The casas are buzzing. There is a group of children working on the brown stair in one corner and a child putting the human body layer puzzle together in another. A group is working on collective addition while right next to them a child is using the secondary colour tablets to match to objects in the environment. In a classroom across the hall, one child is sitting at a table putting the last numbers into the hundred board and at a table nearby, an assistant is reviewing sandpaper letters with one of our new students. There is a boy in the doorway sweeping up and another washing a table nearby. Over all of this floats the sound of the bells from the corner.
Elementary are hard at work. This week we’ve had multiple math presentations on the Real Bank and review on the Large Bead Frame and Checkerboard. Book reports have been assigned and the children are starting on a Twenty Days of Poetry project where they learn about a different poetic form each day.
Next week, we will launch into the science fair project. Upper Elementary students are learning about variables, validity and hypothesis statements in preparation while Lower Elementary is hearing about the scientific method for the first time. Their guide has just introduced the whole class to the biomes and they are travelling around the world looking for different mammals using a latitude longitude map. The first year lowers are examining the external parts of invertebrates and everyone is looking forward to going to St. Lawrence Market to purchase a fish to bring back to school for dissection to discover its internal functions. We have had lessons in blending watercolours and learned some new chords on ukulele. We have spent our weekly morning at the High Park Nature Centre getting up close with botany and zoology. Back in the classroom, one group have proposed an awareness project for travellers on endangered animals and another group has done their research and written a letter to the City for approval to keep a miniature horse in the green space.
It is Friday already but we still have to practice for our spelling test, balance the class bank and hear their poetry recitations. One child has reportedly memorized William Blake’s The Tyger in its entirety. The day will end with a conference to discuss whatever topics are currently of concern to the class. I expect the class pet will be at the forefront of the discussion and also our plans to write to a school in Africa about a novel study project. The children who have completed the animation sequence for opening credits at movie night (next Friday) will be given a chance to review their rough cut and some of the younger casa kids will stay for Shaolin kung fu after school.