Kindergarten: Sept 14

Good afternoon all,
We have just completed, with enormous success, our first full week of school. As we are adjusting to being a new class entity we have been working on fun, creative projects, honing our skills and working as a group .Our theme this week centered around our newly acquired tortoise; designing a fantasy habitat and then an actual one, practicing storytelling and modeling the slow and steady motto we learned from our fable of the tortoise and the hare. Perhaps you have heard the song about You Can’t Make a Turtle Come Out which we sang each day to remind us of appropriate tortoise protocol, and which we then sang along with the puppets we made.
I understand that you may be anxious to be in the new building and it has been a frustration for us all to say the least. But it has been an interesting and affirming experience for me to see the interactions between your children and all the other young ones, and I think that the move, when it comes, will be even more poignant as we separate ourselves to move on, as it were. I will say that our location has not had any impact on our scheduled activities or curriculum and we are progressing as planned regardless.
To give you a general idea of how the year will flow….The year will be divided into units and those units will be divided into weekly themes. The first few weeks we will focus on setting up; our class, our expectations, our skills, getting to know each other. Activities will include making our aprons for cooking, making our ceramic cups, familiarizing ourselves with patterns, recognizing our role in the class and recognizing the strengths of our classmates.
Your choice of the Stonehouse program is an indication of the values you hold important for your child. Because the basis of that choice is one different than many other parents have chosen I will be offering you support in the form of what I call “ammunition” so that when someone says their 5 year old is reading on a 3rd grade level you will be comfortable with the choice you made allowing your child to learn through exploration and through a whole- life integrated experience. That doesn’t mean that your child might not be ready and want to read right away, which is a choice we will support. I have noticed that children in our class already have an awareness of letters and numbers. We will be working more with them in ways that offer an open ended approach allowing children opportunities to elaborate on their learning experiences. In other school situations where scripted curricula is used all students work at the same pace with less room for experiential learning. The beauty of our program is that the children will be encouraged to delve more deeply into areas of interest in a way meaningful to each individual through journaling and self-exploration. This approach allows children to absorb and process information in a way meaningful to him/her thus making it pertinent and accessible for future referencing.
All this being said, I will end this week’s letter with a piece of “ammunition”. I encourage you to go to your computer and type in ted.com then Sir Ken Robinson and listen/watch his talk about creativity in education. I would love to hear your response to what he has to say.
Here’s to a great week,Cat

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