Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome Back and Happy 2013!

Happy 2013!  What a beautiful way to come back together.  The group was so happy to see each other and we also had a new student join us named Alicen.  Even after only two days back at school, we already had a long list of research topics that came up in discussion, in our songs and poems or through student inquiry.  This cycle of research and then asking more questions is never ending and also so much fun.  Here it is so far (We have looked up some of these already!)

The Alps
The second song in this photo mentions the Alps and the students wanted to research this.  Before we had a chance to, one of our friends had done some research of his own because he knew his dad was from a country that is in the Alps: Switzerland!  He brought in some large post cards so that the other students could see what this region looks like.  He was also able to bring in a rare flower that his grandparents had saved.  Many  of you may know the song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music.  This flower is white and precious, like the German words that make up it's name.  It is the national flower and is also called "the star of the snow".

As often happens, the information brought up more questions for the class.  We wrote to our friend's family and his family wrote back quickly!  Below you can see how interesting this was!

We also made some great beginning of a new year brainstorms.  The topics were: 
Ideas for open choice time 
Things we are getting good at or know
Things we want to get better at or learn about

We looked at them each day so that we could make sure we added more things that came up. These lists will help us to reflect and plan for the rest of our year together.  They are very impressive and reminded us that another thing we are getting good at is sharing ideas and reflecting!

Beat Dancing

This week we also continued noticing patterns in our lives.  I will be writing more about this, since the even odd pattern discovery was so special.  To go along with this, I had planned some music activities to begin listening for the numbers and patterns in music and dance.  The kids were really alert and many were able to anticipate when a beat would happen.  It was a lot of fun, and one song the students wanted me to share with you was "Disco Science".  This has a count of 8 in it and the whip sound happens on the 1.  The students were very creative with thier movements while we counted!  Below some of the students shared their thoughts after.

Natalie: Music has different layers of instruments.
Mathis: The beat is like, one two three four five six seven eight, and then it goes again.
Jennifer: Oh my gosh, is that a pattern?
Evelyn: It's like there is one two three four.  And there's one two three, one two three.
Kayla: The waltz!  It sometimes starts all over again, and it says a number and then that number again.
Natalie: The second beat dance we did was there was one side who did the stuff with their hands and the other half (of the kids)did something with their arms, because of the different layers of the music.
Joshua: It was kind of hard because we had to remember which team we were in.  We were going fast, and you were going slow.
Mathis:  It was hard to know where the beat was going to start.
Jennifer:   So you had to really listen, huh?

I hope you each are having a great start for 2013!  Have a lovely week, Jennifer

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