Names, Names Everywhere and Pre-Writing in Pre-K!

It’s the second week of school here, and our classroom is already chock full with pre-literacy practice. Student names can be found nearly everywhere, allowing for name recognition of both our own and our friend’s names. Students use name tags to “save” their work during transition times, and can practice finding a friend’s name when…


September is the month we celebrate UN International Peace Day at River School, with a colorful parade, music and our school song, “Peace Like A River!”.At circle, we recognize peaceful feelings, kind interactions, sounds and stillness. Friends create and add to murals, peace crowns and find a special nature treasure to make into necklaces to…

Self Portraits/ Making A Wonderful Me

Friends were traced in sky colors of their choice, and painted backgrounds to start self portraits. We learned the art words, positive and negative space too! Children all fit on 3 to 4 foot canvases and thought it was funny and unusual to do, and see each other’s after. This is the start of appliqué…


We often work with this special northern hardwood tree. Friends explore birch bark and discover thin layers – paper, and make marks, symbols, early communication, like indigenous people long ago. We looked at other uses from canoes to maple syrup buckets. Some friends made birch peace birds.We embellished bark strips for our peace crowns too!.

Chrysalis and Caterpillars

Friends painted and made big prints of the metamorphoses -of the monarch butterfly life cycle. We eagerly await for 5 chrysalis to emerge from their habitat and be released in the park. This is always a wonderful time! Friends wondered whether the 2 yellow dots were eyes, and how it unfurled from its home. They…

Art In The Park/ Printmaking Monarchs & Building A Fairy House

In the classroom, friends are observing the chrysalis and caterpillar habitat, and waiting for the beautiful monarch to emerge. We printed the image, colors, shapes, spots and flight of this wonderful butterfly. We learned some new art words and techniques while having fun. We collaborated in pairs, to paint the “plate” and “pull” a print….

And The River is Flowin!

What a glorious first day we are having!  Here’s a glimpse into the classrooms…everyone is so busy painting, creating with play dough,  snacking with friends, chatting on the phone with each other, doing Montessori works, making mud cakes, and Maggie taught us the Japanese word for Bunny!  

River Calm ~ River Wild Memories

It has been a beautiful summer at River!  A lot has happened over the past few weeks… we had a special visit from a sneaky fairy named Leah, we also spent time with Sophie and Vada’s cousins ~ Mary and Kathleen (who helped at camp for 3 days!), we made solar light jars, marched in a…

River Wild ~ River Calm Days

  Summer is a time of freedom, when we may find it easier to let go of our limits and engage with the beauty of the sky, trees, grass, flowers, and the whole of nature. In summer, we live more vibrantly through our senses. We have been exploring our awareness of balance….visiting the vast and…

River Calm, River Wild Ocean week!

    The River Calm, River Wild crew kicked off summer with super fun times while talking ocean life! We got to know one another and sang silly ocean songs (one about sea animals on a bus!) did marine life-inspired art, practiced yoga and meditation with our wonderful new friend from California, Ms. Stacey!   We…

End of Year Picnic Celebration!

.,The front class walked to the park with their amazing State of Maine crowns and the middle class paraded with their fabulous tie-dye shirts and powerword flags that they made.River School families watched hermit crab theater with Ms. Linda Ashe-ford and River friends did a great job bringing a show together with their strong voices!…

Playground and Vogueing

Friends were delighted to see the results of their tie-dye shirts! They wore the shirts with pride as excitement fr their big day began. They also had extra playground time outside. The new climbing wall was a hit!

Yarn Bombing a Heat Duct

Molly Liddell had the wonderful idea of knitting a rainbow with a few parents and Ms. Eliza ! What a gift! Maybe Royal River Park will be next!

The Tea Party In The Woods

The middle class read The Tea Party In the Woods back in late winter and the class really wanted this picnic to happen in the spring! It is like a fairy tale and a dream, set in wild woods and the comfort of a home. Kikko has a magical tea party with many animals in…

Hermit Crab Hirameki

Friends in the middle class responded to Eric Carle’s , “A House for Hermit Crab” with drawings of these amazing little creatures . They were asked, “what do you carry in your heart” and what does that look like with your crab. It’s funny that many children were attracted to the spiral shell shape –…

Last Week of School= Learning & Fun

Friends have been making all sorts of crafts, painting, tie dying shirts and playing all sorts of games in the last week of pre-school. The middle class loved a now you see it, now you don’t memory game . Lots of journaling and remembering good times and friends at River School! We all made a…

Elephant & Heart Necklaces

Friends made hearts and wrote what they cared about for memories at River School. We made bronzed hearts and the front class made elephants necklaces that got into a salt kiln firing in Edgecomb. It’s fun to wear our creative work!

