Class News: A Day in the Life of a Kindergarten, First and Second Grade Students

Kindergarteners
A Kindergarten day is full of fun and hands-on activities across subjects. In the morning they start their day with morning meeting to build community and build a class bond. They greet each other and play some games to start the day. This is important to the day because it starts their day off with a sense of togetherness.

Kindergarteners learn math skills, reading, writing and also social studies and science that are based off of the farm. Kindergarteners get to learn first-hand what being on a farm is really like. They are able to see all the work that goes into it and also are able to do some of that work through shared chicken chores. This gives these children a sense of responsibility. This is also the best part about Kindergarten at Renaissance. The children are able to be with the animals and learn about them through this experience. Kindergarteners are able to learn about habitats not only through facts, but through seeing these environments and the changes they go through.
Kindergarten at Renaissance School is a very special experience each and every day. 

First Graders
What is it like to be in the Renaissance First Grade classroom?  Each year children come to First Grade and accomplish many academic feats.  They learn to become fluent readers, refined writers, and developed mathematicians.  The children learn all of these great academics, yet these cannot be learned without other, arguably more important, social lessons also taking place.  

Each day in our First Grade classroom, students learn to respect each other and themselves.  This lesson is learned while listening to each other share at circle, and by raising hands to ask their classmates pertinent questions.  It is learned when they find things to compliment themselves and others on.  It is learned by taking part in appropriate conversations during snack.  The children display this respect by celebrating each other's accomplishments.  Just the other day in the First Grade classroom this was displayed when a friend succeeded after struggling with a concept for a period of time. Several other students complimented that student and even gave a short round of applause.  These kind gestures are natural occurrences and what makes being in our First Grade classroom such a wonderful experience.  The children learn to cheer for one another and show compassion for their friends when they are feeling down.  

So, when asked what it is like to spend a day in First Grade, imagine a place where everyone feels accepted, and where friends come together to form a loving team.  When walking into our classroom, you'll see the academics happening and all of the great learning the children are doing each day, and more importantly you will feel the respect, the excitement, the kindness, and the compassion that the children are learning without even realizing.

Second Graders
A whole lot of learning and fun happens in Second Grade at The Renaissance School!  This is largely because the children's skills often begin to rapidly develop in this grade and the students continue to absorb information like sponges!  

Typically, Second Graders’ reading skills blossom, as their skills largely move from decoding words and phrases, to developing their reading fluency and comprehension.  From the very start of the school year in Second Grade, we read many books by some wonderful authors, as well as popular book series that appeal to seven and eight year old children.  It’s not long before the children are hooked and want to read more and more!  

A similar thing happens in math.  Early on in Second Grade, the students start to build on the strong foundational math skills that they learned in Kindergarten and First Grade.  Second Graders are more familiar with, and start to memorize, their basic addition and subtraction facts.  They develop a stronger number sense and problem solving skills.  This growth allows them to begin to understand some of the higher level math that they’re introduced to in Second Grade including multiplication, division, and fractions.  The children enjoy the many math activities and games we do related to our math lessons.  These games and activities  help to ingrain crucial math skills, as well as help students to understand how to do their written practice.  

We have exciting science and social studies themes in Second Grade including Communities and Citizenship, Geology, The Solar System, and Weather.  It’s exciting to see the Second Graders become so enthusiastically involved in these topics!  For each of these science and social studies themes, we do many hands-on activities.  We might also have guest speakers or take a field trip related to our unit.  Of course we take advantage of going to school on a farm as well, utilizing the farm’s many natural resources and appreciating the beauty of the landscape that surrounds us.