GTMS Life > Blog February 25, 2024

Birch Tree Community – February

Watching February wind down always seems to me to represent a turning point in the year. Last year at this time we were packing up our old classrooms at 2121 and moving across the street to unpack and set it all up again in our new home. So much has happened within the month this […]

Watching February wind down always seems to me to represent a turning point in the year. Last year at this time we were packing up our old classrooms at 2121 and moving across the street to unpack and set it all up again in our new home. So much has happened within the month this year as well. We said goodbye for now to Ms. Cara while she welcomed her baby. We greeted a new member of the classroom, Ms. Kionna, and are welcoming her to the community and classroom culture. We celebrated and acknowledged the Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, and Black History Month. And of course, celebrated the long awaited use of the new rooftop playdeck! Moving in to March brings the arrival of Spring, extended days of light after the long winter months, and the hints of another school year making it’s way towards Summer.

Thanks to Ms. Allison’s artistic talents and vision, each classroom made dragon ‘scales’ that went in to a large portrait of a dragon hanging in the lobby for the Chinese New Year – Year of the dragon! We also collaged some beautiful Chinese characters that read ‘dragon’ with colorful sequins and read books on how traditional forms of celebrations take place in China and around the world. Additionally, the Kindergarteners made their own dragon masks and paraded them around the room.

The long awaited Valentine’s Day festivities went off smoothly as the children excitedly brought in their bags of cards for the class. Throughout the week, children decorated paper bags with their names displayed on the front and lots of in-house valentines were made too. Ms. Kionna helped everyone to have a turn at making a heart shaped sugar cookie which was enjoyed at the end of the day. At circle time, we took turns in small groups placing cards in everyone’s bags. It was wonderful to hear so many “thank you!”‘s and “wow, I like it” as they looked through their growing stash. This was also the same day we stepped out for our first recess on the new playdeck. It was windy and cold but it did not keep our spirits down! Many siblings connected and friends from across different classrooms had opportunities to play.

For Black History Month, we have been reading stories acknowledging black men and women who did incredible things for our country and who’s stories are not often told or shared enough- like Lonnie Johnson (inventor and aerospace engineer, most notably inventing the water soaker) Mae Jemison (first black woman to travel to space), and Garrett Morgan (inventor of the traffic light). Some of our work in the classroom reflected these stories.

This time of year also provides opportunities for children to explore materials they may have not yet used, let creativity flourish with some favorites, and invite new connections to take hold. Now that the children are comfortable in the environment, they really see it as their classroom and take charge of their learning!

Lastly, our Kindergarteners enjoyed their monthly trip to the library to see the wonderful Ms. Mary host a story circle and pick out books to enjoy in the classroom.

Thank you for all of your support and flexibility through changes and in making this another great school year so far.

Warmly,
Ms. Anne

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