I always start the year finding out what the children want to learn and wish to accomplish during the course of the school year, so I can plan lessons around their ideas and incorporate them into the flow of our school days.
I love doing this because it gives us unlimited possibilities. Responses often include things like learn geometry, learn new unicycling tricks, learn about countries, learn to play the ukulele, learn to cook; responses are as individual as the children. It is so interesting to find out what the children want to learn and discover and such useful information for planning a rich and eventful school year. I also have many ideas for the Older Group (OG), as do Sally, Bill, Brian, and this year Dennis as well. Looking back over this past year, it is amazing what a vast amount of things we have experienced, learned, and accomplished, having tremendous fun while we did. When Antioch School children come home and report that they played all day, in a sense they have. When everyone is involved in the planning, when we play with concepts, laugh and cry over good books, play music, hike, learn, explore math, reflect in nature, are fully engaged, and approach learning with joy and enthusiasm, it could be described as play.
It has been fabulous having Dennis Farmer here to teach music to the entire school. In the Older Group, under Dennis’s gentle and joyful tutelage, we had the opportunity to learn to play brass, woodwinds, flutes, and/or strings. Almost every child in the OG decided to participate in either the band or the orchestra classes. The first day that children brought in their instruments was so exciting! Cases were open, and shiny instruments glowed with possibilities, as did the faces of the children. They wasted no time getting them out, putting together the ones that needed to be assembled, and trying them out. After the first class, I am not certain anyone was able to put down his or her instrument, and for most of the day, music was played in the OG, the quiet room, and in the hall.
Each year in the spring, the Kindergarten plans a day of camping to celebrate Cc days. The Kindergarten my second year here made the first plans. They decided that a school day of camping was enough for Kindergarten and every group since has agreed.
The Younger Group has its overnight camp here at the school. The Older Group has three days at Kiser Lake, and Kindergarten has their day of camping.
This year the children were excited to make their camp plans. I filled them in on what had been done by past groups — how we usually camp past the Cycle Circle Side of the playground where you can’t see the school, but can still walk back to use the bathroom, how I bring a very large tent and everyone helps put it up, and how we usually have a campfire.
They unanimously chose to roast marshmallows for our camp day afternoon snack. Then they quickly decided they wanted to stay at camp all day — for both snacks, lunch, songs, stories, everything! There was some discussion about camping on the Golf Course, but ultimately they decided to camp in the traditional spot beyond the Cycle Circle Side of the playground. They agreed to make trail mix for morning snack, selected several stories to take with us — Freckle Face Strawberry and The Tales Julian Tells (which we were in the middle of reading) — and figured out that no one could bring a warm up for lunch since our microwave is inside. Lucy and Henry volunteered to bring their teepee, assuring us that they could set it up themselves, and everyone could play in it. They also wanted to bring our class kite and stomp rockets.
When I was younger I remember being warned about the evils of eating too much sugar. “It will rot your teeth,” was proven true by my frequent trips to the dentist office. In the last couple of years I have become more aware of sugar’s impact on my overall health as it relates to controlling my weight and the side effects that come from being over weight (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.). What I wasn’t aware of is the health impact eating too much sugar has on my brain.
I recently read an article, This Is What Sugar Does To Your Brain, written by Carolyn Gregoire, on Huffington Post, where she explains how sugar can literally slow down your brain’s ability to function. New research has shown how eating a high sugar diet can lead to weakened synaptic connections between brain cells, thus impairing their function. There is also research showing a connection between heavy sugar consumption and Alzheimer’s disease. Think about it. On top of all the other negatives about sugar, we now know eating too much sugar negatively affects brain function.
When I was a kid, as kids are prone to do, I ate a LOT of sugar. Not only from the sugary cereals, candy and soft drinks, but also from the white bread and high starch diet that was normal at that time in my life. Unfortunately, this type of diet is still very common in many schools today--but not at the Antioch school. From growing food in the garden, to eating nutritious snacks, to learning to cook healthy foods, the children at the Antioch School have an in-depth experience with real food. Food that doesn’t come from a box or a can. Food that tastes good and is good for their bodies. This is another example of how the Antioch School teaches to benefit the whole child and not just teaching to prepare for the next test. J.S.
Matt Cline, from Cline Cinematography, put together this wonderful movie about The Antioch School. The movie was first shown at the 2014 Silent Auction. A big thanks goes out to Matt for his hard work at creating this movie as well as many of the photographs used on this site.
NPR recently aired this story about how researchers are discovering that play helps the brains of children develop better skills for learning. One of the takeaways is that countries with schools that have more recess time tend to have higher academic performance.
Considering that many public schools are cutting recess in order to have more instruction time, maybe they are actually doing more harm than good. This also might help explain why many Antioch School graduates do so well in high school and college even though the Antioch School hasn't followed the push for more and more testing. Listen to the story here.
|Fri May 01 @ 8:30AM - 03:00PM|
Parent Feedback Form Due
|Fri May 01 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM|
Older Group and Thirds Spring Musical
|Sat May 02 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM|
Older Group and Thirds Spring Musical
|Mon May 04 @ 8:30AM - 03:00PM|
Faculty Planning Retreat—School Closed
|Wed May 06 @ 8:30AM - 11:30PM|
Kindergarten Field Trip
|Fri May 08 @12:00AM|
2015-2016 Contracts Due
|Fri May 15 @12:00AM|
2015-2016 Final Enrollment Deposit Due