Those of you who follow this blog know that from time to time I like to pop into the classrooms and take pictures or shoot some video of what is happening for about a minute or so. Today Mrs. Hunter asked me to come down to her room and shoot her students working. However, I was in the middle of something so I rushed to get her the Flip video camera so she could film the minute for me.
I love the video below because it is truly an authentic moment in our new TK class. Mrs. Hunter had the students working on a joint project that she had set up on the floor.
Listen carefully to their dialogue and you will hear what I heard, students engaged in their own learning, discovering and thinking while working very collaboratively with their peers.
Even though this is quite simple, it is one of my favorite videos to date. I’d love to know your thoughts as well.
As you know, our school has a wonderful Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). One of the missions of the PAC is to support the wonderful teachers at our school. Well, they did that and then some!
The PAC collected funds and asked one of our parents, Josh Knowland, to buy the materials with the funds they raised and build the table.
As part of our July 1st family event celebrating the completion of the first month of our summer EcoAdventures program, the PAC dedicated the table in front of the entire student body, staff and parents.
The PAC expressed its appreciation for all the hard work our teachers do to make our school such a special place for their children. The teachers were touched by the PAC’s appreciation and greatly anticipate using the table.
As you know, we have a wonderful organic garden that our students have grown. All the fruits and veggies are progressing nicely. Today, Mrs. Stephanie took the PK students outside to harvest some green beans.
Each of the students used their scissors to cut the beans from the plant. They were thrilled to see how many beans they had and how big they grew.
There will be more beans harvested in the coming days. The students also noticed that there were almost 100 tomatoes growing on the vines.
Enjoy the photos below (click on them to enlarge) of their class green bean harvest. The video below shows the students enjoying their cooked veggies during lunch. There are also new photos below. I was proud of how many of the students tried them at lunch time.
As I have discussed before on this blog, I like to visit the classrooms throughout the day to watch our students actively engaged in their school day. Today I grabbed the Flip camera and walked into Ms. Gina and Ms. Hunter’s preschool class (3 year olds).
The video shows what a 60 second snapshot looked like today in their class. I can tell you, what I captured today on video is what typically takes place in their class every day. Notice how students are engaged in their centers while the teachers are assisting and facilitating, but not directing.
Students were working in the block center, math center, writing center, and at the computer center.
I thought you might like to see what it looks like.
Wow! What a difference a few days make. Upon return from our long weekend, our organic garden has grown by leaps and bounds. I took a group of students outside today to help stake up the tomatoes. I thought I would share a few before and after photos to highlight the growth.
The students were excited to see silk on the corn, flowers on the tomatoes, and our first yellow squash growing. More importantly, they expressed anticipation of actually eating all of it.
Click to go to our EARLIER POSTS from the garden and see more photos.
One of our teachers recently added a housekeeping area called “The Good Food Market” in our morning enrichment classroom. It’s a fun area of the classroom where our students get to role play as if they are shopping, cooking or running a store.
The market is now open for “business!”
One of the things that I like best about this new area is the fact that the market is a collaborative effort of both the teacher and the students. The teacher began setting up the area over a period of days. As she was so doing, the students gave her ideas on how to set it up. Instead of just doing it all herself, the teacher used the time she had with them during the morning enrichment program to enlist them in the work.
The students helped cut out and paint the letters that go over the market. They also helped make the fruits and veggies that are being used as manipulatives in the market.
Once they made the produce from air dry clay and painted it, the teacher then placed the homemade produce in a “basket” and asked the students to paint still life renderings. And they did a terrific job with them!
I know I prefer to work in an environment where I can influence my surroundings. I can tell you that our students have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of creating their morning classroom environment. They have a strong sense of ownership in their own work and they continue to learn that they can influence their surroundings in positive ways.
Take a look at all the photos below showing the students working on and playing in their new market.
If you walk around our school on any given day and look into the classrooms and in our kitchen area, you will almost always find a stash of a variety of recycled materials. Whether it is content left over from our own uses or it is recycled stuff brought in by our families, we always seem to have a treasury of recycled material.
Ms. Tanya and her students put some of that material to good use by constructing airplanes using only those recycled products.
We love to provide opportunities for students to exercise their creativity and imagination. This fun project was another way to do just that. There was no formula or template for students to follow. They simply used the materials that were available to them and created recycled airplane masterpieces.
A local retailer, Trader Joes, coincidentally was hosting a competition for children to build the airplanes and some of our students entered their contest. We have not yet heard the results. We will be sure to share any good news about the contest here on our blog.
I hope you enjoy the photos below showing the students making their planes.
Mommy and Me! is a 90-minute long program concentrating on the development of social skills through Music, Language, Physical Education and Art. The program provides interactive and imaginative experiences to enhance development for your child. Each class will form its own chemistry as the parent and the child share a sense of togetherness with other parents and children.
This class will be for mom’s and their children ages 12-24 months. The class is led by one of our Grove School teachers.
The classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30 – 10:45.
** UPDATE April 2011 – A new session starts Monday, June 6. A session is currently underway and ends May 28. If you have interest in attending that last 6 or so weeks of that session, let us know.
Please give me a call at 467-6494 if you would like to enroll or if you have any questions or comments.
I was surprised by that. This area has grown by over 41% in the past decade. That is tremendous growth. I guess it was surprising to me because I wasn’t here ten years ago. However, I do know we get a lot of calls from families moving into the area.
A few other accolades have been bestowed upon us as well. The Miliken Institute has ranked Raleigh as the #7 city in creating and sustaining economic growth. In addition to that, Cary-based employer SAS, was named again this year as the best company in the nation to work for.
Another interesting point identified in the article was that Fortune magazine named Cary-Raleigh the Silicon Valley of the East. Our area has the largest research park in the country and a lot of technology-based jobs from a number of globe-spanning companies like Cisco and IBM.
As I look at how The Grove School of Cary fits into this mix, I am quite pleased. Our philosophy of “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Planet” is consistent with the commitment to quality that is evident in many facets of our community. Our utilization of technology as one of the many tools we use in the teaching and learning process is consistent with the high-tech focus in this region. We utilize smartboards, touch-screen computers, webcams, and Skype to not only facilitate learning, but also to help us with our administrative tasks like hiring, team meetings, training and marketing.
We are proud to be a part of the growth and growing positive reputation of this community.
The video below shows a Skype session between our school in Cary and our school in Plano. The video was shot in Cary, but you can see the students in Plano on the laptop by the teacher.
HOW DO YOU LIKE TO DRAW?
That simple question turned into a fun activity for students in Ms Katie’s and Ms. Shonda’s Early Preschool class at our school. Students identified ways they liked to draw and took turns experiencing all the different methods. They then voted by placing their picture underneath their favorite way to draw. You can see by the chart (photo below) that they preferred drawing while upside down.
Enjoy the photos below.
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