Maple Room News

May 26 - May 29

Luca Shows Sophie How to Use a Hammer!

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Chloe from Pines Presents a Record to Our Class!

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Students are Now Leading Morning Meeting!

"Can I point today?"

These were the words that started Thursday's morning meeting, and this was our response.

"Would you like to lead morning meeting alongside a friend?"

The response was of course, "yes." Taylor and Violet sat at the front of the classroom to read the morning message, select volunteers, and lead mindfulness. They concluded, as their teachers often do, by saying, "Please give an air kiss and a wave to your families. It's time to start our day."

Connor and Castle lead our meeting this morning. What a calm, and delicate moment it was.

In conclusion, we'd like to say, what a beautiful point of the year. Students are showing a stunning amount of independence. There are superb moments such as these when children demonstrate an astounding amount of compassion, understanding, and respect for one another. So, so beautiful.

We hope students lead morning meeting for the remainder of the year.

Wedding Construction

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Meghan and Peter got married over Memorial Weekend that Maples were so excited to see pictures and celebrate! During Exploration, a few students designed a plan to build a structure that resembled the one that was used in the actual wedding ceremony. Students worked on this structure for an entire week and even added small details to make the structure look "fancy." After creating the ceremony structure, they began working on the hotel where Meghan, Peter, and Brian all stayed together over the weekend. They build stairs, individual rooms with bathrooms, and even added two pools on the top (We wish that we actually had time to go swimming that weekend!).

Once both structures were complete, they really wanted to show it to Peter. Since he was working and was unable to come, they asked if they could FaceTime him. Peter was ecstatic to see the structures that were created to celebrate the wedding. The Maples were so excited to share all of their hard work. It was beautiful to witness how the Maples were able to show their affection through their play.

The Bee-Man Visits

In response to student interest, we had an urban bee farmer visit our classroom this week. Ian spoke to us about his docile Italian Honey Bees, and fielded nearly all of our questions. Ian spoke of the nearly 6,000 bees that typically occupy a hive, and the affect smokes on their senses.

Our gentleman beekeeper came dressed in his beekeeping attire, and he brought along several artifacts. We passed around Ian's J hive hook, and several pieces of comb produced by his bees. We were surprised to find that the comb was more soft than sticky, and that the hook smelled sweet as spring time, and smokey as a campfire.

We concluded our visit by tasting two different batches of honey: one produced by Ian's own family of bees, and another produced on the mountain tops of Mexico.

Some Photos from Today's Birthday Celebration

Problem Solving in the Maple

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Earlier this week, we heard loud cries coming from the hallway. As teachers rushed out to see what had happened, we were surprised to see that one Maple had already decided to take ownership of mediating the situation. We gathered that one student may have kicked another student while coming into the building after recess.

Teachers pulled back in that moment and just observed. This is what we heard:

(Princeton) "So guys, tell me what happened. I am going to hear both sides of the story. When Violet is talking, Taylor J., you have to listen. Same for you Violet."

Both girls share their side of the story.

(Princeton) "Well, it seems like you guys both have different versions of the story. Pauses to think. Hmm. I am going to need to be fair and equal in this moment, but I can't decide who is telling the truth. Was anyone else involved?

Both girls nod.

(Princeton) Okay, let's get them.

He proceeded to call in three other Maples. We couldn't hear everything that they were saying, but the conversation turned into a discussion about whether or not we should make a big deal when we get pushed or stepped on by accident. It seemed that was what had happened. Violet accidentally bumped into and stepped on Taylor J, but she didn't know and in that moment it was a very big deal to her.

(Violet) Next time I do something by accident, just tell me and I can help you.

(Taylor J.) Okay, Violet. Let's go back to class.

This moment was a breakthrough in our classroom. It demonstrated how the values about fairness and friendship have been instilled in our children. We couldn't have been more proud of our class, and it was clear that they were beaming with pride.

Read Aloud

This week in Read Aloud, we read Those Shoes. This is a story about a young boy, Jeremy, who really wants a new pair of shoes. Everyone at his school has these shoes except for him and his friend, Antonio. All the other kids laugh at them because their shoes aren't "cool enough." At the end of the story, Jeremy ends up giving the shoes that he eventually gets to Antonio because Antonio had taped up shoes...he needs new shoes. As we read this story, we thought about Jeremy's problem in the story and why he felt so different. We also spent a lot of time thinking about the difference between wanting something and needing something.

Every day after Read Aloud, the Maples engage in accountable talk. This is a time where the Maples share their ideas and connections in response to a focused question. During this time, we pass around a giraffe. Whoever is holding this giraffe during this time, is the person who is speaking. We have learned that this is a time where we are extremely brave and vulnerable-- we share things during this time that we may never have shared outside of the classroom. Teachers are just silent observers during this time, as we feel that it is essential for the Maples to be able to have a group conversation without the support of adults. The children listen carefully so that they are not repeating the same ideas, but are building onto other's ideas and are even sometimes disagreeing.

Here are some of the ideas that emerged from accountable talk after reading Those Shoes.

Q: Why is it important to appreciate the things that you have?

(Madeleine) "Some people don't even have money- some people can't buy those things. We have to be really grateful, because some people only get what they need and not what they want."

(Castle) "Because some people don't even get anything...they are just poor. It's better to feel happy for the things that you have. Because if you didn't have anything, you would have a whole house that was empty..with nothing."

(Madeleine) "Maybe you won't even have a house and you would live on the street."

(Iris) "Well, you have to feel grateful. I remember when I wanted something that my friend had and I didn't get it, but I still felt grateful."

Q: (In the story, Grandma tells Jeremy: There is no room for want here-- there is only room for need.) What does Grandma mean by this?

(Morgan) That means like he doesn't need the shoes because he needs boots for the winter. The shoes he wants are things he doesn't need.

(Connor) You don't really get what you want...sometimes the things that want a lot can be bad for you- like always wanting ice-cream.

(Madeleine) You need money to buy things, like shoes. I really wanted these light up shoes, but I didn't need them. I wanted them. My mom said I couldn't get them. So I had to get the blue and green shoes instead-- it's okay.

(Princeton) If there is too much room for want, then there isn't enough room for the things that you actually need. Jeremy actually needs winter boots and he just wants those shoes. It'll be a waste of money to get the shoes instead of the boots.

Q: Why does Jeremy give his new shoes to Antonio?

(Indie) He had bigger feet than Antonio and Antonio had shoes that were broken apart. So Jeremy gave them to him.

(Zadie) He didn't need the shoes like how Antonio did. Antonio's shoes were old and worn down. In my building we had a sale for kids who didn't have the things that they needed. So it's like sharing. When you don't need things anymore, you can share them with people that do need kids who need them.

Q: What did this story teach you?

(Beckett) You don't always get what you want. And if you do, then you might be very lucky. Some people have a lot of money and can get what they want. Some people only get what they need.

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Reminder - Half Days on Thursday and Friday of Next Week

We will be having noon dismissal next Thursday and Friday.