Thanks to Mr. Kris for providing the opportunity and Ms. Erica for putting this together we now have an idea of what this class is up to.
Mr. Kris’s 1st and 2nd grade class has been busy working! The first grade has been learning about letters, specifically the form and sound of the letters. The second grade has been writing poetry, which they have been speaking together for the class. They have also been filling their books with their beautiful writing. The writing of familiar verses and songs paves the way for reading abilities to organically emerge. The students have made great accomplishments in their writing abilities, as their stamina and concentration has grown immensely.
The students also had great fun on their last trip to the farm, and continued their look at the forms of the letters coming from the natural world by finding things at the farm with certain letters. The children showed their creativity and humor stringing their words together in fun ways. They also planted a tulip garden for the spring and help the rest of the school sow a field of oats.
The children have been learning German over a four week block. It is so good for children to be exposed to many languages and the children are very fortunate to have a parent from class who can give this gift to them.
Over the last few weeks we have had a special visitor who shared a form of movement art called Eurythmy. First and second grade, along with the rest of the school, enjoyed their Eurythmy sessions and the Eurythmy performance assembly was a big success. “Thank you” to Swallowtail’s parent association for bringing this to the school!
The class will be focusing their next block on the qualitative aspects of the numbers. It is very important that children gain a feeling for the numbers before they work with them in the typical quantitative sense. Just as in the case of the letters, the children need to form an inner connection with the numbers, so they can connect them to themselves and not just to an abstract form. There are stories that will be told to embody the numbers in a human way.
For example, “I am one, but I have two hands to do work in the world. A mother, father and child make three, and four are the winds that blow to me. I have five fingers on each hand and like to eat honey from the six-sided comb.” By introducing the numbers in this way, the children create living pictures. Next, the children will look to roman numerals as a bridge between the qualities and the quantities of numbers. Roman numerals are great for this as they can see their shapes in their hands. From the roman numerals, the class will move forward in time to the Arabic numerals and practice writing these forms.
As the numbers are being introduced to the first grade, the second grade will focus on number patterns. This will keep a qualitative sense to it as well and will help to pave the way for learning the times tables. The children will begin to look at patterns in different pictorial ways as well as using their bodies and writing numbers too. Students will soon be able to count by twos, threes, fours, fives and probably tens as well. Then they will look at how these interrelate as they draw them in different ways and look at the various shapes that the numbers are prone to make, which furthers the children’s sense of the qualities.