New Dedicated Woodworking Classroom at Orchard Valley!

Renovations at our East Montpelier campus this past summer yielded wonderful results! Besides the fantastic new flow and calmer experience between classes and the repurposing of the yurt into our music and theater space, Orchard Valley gained a dedicated Woodworking classroom. After five years of moving tables and equipment and reconfiguring grades classrooms into makeshift woodworking spaces, our Woodworking Teacher Heinz Rathmann has his own classroom in which to welcome the students!

"The students enter the woodworking space and are reverent to it. They really step into this different work now," said Heinz. "This is "200% better than before!" The shift allows him more time for tuning into what the students need, instead of the logistics of how to make the different grades classrooms work for woodworking, he shared.

For the younger classes, Heinz still works with the children right in their classrooms--or the Farm and Forest Tepee for the outdoor Kindergarten. The three kindergartens are working with Heinz once a week for four weeks, and "it's been really sweet," he says. "They really learn something as they pound nails into their small birch stumps." 

The Grade 1 students are making round dice that roll, and the finished pieces will stay in the class for Ms. Ginsburg to use in math or language arts activities. Grade 4 is working on Mancala boards, while Grade 5 is whittling with a knife, making small critters. The Grade 6/7 class is working on 3-legged stools, and Grade 8 is whittling figurines which become a representation of themselves. Heinz said, "It's really interesting how that happens."