Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We have been so lucky this Fall to have the fabulous Tobey coming to school a couple of mornings a week to teach us yoga. Tobey is a Yoga Master... literally. She is a certified, fabulous, brilliant instructor and we feel SO priveleged to have her teaching US yoga. She is alway emphasizing that the best part of yoga is that it does not have to be perfect and it is just about listening to your body and doing what it needs. I am alllll about not being perfect so this is my kind of yoga!

She has taught us four different routines that will get us through the winter! It is nice to have yoga as a way to start the day when we only have two boys, who happen to be brothers and sometimes come to school still mad at one another for whatever may or may not have happened at home that particular morning! Yoga is the perfect way to clear the air, regain focus, and come to school fresh.

One of our favorite poses... the half moon. Now the boys know the routines so well they can lead eachother and me.

So, thank you Tobey! You are the best.

Yes, we are also doing work... really.

So over the summer I got lots of great comments about how much everyone LOVES our school blog and how they think our school looks like SO much fun! I also got some comments that makes me think that some people do not necessarily understand the purpose of a blog. These comments included, "Wow! It looks like all you do is have fun at your school!" or "Ha, guess you don't really every do any real work at your school!" and my personal favorite, "Looks like you have the easiest job in the world, you just get to play all day!"

Let me clarify what I think is the point of a blog, or at least our blog... it is to keep people posted on all the FUN and EXCITING activities and events that happen at our school, not so much the mundane and normal activities that happen at school on a regular basis. Let me assure you, we do A LOT of work... and we are not always having TONS of fun... some days we are down right grumpy... but I rather not blog on those days.

But for those of you who still feel you need documentation of the WORK we do on a regular basis.... enjoy.

Here is Quinn, at his desk, on a "regular Tuesday"... working.

Here is Quinn at the main table... you guess it, working.

And look! Here is Dalton... working!

And here I tried to make Dalton be grumpy on demand to show what "not having fun at school" looks like... but it just made him laugh.

This year I will try to be better at documenting the mundane... like science exams, spelling quizzes, and math worksheets...
hold on to your seat-belts! It's going to be good!

Harvest Time!

Do you remember all of our posts about our school garden last year?! Well, it was time to reap our rewards for all that hard work and harvest our crops, and by crops I mean potatoes! Last Spring we planted lettuce and potatoes in our sweet little garden and although Dalton and Quinn's chickens ate most of our lettuce, the potatoes were alllll ours!

Gardener Kathie came over to help with the digging.

But the boys quickly took over.

LOOK AT ALL OUR POTATOES! YEEHAW!? What to do with all that carbohydrate goodness!? Use them for home-made french-fries at Inter-Island Event of course! The boys were SO excited to know that the food they were going to serve at our Inter-Island Event was going to be food that was actually grown on our island! How's that for the "eat local" movement!? And it was easy on our budget!

I love this picture. Our home-grown potatoes drying out next to our new VERY expensive video conferencing unit. Old school meet new school.

After we dug up our potatoes it was time to make apple sauce from all the delicious apples we had picked that very morning.

Very careful cutting going on right here.

Let's make those apples mushy, shall we!?

And then the best part... using the apple sauce "swirlers"! MMMMM!

It was kind of a messy project...


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We love apples.

Our annual on-island field trip to go apple picking had an even greater purpose than usual this year. The goal... collect enough apples to make a HUGE batch of home-made apple sauce to be served as a delicious snack at our island's Inter-Island Event! There are a few trees on island that are PRIME for apple picking...

One of those trees just happens to be located in the teacher's house yard! Lucky us!

Maya was an EXCELLENT supervisor.

One handsome fellow up in my apple tree.

I obviously had to wear my apple skirt for our apple picking adventure... which was nice because that meant I had to leave the tree climbing up to the boys! Smart move Jessie!

Apples just happen to be my favorite fruit in the whole wide world. They are always a gorgeous color and their crisp, tangy flavor is to die for. What is neat about Monhegan apples is they are all such a mix of varieties. It is not like we have a macintosh tree on island or a cortland. They are all mixed species of trees that have grown over hundreds of years, so you almost never know what you are going to get, but they all seem to be SO delicous.


Another prime tree is located over near Winter Works however you cannot reach the apples with an apple picker from the ground... you need to climb to get these gorgeous apples.

Dalton climbed.

And Quinn collected.

Of course, I took pictures. We make a great team. Next up... the product of our apple picking adventure!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Social Studies Presentation

This year our first unit for social studies is studying Island History. There is so much to learn about Monhegan and it is fun to explore this information together as a class. We are so lucky to have such great reasources interms of the people on Monhegan AND the fabulous Island Museum to research information pertaining to our island's history.

For their first project in Social Studies the boys had to create a short presentation about Monhegan that briefly covered these four areas: island history, island economy, island geography, and island culture. The boys decided they wanted to create a movie they could use as a part of their presentation which was to be shown at Inter-Island Event when all of the island schools at the event would give their presentations about their islands.

We began by writing down questions we had about Monhegan... such as "Who were the first settlers on island?" "How long has the school been open?" "What is the latitude and longitute of Monhegan?" "Has lobstering always been the main fishing industry on island?"

We took these questions and headed to the museum in hopes to find answers!

And answers we found! We wrote down facts at the museum on post-it notes that helped to answer some of these questions and then organized those facts into the areas of history, geography, economy, and culture.

