Friday, April 27, 2012

Lake and Park teacher wins 2012 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow

Dear Lake and Park Community

I wanted to inform our school community of a recent accomplishment on Eileen Hynes' part.  She is one of fourteen teachers to be recognized nationally as a Grosvenor 2012 Teacher Fellow. This particular award will allow her to experience the arctic firsthand.  She will travel Svalbard, Norway this summer with one other teacher and will be returning to us in the fall with much to share.   We are privileged to have Eileen working with us with her enthusiastic embracing of teaching and lifelong learning.  Please join us in congratulating her.
Below is the National Press Release from National Geographic.

 CONTACT: Kelsey Flora 
 National Geographic Society


Program Supported by Oracle and Google Sends 14 Educators to Explore Arctic Svalbard as
Outdoor Classroom for Professional Development

WASHINGTON (April 25, 2012)—Fourteen respected educators have been selected as this year’s National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellows. The fellowships are awarded to teachers who best demonstrate excellence in geography education. This is the sixth year of the Fellows program, established to honor former National Geographic Society Chairman Gilbert M. Grosvenor’s lifetime commitment to geographic education.

Funding for the fellowships was donated in perpetuity to the National Geographic Society by Sven-Olof Lindblad and Lindblad Expeditions to mark Grosvenor’s 75th birthday in 2006 and to honor his service in enhancing and improving geographic education across the United States. Additional support for the program is provided by Oracle and Google.

Each year, K-12 educators from around the country are encouraged to apply for this one-of-a-kind professional development opportunity. The object is to enhance their geographic learning through direct experience and to bring that knowledge back to their classrooms. The 2012 Fellows, who will be embarking this summer on a Lindblad Expeditions voyage to Arctic Svalbard, are:

Tom Hoffmann Original - Raffle Item for Event on May 11th!!

We are grateful to Tom Hoffmann for donating this original watercolor as a raffle item for the 10th Anniversary fundraiser on May 11 at Mt. Baker Community Club.  Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the evening for ten dollars each, in honor of our ten years as a school.

To view more of Tom's work, visit his website at:  hoffmannwatercolors.com

If you have not received an invitation and wish to attend the function please call the school.  206 721 3480.  We are setting up a plan to assist with child care.  More to follow.

Monday, April 16, 2012

As the next school year will be the tenth that Lake and Park opens its doors, we are marking our first decade with a celebratory gathering and fund drive on May 11th, at 6 pm, details above.  We began  in 2003-2004 with 13 children and Jordan Talley (Paris) and I as the two teachers. By the close of the year, there were 21 children enrolled.   The following year, Luann Perkins joined us as a half time teacher, with approximately 30 children in the school. Now those same children are in the sixth and seventh grades;  several current children in the school are siblings of those from the first  two years.  We are inviting those children to especially help us in our celebration;  please contact the school, for more information.

We welcome everyone in the larger community who shares an interest in child centered education to participate.  One can join us for the evening.  We welcome contributions of any amount.  We are a 501 (c)3 non profit corporation.  Reservations and gifts can be made by mailing a check to the school's address at 3201 Hunter Blvd. S.  Seattle, WA.  98144

Friday, April 13, 2012

"The splitting mountain" by Maddy
Study of the Prophet, Elijah, at Lake and Park

The week before we went on spring vacation was the occasion for us to spend our afternoons engaged in the story of the biblical prophet, Elijah.  It is Elijah for whom a special cup of wine is poured and placed on the ceremonial table at Passover.  Elijah is referred to throughout the New Testament and figures in parts of the Easter liturgy.  As a school, we often take the time to learn of Greek myths. Their cultural significance is with us in a myriad ways.   So are references to biblical events and characters; as part of our shared heritage, children benefit from being exposed to these stories, as well.  The seasonal timing seemed especially apt for learning about Elijah.

"This is Elijah--the mountain is broken apart."  By George
The story was first told to the children as a story. with time for each to draw events from the narrative that struck each one particularly.  Another day, we acted out the story informally, in story theater, with actors and roles fluid.   We learned about the Hebrew letters that form the name of Elijah, and of what his name means.  This information was presented to us by Pastor Lee Seese, in whose congregation's building the school is a guest.  He listened to the children take turns as they recounted the story so far, and then he added some wonderful humorous details.     The following day, a group of children who volunteered to participate in a play about Elijah came forward, decided on the story line, and then practiced and performed for the school audience that afternoon.  Viewing with us was Lee, as well as Joan Dennehy, the minister of the Findlay Street Christian Church, a Disciples of Christ denomination, which is also housed in the building with us.   By her very example as a person, she was able to show the children that women, too, may now take on clerical leadership positions.

By Chloe
On the final day of the school week the children responded to this narrative that was read from a storyteller's version of the story:

There came a fierce wind that tore the mountains apart, but God was not in the wind.  After the wind, an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake a fire, but God was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle quiet voice.
      When Elijah heard this, he covered his head with his mantle and went out.  

