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Post #2: July 24, 2020

Its tongue lolling playfully on the ground, as if in response to the humid heat, the tire(d) dragon on the playground appears eager for someone to scramble on top of him and take a ride on an imaginary adventure. Sometimes I feel the residual energy of Green Acres students weaving in and out of the Castle or climbing atop the Mary Veronica pirate ship. Echoes of their laughter ring joyfully throughout our campus’s lush July greenery, vivid wildflowers, and butterfly bushes (already quivering with early Monarchs).

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Post #1: July 10, 2020

A “You Belong Here” sign greeted me when I first toured the Green Acres campus as a candidate. The words had a calming effect on me then, and that feeling endures as I reach the end of my first week as Head of School. I’ve begun to settle into my space here, and with excitement, I’ve started to deepen my sense of where things are, though the spaces are palpably absent of people and chatter. Our students’ masterpieces and projects still adorn the wall, vibrant vestiges of your children’s creativity and hard work—and a bright reminder of the invigorating environment that awaits us all when we return to campus.

Speaking of returning to campus, I sense the immediate pressure to share a detailed plan of what fall will look like, as we keep abreast of the ongoing changes that government and health professionals advise. While our decision-making is driven by the safety and health of all community members, as well as by our mission of child-centered, progressive teaching, it takes time to understand the needs of both individuals and the community, and to hear your voices, hopes, and concerns. The following is what I can share with you as of today:

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What's in a Name? Our First-Name-Basis Approach

Our first-name basis is a long-standing aspect of our school culture—an important and intentional one that reflects how the children and adults at Green Acres interact and what we value as a learning community.

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Green Acres School Announces New Head-Elect

We are delighted to announce that Rebecca Geary will be our next Head of School, starting July 1, 2020. Rebecca was the unanimous choice of the Head of School Search Committee and of the Board of Trustees to serve as our next leader. 

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Concrete to Abstract Thinking: A Slow Journey Well Worth Taking

In the Middle School years, students will transition from concrete to more abstract thinking, but they travel this journey at different rates. In mathematics, this process is helped along by bridging concrete and abstract thinking through representational thinking.

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Green Acres 6th Graders Are Determined to Keep Our Oceans Clean

After learning in class about the dangers that humans can sometimes unintentionally pose to sea turtles, Julia R. ’22 and Radmila S. ’22 were inspired to create a club that would raise money for charity and help Green Acres to become even more conscious of its environmental impact than it already is as a certified Green School.

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It's All Personal: Knowing Children Deeply

"The first time that I read one of my children’s Green Acres report cards, I cried. I was overcome by a wave of emotion and gratitude that someone knew my daughter so completely—her strengths, her needs, her learning style, her friendships, and her interests. That report card crystallized for me why I had chosen to send my daughter to Green Acres."

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Homecorner Conversations: Ali, 1st Grade Teacher

While our Primary Unit students are often "open books" about their interests and hobbies, other details—like what kind of learners they are—require careful teacher observation and thoughtful, responsive lesson planning. First grade teacher Ali never stops thinking about how she can teach, inspire, and connect with each learner in her care. 

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Homecorner Conversations: Mary, 3rd Grade Teacher

There's something about the eye-catching rainbow fishes hanging from the ceiling and the comforting sounds of Hedgie the hedgehog scratching in his enclosure that makes Mary's room a logical starting point for someone who wants to know more about how a classroom space can become a "home away from home."

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5th Graders Launch World-Wide Helpers' Club

After reading Refugees and Migrants by Ceri Roberts and Hanane Kai and The Day the War Came by Nicola Davies, some 5th graders became invested not only in learning more about the plight of refugees, but about how they could help those displaced peoples, as well.

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Fostering Civil Discussions

The current rancorous political divide is as passionate as it is pervasive, and it has created the proverbial catch-22 in the modern Middle School classroom. Given the fractious nature of political discussion, is it wise to even touch those subjects in class, or do we owe it to our students to protect them from these issues until they are “older?”

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Homecorner Conversations: Alison, 4th Grade Teacher

Alison discusses how the 3/4 Unit builds upon the foundation set by the Primary Unit and prepares students for Middle School, and the role that intrinsic motivation plays in the work she does as a progressive educator.

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For Learning's Sake: Intrinsically Motivated Children

Our goal is to develop in children an internal locus of control, along with an understanding that self-control comes from inside themselves and that they can exercise it. We want children to do things because they love to do them, not because they want or expect to get something in return.

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5 Signs Your Child Is Not Moving Enough at School

We want children to be healthy and happy. We hope they are internalizing habits that will help them be confident and successful throughout their lives. We assume that they will cultivate these habits at school—but very often, they won’t.

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Visual Arts: Exploring the World Beyond Names

Part of the fundamental importance of the visual arts is that art so often explores the world beyond names—before names—and helps us to understand a different, non-logical (or pre-logical) way of experiencing the phenomena around us.

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Student-Led Initiatives: Day of Action

Originally a reaction to the Day of Silence, this 10th annual community event is Green Acres students’ unique response to the question: “How does my silence help someone who doesn’t feel safe?”

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Unlocking Language

Parents and schools are partners who share the common goal of helping children develop the literacy-related skills that they will need throughout their lives.

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Demystifying Math

Our goal is for our work in math classes to bring your children joy and curiosity, along with a deeper understanding and a stronger foundation for their future work. 

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Violence and Bigotry Have No Home at Green Acres School

At Green Acres, we purposely model and teach our students about the respect that every human being deserves, about demonstrating true compassion for all, and about the efficacy we must all feel in working toward a better world.

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Curiosity, Compassion, and Civics Education

As students grow in their ability to interpret current events, we are able to discuss potential solutions to the problems and identify ways that they, even as students, can participate in the process.

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