenfeld in the first picture - he has to think inside the box because the greenhouse fan installation instructions were a little unclear...

What a great gang came out on Saturday to move a truckload of pea gravel on the Pre K playground and a truckload of dirt for the greenhouse floor. Our three musketeers, Thomas, Frank Curran, and John Dee served as the greenhouse carpentry crew while parents, kids, teachers and administrators hauled and shoveled. We made much progress proving once again that many hands make light work. Or something like that - because my muscles are telling me it was not such light work!

Just a few more steps to go and the greenhouse will be functioning! Thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Auction

What a beautiful evening! We raised over $20,000 for our financial aid program. Centerpieces were baskets of canned goods for Joseph's House and books for Whitney Young Health Center.

Laura and Natalie and our volunteers put on a spectacular event - and everyone helped by bidding fiercely and having fun. Thank you, everybody!

Project Night

From Pre K class books to a k-1 bird puppet show, to a spectacular 3-4 Hudson River history book, to 4-5 Greek plays, to 6-7 Medieval castles, to 8th grade theses - Project Night was a true celebration of work! And don't forget the self-portraits and the Pre K slide show...Everyone was so proud, and with good reason.

Here is a sampling of thesis titles:

Sports Heroes to Sports Zeros: Sporting Pills Becoming Social Ills

Manga Mania

Brown vs Board of Education


Jacques Pepin to Tarte Tatin: How the French Revolutionized High Cuisine

Anorexia: Is the Media Encouraging it?