Sunday, May 14, 2017

Remember to check last week's Ellsworth American or Islander for your portrait. They're very cute! Hoping your Mother's Day was special. 

Early last week we took a walk on Neighborhood House Road to watch progress at a construction site. I asked students what they noticed and what they wondered.
We had only a short time to spend in observation and unfortunately, were not there for the lifting and placing of modular units. The second graders and Ms. Cullen's first graders did see some of that.
Upon our return, students recorded what they saw and posed their questions. I'm hoping for better weather this week. Perhaps we'll be able to return to the site to note progress. We may also ask the second and first graders to answer some of our questions.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dance Party!!!

In celebration of filling our Good Behavior Jar with gems, we held a dance party before April break. No worries, we made it a controlled environment with the audience lined up along the sides of the room and two dancers per 4 tables in the middle. Before the dancing we discussed safe behavior on the tables and the children set some guidelines. You can see some really good dance moves here. 
I wonder what we'll do the next time the jar is filled? This is hard to beat!
Crocheting is Fun...and Calming!

My friend Claire wasn't crocheting a chain on this day I took the photos. But a number of other students (approximately 10 out of 16) now have been introduced and enjoy quiet time with a crochet hook and some yarn, periodically. Parents, you are welcome to join us at Choice Time, and perhaps these children can teach you this first step to crocheting.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Self-Regulation Needed!
This month our kindergarten students returned to school somewhat discombobulated. I believe the week before vacation was too disjointed due to the winter storms, early releases, late starts, snow days and illness. Generally, I've noticed that when students in my class have a week off they return ready to get back into their routine and are able to apply all the skills they've learned.

That didn't happen this time.

So we tried our hardest to do all the things we know can help us. We did Brain Gym and  other movement exercises. Ms. McKernan used some Mindful Life exercises with us. We talked about what we could do to help ourselves get ready to learn. And on Friday, we colored mandalas. 

In the photos above, you see several shots of us coloring with special markers that we save for "Friday mandalas". You also see Jake and Claire doing a Brain Gym exercise called "The Owl".
Harriet was our Teacher Assistant on Friday. Before Math you see her leading the class in a brain break exercise called Xs and Os. She colored the lovely mandala on the table for our classroom. And last, you see four handsome gentlemen who are waiting for the rest of the class to join them at the rug. They were remarkably silent!

Next weekend I hope to post some photos of Claire and perhaps a friend or two, crocheting a chain.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Winter Gear

Even though the weather forecaster may predict a warm day, please continue to send warm clothes to school with your student.
I'd like to think Spring is arriving early, but I fear we're simply having a late January thaw.
On a snowy background you see 14 pair of beautiful mittens donated by Arai Dunbar, hand knit by her great grandmother, Jane Dunbar.
If your child loses or forgets her/his mittens, these are in a bag outside the first grade classrooms and may be borrowed.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I'd like to think an unscheduled early release won't happen again this school year, but I can't promise it. You may have read (or surmised) we need an alternate after-school plan for days when children must be sent home early due to extreme weather conditions. If you haven't already done so will you send one in? Some of you may be fairly certain that you'd like your child sent home on the bus. Others may not know for sure about child care until the day it happens. In that case, if a storm has been predicted, please send in your alternate plan on that morning. We appreciate your flexibility.

Previous Request

Thank you. Landon and Abbie are bringing in pretzels for Valentine's Day!