Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New ideas on Planet Parker

A Planet Parker kick-off event was held last week. We had a panel discussion about things that have an impact on the environment such as biofuels, land use, using green products, and legislation. Panelists from the DEC, NYSERDA, Albany Law School, and the Department of Parks spoke about their areas of expertise. Students from grades 2 through 8 asked informed questions. The discussion was fascinating, highlighting the complexity of the issues in environmental, political, and economic terms. Beth Meer of the DEC left the students with the charge to "Learn as much as you can about science and how our Democracy works. You will be the ones to make a difference!"

Along these lines, students celebrate our new tumbling composting bin - everyone can add to it from the small bins distributed around the school. These items are the result of a NYSERDA grant for our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle project.

K-1's are studying birds this winter. They made observational drawings and wrote about feathers and their similarities and differences in science class.

This year Pre K has a new schedule of snack foods. Fruits, vegetables, and their own homemade breads are the fare. Everyone has tried new things and most are very happy with the healthy changes. Tomatoes look a little suspicious, but most happily popped them in!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Many thanks for big hearts

Parker students and parents have big hearts!

Students in the after school sewing class and the 4-5's have made heart pins and bracelets that they are selling at the front desk for $1. The proceeds will go to Save the Children for Haiti relief. Other classes are deciding on their response to the tragedy in Haiti.

Parents put on an amazing feast today for the Faculty Staff Appreciation Luncheon! They also donated funds in each teacher's name to Oxfam. The donation in my name was for a farmer's flock, consisting of two goats and a cow! What an absolutely wonderful tribute. Thank you, thank you one and all!

The food was so delicious and everyone is hoping that parents will send in the recipes to the Grandfriends Cookbook! Submit recipes to

Winter learning

Another day of data-gathering on the Hudson. (Brrrr. Cold!) The challenge was doing everything with mittens on!

Doctor week in Pre K 4 - The Dr.'s Byrd (parents of Gabrielle in K-1 and Lauren in Pre K) visited to tell about being a surgeon and an ENT specialist.

And of course snowy recess. Every day is chock-full!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Executive function

Everyone seems to be in the swing of new activities for a new year. The grocery store in Pre K causes great excitement! The shelves are empty and carts are filled - the lines are long at each register... is there a snowstorm in the forecast? Children practice writing lists, planning their shopping trips, tallying their purchases, trading roles. Their executive functioning skills are developing - that's what themed imaginative play is all about.

Sixth grade math students are using math and engineering skills to design and build model recreation centers - very professional! They are also developing those crucial executive function skills that foster organization, self-control and self-discipline. There are no better predictors for future success.