Tuesday, January 31, 2012

North Room Writers Inspired by Our Winterim Snow Days

The Snow that Glimmered at the Berg Haus
By Anya
The snow sparkled as I walked up the giant hill to the Berg Haus.
I like the Berg Haus because we had pancakes there.  It was fun and it was warm.  It was comfy and I liked it.
So the snow was shimmery, shimmers, shimmers, shimmers. 
The end.

The Day of Snow
By: Delphine
                  We’re finally at the top of the mountain. Cool and deep is the snow. We all jump in and play. We are dumbfounded when we have to go in, but inside the Berg House is fun, too. We sing and eat pancakes. 

Tate’s Fun in the Snow
By: Tate
                  The snow is cold but I am warm in my clothes and having fun. Sliding down the hill with my friends is super fun. 

My Snowy Days
By Sadie
I’m cold but warm.  I am so cold that I am warm.  In the Berg Haus we eat pancakes and hot chocolate.  It is fun there.  Skiing is fun.  As we go through the berg, how can it be so beautiful?  In the snow my toes get so cold.  I slide down the hill.  That is fun.  We walk all the way up the hill but it is worth it and so beautiful.

When the snowflakes fall it seems so quiet.
I dream of flowers and candies.
Oh, what a beautiful sight it is
to sit there and look at the mountains and trees.

By Walter

Snow Day
By Harriet
The snow sparkles but in the Berg Haus I was warm looking at the snow.  When I go out I play in the snow with Delphine and Autumn.  Sledding and skiing and most of all having fun.  We play and play until it is time to go.  We walk to the bus.  I sit with Delphine and we watch the wide world of snow go.

The Berg Haus
By Chloe
The Berg Haus is warm, but the climb is long.  I got up the mountain.  I have fun playing until we have to go home.  I had so much fun.

Dutch’s Fun in the Snow
By: Dutch
The snow shimmers and glimmers as we walk up the mountain. When we get up to the Berg House the fun begins. My favorite thing to do is flop around in the snow. Inside we sat around the fire. It felt really nice. I loved the day. 

By Charlotte

I saw a sledding dog 
in the sparkling snow
going down.

The Best School Day
By: Autumn
I love the snow so much because it is one of my favorite things. Like when it is snowing it is blowing it is one of my favorite things. That is one of my favorite things and the Berg House and sledding and skiing down the mountain and up the mountain, too. We were so nice and kind to the other girls and boys and they were friends to each other and we loved to play. 

The Shine of the Berg House
By: Henry

The Berg House is beautiful. The snow falls from the house. The house glimmers in the sun light. 

The Snow is so Much Fun
By: Kaitlin
                  The snow shimmers and glows. I walk through and I see a husky run by a skier. Snow is so much fun!! I love snow. Mountains are so cool. Mountains are awesome. I go inside the house and there is a mug of hot chocolate always there for me. Snow is fun. Go snow! Go snow! Go snow! My favorite animal that lives in the snow is a seal and reindeer and caribou. 

Snow Slide
By: Rowan
                  As I go down the snow slide I feel the wind in my face and I hit the hole. I tumble down the rest of the hill. I stop. I go inside and up the stairs and have pancakes and hot chocolate. 

Berg Haus
By Sabina
The snow is cold
But the house is warm
With pancakes and hot chocolate
Oh, so warm
I feel myself growing hot
As I sit down and start to sing
A wonderful song with everyone else.

By Sally
As I looked out my window I saw a beautiful sight
Trees and icicles and snow galore.
As the bus comes to a stop I run up the hill.
When I got to the Berg Haus it was quite a thrill.
As I strap on my skis
I looked up at the trees.
Full of pancakes 
I set down the hill. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Movements in January

As teachers, we were struck by how happy the children were to be back together at school on the first day back from Winter Break.  Starting at the park gave everyone ample time to meet and greet each other.  When we returned to the classrooms, the children began their work with the purposefulness that comes from knowing one’s materials and the way around the room as well as how to be together.  Now comes the time of the school year that I find the most productive.  The fall with all of its exciting holidays is past.  Adjustments to the year are long behind us.  The children know their peers and their teachers; trust between all of us is strong.  This is the time when academic skills are furthered.  

