Miss Wagner and Mrs Sovcik
October was a busy, exciting and fun month of learning in the E-3 classroom. Along with all the regular reading, mathematics, grammar, writing and spelling lessons, the children used their creativity and multiple learning styles and talents to enhance their education. Music and chorus continue to give the students a creative outlet. They also had the opportunity to learn about cooperation and communication in very fun ways at the Santa Fe Mountain Center. A big thank you goes to Sky Gray, mother of Sarita, for arranging this special opportunity for us. Please read to the end of this section to see excerpts from student journal entries as well as two full reflections on the wonderful day we had. The children learned so much about themselves, each other and how to negotiate in life. Priceless! Thank you so much, Sky, Jorge, and Marge.
During the first week of November, the children will have lessons on civics, specifically as it relates to the election process for representation. They will need to [make the opportunity to] “register” to vote. If they have, then on November 6, they will have a chance to cast their “ballots”. We will also be learning about the Electoral College system. As their teachers, we do not express any personal opinions, other than to teach that voting is a privilege as well as a responsibility in our society.
In Science we continue our studies of nutrition. The children researched minerals and created advertisements for their ”product.” Through writing, performing and watching, the children consolidated their knowledge of the essential minerals for good health. Now, we have begun researching vitamins and other nutrients necessary to the proper functioning of the human body. The process of research in science or social studies begins with information provided to the students and an outline format for the projects. The students must read and understand all the information and make judgments about the importance of the information, then categorize, and organize it in the outline. They may need to do further research in encyclopedias or online. From there, they study the information and work with it towards their final product. For vitamins, they will develop and draw a comic strip synthesizing the information into a new format.
For Social Studies, the children have been researching their roles, and working on writing first person scripts. With the wealth of information available to the students, they have been challenged to write thorough, interesting first person accounts about life in Mesopotamia. Added to this, they are now figuring out what visual aids will help them teach their information to the rest of the class, as many students identified themselves as visual or visual/auditory learners.
The first book reports of the year were given in October. Reading a biography is a different type of reading from reading fiction. For some children it is more difficult to read for information, than to read a story. Once again the children needed to read to find the important information about the person, then to create questions and answers to draw forth that information in an interesting, first person manner. Learning the difference among the six levels of questions, and which provide the most meaningful answers, was part of the experience of this book report. Of course the most fun comes at the end when the student becomes the person and answers the questions during an “interview.”
In November, we will have a very special opportunity arranged by Mrs. McCalla. We will be visiting the New Mexico Museum of Art in the morning to see a glass exhibit. Then after lunch, we will go Bull’s Eye Glass Studio where the children will have lessons and have the opportunity to try glass making for themselves. This is such an exciting and special opportunity! THANK YOU, Mrs. McCalla! When the date is confirmed, we will let you know, but it will be the week before Thanksgiving, most likely on the Thursday. We are just awaiting confirmation from the studio.
November 1 & 2 Parent Conferences
November 6 Election Day (we are in school)
November 14 – 16 one of these days Field trip for glass making
November 21-23 Thanksgiving Holiday
November 26 School resumes
Reflections on the Santa Fe Mountain Center
“If I could rewind time, I would rewind it to the Santa Fe Mountain Center.” Cole
The van pulled up to the parking lot and I knew I was going to have a marvelous day. The Santa Fe Mountain Center is a life-changing place. One of the most important things I learned there was communication. I remember when I was in kindergarten; there was a girl I didn’t trust. At the Mountain Center, I learned that you need communication to trust people. When we were on the wires, Hannah was my partner. I already trust Hannah but while we were on the wires, Hannah talked to me and I felt reassured that I wouldn’t fall. Communication is very important in everyday life because communication is the first step in trust.
I observed the scenery around me and went down to the creek bed. I was looking for something that represented me. I spotted a transparent leaf. I thought about how leaves were unique and I decided this is what I would present. We gathered around in a circle and displayed our objects. After Hannah went, I felt wonderful. I thought Hannah should have been the shiny stone. After I presented my leaf, I thought about what everyone said and I knew I learned so many new things about everyone that I decided this was my favorite activity at the Santa Fe Mountain Center. Sophia
“I hope the class brings the things we learned at the Mountain Center back to the classroom. Now I know I can trust the class better than I could before…” Jack
“I learned … that when you think that something is hard, it isn’t so hard once you try it.” Ruza
We pulled up in paved parking lot. I took a look around. We were finally here at the Mountain Center! Deep down in my gut, I had a wonderful sensation that this was going to be an amazing day. It turned out my gut was right. The Santa Fe Mountain Center was an interesting and unique experience for me. We played many games about trust, knowledge, and teamwork. Some were more exciting than others, but by the end of the day, I decided that the balance game was my favorite. Two people would step on either side of the balance board. With their weight, the two partners would try to balance the board. More people would get on until nobody was left. Then we all had to shift to one way or another to even the board out. After we all sat down, the directors explained to us that this exercise was for physical balance and emotional balance. For example: social balance and diet balance. You need to balance your social life by talking and meeting people you trust and balancing your diet by eating healthy. When we were heading to the balance board, I had an urge to go on the climbing wall. Although I was disappointed we didn’t go on the wall, I realized that small things can be great, too.
There was this one activity that was outstanding although it wasn’t my favorite. Everyone picked out one or two things in nature that they felt represented them well. I chose two small black river rocks. They represented Sophia and I. The rocks were both black and weighed the same which showed that Sophia and I are twins. One was smooth and round and one was jagged and shiny. This reminded me that although we look the same, we are special and unique in different ways. I thought that the shiny rock was Sophia because although she can sometimes be annoying, Sophia is generous and pretty. What I said taught me a life long lesson. Although I never really show love for Sophia, deep down inside, I love her and look up to her. This will apply to my everyday life. As much as I didn’t want to go, our fun had to end at some point. As I rested in the van, I reflected on the Mountain Center. The Mountain Center had taught me so much. I’m excited to go back and learn more about my class and myself. Hannah