When it was time to figure out how to present this information to the other schools at Inter-Island Event the boys picked a very fun venue! They created a movie called "Fact or Fiction" that gives information about Monhegan, however it is up to the audience to decide whether the information is fact or fiction. It is a very interactive way to present information which as the boys put it, "how kids learn best!"

To see part of their video presentation click on the link below:

Please note that this is only half of their presentation. The other half was given in person during the presentations by Dalton explaining in more details the information about each of the "facts" given about Monhegan.

I think anyone who saw the boys presentation at Inter-Island Event would agree that their hard work paid off! It was AWESOME and pretty stinking informational as well!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bye Gabe!

It was a sad day to say farewell to Mr. Gabriel. It was nice to have him at apart of our first day of school actvities but there was this sinking feeling in my heart saying, "Soon he is leaving us."

We all met on the Wharf to send him off to high school properly.

Lots of hugs and flowers and some special gifts picked out by the Monhegan School to help him do his best work at high school (like a head scrather and some funny magnets from the Black Duck.)

I think Gabe knew that we were all going to miss him but we are so proud of him and so excited for his adventures at Hebron Academy!

And then real crazy people lined up to, of course, "jump for Gabe!"

Some less crazy folks decided to jump from the ramp since it was low tide!

Brrrr... it was chilly. But having someone jump for you when you leave Monhegan is good luck for things to come and assures your return to the island and we want both of those things for Gabe!

So, farewell Gabe! We love you and miss you already! But we know you will be back soon.

One final goodbye.


We have waited over a year and a half for this day! Our Tanberg video conferencing unit arrived at our school this summer in numerous pieces backed in several boxes that sat in the corner of our school house until the second day of school when Mr. Tanberg himself, okay I think his name was Jason but he was a Tanberg pro, came and set up our unit at school!

What is a Tanberg Video Conferencing Unit you ask? Well, it is basically a humungous pieces video monitor on wheels with a video camera on top that hooks up to our internet server so we can call other schools with the same equipment and see and talk to them through our unit!

We got our unit through a grant that gave all island schools the opportunity to have one of these units in their classrooms. This means that we will be able to work collaboratively with other island schools on projects, lessons, and other school activities on a regular basis! HOORAY!

We decided to name our unit "The Terminator" because it is so big and technical looking. We have "The Terminator" placed in the back corner of our school house so it is safe from dogs, tennis balls, and other dangerous items in our school.

We cannot WAIT to start using it to work with island kids from other schools!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The First Day of School!

So, the first day of school felt kind of weird this year with only two kids... two kids that just happen to be brothers, and who happen to live about fifty feet from school! But either way, it was a great first day!

We took our traditional first day of school pictures in front of the school house. (Please notice how much these stinkin' kids have grown!)

Trying to get the pups in the picture!

I don't know about these guys, but I was pumped to start another year at the Monhegan School! And by the look on their faces they don't seem to mind much either.

Probably my favorite part of the morning... water delivery by Kole... and what else do you have in that truck of yours!?

Isn't stacking water crates apart of every kids first day of school schedule!?

We spent some time creating new signs for the kids offices with our new sparkly paint! Man, I love school supply shopping!

Then it was time for the first test of the year! WHAT!? A test on the first day of school!?

Don't worry, it was just a test about how well they knew me. Then for homework they had to write a test about themselves that I had to take. They both aced the test about me and I failed both of their tests. Ut oh.

Time for break. Notice our new flag pole!?

We did some goal setting for year... which included "keeping desks clean", "not breaking the school rules," and "writing more advanced stories".

Ah, the kids favorite part of the first day... reuniting with their laptops!

Lunch time! A special at Carina! Are we the luckiest school or what!?

Yummy, burgers and fries.

And look! Our Monhegan School Alum joined us for our celebratory meal!

And another sign around town for us. Boy did we feel special!

Monhegan First Day of School Tradition: Free Ice Cream at the Novelty!

Silly faces.

Our alum being embarrassed by his former teacher and classmates.
The afternoon brought a hike that I have been dreading for three years. I promised Gabe a long time ago that I would go through "the lemon squeeze" which is this teeny-tiny cave on the back side of the island. I thought I might get out of it with him leaving for boarding school... but he remembered and thought it would be the perfect afternoon activity for the first day.

Most kids on their first day of school do some kind of trust building activities where they stand in a circle and tie themselves in notes or pass a ball around telling little secrets about each other...

At the Monhegan School our trust building activities include rock climbing...

on the backside of our island....


This is me coming up through the "chimney cave" in my first day of school dress, with no shoes on. The chimney cave is easier than the lemon squeeze so the kids thought we should start with that to build up my confidence. At this point I was feeling pretty good. Little did I know what was to come.

Taking a rest before the lemon squeeze. What a handsome high schooler.

And my handsome middle schooler!

And my handsome fifth grader (in his new pair of skinny jeans!)

Time for the lemon squeeze.

This is it. I am not kidding. It is so small that the only way you can fit is going down and sucking in all your breathe and hoping to God you don't get stuck. Gabe and Dalton went down first and then they talked me and Quinn through the whole thing. I thought I might cry and I definitely panicked but D & G kept me calm and told me where to step and to keep breathing. They were amazing!

Quinny coming up the other side of the "squeeze". I think he was a little scared too, but not as bad as me.

View from the "Lemon Squeeze". Not too shabby.

We ended up staying late after-school to do the chimney cave one more time. I love these boys so much and I never thought I could trust them more, but cave/rock climbing proved me wrong.

And one last celebratory act on the first day of school....

Pizza Dinner at the Novelty with the rest of the school community!

Some good looking parents! Now we know where the boys get their silliness.