Greetings during this transition from winter to spring. Even though the weather is a bit confused, learning is in full force at the St. Johnsbury School. Our recent sign messages capture that excitement. Grade 3 posted, "3rd graders are problem solvers," and Grade 4 followed that with, "4th grade is rocking out in science." Next came "5th graders are digging for details," and "6th graders extend learning at Fairbanks Museum." Some sixth graders recently were especially impressed with their visit to the Planetarium.
In the spirit of winter winding down, I would like to share some imagery poetry from sixth graders. Students created sensory images about winter. Students created these sound images: the sound of stark silence, the crunching of snow and what's left of gravel; the sound of joy with many people loving to play and build in the snow; the sound of snowshoes and snowmobiles; the sound of wind howling and sleet against the window. They created images of taste as well: the taste of maple sugar on fresh, clean snow; the taste of snowflakes falling on our warm tongues, freezing them a for a few short seconds; the taste of steamy, hot chocolate beverages racing down your throat. There were also images of touch: feels like a nice fire crackling in warmth, yet a cold, bristling feeling; feels like cold, fluffy snow; feels like wind and snow on my face and fire on my skin; feels like heavy relief, tranquility, the wind running by; feels like speed down the hill -- you cannot stop so enjoy it as you go!
In the spirit of spring approaching, I would like to also share excerpts from a letter that the pre-school classes wrote to their farmer friend at Joe's Brook Farm. One preschool class wrote, "We laughed when we heard about the zebra tomatoes and the purple smudge tomatoes. We didn't know there would be purple, red, or white carrots and beets with peppermint candy swirls inside. Do you grow any of these vegetables at your farm?" The students went on to explain that they, too, were planters. "We like flowers, too. Did you know we planted an amaryllis bulb in January? We kept the flower pot on a counter by a sunny window. Every day, the Plant Inspector checked the soil to see if it needed water and then measured the plant to see how much it was growing." The students proudly announced, "First there were two leaves and then there was a stem that grew up to 22 inches tall! Then it made a red bulb which turned into two big, beautiful red flowers." Our second preschool class included in their letter a list of which seeds were their favorites. The students wrote, "If we were choosing seeds from your catalog, we would pick: carrots, tomatoes, green beans, corn, broccoli, peppers, lettuce, zucchini and strawberries. These are some of our favorites." The students then described their classroom planting plan, saying, "We plan on starting some seeds in our classroom in March. We have a nice sunny window they should like."
I am continually reminded of the wonderful energy at our school. A teacher's face lit up just before vacation when she exclaimed, "He got it! It's finally coming together for him. He's going to fly for the rest of the year now." As one of the first graders said good-bye at the end of the day to me, he was brief but clear. "I like school. Bye." A room parent earlier this year said, "It's so rewarding to know you're being helpful, and it's great to be part of such a wonderful school community that is making a difference. And we have fun, too."
Student art work is on display at the Athenaeum for the month of March -- art pieces that exemplify excellence in craftsmanship. Read Across America happens this week with author visits and special book projects. A school on the move -- that is the St. Johnsbury School!