The afternoon has quieted down after a busy learning day. Markers, pencils, multiplication sheets, math journals, construction paper, and glue sticks have all been set back to order. Half of an hour has passed since the school was released and I can still hear laughter downstairs and see children playing on the playground. They will stay until it gets nearly dark. I am thankful that we have a school where students are eager to arrive and slow to leave.
We have spent the last two days introducing and remembering how fractions work. We borrowed hexagon shapes and square tiles from the Adventurer’s class to demonstrate that they already know how to play and talk using fractions. We can show that three blue pieces cover the large yellow piece, or that it takes six green pieces to cover it as well. We can make layers of whole hexagons with the various sizes in the box. We can also mix up the colors to make one hexagon using different colors. They used their journals to write out the words and numbers. I am thankful for a school that has been here long enough to have baskets full of manipulatives so that the students may be introduced to math concepts with hands-on experiences.
We are journeying through Australia this month while looking at World History and Geography. We have looked up the animals in our Gather Rounds song Tie Me Kangaroo Down, and also looked up several more animals while learning what regions they would live in. We’ve been able to research Australian history and their flag using library books and online resources. Our curriculum has downloadable books to read and we are learning about the largest lakes in the world. I am thankful for a school that puts a priority on books as a first resource for learning new information and for our themes that help direct us each year.
My bulletin board is full of examples showing the scientific method. My students worked in teams to pick a project by browsing several science observation books. They wrote down the problem to solve, what they thought would happen, the list of materials, and the instructions before finally conducting the experiment. Afterward, they made changes to get different results and journaled about their observations. I am thankful for curious students, eager to question and problem solve, willing to make changes, and talk about what they see.
Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas glitter and glue will surely coat our entire building in the next few weeks. I am thankful to be a part of the legacy that is Neskowin Valley School. I am thankful for our Board, administration, and fellow teachers. I am grateful that parents and supporters donate literature for our rooms that can be used to integrate subjects. I am thankful for the families that are skilled to help around our school with repairs and installations. I could write a novel about thankfulness - I am thankful for you.
~ Teacher Angie