Black Bear Day

If you walked into Pierce school on Friday October 27, 2017, you would have noticed the smell of pumpkin soup cooking, heard the crinkle of leaves being stuffed into scarecrows and seen pumpkins being
transformed into jack-o-lanterns representing Pierce School spirit. These were just some of the
activities students participated in recently to celebrate Fall, build school community and integrate
art and literacy. Students worked in multi-age groups all day on Friday. They rotated to five
different activities that used picture books to introduce Fall themed activities that they then
worked on collaboratively with students from all grade levels. Activities included listening to the
story Pumpkin Soup and working as a group to then make soup and cooking applesauce.
Students also read The Lonely Scarecrow and worked cooperatively to make scarecrows to be
displayed at the school, and carved the words Black Bears into pumpkins generously donated by
Tenney Farm. To integrate the school’s core values the children created a kindness tree. Each leaf
demonstrates an example of kindness the student has shown or has experienced. Look for the
kindness tree displayed in the school for all to see.
This was just the first opportunity students had this year to work in our multi-age groups, called
Black Bear groups. Throughout the school year, students will work in these groups on different
projects, the goal of which is to allow students to make connections with children and teachers in
different classes, work collaboratively, give older students the opportunity to mentor younger
students, and to continue to build a strong school community. Our next opportunity to work in
these groups will occur when we visit the Barbara C. Harris Center in December. Students will
have the chance to make pizza, decorate cookies and explore the natural world through a winter
scavenger hunt and hike. We thank all of the volunteers, community members, and our PTO for
their help and support with our Black Bear groups! – by Jen Sutton