Voila - a seed pot snow day ice cream

Snow Day or Go Day ?

When I was a kid I cherished the very few days that it snowed enough to cancel school. Come on – a chance to go sledding at the golf course or skating at the pond behind the school. Who wouldn’t choose that over sitting in a classroom all day?

Truth be told, even as a teacher for lo those many years at Wightwood, and as much as I loved teaching, hearing the phone ring at 5AM and being told that we were getting a well deserved break from school was a pleasant experience. Back to sleep.

So what’s up with the CELCers? Last Friday, almost every school in the state was closed; certainly all the ones in our district. Did that phase M&M and their loyal troops? Not a chance.

We had a day planned on our property that included tending our maple sugaring evaporator, making seed pots for tomatoes and herbs, and making some homemade ice cream. One might say that the day was designed for “fun”. And at some level, one would be correct. That is the beauty of this program. Real life experiences and education should be designed to be fun. Not all the time, but certainly on a regular basis.

You have to look closely and listen to see all that’s going on during these “classes”. Science, math (metric and U.S. customary, of course), social studies, physics, culinary skills, physical labor, and yes, FUN! It’s a beautiful thing to observe and be part of.

So here they come, stomping up our driveway, snow and wind in their faces, supplies in hand, smiles on their faces, positive attitudes, ready to get busy, cooperate, learn, experiment, take risks, be challenged, support each other, problem solve, and yes, have FUN! And they did all of it. Never heard a complaint or a word that their buddies were home, relaxing or playing in the snow, or, I’m sorry to say, spending hours in front of a computer screen, cell phone, or Blackberry (or is it a Raspberry?).

These kids are active, always on the move, doing and learning. Never a frown. M&M have designed and are implementing a “real school” in the best sense of the word. Sally and I can’t wait to see them again. Not just to observe it but to be part of it.

It’s even better than a snow day, light-years better.

Rob Cole-Whiffen

The day began with a reading class, segueing into expository writing where students actively engaged in writing and workshopping their pieces, and continuing on our way …

At Trap Rock Ridge Camp, otherwise known as Rob and Sally’s, there were true signs of Spring as students measured and cut newspaper for seed pots.  Students added wood and strained the particulates from the maple sap steaming away in the boiler outside, while indoors in the kitchen, homemade chocolate ice cream made from scratch was being prepared.

After a fine pizza lunch and taste of our ice cream creation, CELC students got back into our cars and headed to an art class in Short Beach with painter and artistic wonder, Gritli Rabin.  She began by asking them to consider the lines and patterns on a leaf and how all things in nature are connected.  Watercolor art allowed students to explore blending of color and image over an unbound area.  Next week she plans to juxtapose this by through exploration of line and drawing in a detailed way.

Looking at a leaf water color Gritli leaf all

A satisfying CELC-styling day!

CELC-styling day