~a month of unschool~ lego lands

easing back into our routine after a nice holiday break!

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the holidays were sweet. lots of moments like the above photo, with big pancake showing little b pancake all about bilbo’s house. also, we had a visit from our local adopted family unit, which was long overdue and very fun. quinn spent a lot of his break doing unstructured activities like making vast lego lands in his bedroom.

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some of our many ceramics projects are now returning from their final firing, and it has been like christmas again, unwrapping each piece. two of quinn’s are shown here. left: rafael slab cup and right: who-ville sculpture.

other art included singing songs in celebration of martin luther king jr. day and also making prayer flags in honor of peace work like his.

reading with teacher bonnie has been going really well, and she is even able to provide some motivation to quinn to work on his handwriting skills, which somehow doesn’t come across quite as palatably from his own mama. it takes a village!

data math was featured quite a bit this month for the “youngers” math group. quinn really straddles the line between math levels and often enjoys eavesdropping on “olders” math lessons as well.

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as a class, we took a hike to big creek park, which we can do by just walking out the door of our school and down a side street to a trail.  there was lots of spontaneous scientific inquiry, specimens examined and some collected (such as mushrooms for spore prints and items to be looked at under the microscope). you may be noticing that it doesn’t exactly look like your average “january” day in oregon- we really lucked out with some sun!

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when it came time for using the microscope, the kids had to take a number, but they all managed to get a turn, and spent the wait time drawing their found specimens and leafing through field guides.

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of course i can’t leave out  fly tying night.

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i have mentioned the learning menus we fill out at ols, but haven’t properly explained them yet. in an effort to help kids really reflect on what they are learning, they fill out a chart, noting the work that they have done in a given week. we keep the learning menus on a personal clipboard so they can be easily grabbed and added to, and the charts are divided into sensible categories for a school like ours, with topics you might expect at any school such as reading, math, and science, and also others that we see as equally as important, like “building relationships”, “nature/outside”, “research” and “puzzles/games/blocks”. recently we upgraded to a color-coded system where each day of the week gets written in a different color of pencil, creating a visually pleasing record to look back on!

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speaking of games, many were played this month, including chess, various ipad apps, and battleship. magnatiles are a favorite game right now. okay, so do i write “played magnatiles with so-and-so” in games, or building relationships? hmmm…. student’s choice, of course!

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a notable lunch this month

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