Friday, January 30, 2009

Alumni and future alumni

We had lots of alumni visitors this week - Annie and Meryl are sophomores at Emma Willard and Jenn is a freshman at Shen. Pictured are Meirav and Mike from Buxton, a boarding school in Williamstown. They came with the Buxton African and Balinese drumming group for a fantastic assembly performance. Mike is hoping to be accepted at Skidmore and is contemplating a post grad year in Indonesia. Meirav is applying to college for photography and the arts in New York City.

Faculty alumni visited too - here are Aubrey (4-5) and Erin (science) with Aubrey's little Penelope (Erin's Sasha ran out of the picture). It is so great to see our old friends!

Today at recess, the kids continued building a giant snow wall - a massive accomplishment!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Laughter and excitement

I remember elementary school as being a long stretch of days punctuated by the occasional excitement of a class party (twice a year) or the rare highlight of a book read aloud or the day we got to chew red dye pills to see if our teeth had been brushed properly. (and I loved school!)

The week at Parker:

Tuesday, Barach Obama was sworn in as President. The whole school gathered in front of a big screen, when at 10 before noon, the Internet feed went dead. The younger children watched on a small television in Pre K. Dan Hill had a tiny TV and the rest of us crowded around for the swearing in, then resorted to radio. Much cheering and excitement!

Wednesday, K-1 was exploring the properties of sound in science class. They poured water into containers and experimented by clinking with spoons. 6-7's were building Rube Goldberg contraptions designed to feed a fish or do who knows what. Marbles and balls went flying. Much exclaiming and excitement!

Thursday, parents and grandparents organized an absolutely fabulous luncheon for the faculty and staff, decorating the library with red tablecloths, flowers and party favors, and then took over the classrooms while teachers feasted. Much eating and excitement!

Friday, 3-year-olds performed a grocery store song and danced as snowflakes in Assembly, then went out to Price Chopper to buy animal crackers. K-1's led everyone in a dance to the tune of "Yankee Doodle." 2-3's invited guests to see their museum of dinosaurs and geologic time in a unit-end show of work resplendent with models, posters, books and a quiz at the end. The weather was perfect for sledding at recess. Much laughter and excitement!

Friday, January 16, 2009


K-1's presented a celebration of their study of the workers in a community today. Preparation had been intense! Their buddies, parents, and schoolmates were invited to see posters, interviews, and a pop-up book about doctors, archeologists, plumbers, postal workers, pilots and the other community workers the K-1's had read about, met, and researched.

The pop-up book was beautiful. Every child created a page. The language was very precise. "Civil engineers need to be creative and be good team members." "Plumbers use a tool called a snake, but it is not a real snake."

Thank you K-1's!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Students intently involved in exploring questions - that's what I saw today around school.

I spoke with Kayu about his thesis topic, "Should college athletes be paid?" There are strong opinions and arguments on both sides. His idea is to leave the question open in his thesis, letting the reader decide.

Seventh grade math class was searching for all the ways to represent a fractional equation. The discussion was lively.

K-1's and 2-3's are both preparing for culminating displays of their work. The task takes organization, synthesis, final decisions, drawing conclusions, and last minute polishing.

The Doctor's office is set up in the Pre K. This is a big topic for our little ones, something they know intimately about. There was much care for sick friends by doctors with blood pressure cuffs and pitchers of medicine, wearing stethoscopes. Tyler was comparing the weight of each of the class babies on two different scales. Then he dumped the last one in a box and ran off to stack blocks.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day one - some more

Some skiers couldn't wait to hit the slopes. And we couldn't do it at all without parents in fur hats!

Winter Fridays - day one

This afternoon skiers and swimmers headed off. Sean-O arrived for Theatrix with non-skiing K-1's. Happy faces and high spirits!

We're back!

Fun in the snow, planning the yearbook, applying for official schoolyard habitat designation...It all comes back to life at school in 2009.

At our faculty meeting teachers shared plans for the spring: 2-3 study : "The Dutch and the Mohicans: A Clash of Cultures." P.E. K - 3 : striking with short and long handled implements (translation: pillow-polo) 4 - 8: team handball. Math 7: "Dishwasher vs paper products for pizza Wednesdays: which is more economical and ecological?" 4-5: "A Family Apart" the orphan train. Social studies 8: Selected thesis topics: "Video game addiction" "Should college sports players be paid?" "The evolution of the image of werewolves over time"

That's just a sampling! Stay tuned...