Why do four-day weeks always feel significantly longer than five-day weeks? This is especially true when the four-day week follows a long, luxurious spring break! The boys dragged themselves out of cars on Tuesday morning of this week- groggy and slightly sleepy. For our youngest boys the day began with a trip to the symphony. An animated rendition of “Peter and the Wolf” put some spirit back into them, and before the day came to a close, school was in full swing. Each day reestablished the routines of school that are so important to learning. By Friday, teachers and their students were “back”.
This week found the construction work to the play areas around our buildings completed. The fields and grounds around Gilman have never looked better. It is inspiring to see all the fields in use on a spring afternoon. Spectators lined the hillsides and walkways this Friday while watching both baseball and lacrosse under warm, sunny skies. For the lower school boys, having the orange fencing finally removed meant tag games could resume on the hill and balls that escaped from a four-square game could be retrieved more easily. It was such a pleasure watching the Kindergarten boys on Thursday and Friday rolling down the hill. What could be better than fresh spring grass, warm weather, and a delightfully long hill to roll down for a young boy?
During Morning Meeting, Dr. Webster talked with the boys about signs of spring. He asked them for examples of things that they noticed about the new season emerging. Talk of flowers and flowering trees dominated, however one young man talked of the sound of peepers in his yard. A favorite of mine, was the example of a boy’s mom cleaning out the closets as a sure sign of spring!
Here at the lower school we are doing a version of spring cleaning. As a faculty we are using spring as a time of reflection. We are cleaning up our units, focusing on curriculum that will make the best use of remaining time in the school year. Next week we will have Beth Holland, our awesome instructor from Ed Tech Teacher, visit us to continue our exploration of best practices with technology. She inspires us to think about how technology can make learning happen. We collaborate, create, curate, and connect to the good teaching that is already happening in our classrooms.
Spring is also a time to look ahead, at the remaining busy days, but also at the upcoming year 2016-2017. We are working on new adjustments to schedules, new curriculum options, new positions for some of our teachers, and new hires that will add diversity of ideas and experiences to our faculty. It is very exciting and promises to make next year one of growth and improvement.
In conclusion, I hope that each of you is enjoying the renewal of spring in your own way- whether it is cleaning out closets, sitting on the grass hill watching a Gilman lacrosse game, or just marveling at the incredible amount of Bradford pear trees lining Charles Street. Enjoy.
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.
- If you are in Kindergarten- What special activities are you planning for the Mother’s Tea next week? What instruments do you remember from the performance of “Peter and the Wolf”?
- If you are in Pre-First- What part are you playing in your play about the rainforest this week?
- If you are in First Grade- What did Mrs. Barger teach you this week about the Oregon Trail? Why did the wagons need to circle up at night?
- If you are in Second Grade- What writing project are you working on in your Immigration project this week?
- If you are in Third Grade- What have you learned about Lewis and Clark? What are you anticipating doing at Harper’s Ferry next week? How are your poems coming along?
- If you are in Fourth Grade- How was your field trip to the Reginald Lewis Museum this week? What did you learn that you didn’t know before?
- If you are in Fifth Grade- Now that the Stock Market Game has ended, how do you think your team did? What did you learn about the process?