One of the most beautiful sounds in the world is “Aha”, or the very moment when a thought connects for a student. You can almost here the spark as the synapse in their brain ignites. That has been the case as every class has moved through The Collaboratory so far this year. One such moment occurred when students began a journey investigating force and motion through shooting marbles. We often take physics for granted. We know when we release an object the force of gravity pulls that object to Earth. But, we don’t always know how to explain it. The study [...]
Every activity that we do in Music class here at the Schoolhouse is to prepare our students to play an instrument, or what we like to call developing instrument readiness. How do we do this? Well, the first step in developing instrument readiness is developing beat competency and finding singing voice. This kind of tonal and rhythmic intelligence is the precursor to being able to effectively play an instrument. The best way to develop beat competency is to study what we call "Laben movement" in the context of moving to music. Laben moment is a method and language for describing, visualizing, [...]
All year long, 1st Graders focus on different authors, monthly. We pay attention to their writing style, artistic expression, messaging, and of course enjoy the literature. Additionally, our readers get to focus on these elements across subject areas; researching the authors’ websites in technology, creating author inspired art pieces in art, and exploring the authors’ many titles in library class. To start the year, we love to read Todd Parr books! Todd Parr’s books focus on diversity and the unique differences between all of us. He illustrates with fun, vibrant colors and uses silly characters to express his messages. [...]
Mr. Braden's 4th Grade class is off to a tremendous start! As the new school year commenced, the 4th Graders were busy setting themselves up for success. First, they set their mindsets for the upcoming year. They focused on the power of choice and the things under their direct control: their focus, their effort, and their attitude. Next, the students set short, mid-range, and long-term goals for both academic and social/emotional growth. Finally, Mr. Braden's whole class enjoyed a spirited game of Focus Ball. Focus Ball is a game designed to test focus, awareness, agility, and sportsmanship. The Focus Ball [...]
The Bears have been excited to come into their new classroom and meet such a wonderful group of friends. As we settle into a new school year, our friends have been enjoying our Mindfulness Meditation each morning. We are learning what meditation is and how we can do it as a class. So far during meditation, our class has liked using a rainstick! The beautiful rain sound allows us to calm our bodies while focusing our attention on our breathing. It's quite soothing! Once done, we are ready for the next activity in our schedule!
As Hollywood Schoolhouse students enjoyed their first week back at school, they also enjoyed their first week back to P.E.! To begin the year, all students started by re-engaging all those muscles they used last year. This meant a lot of running to get them back in the groove. Upper Elementary classes have been playing high intensity running games including Sharks and Minnows and Octopus Tag. Lower Elementary classes have been playing Red Light, Green Light and various other tag games. All students are learning how to run again and why running a specific way helps with their coordination and [...]
Ms. Barbra's Kindergarten friends have just been introduced to the Peace Stick. The Peace Stick allows the children to practice peaceful conflict resolution, cooperation, and respect within their classroom community. It establishes self-awareness and expression, self-actualization, and problem-solving skills. The Peace Stick is a concrete and valuable tool for children to understand that we can get along with one another through communication and cooperation. The Peace Stick is used whenever a conflict or disagreement arises, regardless of whether the event is big or small. Both children get the chance to express themselves while holding the Peace Stick. They [...]
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