It has been an exceptional first month of school at Portfolio, with everyone buzzing with thoughtful and joyful energy!  We have embarked on a new school year in a wonderful new space, and we are immersed in our innovative approach to heart, hands, head, and body.

This past month, we have been grounding our work in the heart by practicing mindfulness at all school morning gatherings and at staff meetings, and by emphasizing the importance of compassion.  The Mighty Maker Stars (K-1 grade group) have also been doing yoga every Friday afternoon, and they are in the middle of an interviewing and storytelling project designed to support empathy and perspective-taking.

Our curriculum is steeped in the importance of the hands through designing, prototyping and making.  The Super Thinkers (4-6 grade group) are designing and making dioramas comparing the New York City of past centuries to modern-day New York.    The Lightning Maker Crew (2-3 grade group) designed and made environments for their ideal class pets. These projects allow our students to learn how to plan and design, and how to use tools and implement their ideas.

Our students’ heads and minds are constantly in action, asking questions, researching and making connections.  This first month, they have been focusing on a variety of foundational skills in math, literacy and computational thinking.  All three groups have been focusing on algorithms and coding, with the Lightning Maker Crew working on Turtle Art and The Super Thinkers learning Python.  The Mighty Maker Stars have also been learning about seeds, and the Lightning Maker Crew is exploring evolution, adaptations, and natural selection. The Super Thinkers are reading E.B. White and writing about New York City.

Last but not least, the kinesthetic aspect of our students’ education (making sure they are exercising their bodies) is also of paramount importance.  Everyone has been playing tennis once a week, going to recess four days a week, and swimming every Friday. We also build in time for our students to play during the day at school.

So, hearts, hands, head, and body we go into a new year at Portfolio!