Short weeks- no problem. The Gilman Lower School is losing little ground when faced with shorter weeks this month. The amount of activities is amazing given the newness of school and the less-than-full weeks. Outdoor education trips, guest speakers, holiday celebrations, and beginning of the year testing took the spotlight this week.
Grade four took a trip to Genesee Valley earlier this month. The excursion provided an opportunity to bond as a class and set personal goals. Our fifth grade boys are experiencing the same thing at Echo Hill this week. As I watched the bus pull away, I realized how much I would personally miss being at Echo Hill this year. For the past six years, I enjoyed this fifth grade “right of passage” with our boys. Exploring the Chesapeake Bay by boat, roaming the woods learning about survival skills, team-building through the ropes course, and living through the buggy tents and smelly privies, are some of the most memorable experiences of Gilman School. I spoke to a lower school fifth grade mom this week. She related an exchange at her house prior to the trip. Her oldest son, (this is her third going to Echo Hill), told his brother that this would one of the best, if not the best, trips during his years at Gilman.
On Friday the boys in grades K-4 will enjoy a visit from the author, Drew Daywalt, who wrote The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home . What a treat to hear about how words and pictures are combined to create a memorable story!
Other events of the week included a visit from our retired, and much beloved teacher, Ms. Alpert. She talked to some of our younger grades about the Jewish holidays- Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The boys enjoyed stories and special food treats. (See the picture in my gallery of her visit.)
As the school year becomes more routine, so will the homework load. I will be addressing homework throughout this blog over the course of the year. For older grades especially, there is hardly a subject more front and center on busy weeks. I have mixed feelings about homework, but for now it is an important aspect of school and often becomes a source of conflict at home. My “thought of the week”- make sure you have a “plan” for homework. Where in the house does your son work best? How much do parents need to be involved? (more than you think) How can you help your son plan ahead for projects, long-term assignments, and tests? More to follow!
I hope that my communication with you each week encourages “talking points” to inspire weekend conversation with your son or sons. Here are some “talking points” for this weekend.
- Would you like to be an author or illustrator like Mr. Daywalt? What do you like best about his books?
- If you are in Kindergarten- What did Ms. Alpert tell you about the Jewish holidays we are remembering this week? Was food involved? Why was food a part of the presentation? What happened to the Gingerbread Man this week? Where did you look for him? Where did you find him? Why did he run away?
- If you are in Pre-First- What did you practice on your iPads this week? Did you capture a picture of Snickers yet? Why were you counting cars along Roland Avenue? Did the corn taste good? (see pictures in the gallery)
- If you are in First Grade- What words are you adding to your iBook about categories? Why would Mrs. Shapiro throw a rock into the stream by Gilman for Rosh Hashanah?
- If you are in Second Grade- What “new year” resolutions did Ms. Alpert suggest when she was speaking with you about Rosh Hashanah? What new name for an ocean and continent did you learn about this week?
- If you are in Third Grade- What were you learning about cardinal and intermediate directions? (See the picture of Mrs. Heegan’s class pointing north in the courtyard) Why was the Gilman archivist visiting the third grade this week? What does it mean to use a primary source? Can you be a “perfect person” like the book?
- If you are in Fourth Grade- What was the game and song you worked on with Ms. Trinkova this week in music? (see the picture of 4B here) What day of the week do Mr. Bowie and Mr. Attenoukon wear bow ties?
- If you are in Fifth Grade- What did Echo Hill add to your Gilman experience? Did you make new friends, or strengthen old friendships?
Here is a link to a great article from the Huffington Post about how to talk with your children about their day. Enjoy!