… And that’s what Maple Grove is made of
TINA L. SCOTT
Walks in the woods and tapping trees and cooking maple syrup and making pancakes for friends and family and neighbors. Raising chicks in the spring and watching them grow, feeding them, and learning all about bouncy eggs and calcium and all of the different products that poultry produce. Studying dairy cows students can see in the fields on their way to and from school and for some, in the barns on their farms, and using Mason jars to shake unprocessed whole milk into pats of butter, the old-fashioned way. Going snowshoeing outdoors in the snow for physical education class. Experiential learning. Making snow piles and snow slides and playing outdoors in the sun in snowpants and winter gear. Building forts in the woods and dams on the creek. Composting and planting gardens and watching seeds grow and weeding. Studying agriculture school-wide since many families are farm families and the school is in a farming community. Making outdoor casts of animal prints and molds of outdoor materials, and bird and tree identification, and breathing lots of fresh air in the school forest, just steps away from the school’s doors. Holding a “Beaver and the Lumberjack” play (based on an adaptation of one of Aesop’s fables) in the woods. Geometry lessons that include studying and making barn quilts. Kindergarteners studying “Me on the Map” … all the way from the planets to Earth, to continents to the USA, to Wisconsin to Hamburg. And learning about how they fit into the solar system. Kindergarteners studying communities and creating a community on the stage, writing community helper (police, fire, government, doctors, vets, etc.) reports. Second and third graders studying communities by creating community maps and learning about all the resources needed and how to support community members, with jobs and businesses. Four and fifth graders learning about U.S. government and cultuure, flags and geography, landmarks and symbols. Then selecting countries from around the world and sharing photos and presentations about those cultures, including sharing food, music, and artifacts. Bird watching and making bird feeders from pinecones, lard, bird seed, and yarn. Making homemade Valentines. Getting lots of fresh air in our outdoor classrooms. Learning to cross-country ski. Painting and building. Learning to speak French … in kindergarten! Pajama days and collecting items for charitable donations. Embodying CRISP (Craftsmanship. Respect. Integrity. Stewardship. Perseverance.) in the classroom, on the playground, in everyday life. Embracing individualized learning for every student, focused on targeted instruction to correct learning deficits or provide advanced learning, depending upon what each individual child needs. Specifically focused to drill down to actual skills.
Fun and laughter and learning and playing, and so much more … that’s what Maple Grove is made of.