Welcome To Our New First Grade - "Older and Wiser Already!"

From Stasha Ginsburg, First Grade Teacher: It was very exciting to be back in school, reunited with old friends and starting first grade. Our week was christened in the mist, surrounded by faculty, friends and family, as we gathered together to form our first circle of the year during the Rose Ceremony. We then heard our first story, about a King, a Rooster and an Artist, and through it we learned about the gifts of practice. 

We started off our week with Form Drawing and began practicing straight lines and curves. One child asked, "Why must we draw a straight line and a curve?" So we looked at the letters on the board in our daily schedule and discovered that they are made up of straight lines and curves. "Oh! Now I understand why we are doing this!" We also found straight lines and curves everywhere around us--in nature, in our bodies, and in our room.

During our main lesson stories, we have been following the adventures of a group of children, who have wandered into 'the magic woods.' The children must create shapes together in the woods in order to unlock secret passageways, receive treasures from nature spirits, and journey further on the quests. These stories are fueling our imaginations, circle time activities, and our main lesson form drawing work periods. Like the children in our stories, we too are learning to make simple and complex shapes individually and together in our circle, as well as on the blackboard and page. The stories feed our work and play and vice versa. 
The students have been exuberant in their work, art, and play and are truly ready to be in first grade. Our work together has just begun, yet several of the children expressed that after a day or two of first grade, they feel much, much older and "at least 100 years wiser!"