3rd Grade Human Body Project



Brayden and his fellow third grade peers have been studying the human body.  This past Thursday they had project share time for parents to come in and see what they had been working on and learning.




Third graders used this book as a platform to talk about parts of their body that they like.  Brayden chose his leg and foot:DSC01402



Our school is great about interdisciplinary work, this is a piece of art Brayden created with Lucia in Art class.



Brayden was a part of the body ratio group.  He had folks measure how tall they were with yarn and then cut the yarn.  Then if you stretch the yarn from hand to hand and hold your arms out, it will be the same length.  DSC01396





Update & Photo Dump



Life is constant.  We are busy, to say the least.

The boys and I are 3 weeks into a new school year at Central Park School for Children.  I am teaching 1st grade and loving it!  I have the most amazing group of learners.  Working full-time, as a lead teacher, makes life full but I am enjoying it.  I am learning how to manage home life and more work.  I miss being home, but I have a peace about teaching at CPSC.  Yes, I am tired, but I am very thankful to be an active member of the learning community at our school.  There is so much to look forward to each day.

Kalen started 5th grade and Brayden is now in 3rd.  They are adjusting and enjoying the newness.

We are fostering to adopt a five year old diamond in the rough.  He has been with us since July 18th.  He stayed with us several weekends this summer to see if he would be a good fit for our family.  We all weighed in and decided to help this little guy out.  He is a little ball of joy.  He loves life and is very active, as are we!  He has some baggage, but don’t we all?  We are thankful to be able to love him right where he is in his life right now.

Madelyn, Kalen and Brayden are starting up soccer (we spent 8 hrs on the soccer fields today).  Julian is about to start high school, Maddie 7th grade.  Scott is revving up for another school year at Elon.


Maddie was a part of a Collage Project at Duke School this summer. Here she is the night of the culminating event. This is her moose puppet she made.


First day of school for Brayden, 3rd grade.


Scott and I waiting for Maddie’s presentation for the Collage Project.


July 18th. N came to stay. 🙂


First day of school, Kalen, 5th grade.


Kalen & Brayden


Julian Jeremiah, awaiting Maddie’s performance.


N practicing his numbers with my mom, not long after first meeting her. 🙂


Kalen’s amazing fish


Me this summer on a date with my Scott at one of our favs, Remedy Diner in Raleigh.


Madelyn’s owl


Some of my students right after lunch one day, during quiet time.


The first week in my class. I love first grade!


Last week, my dad took our whole family out for pizza and to a Durham Bull’s Baseball game. We had a blast. Maddie got her face painted.


Brayden pointing out something to N at the baseball game. N had a ball that night!

Battle of the Books


Yesterday, Julian competed with Duke School participants in the Battle of the Books.  They did a great job and placed 3rd!  Here is an excerpt from America’s Battle of the Book’s website:

America’s Battle of the Books is a reading incentive program for students in grades 3rd-12th. Students read books and come together to demonstrate their abilities and test their knowledge of the books they have read. The competitions are similar in style to the TV series Family Feud or Whiz Kids styles of competition, however, the structure and format of the competitions may vary depending on the needs, resources, and personal preferences at various school sites or at county/state competitions.

Yet another reason to be proud of our book lovin’ Julian.  We love you, Jules!





Madelyn Studies Ancient Greece



Pictured above is our Madelyn, front and center with the butterfly mask. She was performing in a play with her peers at Duke School.  She was a butterfly, a woodland creature.  This specific group that Madelyn was cast with was performing a play entitled Melting Madness, written by them collectively.  It was written in the spirit of  Aristophanes, leading comic playwright of his day, of Ancient Greece.

Duke School is a project based school.  Their culminations are always quite breathtaking, as they show such hard work by the students and teachers.

Needless to say, I am very proud of Madelyn and how she has entered middle school gracefully and has consistently risen to the challenges offered with these projects.











