Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

For more information about Crane Country Day School, please contact admission@craneschool.org or call 805-969-7732 x127.

Spring Study Week
Andrea Soto

Spring Study Week is a learning experience unlike any other in Lower School--a true highlight of the school year. This year we went “Into The Wild” during our exploration of the national parks. As is typical, the workshops and assemblies were collaborative, hands-on, and showcased experiential learning at its finest! If you are a Lower School parent, you are no doubt already familiar with some of the learning that occurred during this action-packed week.

Spring Study Week is a learning experience unlike any other in Lower School--a true highlight of the school year. This year we went “Into The Wild” during our exploration of the national parks. As is typical, the workshops and assemblies were collaborative, hands-on, and showcased experiential learning at its finest! If you are a Lower School parent, you are no doubt already familiar with some of the learning that occurred during this action-packed week. For example, you may have heard about the visit from a slow loris, spelunking through multiple caves, or the twenty-four-foot-high climbing wall. In our classroom, students returned to kindergarten often talking about microbes and geysers, as well as deserts, oceans, and arctic animals and their habitats. The depth and breath of the curriculum covered, while extensive, is only one part what makes Spring Study Week so magical. Perhaps even more impressive, is the light it shines on the beauty of the Crane community.
 
The success of Spring Study Week is dependent on everyone adopting a willingness to come together and do their part to make it happen. Gayle Sandell, as Head of the Lower School, is tireless and steadfast in the planning process and seems to welcome any unforeseen difficulties with her creative solutions and a smile. Planning and prepping begins almost a year in advance, but the campus is truly abuzz with excitement the weekend before Spring Study Week begins as teachers gather to help one another transform classroom spaces to match the year's theme. And the students shine in their new learning environments and with their new classmates for the week.
 
A fine example of this is the fifth grade class and their role as leaders of the Lower School. Each year, fifth grade students are asked to lead the way in demonstrating appropriate audience behaviors during assemblies and relied on to lend a helping hand during workshops. Kudos are due to this year’s fifth graders for their positive can-do attitudes and ability to consider the needs of those around them. As obstacles arose throughout the week (weather challenges, scheduling snafus, etc.) the fifth graders continued to demonstrate flexibility and cooperation. They looked out for the kindergartners and first graders as they navigated their first Spring Study Week and provided an excellent model for future fifth grade leaders.
 
Undoubtedly, the wheels have begun turning to prepare for next year’s adventure. Themes will soon be debated and discussed, workshops researched, and experts consulted. While the topic will be kept a secret until next spring, we are sure to be treated to another memorable week thanks to our fabulous community!
 
Andrea Soto
Kindergarten Co-Teacher

Most Recent Posts

Outdoor Learning Space

Crane School’s 11-acre campus is most definitely a highlight for those who visit. The balance of nature and buildings, and the natural flow as one moves through campus is welcoming and enchanting. Students, parents, and Staffulty (staff and faculty) can all agree that the campus is thoughtfully designed and carefully maintained. When asking Staffulty about their favorite spot on campus, the vast majority name an outdoor space, but as there are so many to choose from, they don’t all share the same favorite. They can all pinpoint just what it is that makes it their favorite:

“Walking through Crane’s amazing garden is the best way to start my day. It’s a beautiful reminder to take in the beauty that’s all around us.

“Our fields are really magical spaces...”

Choice Voice Image

Choice at Crane School is seen at each grade level in varying forms and amounts. It could be Choice Time at the end of the day in kindergarten, Choice Boards in first grade for extra learning opportunities, Passion Projects in fourth grade, the seventh grade mentor project (QED), or an eighth grader’s public speaking topic. No matter what age, choice brings excitement. Choice is like the shiny, colorful bait that lures the fish and reels it in toward the ultimate goal - in this case, learning. When it comes to our Crane motto of rigor and joy, choice is the joy piece that makes deep, meaningful learning so much fun and memorable...

2020-09-15-FonLGoal

The beginning of the school year brings excitement, stirs up nerves, and offers a fresh start. There is anticipation of the new possibilities and seeing familiar faces again. Some nerves in the form of butterflies appear as students wonder about the unknowns. It is certainly a new beginning for all, which can be recognized by a pristine white school planner, the colorful stylus in a school supplies case, or a new name tag to make a student’s learning space their own...

Reinhart Koselleck

Of the many odd things that I studied in graduate school, none was more engaging to me than the intersections between the history of medicine and the history of political thought. At the time I thought this was interesting on its own merits. I could never have guessed that in 2020, the politics of medicine would become critically relevant. I should like to reflect one those intersections and to explain how they inform my instruction of students in United States history...