A day at Chicago Friends School

Buddies Save the Day

In the second grade class, we recently started a writing unit on biographies. Students chose an African American figure that they wanted to learn more about. I gave students texts about the person they chose, so that research could begin. There are many good biographies written on a second grade level, but they are not…

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…

Learning As Action

Students in Middle School are learning about their connection to the world.  Events take place around them, or to them, and understanding that they have control over these forces is new.  In my 5-6th grade class, we try to leverage this desire to connect whenever we can.  We use it in Social Studies for students…

Germs! We’re here, there, everywhere!

My K-1 class dove into learning about germs in the past couple of weeks in order to become “experts” and present their learning at Chicago Friends School community health day.  Community health day is where each class teaches the others about some aspects of how to stay healthy.  We began with an activity where, unbeknownst…

Problem Solving

Our social-emotional curriculum, Second Step, teaches students about a series of steps (using the acronym S.T.E.P.) for solving problems (whether they be interpersonal, personal, or group problems).  I have found that, after explicitly teaching about each of the steps, using these steps with the class has been helpful in solving problems together.  With enough practice…