The sixth graders made masks over the course of two weeks.  Madelyn’s butterfly mask was showcased here.






Milking Cows

One of the kindergarten classes that I work with has been studying the time of Laura Ingalls Wilder after reading Little House and the Big Woods.  The class indicated certain aspects of that time period that they found interesting and wanted to explore more.  For example, two students were particularly interested in the whole living off the farm, raising animals that produce milk for drinking and cooking.  They wanted to know what the process is for milking a cow.  We were able to find a local farmer that was willing for us to come out and visit him and his cows.  I loaded up these two students and the three of us traveled to Efland.   [Sidenote- This is a great example of the child centered philosophy at our school… following the curiosities and natural eagerness of our students and allowing the students to learn from real-life experiences to shape and educate them.]  Farmer Chris let us step right into the pasture and watch him milk several cows.  I was able to try a hand at this milking business.  After seeing me try, one of our kids wanted to try it out as well.  It was a wonderful experience.  The vegan in me was delighted to also find out that this farmer doesn’t kill any of his cows.  He raises them in a compassionate way, and never has too many at a time.  Here is a clip from our experience:


As I drove away, I asked myself if I had cows and was able to do what this farmer does… would I drink or cook with the fresh milk?  Still thinking about it.  I do know that I was very inspired by the peacefulness of that farm.


Aaron’s Class with Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott

It was truly a night to remember.  But, let me back up and tell you how it came about.  Kalen’s 4th grade teacher, Aaron, teaches his class a new song each week.  The songs vary in genre, but always have some type of connection with what the class may be studying, a period in history, or just a song that means a lot to Aaron.  Aaron has many instruments in his classroom.  He pulls out his guitar and will play simple chords to the song of the week, leading the kids after lunchtime in a time of community building singing.  Two of the songs Aaron has happened to teach the kids this year were sung by two of Aaron’s favorite bluegrass and folksy musicians, Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien.  Aaron knew these two musicians were coming to Raleigh this January and decided to send some emails and see if there was any way to join forces.  Well, Tim and Darrell invited Aaron’s class (from last year and this year) to go sing with them on stage in front of a sold out crowd at the Fletcher Opera Theatre in Raleigh!  The invitation alone was a huge deal as these two musicians have won a Grammy and written songs for lots of folks.  Tim and Darrell were excited about what these kids were doing in their class with music and the fact that last year, Aaron’s class raised money and made their classroom solar powered.  The kids were invited to sing Paradise and Keep Your Dirty Lights On, both songs that they had learned this year.

Our family was so delighted to accompany Kalen to this event.  We met up with the class and excitement was in the air.

Down below you will see the kids just before their first time on stage, before the sound check.  Now, if you remember, I said that the kids would be performing in front of a sold out crowd.  So, we couldn’t sit in the audience during the show.  But, we were able to watch the sound check/warm-up and we were able to stand on the side of the stage while our kids performed.

Now, here they all are on stage with Tim and Darrell.  Tim is the gentleman facing the kids on the left, then there is Darrell in the red plaid shirt on the right.  Our Kalen is front and center beside the girl in the pinkish purple pants.  DSC02143

During this long sound check period, I sat there and just had tears falling from my face.  It was one of those parent moments when you look up at your kid and you are overcome with emotion.  The music was just amazing.  The joy on the kids faces was so pure and sweet.


So, pardon the recording at the first start of this clip.  I was focusing on Kalen only.  I actually do get Tim and Darrell in the shot after awhile.  🙂

Kalen was looking up at the lights in amazement.  🙂



We took a break after the warm-up and went to ZPizza in downtown Raleigh.  They have great vegan pizza!  We basically filled their whole place.


I love this photo below.  Kalen is looking up to Aaron just before they head out on stage.  Aaron is giving the kids encouragement and setting his expectations for them.


So, Scott, Julian, Madelyn, Brayden and I, (along with several other proud parents) were hiding out here on the side watching our kids perform.  Tears were streaming.