Element Number One: Fire
The curricular theme this school year is "The Elements." Within a month of school starting, my daughter began bringing home stories of fires in the school yard & experiments meant to determine flammabilty: "I tried to burn a can, but it wouldn't burn. The pine cone burned really fast."
I found it odd -- encouraging play with fire -- but decided to remain calm & trust.
The parents were then invited in for a secret show & just in that week every one of the six kids fell sick. After about a month's time, the show finally went on this week.
The English teacher narrated the script as her six students acted out the story. They were cute. They were better than cute -- they were spectacular! There was a forest, a great rainstorm, a fire created by primitives, and a lost lamb. Within a minute's time, the forest was on fire, the lamb died, and the primitives fell in love and lived happily ever after. See! Clearly spectacular!
And then we all did crafts! Huh? Yep. That's what we did. I took the time to notice proof of the learning, results of the experiments charted with the children's drawings that the teacher had displayed around the room: lots of evidence of teaching and learning going on here. There was even a display of partially melted metal that the kids had then used to create other art. (It's a big topic for my high school this year, evidence of teaching and learning, as we make final preparations for an upcoming accreditation visit.)
Why, pizza, of course! (See a pattern here?)
I am officially starting to be oh-so-sad that this part of her childhood is nearing its end. Next year she transitions to the big bad elementary school with at least 27 kids in her class . . . sad to see this time go, sad to part ways with most (maybe even all) of these five kiddos and their families; afterall, we all survived the "early years" together -- all but one of these is the oldest child in the family.