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April 14, 2017

posted Apr 14, 2017, 6:54 AM by Admin Windham

Windham Elementary School Newsletter


April 14, 2017


Habits of Mind: “Safe, Responsible, Respectful, Ready to Learn”

Ok, vacation is upon us and we are in the home stretch headed for the end of the year. 

This week was spent learning some of the history about where we live. The students actually now have a very good background because of what they have studied and read.  This winter Mr. PJ’s class read “The Messenger Boy of Grafton, VT”.  We purchased four and the students read them as a group. They all appreciated the fact it is true, and were left with a sense of how tragic war can be.

We also purchased the book “Two in the Wilderness” by Mary Wolfe Thompson.  It is a true story of two young children, Tabby and Zeke, who are left in Windham with the responsibilities of taking care of a new homestead in the Vermont wilderness while their father goes back to New Hampshire to get the rest of their family. Some of the interesting details in this are: like how to survive with not much more than a hatchet, cornmeal, snares and your wits. They deal with a panther on the roof of their shelter.  This is about the settling of Windham Vermont and the strength and bravery of those who struck out on their own to make new lives for themselves.

On Monday the highlight was going to browse the historical pictures in the entryway of the Meeting House.  They listened to some of the history of the building and drew something they saw or learned in their journals.

Tuesday we went to the Town of Stratton to visit an old schoolhouse which has been preserved as a historical building. The children were able to sit in old fashioned desks, ask questions about what school used to be like and sketched and take notes about things they saw and heard.

Wednesday at nine we visited the South Windham Church. Pastor Mark gave an excellent history of the church and that part of the town.  There are many original items there, such as an Estey organ, chairs, books and journals.

At ten thirty we were visited by a panel of Windham residents.   Dave Crittenden, Walter Woodruff, Paul Wyman and Susan Persa were here for an hour and a half telling about Windham was like when they were growing up here. Much talk was about either hauling wood into the school or at home, working in the hay fields, impassable roads during mud season which was when school was off for several weeks and they helped with sugaring, and hauling the water in for the school teacher. They talked about when electricity came to Windham, the party line telephone where all the neighbors could listen in and using their imagination to play and entertain themselves.

Lessons in drawing and storytelling have been woven into the week. Each child is creating a page about the history of Windham, which will be compiled into a book. When we get the book printed we plan to have an evening celebration that includes a potluck, time for kids to share and an old time square dance. This will happen in early May.

We have included with the newsletter this week some excerpts from The Stowell Family cookbook. This is a wonderful history of growing up in Windham. Check out the menu of the food they made for the dances each week. The book can be bought at Misty Valley Bookstore in Chester.

Also the kids were educated how to floss in Health this week.  Lots of laughing going on down there while they were learning.

Our Spring Concert will be Monday, June 5th at 6:30.  We know many like to plan ahead