Christine's Blog
Christine Lipari-Althaus

Christine Lipari-Althaus

Tuesday, 01 March 2016 00:00

Younger Group Celebrates 100!

During the month of February the children found that we have enjoyed 100 days of school! This called for a celebration - a celebration of achievement, collaboration, math and the number 100!

Children brought in "100 collections" from home to display for the school community. There were collections of paper clips, beads, legos, stamps, candies, coins, and dice! How fun to see the value 100 represented in these small special materials. We counted 100 steps in the hall and marked the distance with a small piece of yellow tape to step back and view the distance we traveled. We played games using our knowledge of place value and racing a number up to 100 as well as many other fun number activities! 

The children told a "100 or more word story" where we took turns telling a few words of the story until the full group told the silly tale. Of course, a special day like this called for "Hundred Cookies" - don't worry, not 100 cookies! We each decorated a personal cookie with the number 100 or by counting 100 sprinkles for a beautiful treat. 

Happy 100 days of school to YG!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 00:00

YG Moves with Dimi Reber

This winter the Younger Group has been moving their bodies with local dance veteran Dimi Reber! While dancing children notice different ways that their bodies are moving and how that feels. "Straighten your spine, feel it. Now move like you are a snake. How will your spine move if you dance like a snake?" Dimi gives interesting prompts which create opportunities for children to interpret music, give illusions of interesting actions, dance to fill various parts of dancing space or move to create wide open places. We "fly", we find rhythm, we dance with partners and we dance alone. 

Today we danced a "mystery dance". With closed eyes and gentle movements, each child moved and danced to interesting music created with a fog horn, a rain stick and a beaded gourd rattle. The plan was to create a mysterious dance, illustrate a mysterious story with movements. If one dancer should happen to touch a second dancer then they must either slowly dance away from each other or slowly begin to dance together. Children shared their stories and visualizations after we ended the dance and opened our eyes:

"I was stuck in a void."

"I was in the Titanic and went into a trap door. The Titanic was sinking!"

"My dance was in a mysterious place. I didn't know where I was."

"Mine too. I had to keep dancing to find out about the room I was in."

Thank you to Dimi for moving with our class! We look forward to dancing with you again in just two weeks!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 00:00

Younger Group Hikes in Glen Helen

     Each Monday the YG hikes in our local nature preserve, Glen Helen. We typically hike in the morning which provides beautiful morning light and temperatures that vary with the seasons. We often find ways to challenge our bodies such as climbing a few rocks, and ways to sharpen our senses such as quiet walking where we can really listen to the sounds around us. We notice changes of seasons, evidence of animals and this year’s class loves to point our fungi! There’s fungus among us! is one current joke of the group. 

     This week our hike found many exciting signs of fall! A few little colored leaves on trees, and many fallen leaves on the ground. “I love when the leaves get crunchy!” said one child. “Yeah, when we step on them they will be so dry and loud!” a student replied. “Pretty soon we might see squirrels gathering nuts for winter too.” exclaimed a child’s voice. “I know walnuts are already falling down.” noted a fourth child. We are already looking forward to the hikes where fall is fully unveiled and we can soak in the beauty.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 00:00

In the Younger Group - 11/14

Flat Stanley Visits the Younger Group

At the beginning of November the Younger Group was surprised by an exciting piece of mail. A “Flat Stanley” character was mailed to our school! The children read a letter detailing the travel of Stanley - who is visiting all the way from a third grade class in Skaneateles, New York.

The Flat Stanley Project is inspired by a book by Jeff Brown, which tells the adventures of a young boy who accidentally becomes as "flat as a pancake" when a bul-letin board falls on him. Stanley is very flat but other-wise fine. The stories go on to tell of great adventures and even some real advantages to being flat. He can slide under doors, go down into sidewalk grates and even fold himself up small enough to fit into an enve-lope and be mailed to California for an exciting vaca-tion. The Younger Group children were thrilled to find that he had now traveled to the Antioch School.

After reading the letter, gleeful ideas were shared with the group:

"We should take him to the Glen!"

"Let's teach him to ride the unicycle."

"We can make Flat People too!"

"I want to make a Flat Monster!"

"Can we send the children a backdrop to put their Flat People on too? They can play with their paper people after they get our mail!"

"We should tell them Stanley got here."

"Let's read his stories. He'll listen too!"

Children quickly found interest in these different ideas. Plans were made and now we have been carrying out each plan which will ensure a pleasant stay and safe return for Flat Stanley. He joined our hike on Monday-morning and has been reading stories with our full group. Children are creating "backdrops" which can be used for dramatic paper doll play with our Flat People and Monsters.

