Archive for December, 2014

Strong like Pachacutec

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If you’ve been following the blog, you know that the Pumpkins are very interested in Peru and the Incas. One of the things they’ve learned about is maca, which is a native Peruvian root plant. As the Pumpkins learned how the Incas ate maca to keep them strong and healthy, they have been “cooking” in dramatic play with maca and other Peruvian products.

We wanted to try maca for real, so Vidya (Vir’s mom) came in and helped the Pumpkins make delicious maca smoothies!


 Vigo and Vir said they were going to be strong like Pachacutec!

Danielle, Cortland and Zane said, “More please!”

Kyle and Colter said it tasted good because there were strawberries in it!

Alumni Focus: Jesse Marshall (KMS Class of ’97)

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“Ever since I left KMS I’ve been trying to recreate that feeling of being part of a community. This is my attempt to do for other people what KMS does for you…to create a world where people can explore, learn new skills and make the world a better place.”

–Jesse Marshall (KMS Class of ’97)

Click here to read more from the KMS 5th graders  interviewing Jesse Marshall about his economic revitalization project Margination

Interview with a Peach Parent

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“KMS is a great place because I see how happy my son Kiran is everyday, and that is of course the most important thing for me. And I’ve also seen how much he’s grown and how much he’s learning, and that’s really terrific too. And I know he’s really well cared for and all the teachers really look out for him and watch his development which I really love.”

Leigh and Kiran

To hear the full interview including thoughts from Kiran, click here.

What’s been happening in the Elementary program this fall?

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“In the KMS Upper Elementary we have been doing things a little bit different this year. Let me tell you what we have been doing…”

Ten-year-old Asher Belsky wrote the following article about what we have been doing in the Elementary program this Fall.  He chose to write it during Writers’ Workshop, a time when Elementary students work on independent writing projects and support each other with the process of drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.


Upper Elementary Projects  By Asher Belsky, Age 10

In the KMS Upper Elementary we have been doing things a little bit different this year. Let me tell you what we have been doing. Kids have been writing, sharing their ideas, doing research projects, and playing games.

Elizabeth (Liz) has been doing a lot of writing with the kids this year. We have been doing Monkey Minds which are when we have objects or a prompt we have to write about. We have to write for two minutes. We have Free Writes which are writing what ever we want. Lars (Isaac) has been writing a story called Soccer Champ which is about a boy soccer star named Kevin whose soccer team wins the championship. Soren has been writing a story called Escape which is about hostiles. He hasn’t quite figured out the details yet. Lola has been writing about cats and dogs. Maya writes about cats and dogs too. Aedan (CoCo) is writing a story called The Boss which is about a boy baseball champion named Tony who wins the World Series.

I interviewed Elizabeth Milne-Kahn, the head of Jupiter homeroom and she said, “there is a very large interest in animals in Jupiter. They have a lot of questions about service dogs after Magnus the service dog’s visit. The kids have been learning how to present Public Speaking and feeling comfortable about it. Jupiter loves doing journal time and making their own books.”

In Saturn homeroom we have been listing to two books on tape: Scribes from Alexandria, and Stories from Around the World. We have been doing independent projects and playing a lot of games including Chess and Masterpiece. We have learned a lot about council and Alexandria. We have had a fun time deciphering the Rosetta Stones and finding out what they mean. Natalie, Madelyn, Ana Louisa and I made a model of the city of Alexandria; Pierce, Aedan and Lexington (Lex) made Alexandrian ships out of corks; Isaac researched the lighthouse of Alexandria.

Halloween was a delight with all the Elsa’s, Anna’s, Ninja’s, Jedi’s, etc. Pheona came too. We loved all of the costumes and fun. The kids threw a great Haunted House and Casper’s Scare School.

We have been having a fun time this year and let us hope for the best.

In The Pretty Garden

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The rain took a break one gray afternoon, and the garden looked mighty inviting. It is the perfect place to look for worms and try to pick red, ripe strawberries before “the big hungry bear” gets to them!

Here, Lily and Madeline roam the garden, gathering food for “reindeer”!

The New Rapport Card: Reflections on Conferences

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The New Rapport Card by Lois Fein

When asked why we reflect, Maya (a first grader) said: “Because then we can learn more and have bigger ideas.”

At KMS we believe that the school’s quality is a result of a joint contribution between teachers, children and parents. That belief led us to ask the following question of the Elementary Parent community:  “What would be most meaningful for you to experience at KMS Conferences?”

Many of you shared that you would like to be invited to explore what life is like at KMS for your child from their unique perspective and through their voices.  Having what you shared in mind, we approached the children before the conferences and asked them to reflect upon their own learning.  Students and teachers came together as a community of learners and looked at photographs; reviewed the KMS blog; brainstormed where we’ve been; drew pictures, wrote, shared and thought deeply – in writing, conversation, and recorded interviews.

Documentation and reflection became the heart of our collective research and learning.  A process that in itself enabled us to fulfill one of KMS’ core values of seeing children as competent and equal partners in the teaching-learning endeavor.  It created an opportunity for the conferences to become a place for all of us to be Re-Searchers.

To continue this dialogue we would love to hear your reflections on this process. 

 Bulb Logan 11-21-14

Next Stop Pumpkin Depot

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Choo Choo!!!! Otis, Daniel and Leonardo are all pushing trains and and saying “Choo Choo.” Leonardo makes a circle with his hands on the track, while Daniel pushes the bus and Otis pushes trains. Nothing is stopping them from leaving the table now! There is a really special bond created in each group of Peach-Pumpkins – they like to play with each other and they always want to know where their friends are.

The man in the big red suit visits KMS….

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Reactions ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous!

“I’ll tell you something, Santa is scary and he went on vacation. ”  -Daniel, Infant

“Santa gave me a small ball.  I sat down on his lap and I did a job and not cried.  I love him.”  -Daphne, Preschool

“I actually didn’t see Santa fly off, but I saw a little bit of his sleigh.”  -Jesse, Kindergarten

“Will I be naughty or nice?”  -Aidan, Elementary

“I like how when I got my picture he gave me a floppy hand.”  -Henry, Elementary

” I like it when Santa was here because I could have my picture.  He left his bag so I could get vampire teeth.” – Maya, Elementary

“I liked that he gave me the same thing as my brother.”  -River, Kindergarten

“I didn’t want to say anything about Santa because he already knows that I know.”  -Rio, Elementary

Look what I can do

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After many times of trying and practicing, Rylan mastered getting in and out of a milk crate all by himself.  For a one-year-old, getting out of a milk crate can be very challenging because it requires a lot of motor planning and physical coordination. The teachers watched him try, but didn’t jump in to “help,” so Rylan felt pride in what he can accomplish all by himself.

Learning Spanish through Culture

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November was a month for learning about celebrations in México like the Day of the Dead. Some of the highlights were the visit to “La Victoria” bakery to learn more about this tradition and  to learn how make “Pan de Muerto” (Day of the Dead  bread.)  On our way, the students discovered and admired the neighborhood murals from different local artists.

Admiring the neighborhood art

Admiring the neighborhood art

Making our Day of the Dead bread

Making our Day of the Dead bread

Bread on the way to the oven!

Bread on the way to the oven!

Está listo el pan!

Está listo el pan!