This past week I received our regular bi-weekly update from my daughter’s teacher Terese Giammarco, one of the teachers for our mixed-age class of Kindergarten through Second Grade. I thought to share it with you as it is such a great example of how much can be done with a small group setting and the budding successes of our Community Supported Education model, where parents enrich the curriculum and students learn from the greater community through field trips and collaboration with other organizations.
Here is a glimpse into a month in the life of our K-2 student’s (a.k.a. “Champions of a New Day”) at the Garden Road written by Terese:
Since returning from our holiday break we have had a short venture into Games and then dove right into Math, Planets and Time.
Our Games lump is always an adventure. The skills that go along with playing games are so useful; Following rules, waiting your turn, winning or losing the game, this is a wonderful opportunity to hone in on social skills, reasoning, working as a team and simply being a good sport.
As you probably have figured out The Garden Road is based on a non competitive school environment. So, in light of that, learning how to play for the sole purpose of having fun and learning new skills is the main focus of our lump. However, we do not live in a world that supports this attitude. We held a few interesting discussions about how “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”. Perhaps this would be some advise that our Presidential nominees could use? (oops I digress…)
It was an interesting and valuable struggle. We ended with my favorite: The Ungame, which was conceived in the 60′s and has no winning or losing, just playing and learning.
For the last two weeks, the k-1 has been heavily ensconced in Math! There is so much that is available under this one title; time, measurement, history, numbers, symbols, and more. So far we have learned about the history of clocks, calendars, measurement in inches and feet and also using anything we can find to measure distance and height. We are continuing to learn how to count by 10s, 5s and 2s.
Last week we had a special visit from one of our dads, Tom Bai, who is a designer. He showed us the intriguing clocks that he has designed. He explained A.M and P.M. and how it relates to the planet spinning around the sun! We then were shown how to make our own perpetual calendar. Thank You Tom!!!!!!
The Second Graders are deep in space learning about the planets. At the beginning of the lump one of our parents organized a field trip to the Hudson River Museum where we watched an awesome film in their Planetarium followed by a craft project with one of the docents from the museum. Since then, they have chosen a specific planet and they are compiling all of their research in preparation for a presentation to their younger peers at the end of the week.
On Friday Brenda Bai joined us to introduce the beginning of the Chinese New year. She showed the children how to make traditional Chinese lanterns. Brenda also organized a visit from Kwan’s Kung Fu studio in Peekskill who performed the traditional Lion Dance for the whole school and community members.
The day did not end there. That afternoon we set out for visit to the Seabury Assisted Living Facility at Field Home in Cortlandt. The staff at the Field Home asked us to do a joint venture with them in making Hearts for Soldiers. The children have been working on making hearts with the intention of using them to welcome home the men and women who are returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Lowry Reinauer, one of our moms and CSE Coordinator who works at the Field Home, headed up the project with help
from Diane during Art class. Thank you ladies!
Last week they worked on a cool song about planets and then we played music together in rhythm and harmony….
Stay tuned for more Community Supported Education adventures!