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Early Elementary News: October 2013

Early Elementary classrooms are off to a great start. This year, our theme is “How Things Work”.  We will use this theme to help our students develop an understanding of what systems are, how they work, and how one part of a system affects the rest of the system. We call this “teaching for understanding” and use the theme to develop our students’ broad understanding of concepts that they can then apply to all areas of their learning, rather than teaching them facts in isolation.

We began the year learning about “How I Work”. Students are learning about themselves and each other, and sharing what is special about their families. In the beginning of the year we also spend a lot of time on community-building activities and learning how to get along and work out differences using “I Statements” and “S-O-S” (Story-Options-Solution) conflict resolution.

Next we will move into a unit called “How My School Works”, in which we will explore our school community, discuss rules, democracy, and fairness. In “How My Community Works” we will learn about food systems—how food is produced, prepared, and distributed. In preparation for this we will be going on a field trip to Tantré Organic Farm, owned by Honey Creek parents Richard Andres and Deb Lentz. After examining food issues at school, our students will develop an Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) project related to healthy food at Honey Creek.

The year will end with “How the World Works”, in which we will delve into the science of how the physical world works, concluding with a unit on inventors and a field trip to Greenfield Village. We are looking forward to an exciting year!

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