Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Ms. Avilas's Class
Weekly Update - February 8, 2019

Classroom Highlights

The children continued to work hard this week, especially in Morning Lesson! We met Duke Desi Divide who was able to solve a sharing dilemma that arose in the Land of Numerica.  He was able to use his sword to split it into two equal pieces to share.  The rest of the week, we explored division and the relationships among the Four Processes. The children were fascinated to see how we could solve one problem and explain the ways using all four processes to describe what was happening in one story problem!

This week the children engaged in a variety of bookwork opportunities–from drawing Duke Desi Divide to writing number sentences that described story problems–and the children took their time to do this work with such care.  They continue to blend primary colors to create secondary colors.  They are carefully placing the “passengers in their cars” as they write with their pencils.  The bookwork has been beautiful!

When not sharing stories about the citizens in the Land of Numerica, I continued to share fairy tales from Africa.  The clues for this often are in the animals that I describe that live in the setting of the tale and the plants the characters encounter.  The fairy tales continue to bring the children archetypes in which they can see themselves.  I am thoughtful about the characteristics I highlight and often work to bring them stories focused on kindness, empathy, cleverness, and community.

Our work next week will continue to include movement and rhythmic counting that allows the children to make sense of skip counting.  We have explored throughout the block the rhythmic counting of 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 10s.  Next week we will even skip count by 11!  This will be new, challenging, and exciting!

Our class jumped and we were able to get all the way to 497 jumps yesterday as a class!  This exceeded our last record of 344 jumps.  The children were so amazed that they had jumped over 100 morethan the last time (which was just last week!).

Thank you for your patience as many First Graders explored our mud this week! It seemed that some were really trying to bring their characters from our Chinese New Year Festival to life. Before the wind blew in the frigid temps, the children also had a chance to paint with the mud.   These experiences of nature and having the chance to fully explore have such a positive impact on our children.

Rather than have a formal Nature Studies class this week, we had several conversations about what we are noticing in nature these days—from the daylight extending earlier and later to the fierce wind that brought its power and freeze on Thursday evening.

 

Creative Movement Update – February

Since returning from Winter break, we have been focusing on gross motor movement.  Activities have included circle games, beanbag games, and some ball work. For the last couple of weeks, we have been engaging in what I refer to as Floor Games which are specifically designed to support the full integration of early movement patterns.  Early movement patterns or primitive reflexes are words that are used to describe the developmental movement sequence that all babies experience starting in utero and continuing after birth up to age 7. For some children, the reflexes remain active beyond their period of usefulness and therefore can inhibit further development. Giving attention to these movement patterns at this age will support their full integration therefore helping each child to achieve their full potential.  The children have been very responsive to learning the first series of movements which I refer to as the tadpole series. Classes are currently being held in the eurythmy room. Please note that the children are asked to remove both their shoes and their socks during the lesson to allow for full engagement of their limbs. Please let me know if you have any questions. I will provide additional information about the reflexes in the March update.


Sincerely,

Candace Choma, Educational Support Coordinator

Thank you!

It was wonderful to have such a full room of parents on Wednesday evening!  Thank you to all of you who were able to participate.  I have continued to think often about our conversations of our shared article, “The Gift of No.” We all benefit from hearing one another’s perspectives.  Soon I will share notes that our Room Parents were able to take during our time together. Be sure to check them out if you were unable to join us.

 

Upcoming Events

 

Valentine’s Day, February 14

We will celebrate this day of friendship together at school—both in preparation and in implementation.  There is no need to do a thing at home!

 

Midwinter Break, February 16-23

 

 

Parent Teacher Conferences, March 14-15

Please mark your calendars for March 14-15 so we can come together and speak about your child.  When the days approach, we will share a Sign-Up Genius for our meetings.  Thank you.

 

Festival of Spectacles, April 6

We invite community members, parents, and children to come to a day packed full of student dramatic productions. The Festival of Spectacles will include performances from Grades 1-5. It’s a great opportunity to experience the full spectrum of the lower school theater curriculum. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and burst into explosive applause.  A final schedule will be shared soon, but be sure to save the date now!