Faith's Weekly Update 9-30-11

posted Oct 3, 2011, 8:46 AM by Cynthia Friedman
I’m grateful for the school year! We have beautiful students and a beautiful environment of resources! The students are eager to work as a community and make a positive difference for all. We are excited about community building in our morning class meeting—focusing on a thematic verse for the day, group sharing, and working as a team to care for the environment and support the best in everyone. Students are stepping up to the plate, and it is awesome! There is a deep awareness of interdependence developing within the whole community.

Children’s Work
We are enthusiastic about delving into academics, while developing responsibility, initiative, compassion, and creativity. We are off to a great start with Socratic Dialogue. With the returning students sharing and demonstrating the ground rules for the dialogue, the new students have quickly internalized the collaborative learning process. A profound level of listening to the view points of others and expressing meaningful ideas has emerged spontaneously. Most recently small groups have enjoyed analyzing morals from Aesop’s Fables. Another group has enjoyed reading Barack Obama’s speech on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. As the president asks us to look within our hearts to find what the memorial symbolizes, the students have turned within to discover its meaning. We have enjoyed a wide range of small group discussions from Newton’s Law of Gravitational Force to On My Way to a Happy Life by Deepak Chopra to I Think I AM: Teaching Kids the Power of Affirmations by Louise Hay. Not only did students spontaneously develop their own affirmations, but I also observed students reading the book independently, while conscientiously taking notes.

Students have enjoyed delving into mathematics both with the materials and abstractly. Some examples include long multiplication on the chequerboard, multi step word problems, changing an improper fraction to a mixed number and vice versa, fractions (adding, subtracting, & multiplying), estimating, and algebra. We are also diving into geometry—concept of angles, congruence, angle notation, classifying triangles, and the sum of angles (triangle & quadrilateral).

Students are engaged in working with the grammar boxes for all the parts of speech, spelling/dictionary work, and the pin maps of the world. Many are working on independent or small group research projects. We are also focusing on a beginning of the year Ridgeline writing assessment—a narrative in response to one of three prompts. Already students are showing a deep level of concentration, enthusiasm, and commitment to the writing process. We look forward to an upcoming lesson on the six writing traits.

Walk & Bike Day Oct. 5
A special thank you to Wibke Fretz for organizing the annual Walk & Bike Day! Ridgeline families will meet Wednesday morning at Tugman Park to walk to school, departing at 8 a.m. Families are encouraged to walk to the park to meet with the group and then progress by foot to Ridgeline. Parent volunteers are needed to lead the line to Ridegline and then pass out special stickers and snacks at school upon arrival. If you are commuting a long distance, you are encouraged to park your car at the park and then walk to school with the Ridgeline group. All students who walk or bike to school will be entered in a raffle for a Nutcase helmet. Please also send a personal helmet with your child to school on Wednesday; those with helmets will have the opportunity to ride bikes from the Center for Appropriate Transit during recess. Thank you for supporting awareness for exercise and care for the earth!

Parent Folder
The parent folder will be sent home on Fridays with notes from Ridgeline. Please return the parent folder every Monday. Thank you!

Faith & Donna