Curriculum Matters: November 10, 2013


The Junior Level Library is now computerized! Many thanks to Marybeth Lyons and
Alex Pfiefer for helping to make this a reality

With the help of their class librarians’ children can now scan out their books each

Children are LOVING being able to use the “cat scanner” to scan the bar code on
the back of their books.  It’s a joy to see how enthusiastic they are about coming
to the Library and how seriously they are taking their commitment  to treat the
books carefully.

Next steps in our Library data base projects: the Upper Level Library, the Middle
School Library, and our brand new but already really BIG Primary and Extended Day


Extended Day:

Singing and moving to “Mother Gooney Bird”.  We practiced steady beats with different
parts of our body.  The children are developing an ability to use musical singing
voices, as well as enriching their rhythmic coordination skill.


Singing, “Singing Your Name” and “Sing It High, Sing It Low”.  The children practiced
singing their names on so-mi vocally for the class to echo.  We also performed simple
hand clapping patterns with a partner.


We started recorders last week!  Everyone was excited about their recorders and
showed great interest in learning.  We talked about different parts of the recorder,
fingering, and how to care for and blow the recorder.  The notes “B”, “A”, and “G”
were introduced.


Dancing to the tune of “Mwa Ha Ha!”.  Students created their own dances to teach
to the class.  Many children showed great enthusiasm playing the “Poison Rhythm”
game.   This is a great game for enhancing listening skills, as well as reinforcing
the concept of beat/rhythm.

Upper Level:

Singing and dancing to “Alabama Gal” and “This Train”.  We read and identified syncopated
rhythms.  Simple ostinato patterns were performed with non-pitched instruments,
which made it fun and memorable for all.

Liz and Sarah’s Class

We had a practice fire drill and the children exited the classroom silently and
quickly.  When we returned to our room we discussed how fire drills keep us safe
and read a wonderful book, No Dragons for Tea, which was a gift to us from Dave
Burbank and the Ithaca Fire Department.

In the Science area we are studying the human skeleton.  Older and younger children
are enjoying working together with a life size model and labeling the parts of the
body from skull to phalanges.  Some are even singing while they work.”Have you seen
the ghost of John?

Long white bones and the skin all gone. Ooh ooh wouldn’t it be chilly with no skin

Leah and Meridith’s Class

We’ve begun our study of North America by making pumpkin stew with Donyan and Virginia’s
class. We are learning about animals of North America and how they survive the winter-
do they hibernate (hide), migrate (move), or forage ( find food)?

We have been decorating skulls in honor of Dia de Los Muertos.

We are learning some Native American songs, and notice how they all seem to reflect
on the beautiful natural world we live in.

Extended Day

The Extended Day class would like to say a special thank you to Avital Sagan and
her mother for doing a presentation on bees.  For many children bees are scary
insects that sting, but Avital and her family have been keeping bees, collecting
honey, and producing specialty products.  The children learned about the life of
bees, the role of the queen, the workers and the drones.  The children enjoyed dressing
in proper beekeeper attire.

We also want to thank Nick Hernandez and his mother for sharing their celebration
of Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead and all the work that went into the preparation.
The children had a wonderful time decorating skull cookies.

Dawn and Katri’s Class

To understand seasons and time, we study the movement of the earth and the sun:
We traveled into deep, dark space and simulated how the sun’s rays hit the Earth
on the days of solstice and of equinox.

Science blends with poetry as we continue to paint and write about our impressions
of the times of day.

Our reasoning minds have been at work, playing with numbers, adding, subtracting,
multiplying and dividing.  We are looking at the fact families in new ways, becoming
more efficient with our calculations.  We are adding up money as we calculate the
Halloween donations collected for UNICEF.

Before we know it, it will be Thanksgiving.  We give thanks everyday!  We give thanks
for the hard work and the imagination of the children before us.

Melani and Becky’s Class
Fall is upon us and as the days get shorter, our work times are getting longer.
Children are able to concentrate and accomplish  more complicated assignments.

The children enjoyed the work leading up to the U.N. day celebration. One of the
projects the children completed was making a ‘personal flag’. The children drew
on material with crayon and water colored over it to create a representation of
what was important to them. Many children drew pictures of their family members.
They also included pictures of sports, pets, and symbols of peace and love on their
flags.  We affixed the flags to a stick, with a silver finial as a final touch.
The children waved the flags and sang along with “Like a waving Flag” by Kanaan.

Our class is up to their elbows in UNICEF donations collected on Halloween. What
a stimulating way to practice counting and learning about money.