As the morning frost sparkles in the early hours, the students at Whitethorn School are just arriving. Laughter and lots of high energy fill the air. They are gearing up for another day of learning and exploring the world around them. This school year has brought a flurry of different activities.
A school tradition continues with the “Good Morning Let’s Read” program. Once a week, devoted volunteers come to the school and spend a half-hour reading with students. It’s a wonderful way for struggling readers to get one-on-one time with an adult. A big “Thank You” to all the volunteers who make this program possible. If you would like to become a volunteer please give the school a call at 986-7420.
Each month selected students from each of the classes are chosen to have lunch with one of our fabulous teachers. A delicious pizza meal is served and the students are honored for being good citizens. This is always a favorite event for both teacher and student. This year’s honorees were Aspen and Rowan Riley, Logan Hobbs, Sienna Curley, Syren Hudson, Elisha and Shiri Pike, Aidan Wilson, Hana Goodkind, Kaleb Cogswell, Colten Gurreri, Daphne Hobbs, Jasper Wallace-Boyd, Madison Everette, Arianna and Sky Cheney, Austin Gray, Rebecca Froslie, Sophia Studebaker, Cameron Messenger, Maddox Charbonneau, Violet Page, Madison Burnett, and Mason Wansick. Congratulations!
Eric and Victoria Shafer’s K-1st grade class have been busy learning about different types of animals. They enjoyed a few weeks of pet sitting with “Eight,” a furry tarantula. They learned interesting facts and made careful observations. They also shared some space with snakes and lizards. Then, to the delight of all, Jimmy Dervin, a local community naturalist, brought in a wild possum for the students to see. What a great way to learn about being responsible stewards of our natural world, and the creatures that share our local habitat. Their study of paper has made great use of hands-on science investigations. The Kindergarten class has been busy learning to write letters of the alphabet and identify sounds. The First graders are working on addition and subtraction. They are reading and learning to write sentences. The children have even written original books.
A field trip to the Ferndale Repertory Theater’s production of “Rumpelstiltskin” was a wonderful experience. The students came back to school with vivid memories of many details from the play.
Erica Gray’s 2nd and 3rd graders have been spending the first part of the school year getting to know each other, and building new friendships. They have studied the solar system using the FOSS science module, “Sun Moon and Stars.” They tracked the sun’s path across the sky for an entire school day and even created their own planets and coloring books! Creative writing has been getting more creative by the day and the students are now receiving letters from students in Oroville and Mariposa, Calif.
The Pen Pals are learning about each other and getting lots of practice writing. New math books arrived just in time to jump start the year. Lots of numbers are flying through the air in Erica’s class. The fall trip to the Pumpkin Patch at the Riverbar Farms in Hydesville was a tremendous success. Every student received a free pumpkin and then got to explore the corn maze. The day was topped off by a tour of the Loleta Cheese Factory. Dozens of yummy samples were eaten and enjoyed by all.
Shelby Speer’s 4th, 5th, and 6th graders had an excellent time hosting the annual Halloween Carnival. It is always one of the favorite holidays at the school, and the upper graders helped with art projects, decorating the classroom, and running the various booths and activities. The warm weather made for a fun and enjoyable afternoon.
There is nothing like a day at the Mendocino Ropes Course to build confidence and team spirit. Once again the students got a chance to challenge themselves in ways they did not think possible.
The students are plowing through several novels as part of various reading groups and have been participating in literature circles.
They studied Native Americans, and followed up with art projects directly relating to the studies. A successful day was enjoyed by all who attended the “Civil War Days” in Fortuna. Lots was learned about this period in time. As always, Math is keeping the kids busy, with all sorts of new concepts being introduced.
Music is filling the air with our dedicated teacher Margaret Lewis. The children are learning to read music and playing recorder. Every student will have been taught to play an instrument by the time they leave Whitethorn School. We think that’s just one of the things that make our school so special. The teachers and the students are at the top of the list! Keep up the good work!
Submitted by Liane Boyd for Friends of Whitethorn School