Our Butterfly and Ruby-throated Hummingbird Gardens

Our butterfly and hummingbird garden provides such a peaceful, welcoming, cozy spot to observe and support wildlife.   Awe and wonder are definitely alive in all who sit quietly and observe.   A question as simple as “What kind of animal is that?” often begins a child’s journey.   As they research answers, they learn […]

Our Vegetable Gardens

How does our garden grow… Well, right now, it’s pretty messy, wild, overgrown, perhaps even an eyesore.  It is definitely an eyesore.  We choose to be “lazy” gardeners and leave the plants standing at the end of harvest time to provide a habitat for wildlife.  Once spring arrives, and there are several days back-to-back with […]

Moon Journals

Our elementary students enjoyed a month-long, inquiry-based study of the moon.  They created moon journals and were encouraged to observe the moon each night, recording its changes along with their thoughts and ideas. The students brought their impressions of the moon to life through a variety of creative approaches such as writing poetry, reading moon-based […]

Geology Trip to Starved Rock

An incredible day exploring Starved Rock with two geology experts: Many thanks to the expert geologists who shared their knowledge with us! Amazing Explanations! Dodging the Waterfall! Traversing a Fallen Tree! Sketching & Note Taking A Helping Hand Hiking! The River’s Edge

Graduation Trip to Alabama and Tennessee

For the  8th year graduation trip, a gift from our school to our graduates, we headed to Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee.  While our students and teachers have much knowledge about the struggles and challenges faced, visiting these historic sites was quite impactful. This graduation trip will be long remembered.  All the […]

Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail – Birmingham

We arrived in Birmingham on Sunday morning in time to attend the service at The 16th Street Baptist Church.  We were so graciously and warmly welcomed!  Our group represented many different religious and non-religious traditions, but all of us thoroughly enjoyed the entire, inspiring service and the beauty of the congregation and the building. Our next […]

Timelines and History to Life!

Our 5th and 6th years have embarked on a timeline creation project based on our history shelves.  The project began — and continues — with great discussions about how to define history, why and how people record history, and the importance of recognizing the missing parts of the narrative. Using our history shelves for this […]

Puppy Love

We have learned so much about puppies and dogs since October 1997 when we welcomed Sunflower as a 8 week old golden retriever puppy into our hearts and classroom.  The desire, of a lower elementary student who had participated as a preschooler in the welcoming of puppy Sunflower, to help “raise” another puppy prompted our […]

Poems in Honor of Sweet Puppies

Over the years, the puppies and dogs in our elementary and middle year classrooms have definitely added to our students’ lives and learning – from practical life responsibilities of care, nurture, and training, to the emotional bonds that develop between child and dog, to the social connections that form between students based on their shared […]