Welcome to our first Friday Note of the 2016-17 school year! We have been off to an incredible start here at school… as my Elementary School art teacher Mr. Gyra used to say, “We are cooking on both burners!” We have been busy laying the groundwork for a productive and active year.
We feel excited about the theme we have chosen for the year, which is “Building.” This seemingly innocuous word has proven to be brimming with possibilities for our students and teachers. It is important and powerful both as a verb and as a noun, and we have giggled about the idea of “building buildings.” Our students have used the first few weeks to focus on building (or rebuilding!) friendships, knowledge, confidence, relationships, trust, skills, routines, comfort, and both mental and physical stamina. We have started looking at physical buildings in a new way, noticing their structure and function. We have been using the buildings from our block rooms as the source of inspiration for our art work. The Forest Room students have been making plans to design, build, and market their own toys.
Being pedagogy enthusiasts, the adults at Randolph can’t help but realize that the building theme aligns directly with our approach to education. We are constructivists by nature, focusing our work on the dynamic relationship between our learners, their teachers (facilitators), and the activity at hand. We watch our students build knowledge through experience, build social skills through lively interaction, and build self-awareness, patience, empathy, and respect through their daily experiences and routines at Randolph.
So far we have no plans to require students wear hard hats to school, but rest assured we will be building all year long. Welcome to the new year at Randolph!