Family Science Night and Specialist Showcase

By: Meridian 2nd Graders

We all loved Science and Specialists Night! We think this night is important because parents get to see what their kids are learning. We think it was a great example of the kinds of things we do during the day because there were lots of variety. There were Spanish rhythms, making motors, board games, pulley systems and more! There was a fun water cycle game and a cloud system activity where we used different color dye in shaving cream to see different types of systems.

We think that the parents had a lot of fun too, not just the kids. We think they had fun because they got to meet new people, and that’s exciting.

If we could change anything about Science Night, we would make it longer because it was so fun! It was really busy, so maybe we could also add a time limit to each station. We liked that we got to take home some of our creations and projects, and we can’t wait to go again next year!

Peaceful Leaders

Over the past several weeks, Kindergarten students have been learning about peaceful leaders and social advocacy.  They’ve discussed Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and Mother Theresa, and connected their leadership to present-day leaders like Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Water Protectors, and Marshallese poet and climate change activist, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner. Students have been exposed to methods used to shift awareness and policy, like speeches, service, protests, and poetry. Throughout their unit, Kindergarteners have explored the following essential questions:

-Who are leaders?

-What does it mean to be peaceful?

-What is peace?

-What problems are people trying to solve?

-How can we be the change in the world?

Ultimately, our goal is to inspire our students to identify ways in which they can be positive leaders of change at Meridian, within our local community, and in the world!

By Meridian Kindergarteners

We have been learning lots about peaceful leaders and their hopes and dreams in class. We learned about Martin Luther King and how people can write, speak up and march to make change. People march and protest because they are sad and that’s a way they can show other people.

It’s happy and sad when we learn about these peaceful leaders because there are bad things that happened to them, but in the end they helped solve a problem. It’s kind of a funny feeling. It’s important to learn about these leaders so we can celebrate them. It’s helpful to know what we can do to make the world a better place. One way that you can help is to become a teacher some day!

We have hopes and dreams of our own. We dream that this world (and universe) will have more love and kindness. We also wish that nobody would want to hurt anybody else. We dream that people will be healthy, that there will be no more wars, and that people will love who they are.

Why I Teach at Meridian

By: guest blogger Emilia Kister, Meridian music specialist and Meridian parent

Why do I love teaching at Meridian? It all comes down to one word: community. When I first began teaching at Meridian three years ago, I was struck by the level of the students’ skills, knowledge and maturity. I would come home to share anecdotes and marvel at the creativity that I got to nurture every single day. During the first few weeks in my new classroom, I caught a fifth-grade student using the word “cacophonous” during a group discussion. On the playground, I saw children playing “fairies” and overheard a first grader say that she would rather play “animal hospital” instead. As I got to know the children better, I saw them hold hands and encourage each other during performances. I had been teaching in various settings for ten years and I’d never encountered such a kind, thoughtful, caring and capable community of children.

As a music specialist, I am privileged to teach the entire school; to see every single child every single week and I get to watch them grow from year to year. So, when it came time for us to choose a school for our daughter, I had the unique perspective of knowing exactly who my daughter would be spending her days with. I was peeking inside of her community, and we could not feel more fortunate.

The idea of community plays a big role in my teaching as well.  Throughout the week, every class learns a song that we sing together at our weekly school gathering.  Communal singing gives our students an opportunity to speak the same musical language, so that children on any grade level can sing together at recess, at a playdate and of course, as siblings! Our fourth and fifth grade Chorus has sung at the Wallingford Senior Center, The University Bookstore and even recorded the jingle for The Morning Show at KEXP.  Finally, an event that I am most proud of is the “Live @ Meridian” concert series. Twice a year, I invite world-class musicians to perform exclusively for our parents and students. The music program is woven throughout the fabric of our school.

For the past three years, I have had two views into the Meridian community. As an educator, my community of fellow teachers and administrators is supportive and passionate about the art of teaching.  We are personable and attentive to each child. As a parent, my community is caring and generous. Every single one of us is focused on cultivating the best care and education for our children. Though I wear two hats, they are unified by common goals. I can say with great confidence that I love teaching at Meridian because of the children, the teachers and the parents that belong to this community.

Photo credit: Monica Frisell