Posts from the ‘Fieldtrips’ Category

Desks are so Overrated

Reading is probably my very favorite thing to do. I feel like I have snuck books around all my life:  in class, the movies, the bathtub, the shower, at the park (where I was told to “go play and stop reading for crying-out-loud”).

This is most likely one of the reasons I detest forcing young children to sit down and “learn to read”. Many kids just fall into it quickly and at a young age but others need more time, time without pressure, time with finding the enjoyment that books are, hanging out with friends on the carpet, savoring books together, having one child read while the others follow along, at their pace, in their time reference of reading excitement.

This has to be the biggest struggle for parents.  We are not a typical school, we lie outside the prescribed ways of “teaching”.  But parents get scared.  It’s understandable.  Everything you hear or read is if your child isn’t reading in kindergarten then they are behind forever.  And possibly if they are in public school where nearly everything is in print, this may be the case. But here, in this classroom (or outside of the classroom), if your child stays with us from K-2nd grade, they will not just be readers that can sound out words to be on track, they will be lovers of language, obsessive book worms, falling into story and rolling around in it. The pressure is off.

There are the kids who have special circumstances going on for them and they often need another course of action, which includes tools that help them past the road blocks that are between them and the written word.  But most of the time, kids just need hands on experience with print, shared experiences with print, writing as much as reading, since many kids learn to read by learning to sound out and write words, they need a reason to need it such as wanting to put their Lego set together and needing to be able to read the directions. This need is something that always arises naturally.

The drive for knowledge and understanding is so instinctual, that by seven they are digging into the written word with all they’ve got.  I know our class incites the love of reading, books and the written word.  Almost all of the kids who have gone through my class and didn’t read until late 1st grade or early 2nd grade, were reading large novels by the summer of their second grade year and when we’d go to the park, they would tote their books with them, when we had a few minutes between projects, they were on the carpet with their beloved books, many days I have had my older kids walk in the door for school and I can’t see their face past the book they are reading, while walking and putting away their lunch boxes.

So let’s all try to think about reading in a different way; an exploration, a fascination, a wonderment, a need to know, seeing their friends grasp onto the love of it, seeing us adults read and read not only to them but to ourselves, letting them come to it with passion and want.  Nothing is more interesting to my kids than the books that I am reading laying on my desk.  They want to know what I know, see what I see, hear the stories that make me feel passionate about reading.

We went to the park on Thursday and I couldn’t stop thinking about the books I’ve been reading, so I grabbed some favorite books, some blankets in the backpack and just wanted to see what would happen.  I laid it all out and sat down in the sun.  The kids began to wander over and ask what was going on. And then a line formed to read with me.  We basked in the sun and read and read and read.  The kids read to me.  They read to each other.  They helped each other with words they didn’t know.  They begged to be next.  They were proud.  They were happy.  They were choosing to read over running around the playground acting out stories they already know and love.

Reading is the best. Especially while laying in the grass, in the sun, relaxed, enjoying the stories. You can see us in our natural element here…


Village Green

Check out our trip to Village Green Perennial Nursery in preparation for our Earth Day work day.

So much fun!

Did you know?  I love Chiccckkkeeeeeeeeeeeeeeens!


A Field Trip – For REALS…

Brother Coyote and Sister Fox

Yesterday we trekked to the Southwest Library to see Thistle Theater‘s production of  “Brother Coyote and Sister Fox”, a trickster tale.  It was performed in Bunraku , a variation of the ancient Japanese style of puppetry were the puppeteers are dressed head-to-toe in black and operate the puppets from behind.

It was engaging, beautiful, funny and centered around Chickens, how perfect for this class.  There are many other dates in Seattle this summer if you want to try to catch it.  It’s so worth it.

A Happy Birthday Song…Love.

I took my birthday off.  It was a Thursday.  Field trip day.  So Steve, Jaala and Melissa took the kids to Lincoln Park.

Thank you Mystery Bay.  I love you too!

Goodbye Cosmo – Roller Derby Style

I’ve never witnessed so many kids go from not being able to stand in skates, to flying around the rink. Three of our kids won races and Slurpies! What a wonderful adventure. Let’s do it again soon!
(And most improved goes to Chase, who wouldn’t put on his skates for the first fifteen minutes and then became the Dare Devil of the Day!)
Love. Love. Love.

The Story of a Pumpkin


Daystar Anew

This is our fifth year visiting Daystar Retirement Village.  It is such a treat to see the new kids mingle and get comfortable here.  This group is no exception.  All the kids were excited and talkative and sweet with the seniors.  I LOVE that we do this.  When I first thought about having this be a part of the program, I had no idea that it would take on a complete life of it’s own.  So many relationships have been built and cherished.  In the photo below is Orpah and she has been at Daystar the entire time we’ve been visiting.  As we were walking in today, Iris and Vega said, “I hope Orpah is here” and there she was and she heard them and her smile was so big.  I told her that Vega was good friends with Brigit and Orpah asked it Vega would say hi to her.  Orpah and Brigit had a very special connection and Brigit graduated two years ago.  We go bi-weekly and everyone loves to go.

Orpah and Vega.

Tim with Bill, the Chess Master.

Izzy and Orpah meet for the first time.

A brand new resident, the son of a famous artist and a beautiful accordion player and a huge hit with the kids. Here is a short video of Holden talking about the paper airplane he made and how it would fly better with some wind and how him and his dad tried to fly a kite the night before.  Super sweet.  Holden was a natural with the Seniors.

Jake makes a bead sculpture and gives it away.

The kids drew pictures, mostly of pumpkins and rainbows, then made some bead projects including jewelry and then they sang “The Autumn Song” to them.  We’ve been practicing this song and we practiced all the way on our walk to Daystar.

Love, love, love.

Path Park – A Coyote Adventure

For our first field trip, we walked to “Shorewood Park”, better known around these parts as “Path Park”.  The kids LOVE going there.  It is mostly a series of paths that wind around in the woods.  The paths double back and connect to each other.  This makes the kids feel like they are free in the woods or “lost”  if they are out of our sight for a second but there is no escaping us teacher’s since the paths always wind back around.  This park has many legends that this class has passed down from year to year.  Legends of coyotes and bears and monsters and creatures.  It feels a little spooky and it is so beautiful and such a relief to step into what feels like a large forest right in our back yard.

I love that the legends have continued this year as well:


Summer Adventures: Coleman Pool Lincoln Park

%d bloggers like this: