Those autumn months flew by! I can hardly believe that later this week will be December!
In October, we had several highlights involving a broadening of our sense of community. Parent Observations started in Rockwood, and it was lovely to host so many of you again. It was just like the old days!...a very welcome reunion. Remember, you can still come any time and as often as you like. Simply check in with the office to coordinate a visit.
We also expanded our horizons to include the globe! We participated in the Global Read Aloud project, and we enjoyed sending and receiving postcards with 4th-6th graders all over the United States and Canada. Through the book and its protagonist we also learned a lot about the global inequity regarding access to water and the challenges that many people face in getting the water they need. If you or your child are interested in this global issue, a great follow up that you could read together at home would be A Long Walk to Water by Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park, which is aimed at 9-12 year olds and based on a true story.
The start of November brought fall parent conferences. Thank you for making time to share insights and observations as a team. I know as working parents (in your home or outside of it), it takes effort to make that time together. Thanks again for our partnership.
In that first week of November we also celebrated Dia de los Muertos. Our offrenda was full of photos, mementos, and even favorite foods of our loved ones. Marigolds from our garden graced the table as stories of our loved ones graced our room.
Children also spent these autumn months raising money. Thank you for all your support! Some students worked hard to generate money for a cover for our gaga ball pit; their bake sale–and a very persuasive letter–inspired a new approach to Fall Fandango, which in turn supported the endeavors of another pair of students working hard to plant more trees on campus. Both fundraisers were a huge success!! Thank you for your support of these girls’ visions for our community!
Speaking of Fall Fandango, how fun was that?! Cedars enjoyed our first Fandango hosted at our (un-)official neighborhood hangout, Graceland. The familiar and intimate setting felt just right for a night of dancing, playing, and spending time together. Not to mention two words that are magic when combined: nacho and station. Hello!! Our greater community raised money for our classrooms, professional development, and several improvement projects. Thanks again for such a successful night!
One example of the benefits of a past Fall Fandango was my ability last summer to attend a climate change seminar conducted by the Montessori Model United Nations. Through this professional development opportunity–which you provided!--I was able to introduce this new piece of Upper Elementary curriculum. Students started learning about the Anthropocene, a new term scientists use to describe our current era in earth’s geological history, one in which humans make a direct impact on the earth and its systems. Through this curriculum unit, over time, students will not only learn about climate change itself, but also biodiversity, transportation, conscious consumerism, and social justice in the context of climate change.
Thank you for making it possible for me to bring this most important work to our students, the members of a critical generation.
Reminders and Sign-Ups
Visit our classroom webpage for articles, the school calendar, and sign ups. Bookmark it and come back often!
For example, we’ll be asking for volunteer Snack Team drivers soon!
Our class will continue an old tradition and see Act II of the Nutcracker by Ballet Austin on Dec. 8. This one-act performance is part of an outreach program that introduces ballet (and the theater, and the performing arts) to elementary students of Central Texas. Every year it reaches over 13,000 children!
Give permission and sign up to drive here.
What Parent Nights would you like to see? What would help you the most at this point of your parenting journey? Would you prefer some open Q&A sessions [“Ask Me Anything!”], more info on how we approach a specific academic area, or parenting support? Let me know!