News from Jen’s Class

January 9, 2014

The K-6 class has been enjoying life in the classroom.
They have a whole bunch of things they are working
on!! They are slowly continuing their animal research
projects. The latest part of this project is their animal
models. Each student has constructed a model from
paper and clay of the animal they are researching.
These models are to scale.
They are also preparing for their businesses project,
which will begin soon. This year their businesses will
begin with using just coins. (Last year they worked with
dollars.) The students have been busy identifying coins,
counting coins, making change, etc. Eventually, inflation
will occur and they will shift to dollars and checking
accounts. Will they have a chance to use credit cards this
year?!?!? We’ll see!!!
Their new read aloud, Flora and Ulysses by Kate
DiCamillo, keeps them entertained for a good part of
their day!!! They have learned some new vocabulary,
like humane, treacherous, extended hallucinations,
unanticipated occurrences, literal, surreptitiously, etc.!!!
They have yet to find out for sure if Ulysses the squirrel is
a real life superhero!!!
The last major “unit” they are working on is about
designing school. They have had some wonderful
conversations and brainstorming sessions about “What is
school?” and “Why should we learn in school?” Some of
their ideas are: “So you can help others and teach others”
– Zara, “to get a good job when you grow up” – Caiden,
“to unleash your inner self” – Logan, “to learn reading,
writing, and math” – Eva, “to learn all kinds of things” –
Karim, “to set a good example” – Ara, “We play to socialize
with others, to work though things with others.” – Oscar,
“to make you good at your job and to make life easier
and safer” – Sam. The class is working toward looking
at the work that they presently do in the classroom and
thinking about whether they feel like it is preparing
them to be a productive member of their community.
(Another idea they are exploring — What does it mean
to be a “productive” member of the community?) They
will talk about what their role in their education is and
what Jen’s role is. What support do they need from Jen?
What support do they need from each other? What could
school be?

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