Tales from Lower School
Calhoun students celebrated the annual 100th Day Museum to commemorate completing 100 days of school. Each cluster worked together to create projects that reflected their understanding of what the number 100 looks like.
This year’s 100th Day Museum was full of interdisciplinary projects that made connections between math and other fields: from a scientific model of a 100-tentacled jellyfish, to an interpretation of a Kandinsky painting. Community service was also a common theme, with some clusters showing collections of donated books or canned goods for a local food pantry.
All of the projects were put on display in the 74th Street theater, and the entire Little Calhoun community dropped by to enjoy the creations. Bravo to this year’s exhibitors!
Second graders made a scientific model of the 100-tentacled immortal jellyfish. Each of the 100 tentacles had an equation that equaled the number 100. The project reinforced concepts of biology, while helping students practice math skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, cubed numbers and factorials.
Using the painting Squares with Concentric Circles as inspiration, second graders created 100 paper squares layered with colored circles to mimic the color study by Wassily Kandinski in 1913.
100 food items that were collected for the local food pantry West Side Campaign Against Hunger.
A collection of 100 books donated to Project Cicero, a non-profit organization that creates and supplements classroom libraries in under-resourced New York City public schools.
First graders created artistic renditions of favorite Pocket People foods. Each child made 10 of one type of food, which they will later add to their Pocket Person’s home.
One group of second graders made a representation of 100 words that they can read, write and spell.
3’s students counted from one to 10 in 10 different languages. Each language was chosen because of its connection to the languages of the families and teachers in the cluster. Many of these preschoolers are bilingual and have been teaching their classmates how to count in different languages.
First graders drew, cut and painted 100 eagle feathers. After counting by groups of 10’s to make sure they had exactly 100 feathers, they then sorted the feathers by colors and divided them into two groups of 50.
First graders posed with their project of 100 paper flowers.
4’s students created a centipede with 100 legs.
A message from Lower School Director Alison Rothschild
In the Lower School, teachers have begun to discuss disaster relief projects with students. As an institution committed to developing empathy and social consciousness in all of our students, conversations about collection efforts provide a developmentally appropriate avenue for this area of our work.
The focus of our conversations has been around loss and damage to material things, and our desire to help children replace those lost and damaged things. Age appropriate conversations begin and end with reassurance that children are safe. As kids get older (7-, 8-, 9-years-old) they are able to extrapolate that there was also loss of life, but that has not been the focus of our conversations in school.
The responses to the conversations have varied tremendously, with some children enthusiastically offering to give away their toys and books while our youngest students, who are not yet able to understand another perspective, listen to the discussions and follow up with their own experiences with rain, water, toys or electricity.
I trust our teachers implicitly to provide safe and comfortable dialogue around these topics, but wanted to provide parents with some guidelines and some helpful resources to help navigate these and (sadly) future tragic events.
First and foremost, it is best to limit exposure to these events. Graphic images on the news or in photographs can be traumatic for young children. Children should have varying degrees of information, depending on age and maturity.
It's been my experience that in times of trouble, young children seem to hold it together during the school day and then process fears, sadness and other emotions at home with their family, often at bedtime. It's important to give children the opportunity to express their fears, ask questions, and then provide them with the reassurance that they are safe.
Here are two resources that may be of interest.
As I think about all of the events transpiring around the world, I am increasingly appreciative of our Calhoun family. We are all so fortunate to be part of such a kind and compassionate community. And I'm encouraged and thankful that our children are learning, right from the start, that they have the ability to help others in need.
by Priscilla Marrero, Lower School Spanish teacher
In an effort to respond to hurricane victims, the Lower School community rallied together in an amazing showing of support for the children of Puerto Rico. Over the course of a week, we collected donations of books, pens, crayons, new pajamas and stuffed animals for the Bel Esprit Cultural Institute’s Rise and Read project, which unites with teachers on the ground to restore a sense of normalcy for children while the adults focus on rebuilding.
It was a wonderful, magical week full of so much community support at Little Calhoun: from coordinating ideas and talking with the children about the hurricanes in Puerto Rico to creating bookmarks and sorting the boxes full of donations. It was a real communal effort, and it was incredible to witness and be a part of it all!
Our bookmarks made by 3's –2nd graders, teachers and staff
We had a special donation from our local Stationary and Toy World on 72nd Street. Donna, the owner, gave us pens, crayons, and boxes of composition books – she even sent over her staff to deliver in person!
Some of our students were so eager to participate that they joined me in the theater to help sort and receive collections. Thank you Daisy and Javier!
Emerson was so eager to support that he told his mom that he wanted to make 100 more bookmarks for the children in Puerto Rico! He really enjoyed learning about the process of creating for others.
Thanks to Avy (Calhoun parent) and Elyna (Calhoun kindergarten student), the donations are headed to Brooklyn to meet Kafayat Alli-Balogun, founder of the Bel Esprit Cultural Institute, and go to Puerto Rico!
Thank you to everyone for their kindness and generosity in contributing to this project! What an awesome week!
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