Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Ms. Avilas's Class
Weekly Update - March 9, 2019

Classroom Highlights

Last week we jumped into our third language arts block, finishing up the consonants H, X, Y, and Z.  This week and next the children are being introduced to the short vowel sounds.  In bringing these, we spend a bit of time sharing how that sound makes us feel.  So far, we noticed that ‘short a’ is a bit of an unwelcome surprise sound, ‘short e’ makes us feel indifferent or that we are not interested, and ‘short o’ gives us a feeling of illumination.  Part of our work this block is identifying words that fit together in a family.  We have been documenting these families in our Morning Lesson Books.  There was great excitement in writing our first word family!  There was this feeling in the room of “this is what we have been itching for!”

We have also been doing quite a bit of rhyming, creating alliterations, and taking the first sound off of a word and putting the sounds back together. All of this work is focused on developing their phonemic awareness, the building blocks to writing and reading development.

 

In this first part of the block, I have brought Baba Yaga stories and nature stories.  The Baba Yaga stories have enough suspense to bring them to the edge of their logs, but tempered enough so that they can handle that in a safe way.  We are really enjoying these stories!

 

We visited a familiar movement from one of our circle songs and moved the path of the thread and needle.  First, we explored this by writing it in the air, then on one another’s backs, then drew the form with our feet.  Finally, we brought the form across a page with crayon.

The students heard a tale about how the snow received their color of white from the snowdrop flowers.  We then headed out for a nature walk.  Last week on our nature walk, we had noticed shoots that had just emerged from the soil! This week, we went to observe them and notice any changes that may have occurred.  Indeed, changes had happened!  The tiny shoots had grown and more had emerged.  We will continue to visit these shoots weekly to observe the changes.  We are all eager to observe this promise of spring!

The students have always taken turns helping with painting set-up and clean-up.  Last week, I realized the children were now strong enough to gather and return the water.  On Thursday, we all went to the sink closet to learn how to properly do this work.  Four of our friends proudly carried out this new job!

 

And, finally, much of our circle includes our work on our play!  The children have been “trying on” different roles and are highly engaged in bringing the various characters to life. When children have named what we are doing, I’ve been replying with “Hmm….I wonder…?”

 

Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences

Next week, we have the opportunity to come together and meet about each of your children.  Thank you to those who have signed up.  If you haven’t yet, please do so here. They will be closing Sign-Up Genius on Sunday.  The slots are 30 minutes with a 10 minute transition period.  I’m going to work to honor your time and stay on schedule.

 

If you have any questions that you would like me to address at our conference, please email me by Sunday evening.  Thank you!

First Grade Family Gathering

It was a small, but mighty group last Sunday who gathered at the Garfield Park Conservatory.  Thank you to Lisa and May for organizing the gathering!  Our April gathering naturally falls on the day of our class play so we will all be there for that!

 

Upcoming Events

 

Parent Teacher Conferences, March 14-15

No school for students, but childcare is provided during your conferences.

 

Festival of Spectacles, April 6 (Our Class Play!)

Our class play is just around the corner! Please be sure to clear your calendar for the day.  We are tentatively scheduled to perform first at 9:45am.  Call time will be at 8:45am.   Please reach out with any questions!

 

Spring Break, April 13-22

We return to school on Tuesday, April 23.