Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Heats Up in the 'Boro

The Summer ELP at Robinson School in Starksboro finished its first week and things were hoppin'! There are about 30 kids in grades 1-6 participating and we are blessed with five wonderful educators who have planned and are presenting a fabulous program.

We are working on a theme about the Five Towns so that students can get to know the place where they are growing up. Each workshop leader has funneled the theme through their areas of expertise and we have all kinds of cross-curricular opportunities for students to make some really authentic connections. Here's what's up...

As scientists and mathematicians under the guidance of Nancy Hellen, students have been exploring water around our school. Their experiments have involved what happens when water and sand, rocks, and other natural debris mix. This led each group to discussions about sediment, silt, saturation, and erosion. Then, looking at the school grounds our scientists found evidence of water in the woods and did scientific sketches. The next big question was: Where does the water go that is run off on the school grounds? Mapping skills were utilized as students mapped a waterway for run off from the pavilion roof. This group will continue its exploration of water and the surrounding watershed in the weeks to come.

Over in Wellness with Isaac Kreismann, the students played, stretched, and experimented in the kitchen together. The first few days of were highlighted by an all-ages outdoor yoga session, the creation of sourdough starters and--a Robinson favorite--energetic games of gaga. We are excited to track the progress as each group continues to care for and work with their sourdough while it becomes a home for wild yeast. Yoga and gaga skills will be honed as we work in different ways to move, exercise, and play outside during July!

Literacy has been blended with Art thanks to Christine Vaughn who has been working with students on self portraits and "I Am From..." poems to help them develop a sense of place here in Starksboro using imagery from their homes and school to describe who they are. The students also made aliens out of their names using chalk and pastels. It was a very creative and artsy week for sure!

Each week, we host a special guest and this week it has been music teacher Jen Allred. Jen has been teaching the students handbells and they have learned all kinds of songs. The first and second graders have even written their own tune! All of the groups are learning a version of the hit song "Cups," made popular by the movie Pitch Perfect and the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders are getting pretty darned good at this complicated--and utterly cool--composition. Our special guest next week will be naturalist Hilary Redman, who will work on nature journaling with the students.

Here are the videos from last week's concert. What a treat!

Our Tuesday visit from the Bookwagon was a big hit. We were joined by outgoing principal Mr. Hartnett and new principal Ms. Frazer for a read aloud. The kids then picked out books to help them reach their reading goals and it became very clear that we have a crew of avid readers on our hands here at Robinson! The week of July 6th, the Bookwagon will be driven by Erin Bent and feature stories from firefighter Jennifer Turner.

Here is a slideshow of our week! You can also see it here.


  1. What an awesome program and blog! I would love to attend any future performances.

  2. We will let you know our schedule!