The pieces of art that illustrate this article were made in response to the above quote and were done in mixed media--watercolor, pastel, and crayon.  Do scan through the photos for shots of the dramatic presentation, as well as depictions of children absorbed in reading various accounts of the prophet's tale.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Emerging Curriculum Unfolds:  A Teacher Expands on How a Decision to see a Play Leads to a Multi-Faceted Unit  by Eileen Hynes

    Returning from mid-winter break, the primary classroom at the Lake and Park School launched into a study of Korea inspired by the novel A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park and the Seattle Children’s Theatre’s adaptation of the story on the stage.  To prepare for an integrated study it is always necessary for teachers to do some ground work and preliminary planning.  Mid-winter break provided the perfect opportunity.  The Children’s Theater offers a teacher preview that helps us prepare students for the performance.  At Lake and Park School we often like to wait to see the play towards the end of the study, after we have read the story the play is based on and also studied many related aspects of the story, as we did with Robin Hood.
      In Seattle we are fortunate to have many other resources available to teachers for use in our classrooms.  I visited the East Asia Resource Center at the University of Washington where Mary Cincade offered me many picture books, folk tales, videos, maps and a wonderful art exhibit from the Philadelphia Art Museum including a video of a modern day potter at work in Korea.  This video truly made apparent the ongoing work of the protagonist of the novel.
     I also arranged to borrow a teaching kit from the Seattle Art Museum.  This collection included child sized Hanbok, traditional Korean clothes for both boys and girls, a celadon vase, and a metalwork sculpture of Buddha.  In addition to our trip to the Seattle Children’s Theatre we visited the Wing Luke Museum, a real treasure in the heart of the international district, this museum focuses on the Asian American immigrant experience.  A final preparation during the mid-winter break was to reserve many books for our Korean study at the Seattle Public Library.  Whenever I am looking for reliable resources and booklists to use in my classroom I always first visit the World Affairs Council Global Classroom website. There I found a great lists of books.  Most of the books were available and I put them on reserve so I knew our scheduled walk to the Columbia City Library the first week of the study would be a successful experience, the books would be waiting for us.
I am an alumnus of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.  This amazing class taught in many cities around the country and funded by the Freeman Foundation is a wonderful teacher resource and has provided me with a strong background in Asian studies and ongoing opportunities to continue to further my own learning.  The final resource is a truly a treasure, and that is your own school community.  The opportunity for students to plan questions and learn directly from a Korean American parent in our school community was the highlight of our learning together.

Once the homework (on the part of the teachers) is done, the resources made available in the classroom, and a couple of questions posed to the students the magic of learning can begin.  We knew our study was to be based on Linda Sue Park's Newbery award winning novel, A Single Shard.  In this mixed-age classroom some students who were able to read the book worked together in a teacher guided literature circle and others worked in a small group where the book was read aloud by a teacher.  In this way all students could participate and find the right balance between support and challenge.  All students were asked to discuss character development, make predictions, and glean different aspects of Korean culture that are evident in the story.  Students drew pictures to help them understand the setting of the story, acted out scenes from the book in a Reader’s Theater format, and made personal connections to the story.

     Throughout the study we read and listened to Korean folktales, learning about the importance of the tiger, the rabbit, the fox, and the crane.  (Because of our background in the tales, we were ready when the fox was mentioned in the novel and nodded in our shared knowledge and experience when Tree-ear spends the night in the mountains and does meet a fox.)   Students used Cuisenaire rods to build stages and sets of the folk tales, reinforcing the story and supporting our math work with the rods.  The students observed plum blossoms and drew and created scrolls depicting typical imagery of pottery and blossom.

Clay work became a natural extension of the study and we will always remember the Korean contributions to this art form.  Working with clay we were able to connect to the hard work Tree-ear did for potter Min as he dug the clay and prepared the slip.

Using a language "app", we learned to greet each other in Korean, annyounghaesso.  We were introduced to the most well known Korean children’s song, "San Toki" at the Wing Luke Museum. Returning to the classroom the class learned the song with the help of "YouTube" as a way to welcome and thank our parent visitors. 

We began the study with students asking questions about the country far across the Pacific Ocean. We learned about the geography of Korea during the month:  the climate, the peninsula, the mountains, and the sea.

A week before a Young-Bean Song, a Lake and Park parent and person of Korean ethnicity, was to come we again wrote questions, this time to be answered by our guest.  It was an effective way to see what we had learned and to focus on what new questions we had.
When Young-Bean Song visited our classroom he prepared an activity to introduce the students to the Korean alphabet in order to write each one's name in Korean.  It was a highlight of the study.  When it was time to write thank you notes many students signed their names in their new found script.  Everyone was happy to thank Young-Bean and Kelly, his wife, for the delicious Bi Bim Bop they shared with the class as well as so much more.

As a final acknowledgment of the learning and work the children  accomplished throughout the unit, parents were invited to visit the classroom and share their child’s folder of work before it went home.  The confidence and skill in writing and communicating original and complex ideas was a theme throughout the study and evident in the work.