Jon & Carrie's Weekly Update 9-10-12

posted Sep 10, 2012, 1:45 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Dear Middle School Family,

We are Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School, and we’re here to stay.  It’s official.  I don’t have the words to express my excitement, to explain the energy I feel coursing through the halls and classrooms in our very own building.  In all honesty, I’m glad we weren’t able to completely ‘settle in’ before the students got here.  How could we?  

My goal this first week in the Middle School has been to deeply root us in Community.  We spent the past three days discussing the qualities of a strong community, the qualities of a safe environment, and the qualities of effective teamwork.  We established group agreements for our environment immediately after we made sure we all know each other’s names.  

We all agree that a safe, supportive environment is fundamental.  No exceptions.

We played games and took on performance projects to put these ideas and agreements to the test.  We struggled (i.e., learned) through the process.  Ukuleles and water buffalo sounds were involved.  We laughed a lot!  We’ve only just begun. Laughing and learning, both.

And, here we go.  We’re getting down to business next week.  Here’s how your student’s week will look:

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

8:40-9:10 Ukes

9:10-9:30 Current Events

9:30-11:30 Math/Work Period

8:40-9:10 Ukes

9:10-9:30 Current Events

9:30-11:30 Math/Work Period

8:40-9:10 Ukes

9:10-9:30 Current Events

9:30-11:30 Occupations/Humanities Projects

8:40-9:10 Ukes

9:10-9:30 Current Events

9:30-11:30 Math/Work Period

8:40-9:00 Current Events

9:00-9:30 Council Meeting

9:30-11:30 Math/Work Period 

11:30-12:15 Lunch

12:15-1:00 Silent Reading/Journal

11:30-12:15 Lunch

12:15-1:00 Socratic Seminar/Visual Thinking Strategies (alternating weekly)

11:30-12:15 Lunch

12:15-12:45 House Challenge

12:45-1:30 Silent Reading/Journal

11:30-12:15 Lunch

12:15-1:00 Silent Reading/Journal

11:30-12:15 Lunch

1:00-3:00 Occupations/Humanities Projects

3:00-3:15 Jobs

1:00-2:15 Occupations/Humanities Projects

2:15-2:30 Jobs

2:30-3:15 PE

1:30-1:45 Jobs

1:45-3:15 Creative Expressions (& Choir)

1:00-2:15 Occupations/Humanities Projects

2:15-2:30 Jobs

2:30-3:15 PE

12:15-12:30 Jobs

12:30-1:15 Community Work

We’re making a giant shift this year, a leap.  My Montessori training this summer in Ohio (and, more importantly, the student work I experienced there) has bolstered my courage to more fully embrace a project-based curriculum.  We’ll focus on independent, access skills work (reading, writing, arithmetic) in the mornings, and do more real-world, hands-on, adult-world preparation work in the afternoons.  Yes, I’ve dedicated 7 hours! a week to the project work: one project, 3 weeks= 21 hours.  They’re going to need it!  I can’t wait to tell you about it.  Other teachers booked September for their classroom Parent Meetings.  I didn’t want to double anybody up, so I had to reach into October.

The Middle School Parent Meeting will be Wednesday, October 3, from 6-7pm.

The good news is, by then, we’ll have enough experience of how the work is working for your students to have a productive discussion.  The students will also be settled enough into their school routine that we can discuss at-home strategies to support their transition into adulthood--their homework (and yours).

Our collective goal (we adults) for these burgeoning adults is to make sure they have the skills they need to be independent, successful adults.  I hate to say it (my daughter is in our class!), but adulthood starts now.  Laundry, cooking, cleaning, time management?  Yes.  We can do this!

October is a long ways off.  E-mail is excellent for quick transactions: “What time is that ukulele gig at the mall?” Please call (541-681-9662) or e-mail me right away to set up an appointment to get together and discuss anything that requires conversation.

So grateful for the opportunity to grow with our kids,

Jon and Carrie

 

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