GTMS Life > Blog November 4, 2021

September 2021 – Mr. Patrick & Mrs. Buonadonna

Dear Greene Towne Families, Though it hasn’t been an entire month, we have tied the bow on September and it sure feels like we’ve had a full month’s worth of excitement in our classroom. We are so thankful to be able to be back in person at school. This was not the return to school […]

Dear Greene Towne Families,

Though it hasn’t been an entire month, we have tied the bow on September and it sure feels like we’ve had a full month’s worth of excitement in our classroom. We are so thankful to be able to be back in person at school. This was not the return to school that any of us had envisioned, but it feels like our entire school community has been pulling in the same direction and now we’re not making do, we’re doing fantastic. Thank you to everyone for your patience, your help, and your trust in our work to make Greene Towne a home away from home for your children.

In these first few weeks, we put a lot of focus on what we call “Grace and Courtesy.” This has everything to do with the peaceful conduct of each individual in the classroom and the measures we take to ensure a natural learning environment for ourselves and for our neighbors. We work to introduce and reinforce our expectations in terms of Grace and Courtesy so that our classroom may work towards becoming a self-sustaining and self-directed environment. This encompasses so many acts of what we call “care of the environment.” Let’s use a simple transfer work as an example. We have a work with which children are intended to use a spoon to transfer dried beans from one container to another. Sounds simple enough, but spooning beans is a small part of the entire process. A student is expected to select that work from the shelf, taking note of its placement on that shelf. They carry it to a table with two hands, put it down, pull out their chair, and sit down. The beans begin in the left vessel and are spooned to the right. There is still so much work left to be done in this process, however. Before returning the work to the shelf, the beans should be returned to the left vessel, so that the work is prepared as intended for the next user. Once that is done, the child stands up, pushes in their chair, and carries the work back to its intended spot on the shelf. In doing this, a child demonstrates an understanding of a complicated multi-step process. They also begin to develop an appreciation for the need to be caretakers of their environment and an awareness of the needs of those around them. At this early point in the school year, we are doing a lot of reinforcement with this, but over time, it becomes second nature to our students. This continued use and replenishment of our classroom’s resources allows our classroom to function with children as confident stewards of their environment and considerate neighbors to their community.

We hope you will enjoy these photos from the first few weeks of school. Look closely and you may see your child demonstrating care of the environment with grace and courtesy!

Best Wishes,

Mr. Patrick and Mrs. Buonadonna

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