Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What's for Lunch Wednesday

With summer drawing to a close, there is still time to take advantage of some of the warm-weather crops with this Stoplight Salad from Simply in Season Children's Cookbook by Mark Beach and Julie Kauffman.

1 - Handful of fresh basil or cilantro

Snip or tear rinsed leaves into small pieces.

2 - 1 green bell pepper

2 cups tomatoes

2 cups corn

2 cups cooked black beans

Chop bell pepper and tomatoes into fine pieces (or use whole grape tomatoes). Combine with corn and beans in bowl. Stir in cilantro or basil.

3 - 1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Peel and finely chop the garlic. Whisk with oil and juice in small bowl. Pour over salad. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently and serve.

Option: Can be used as a filling for quesadillas. PUt a few spoonfuls in a tortilla with shredded cheese and cook on a griddle.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meet Skyler

I am Skyler. I like to jump rope! And I want my sister Leah to teach me how to knit. My teacher Anne is teaching me how to read. I am 6 years old.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Keeping the Cart Behind the Horse

The Camp Creek blog recently posted a question about child-led learning. The answer explains what this educational philosophy looks like in real life:

A question from Jess:

Your blog has answered lots of questions, but I definitely will have more … for example, my daughter absolutely loves rock collecting. Should I not mention the Museum of Natural History that has a rock collection?

If your goal is to have your child experience the entire arc of learning, from initial interest to knowing enough to teach someone else, they need adequate time to explore outward from that beginning point.

Read the entire post here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Circle Time Song

Let us form a ring,
Dancing as we sing,
Ring-a-ring-a-ri-yah . . .

(then, to get us all quietly seated . . .)

We tap, tap, tap,
and step, step, step,
and then we turn around.
We tap, tap, tap,
and step, step, step,
and then we touch the ground.
We clap down low,
we clap up high,
we slap the ground.
we slap the sky.
We tap, tap, tap,
and step, step, step,
and quietly sit down.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Student's Perspective

I am Leah. I am a 3rd grader. I have been at Wellspring since Kindergarten. I like to write in my note book. I write about things that have happened in the day.

I want to learn about history. I like to read and write. I also want to learn how to read and write long words. I love to jump rope and my teacher Mr. Eddie taught that to me this year! I also like to teach my friends how to jump rope. They like to do it also!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What's for Lunch Wednesday - Sandwiches

Here at Wellspring, we focus on having a wholesome and healthy environment for our children. This not only applies to what we do in the classroom, but what the children put in their bodies as well. However, it can sometimes be a challenge to come up with easy, tasty, and nourishing lunch inspirations, especially when it comes to the "main attraction". Of course, the old stand-bys of PB (or Sunbutter) & J or cheese (grilled or cold) sandwiches are a great place to start, but sometimes the kids and their parents need a change of pace. Some sandwich ideas that our parents have found to be tried-and-true include:

  • Sunbutter and cream cheese

  • Guacamole spread (2 ounces cream cheese mashed with 1/2 avocado and a tablespoon of salsa)

  • Egg salad or tuna salad (for children who are allergic to eggs, plain yogurt can replace the mayo in tuna salad)

  • Avocado or cucumber and cheese

  • Veggie burgers

  • "Pinwheel" sandwiches

It can also be fun to change things up by using a metal cookie cutter to make a plain sandwich into an interesting shape, or to use a different "sandwich medium" like English muffins, bagels, crackers, pitas, baguettes, flavored rolls or tortillas for wraps.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Take Back Your Education

Former New York State Teacher of the Year John Taylor Gatto has an article in the latest issue of Yes! Magazine called "Take Back Your Education: More and more people across America are waking up to the mismatch between what is taught in schools and what common sense tells us we need to know. What can you do about it?"

Nobody gives you an education. If you want one, you have to take it.

Only you can educate you—and you can’t do it by memorizing. You have to find out who you are by experience and by risk-­taking, then pursue your own nature intensely. School routines are set up to discourage you from self-discovery. People who know who they are make trouble for schools.

Read the rest here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Paddock Play

How many Wellspringers does it take to equal one Darcy?

Look what I found!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Morning

It's Friday morning, our quietest day at school with only the Oldest group of children (1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders). All of the younger children have had their first week, and now we are somewhat settled down for Friday. It's great to see the older kids using the space of our one-room schoolhouse with glee!

In our fourth year, we have surely figured some things out, some with the help of friends, some by reading and research, and many (nay, most), by making mistakes. This is the very heart of the experiential learning Wellspring is all about-- sometimes the joy of discovery, and sometimes the ouch of stubbing one's (proverbial) toe. We are getting very good at taking five, washing it off and bandaging it up (so it doesn't get worse), and coming back to the table having learned (in a memorable, physical, feeling way) something new.

We have two terrific new facilitators (Wellspring-speak for teachers) this year (Eddie for Grades 1-3, and Darcy as an all-school aide) and now in her second full year with us, the incomparable Anne (Nursery and Kindergarten). It's still September, and our rhythms have only just begun to emerge. A one-room schoolhouse is like a large family living in tight quarters: though the room itself is large, and we have some separated spaces for quiet work, there is still the feeling of always being together. All of us, not just the adults, or the older children, have to be conscious and respectful of each other's needs, and work together to make for the most harmonious use of our space and time. And like a family, we have our squabbles and discontents, but every single one of us comes back to the table with at least a semi- smile, Band Aids and all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Back to School Song

All the little fishies in the deep blue sea,
swimming together so happily, said,
“It’s good to be together with all our friends. We’re back in school again.”

We’re back, we’re back, we’re back in school again.
We’re back, we’re back, we’re back in school again.

Monday, September 14, 2009