The thematic work that ties our days together now has several sources.   As we respond initially to that fact from the larger world--that we are in a new year with a new numeral,  how do we make meaning out of this number 2012?  How old is the world anyway?  How did we arrive at this particular figure?  These questions ask us to think about so much, both scientifically and culturally.   As we take what might just be a mundane topic we give it personal meaning for each child and find for ourselves that the topic has its own momentum which calls up both cultural and scientific understandings.  We are makiing personal time lines, and coming to understand the place value meaning in the four digit numeral, as we count out two thousand twelve objects, and will delve into what A.D. and B.C. and B.C.E. each refer to.

    During the Winter Solstice Camp we sang an old circle song:  Sally, Go Round the Sun, Sally Go Round the Moon.  We think of this song when a child has a birthday.  We all are going round the sun, and the moon comes along with us.  As we look at the year, we think ahead to when each child will have the next birthday.  We are painting our 2012 birthday cakes and learning our birthdays.  As we do so, we are learning the order of the seasons, the months of the year, and the days of the week.  A variety of picture books that feature the days of the week help our efforts as does singing songs that help us remember the order of both the months and the days.   Since the very word month comes from the word “moon”, we are reading books about the moon.   As we look at what comes before and after and as we memorize sequence, we are involved in reinforcing and furthering all types of intellectual and academic aptitudes and skills. 

     Approaching learning to tell time is a natural aspect of this study.  We will hope for a sunny day so that we can go out on the patio and make rudimentary sundials—all that is needed is a standing-up stick and a piece of chalk and the sun so that we can have a shadow—so that by doing so the children can see how the clock emerged out of the circle that is formed by marking the earth’s movements. 

           A tie-in to this work is our reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik.  Now widely known, as the book is the inspiration for a current Martin Scorsese film, the parallels to our current study that is furthered in this work are amazing.    The story deals with clocks and how clocks work and with early silent film history, which involved a feature about a rocket landing “in” the moon.   This volume makes a fantastic read for any motivated child who wants to take on a “tome”.  The excitement of the story is matched by graphics that further the text along as equally as the text itself.  A variety of lengths in printed matter on the pages gives the child satisfaction in turning the pages.  There are sophisticated words and ideas and the young reader knows she is being treated as an intellectually capable individual.  One has to really “read” the graphics.  Unique in winning both Newbery and Caldecott Medal acclaim, the book stands by itself.  In my opinion, Scorsese did justice to the book in his adaptation of it;  his sets add color and light to that which Selznik evokes.  The story line does not deviate much.  We will be taking children from the North Room who have read the book to the movie so that they may enjoy its recounting as well as learn to be literate in more than one medium.

The children in the Big Room are listening to Moominland Midwinter, a wonderfully sophisticated and nuanced book by Tove Jansson.  They are listening with rapt attention to this story that is set in Scandinavia where the sun disappears altogether for a time.  I am impressed at their ability to listen to a volume which sometimes escapes the listening ability of a kindergartener.  Their recent winter paintings which are of white and silvery blue are on black paper are inspired by the novel. 

Parents can reinforce our work at school by:  helping your child learn his/her birthday, playing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, showing your child an analog clock and setting it next to a digital, setting both for the same time so that he/she will associate one reading with the other,  reading more Moomintroll books aloud, sending in old clocks or watches to take apart and birthday candles and coins so that we may count out two thousand and twelve pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.  We will continue these themes through January 20th.

Some Dates to Save:

January 13th--Our first of Four Consecutive Friday Forays to The Berg Haus Continental Club at Hyak —we leave school at  8:30, and return by 4:30

January 17th--Open House for Prospective Families  7 pm

January 19th—Dr. Chris McCurry, child psychologist, speaks to our families and friends
                about parenting concerns-- 7 pm at the school  Please invite anyone whom
                you think would be interested.