13 September 2013

Week One Was Loads of Fun!

 Hello RAD Families!

What a great first week!  The children did a fantastic job getting into the groove of school.  We discussed the unique elements that make us RAD-sters.  We know we are a mix of ages, abilities, and interests – how lucky we are to be able to share all these things with one another!

We played Math games including The Game of Pig and Candy Breakers – each game was hands-on and group oriented.  They focused on a review and practice of addition/subtraction skills and equation writing.

We discussed “just right” books – those that aren’t too hard or too easy.  These are the type of books we will use during Language Arts time as they help us become better readers.  We also took our first trip to the library on Thursday --  our local branch has a wonderful children's section and Ms. S, the librarian, gave us a tour.

We broke in our Writers’ Notebooks and talked about how writers get their ideas.  We also talked about the difference between a "watermelon idea" and a "seed idea."  For example, a watermelon story might be “My Week at Camp” whereas a seed story might be called “The Food at Camp.”  The watermelon story focuses on a larger topic and the seed story a smaller, more specific one.

Social Studies was all about neighborhoods this week.  We made a list of goods and services that a typical community contains. We also discussed the difference between wants and needs.  Some juicy discussions emerged.  Do people need toy stores and movie theaters?  Some children argued that yes, people need things “to help them be happy.” We then looked at our own neighborhood by taking a stroll on 5th Ave.  We noticed various businesses, street signs, and chatted with some city workers. 

We will work to design our own RAD City over the next week or two.  Many children have decided on a business they would like to construct and created cardboard people to live and work there.

During Rest/Read Aloud time we have been listening to short stories by Roald Dahl including “Esio Trot” and “The Boy Who Spoke to Animals.”  Children each have their own sketch book to draw in as they listen to the book.

Outdoor Play was spent running and climbing and getting wet.  We sure had some hot days this week!

Monday-Thursday afternoons children get a choice time to build, do art, design plays, etc. around the room.  However, Friday afternoons are reserved for Tidy Time.  We cleaned and scrubbed and dusted to the tunes of Michael Jackson.  Mary Poppins was right - "For every job that must be done there is an element of fun!"

Pics of the Week:

09 August 2013

the new space is taking shape!

violet and her friend julien test-drive a table.

Then there were two (tables).

measure twice, drill once.

06 July 2013

RAD school homeschooling coop still has openings for next year

didn't get into community roots, the brooklyn new school, or arts & letters? tired of homeschooling on you own? we have openings at the RAD school for the 2013-14 year.

we're looking for a couple of kids who will be 6, 7, 8 or 9 in the fall. as of now we have 7 kids.
we'll be in a new space in park slope, close to the atlantic avenue subway hub.

if you homeschool and are looking for more community and socialization, or if you are currently in an unaffordable private school, RAD may be for you.

we are a parent-run coop that works with the support of professional teachers to provide an education that combines experiential learning, lots of field trips, student-driven projects and real academics.

email radschoolers@gmail.com for more info.


Update March 2014 - We are accepting applications for the 2014-15 academic year.

12 June 2013

our trees...

each student choose a special tree to study and document their observations in their nature journals. i prompted questions to consider and they did the rest! 

good times at prospect park!

one of the kids' favorite spots to explore...

making faces...

after reading faces we went on a hunt for hidden faces in nature- then we made our own!

27 May 2013

looking for a teacher?

Kate Fitzgerald - RAD School alumnus extraordinaire - is in the market for a teaching role. She is interested in teaching children in the 4-7 years range. She is new york city-based and we can vouch for her wonderful temperament, teaching skills, commitment, and rock-solid dependability.

In addition to her core teaching abilities she is a yoga teacher, NOLS and Bates college graduate, and can teach spanish.

Here is her resume:  drop her a line directly at kate_ftzgrld@yahoo.com.  Ahe has our highest regard.

Kate FitzGerald
12. St. Mark’s Place, New York, NY 10003
kate_ftzgrld@yahoo.com 646-784-6756 (cell)


The Rad School     New York, NY                                                          September 2012-present
Head Teacher at The Rad School in Brooklyn, NY.  The classroom is multiage.  There are seven students in the classroom, ages 6 to 9.  As Head Teacher, I am responsible for creating curriculum for the students based on various themes and integrating the various disciplines into the theme.  Examples of themes my students have investigated are: “bees”, “trees”, “the sun”, “fairy tales”, and “houses and homes”.  I am responsible for teaching lessons and setting up educational activities daily for the children to pursue.  

Mentoring Sessions with Mollie McQuarrie     New York, NY              September 2012-present

For the past nine months, I have worked regularly with Mollie McQuarrie.  She has taught provided me with some great reading materials and has taught me a wide variety of skills including those relating to classroom management, lesson planning, curriculum development, organization of the classroom, and set up of materials and activities for the students.  

