Monday, September 24, 2018

Sky Class Birthdays

In Sky class we got to know each other better by learning about each other's birthdays. We made a human graph by sitting behind a sign with the month we were born in. Students born in the same month had to talk to each other and order themselves chronologically (ignoring the year). When everyone was situated behind the right month, we discussed what we noticed about our human graph. We noticed that August has the greatest number of birthdays and several months have the same number of birthdays. There aren't any months without a Sky class birthday!

After exploring our human graph students selected a cake. They wrote their name and birthday on the cake before decorating it. The cakes were then glued to make a picture graph.

We are excited to celebrate everyone's birthdays within our community!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Getting to Know the Sky Class Community

We've had a fantastic first few weeks of schools in Sky Class. Students and teachers are getting to know each other, Sky class routines, community norms and Sky Class traditions. This Thursday, prior to the early dismissal, we had our first 'Star of the Week' interview. First years loved participating in the celebration and are eager to learn what week they will be star.

One of the ways we've gotten to know each other is through Writing Workshop. Every Sky Class community member, including teachers, wrote a book about themselves. The style of the books varied and included 'ABCs of Me', 'A Book of Favorites' and stories of special events and memories. Students have also loved getting to know each other by working together during Centers. Centers is a time where students choose an activity to do with a small group of other students. Choices include blocks, art-making, maker space, structures, marble run, painting and more. These activities are less structured and allow students to explore different interests. Centers requires collaboration and cooperation, which has allowed students to get to know each other and learn to trust that any conflicts that arise can be solved peacefully.

Here are some pictures from Centers and writing workshop.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Exploring Attributes

This week Kathy led a math activity with the whole class while individual students were assessed. In this math activity, students worked in small groups to collect items from outdoors that shared attributes such as green, pointy, rough, etc. In general, an attribute is a characteristic or property of an object - color, shape, size, etc. Students displayed their items and others tried to guess what attribute those items shared.
Sorting and patterning skills involve understanding relationships among sets, how those sets are represented, and analysis of those sets. By identifying attributes, children understand that things are alike and different as well as that they can belong to and be organized into certain groups.  This type of thinking starts them on the path of applying logical thinking to objects, mathematical concepts, and everyday life in general.

Extending the activity at home:
 - How might you group your collection of stuffed animals? Can you find more than one way?

- How might you group items in your pantry by shared attributes? Does it make sense to have all the soup together? What do you notice about how items are grouped in grocery stores?

- How would you decide how to organize a shelf of books? What about a bag of seashells?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

A Brand New Year in Sky

We've had a fantastic first week of school and are so excited to learn, play, explore and grow with our new Sky Class community. Our first years had a great time exploring the Lower School campus, meeting staff members and settling into our classroom routines. Our "Old Timers" did an incredible job supporting their new friends and being role models. They helped their teachers and new classmates by taking on community jobs, buddying up with new students at recess and assisting first years during independent work.

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Spotlight on Specials: PE

We continue to practice listening to and following directions in class with added levels of difficulty and cooperation among students. They've enjoyed a variety of activities working on movement, team work, throwing, catching, dribbling and passing. With in the scope of physical work, we are incorporating growth mindset principles. 

The children watched a video titled, "Giraffes Can't Dance" and then brainstormed, "Things we can't do yet." There was lot's of lively discussion around supporting each other and reenforcement that making mistakes is okay. From there the class listed things they can do presently and some students were charged with teaching others how to do a skill such as a cartwheel or play a game like four square. It was quite beautiful watching young students share their knowledge and skills with each other. 

As the weather warms, we will be spending more time outside enjoying some some traditional cooperative games and sampling some outdoor sports such as ultimate frisbee, kickball, soccer and tennis.

Spanish & Music for Sky Students


River and Sky classes have been playing xylophones in music class, which are currently set up with a 6-note scale (CDEFGA). We're learning a number of patterns in major and minor keys that fit with simple songs such as "I've Got a Dog" and the "Round and Round Round." 

First-years have focused on mallet technique and coordination, while second-years have learned to play the "Bird Round" melody on their xylophones, and have started improvising in both C major and D minor. 

We recently voted on our class Springfest song, and results were announced before Spring break! 


A group of students are working on learning the farm animal names, “Animales de la granja.” They are also reviewing the colors in Spanish. Some students write confidently, others copy the words, while others prefer to trace the words artistically. 

Some students can read fluently and others can read supported by images. The materials are designed to help every student feel successful in Spanish. 

Working in a cooperative way promotes the use of the Spanish language in the class. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Bird Feeders

In correspondence with our Lower School theme (North Carolina), Sky Class worked to study local birds and bird feeders in Design and Engineering. Natalie helped us use the Right Question Institute's framework to come up with questions we had about birds, birding, and bird feeders. We then compiled these questions and brought in a panel of experts. These experts helped answer our questions and share their experiences with birds both in North Carolina and in other parts of the world! We also welcomed Kari Wauk, an ornithologist who helped us set up experimental bird feeders on our windows. We made predictions about what birds might come to the different feeders based on the type of food that was in each feeder. We watched the birds all winter long, collected data, and are now experts in identifying the a variety of birds that migrate to our area and their food preferences. We concluded our bird unit by creating our very own bird feeders. We used household materials such as milk cartons and boxes to design and create feeders that would attract birds and be practical for our birds to use. Unfortunately, the evening after we put our bird feeders outside a rainstorm came and destroyed many of our feeders. This was sad to see but all part of the learning process! We will continue to watch the birds through the beginning of April!