A big improvement for the IIs is their comfort with having new visitors and grown-ups in the classroom. They have been feeling more ambitious and have started running up to new visitors and introducing themselves. “This Group has grown particularly quickly. Usually, it takes them more time to get confident,” said Sara Hance, the IIs Group Teacher.
The bright, energetic IIIs are filled with enthusiasm for the new materials and activities they will explore. “I am making lunch and dinner,” said one III, while playing with colorful sponges and a wooden spoon. While he experimented at the water table. . . a group of IIIs was working together to construct a bridge, and others built independently. Each III is in their own little world of exploration.
When they’re not busy building with blocks, reading books, and tracing leaves, one might catch the IVs in the Rhythms Room. The IVsL were becoming tugboats the other day, according to a IV. He made sure to clarify that they were just “pretending to be a tugboat.” This unique activity consisted of the IVs tugging themselves across the Rhythms Room on a rope, and it was a joy to watch their giddy smiles as they ran back to sit with their friends.
One thing that is being introduced to the Vs curriculum is the observation of worms. “We have compost and give it to the worms and chop it up into little pieces so the worms can eat,” explained one V. In the past years, the Vs have brought compost down to the kitchen every day. Now they are finding out where the compost goes after they throw it out. They are feeding the worms with the compost so the worms can make fertilizer.
The VIs started the year creating teamwork collages to understand the importance of the Group as a whole. The VIs have learned three new games: Racing Dice, Seven Snakes, and SPLAT. But what are these games? “Racing Dice and Seven Snakes are addition games that involve rolling two dice and adding to get the sum,” said Erin Teesdale, Group Teacher. “SPLAT is a counting game that happens with the whole Group.” The VIs Math Program is already on the upswing.
The VIIs had a talk with Ted Wright, the Director of Bicycle and Greenway Programs, at the NYC Department of Transportation. During the talk, the VIIs learned what kind of bike lanes are going to be painted outside of the 13th Street Building. They were also informed as to why the changes were going to happen and what impact they will have on our community. Afterward, the VIIs went outside and watched as the DOT construction workers painted lines onto the street, using a special bike lane painting machine.
The VIIIs Post Office, “Postagram,” had its grand opening. . . . The VIIIs job of running the Post Office not only benefits the C&C community, but it is also a C&C tradition that gives the VIIIs a fun yet challenging responsibility. The job represents the transition from the Lower School to the Middle School. It also trains the VIIIs to do mental math and be organized with their thoughts by learning to fill out receipts.
The IXs have been working especially hard on the School Store. Besides working on jingles and speeches, the IXs have made some key decisions involving the name of the store, mascots, and colors. As the IXs were talking about these things, they were bouncing up and down with enthusiasm. After a very close vote, The First Floor Store [is now the official name of the store]. Two IXs said that despite the close vote, all the IXs were content with the name.
In Social Studies, the Xs have been studying the history of writing. They are learning about all kinds of ancient forms of writing, such as hieroglyphics and cuneiform. The XsMe have also been studying evolution and the history of humans. They took a trip to the Hall of Human Origins at the Natural History Museum to learn even more. To visualize the history of humans, the XsMe created a very long timeline, and they discovered that the first homo sapiens were from 160,000 years ago. The XsMe also have an exciting science project to work on, where they mummify a chicken to learn more about the process.
The XIs have been learning about the social hierarchy of imperial China and have been talking about Chinese gods. The XIs have also learned about the three “perfections”—calligraphy, poetry, and painting, in preparation for the scrolls that they will be making soon. “They would do the painting on paper which was then put on cloth,” said one XI, as she explained how paintings were put onto scrolls that primarily had paintings of landscapes. They have also been discussing the history of some of the empires and political happenings of the time.
Each day, a couple of the XIIs go up and observe the IVs. . . as a way to get to know them. At the end of the day, the XIIs take the IVs down to the lobby and bring them to their parents or caregivers. . . . As fun as the lVs are, talking with them and taking care of them can be a tiring job. “Before I walked into the classroom, I never realized how big of a responsibility it is,” said a XII. The Xlls have been working diligently on their curriculum and with their lively lVs.
[For the Midterm Elections], the XIIIs studied contests in all 50 states in order to predict their outcome. . . and were accurate in roughly two-thirds of elections. First the XIIIs researched the demographics, geography, economy, and voting history of different states in America. They focused on “toss-up” elections, following polls on [several key websites]. A toss-up election is an election that could go either way. It was extremely challenging to predict the results in those elections.