JC Lower School September Newsletter 2023

October 4, 2023

Kindergarten – Self Portraits

When we look at a child’s self portrait, we see through the lens of the child’s eyes. Children become the subject and the artist, allowing for an intimate and bold declaration of their identity. 

At the beginning of the school year, Kindergarten and Lower School students are invited to construct a portrait of themselves. Students gradually progress through stages towards their completed work; starting with pencil marks, shading in lines and then placing colors. Students have the opportunity to walk past their community members and themselves throughout the year. This creates a moment of reflection, to ponder and wonder about the changes and growth they have made as individuals and as a group of curious and transforming members of the Lower School. 

“I hope to grow my experiences and friendships and science skills.” -Lilly 

“I hope to grow my outdoor skills and helping people at our school.” -Fox

1st and 2nd – Classroom Community

Our classroom has been lucky enough to gain several new plants! We now have some tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and strawberries we will get to watch grow. As a classroom community it is our job to take care of these plants and make sure that we help them to grow healthy and strong. All of the students are very excited about our new additions and have enjoyed checking on the plants each day. 

This ties into our first project about change! We will be planting our own seeds and tracking the process of our plants by measurement each project lab day. This project also connects to what we are learning in math class: measurement, collecting data and graphing. Tracking the process of growth will help us to understand change which is part of our literacy curriculum. Hopefully at the end of this project we will have some plants for the students to take home!

3rd and 4th – Multisensory Learning

Learning who we are is what we’re here to do! As mentioned in “Wonder” the current 3 /4 read aloud, true authentic learning is a complicated process. It takes a lot of courage, big risks, and, a little bit of fun. This happens in many different formats and processes throughout our entire day. Sometimes, what’s important is the practice of routine, discipline, and close listening skills during times like our daily fun-dations lessons. However, there are other times where the “tap, tap, clap” method is more appropriate; like during our morning math “warm-up” where teacher and students softly tap our laps while whispering “1,2..” and yelling and loudly clapping the “3!!!” followed by another soft “4,5” then “6!!!”  in order to emphasize the multiples of three: Physical, visual, and oral experience; the more the merrier for the brain to soak it all in. It is in this unique combination of multiple senses, movements, sounds, and procedures that learning at mountain academy is less of a daunting task to complete, but more of an opportunity to experience.

Art – Artistic Explorations

Hello friends and families of our wonderful Lower School! I am so excited to give you a brief update of what your students have accomplished during art class so far this year. K-2 Art class started with the students drawing with pencils and crayons in a large scale collaborative art activity to spark students group thinking and encourage more shared and expansive approach to an art classes. The 3/4 class started the year equal as strong with a fantastic and enormous canvas. They practiced painting foreground, middle ground, and background as a group and planned the large scale effort as a team. The students really enjoyed having a group project were their individual personalities could be shared along with their class identity! I am so proud of our young artist and look forward to sharing more of their individual artwork as the classes continue focusing on the fundamentals of 2 dimensional arts!

Kai Parker-Choat