Yoga to the People (YTTP)     New York, NY                                                April, 2012- present
Daily teaching of hour-long vinyasa-flow yoga classes at St. Mark’s and Brooklyn YTTP studios.

Yoga to the People                    New York, NY                                           February – April, 2012
Participation in and graduation from Yoga to the People Teacher Training, which is a Yoga Alliance Registered program covering all of the requirements listed by the Yoga Alliance for a 200-hour program.  
Training curriculum included: breaking down the asanas (poses), adjustments and alignment, yoga philosophy and history, anatomy for yoga, breathing techniques, teaching a class/class sequencing, and an overview of other kinds of yoga.

Teaching House New York, NY                         Oct. 31 – Dec.16, 2011 
University of Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA)
- Learned a variety of teaching methods, classroom management and lesson-planning skills.
- Taught six hours of observed and assessed teaching practice.
- Taught two levels (Pre-Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate).
- Developed lessons appropriate to students’ language needs and level.

National Outdoor Leadership School South Island, New Zealand       January - April 2011 
- Learned a variety of leadership skills, including planning, navigating, risk assessment and decision-making.
- Led group when navigating in the wilderness.
- Successful completion of Leave No Trace Trainer Course.
- Learned the technical skills involved in sea kayaking, backpacking, sailing.

Private English Tutor Florence, Italy                 Sept.-Oct., 2010
Planned and taught English lessons to a group of eight Italian children (ages 7 to 8). 

Bates College Spanish Department, Teacher’s Assistant, Lewiston, ME           April – May 2010
Assisted students with speaking, writing and reading activities conducted in literature intensive course conducted in Spanish.

Proficient in Spanish; advanced-intermediate in Italian.

Istituto Italiano   Florence, Italy       Sept.– Dec. 2010
Intensive Italian language study including home-stay, Extracurricular activities conducted in Italian; Passed three exams for levels A, B and C, accredited by Italian Ministry of Public Education 

Various Spanish language schools in Argentina           Jan.-April 2006
Studied Spanish at three different Spanish schools in three different cities.

Chilmark Community Center (Children’s Camp)       Summers of 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011
Supervised and advised junior staff; Co-directed 6 year-old and 7-9 year old groups. 

Chilmark Free Public Library, Circulation Assistant, Chilmark, MA, June – August 2010  

Bates College, Lewiston, Maine
- Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, May, 2010. 
- Cumulative G.P.A: 3.59.  Dean’s List for Academic Excellence (winters of 2008 and 2010).
- Spanish Senior Thesis: “Representaciones de los indígenas por dos escritoras latinoamericanas: Rosario Castellanos y Clorinda Matto de Turner”, April, 2010.
- Participant, Mount David Summit, a campus-wide exposition of student academic work at Bates College, 2007. 

Acting, extensive voice training in classical singing (especially Italian opera), extensive travels to South and Central America and Europe.

25 April 2013

our awesome book of thanks...

we read an awesome book of thanks and afterwards we started on our own! the kids made a list of things they were thankful for which they turned into a rhyme and then illustrated...

14 April 2013

artist study: olek!

we had a great time at the olek exhibit. the kids did an amazing job keeping the noise level down while making all sorts of observations. i had made a worksheet for the kids to help inspire some critical analysis. 

sequencing game

while we were waiting for our stone soup to cook, the kids had a little hunt for eggs i had hidden around the classroom. inside the eggs were details from stone soup which the kids read out loud and then put in order of the story. 

stone soup!

after reading stone soup we made our own version for lunch! the kids did a great job prepping everything...

peeling the carrots...

23 March 2013

bird field trip flashback part 2: a million dead birds!

time to trot out the olde eagle.
the american museum of natural history has one of the world's largest bird collections, containing more than a million specimens, including examples of species that have been extinct for hundreds of years.

the collections manager, paul sweet, gave us an amazing behind the scenes tour. we came face to face with penguins and eagles and looked through drawer after drawer of jewel-like perfectly preserved birds.

paul explained to us the importance of specimens in studying birds and some of the measures being taken to protect them.

15 March 2013

bird field trip flashback part 1: hospital for wild birds

after studying trees in the early part of the fall, we moved on to their frequent partners the birds.

at the Wild Bird Fund on the upper west side, rita mcmahon introduced us to a few of the injured pigeons they are caring for. a live pigeon feels like a soft, warm pillow.

09 March 2013

cooking with the radsters: part one!

i divided the kids up into two teams in preparation for making lunch: team roasted tomato soup and team quesadilla/chocolate mousse (although the kids promptly changed their names to team odd and team camo-leon!). groups were given recipe cards with instructions and an ingredient list. everyone studied their cards and then examined the ingredients that were brought in from home in order to determine what we still needed. 

after grocery lists were written out we headed for the store!