The Younger Group children have sent a card from Flat Stanley to his class back in New York:

Dear School,

I am having such a good time at the school I am visiting. It is fun!

I went on a hike with the Younger Group. The YG class is who I am visiting. Their names are Merida, Emma, Ryan, Jack, Sophia, Lucy, Ayla, Jonah, Olivia, Antonio, Jackson, Isaac, Violet, and Luca and their teacher is Christine. They are lots of fun!

This class is learning about their village - Yellow Springs. It is in Ohio. They go to places like Current Cuisine and the Yellow Springs Newspaper. They might go to Ha Ha Pizza next. These are all businesses in Yellow Springs.

I am learning to ride the unicycle. The Younger Group (YG) children like to make calendars in math and they love to make up skits and plays. We play lots of games and read good stories.

I'll see you soon!

From,

Flat Stanley

We will wrap up our adventures with Flat Stanley in the upcoming days and mail him back to New York with sto-ries from his travels and paper creations for his loved ones back home to enjoy. If you happen to see a paper-thin, happy child around our school in the next week or so, please say “hello” to him. We are all doing our best to make Flat Stanley feel so very welcome at our school.

Love,
Christine

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00

In the Younger Group - 10/24

 

Learning About Our Yellow Springs Community

 

This fall the Younger Group children have begun a study of our Yellow Springs community. They are interested in local businesses, their services, and the people who live and work in our village. The children have been thinking about what types of places they would like to visit, as well as places that they believe are important for visitors to know about.

During our first discussion of this project, the children immediately decided that they would want to show visi-tors our school, Corner Cone, Glen Helen, the police sta-tion, and the library. As our thinking continued, we real-ized that the local newspaper was a place that held both information and the ability to gather information about local events. We wrote to the Yellow Springs News to see if we could visit to learn about making a newspaper and asking interview questions. Our class was invited for a tour of the office and to meet with a reporter. The chil-dren were fascinated by the idea of type and we learned more about the way newspapers used to be made. We also observed a mock interview, which has informed our own skills when asking questions during other visits and tours around Yellow Springs.

The Younger Group knew that a second source of news and interviews would be at found at Antioch College’s radio station, WYSO. After writing to the radio station and coordinating a trip, the children considered some of the topics they wanted to know more about. The idea of how “on the air” works surfaced during discussion. The field trip to the radio station inspired thinking around sound. The children considered how sound works with our voices and ears in everyday conversation. This made more thinking about "on the air". Through shared thoughts and ideas, we realized that radios and radio towers have something to do with how music and talking can be heard from radio stations like WYSO.

At school, the children discussed and drew their own theories of how radio waves work. During our field trip, WYSO general manager Neenah Ellis, explained how radio waves constantly travel to our devices. We also toured the station, recorded our voices and spent time in the booth with DJ and Antioch School parent Niki Dakota during her show 'Excursions'!

Our community project continued this week with a visit to Current Cuisine. The favorite time during the tour seemed to be fitting half of our class at a time into their large refrigerator! The children also enjoyed decorating cookies and snacking on a few special items prepared for them!

During the preparation for the Current Cuisine visit and during our time in the store, it became evident that the children are interested in not only the wonderful places and resources of our village but in the people who make the businesses run. Each visit some of the important questions the children have asked are: Why did you decide to work here? Why do you want to do this work? How long have you worked here? What ser-vices do people use from your business?

While children work at school they often mention a com-munity member or a place of business that is important to the greater Yellow Springs community. They feel con-nected to the places around our school and have great excitement when learning about each of these busi-nesses. We will learn more about our greater commu-nity and how we as important citizens fit into this com-munity as the year continues.

Christine

Thursday, 02 October 2014 00:00

In the Younger Group - 9/26

After the Dayton Philharmonic’s Woodwinds Demonstration, the Younger Group children were inspired to have an Instruments Day. The children made a plan to bring musical instruments and then to stand up and tell about them during morning meeting.

Our special morning meeting came. The children played a few songs or showed their classmates how to play their instruments. Discussion of practicing, vibrations, tone, and the beauty of instruments surfaced during that time. After everyone had a turn, the children realized this would the best time to play musical chairs! Lucy played a song on the piano followed by Antonio on his violin; each musician taking time to pause in their music to make the game exciting for their friends.

I can play a song from Pirates of the Caribbean, but I might have to keep starting over when I stop the music. I’ll try to keep going. I’ve never done that before, Jackson told the group. He began, paused, and then continued! The children loved this recognizable piece! Jackson was very pleased with his playing as well.

By the afternoon several of the children had created a band during free time! Just after our final free time of the day, they performed an original piece on the stage of the Art and Science room for the other members of the class.

Christine

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