Karen Carney

The Arts Converge at Chicago Friends School

Ten minutes before dismissal today, I was down in my office in the basement when suddenly I heard footsteps clattering into my office. Renata poked her head in: “You are cordially invited to a musical mask march, upstairs, right now!” Who could resist such an invitation, especially at the end of a long day?   Upstairs our…

One Solar System, Many kinds of Learning

This year, our whole school instructional theme is circles, and this month all class levels have been studying the circles of Solar System in science.   Each class is doing some research, making a model of some form, and learning facts about the solar system’s objects and their movement, each in a developmentally appropriate way. In…

Connecting in Silence

A long-held tradition among Quakers is silent meeting. During this time, community members come together and settle into a shared silence. During the silence, everyone tries to connect with their innermost best self and enjoys a shared sense of fellowship. If someone is moved to speak to the group, they may do so and the…

Collaboration in the Hallway

One of the great pleasures of my job is when the students do something entirely on their own that makes me stop and feel proud. One of those moments happened in the hall one Thursday between lunch and recess. Four students, representing two different classrooms, finished eating early. Unbidden, they clustered around a book in…

Day of Service

On October 10, Chicago Friends School students participated in Chicago Friends School’s first day of service, presented as an alternative to the Columbus Day holiday. Because we are studying where our food comes from right now, as part of our Trash and Treasure theme, I wanted to do a service day that engaged kids in…

Creating School Rules, as a Community

This week, we started the school year, by engaging students in the creation of rules for this school year. Engaging students in rule-making helps them to enter a community and feel like they have equal stakes in how the community functions. It also allows them to voice their concerns, wishes and ideas about the kind…