Popcorn & Slideshow

Friends gathered for a slideshow night and classroom visit. Pictures of fun at River School, indoor and out, and photos of friends at the beginning and end of school year were lovely and heartwarming. The popcorn was good too! Special thanks to Jocelyn for the great group portrait! and this in from Lindsey who worked…

End of Year Park and School Accordian Books

Friends looked at different marbling methods from ‘stone” to “non -parielle”, and had fun trying these out on their book covers and papers! The book project asked friends to draw memories of their outdoor play on one side, and indoor memories on the other!

Ming Dynasty Treasure Terrariums

Friends made slab built pots with tripod “feet”, after looking at Asian pottery during the Chinese New Year. We finished these with faux-celadon glazes and thought they were nice and we would save and give them as gifts for end of the year! Children found stones, bamboo, sticks, curly-wurlys and whatnot to create little terrariums…

Our New Animal Friends

Baby chicks and the fluffiest ‘lions mane’ rabbit have visited River School for some farmyard dramatic play! Everyone is having fun observing, naming , playing and loving these little animals!

Spring in the Park!

Dandelions and worms, birds nest and sing, treasure everywhere, the earth is warming up, and River School is loving it all!

Kite Making

Friends in the front class made kites. We looked at Leonardo da Vinci and Guatemalan kite runners. We talked about symmetry and we attached the thin dowels point to point. Painted and printed marks of wind, air, flight and flowers decorate the diamond with a tail that has initial, names, patterns and “lists” (Riley!) Good…

ABC Natural

Friends found letters in all the shapes in the nature world of one of the parks many play grounds!

Visiting Mind/Veterinarian Kim Tippie

Kim Tippie fielded all kinds of pet and animal questions from River friends today. Kim took care of animals in a sanctuary and released them back into the wild, She has operated on all kinds of animals. She brought in x-rays of dogs and one with puppies! She also brought in a stethoscope for her…

Guest Readers/ Betsy Fenwick & Posey the Possum

Betsy Fenwick , Ms Eliza’s mom, came in with Posey Possum to read Wemberly Worried. Kevin Henkes takes an opportunity to address the worry in us through a wonderful child-mouse with a stubborn habit: worrying. Wemberly, always feels nervous whether at home or away. “”At the playground, Wemberly worried about/ the chains on the swings,/…

Drawing Exchange – Children’s Library, Old Medina, Fez, Morocco

Children get tickets and cue up for an hour of reading and art at this little library. There is only space for 10-12 kids at  a time. On a Saturday there are lines waiting!  I thought it would be nice to work with Fes friends, creating accordian books where they will transcribe short Moroccan tales…

River School Media Exchange in Morocco

Questions by River School friends were answered by children in Fez, Morroco.  We made a video of River School questions and translated it into Arabic. Here is the little film and photo answers. It’s nice to make friendships in the world and we enjoyed the lively discussion about it after the slide show ! Our…

Visiting Mind/ River School Aligns with Wellness!/ Allyson Dafoe

Allyson Dafoe, Lana’s mom, is a Yarmouth chiropractor. Allyson did a meditation with the middle class and taught friends about muscles (squishy!) and bones (hard!), and even adjusted Marius the monkey!   Allyson talked about the spine and how it controls and affects so much in our body- our lungs and digestion, how we walk,…

Walking Rainbows & Missing Gems

Friends made signs for Isla’s missing gem in the park ! Ask how the walking rainbow science experiment happened in the middle class! Sciemce? Magic? A little bit of both? Fun.

Earth Day

Every day is Earth Day at River School! Friends in the middle classroom picked up litter in the Royal River Park. “Who could do such a thing!” exclaimed Althea. At the bottom is a picture of Earth taken from outer space with the northern lights glowing like a crown!

Erik Donahoe/ Visiting Mind/ Yarmouth Open Spaces Steward

Erik came to visit River School and Royal River Park to talk about birds and park health. We were going to do a spring clean up and it snowed! We had a puppet bird migration from the birch tree to the climbing tree instead! Erik gave us different bird nests to add to our collection….

Toddler Tuesday

Ms Meg and Ms Barbara had a fun flower market day where friends took turns as cashiers and customers. We also are collaging a Letter Flag Banner. These friends loved the guitar music played by MsMeg on this chilly wintry morn. Cold and rainy outside, yet, cozy and warm vibes inside at River School! !

Visiting Mind/ Ashok Nalamalapu

We were so happy to have Ashok Nalamalapu,  and assistant chanter, Stacy of Westport Island, who joined both of our classes today. Ashok founded Swan Kirtan, where he plays the harmonium and leads in devotional chanting (Kirtan)! He enjoys daily meditation. He enjoys doing this with children at River School. During our beautiful morning, we…

Georgia O’Keefe Flowers

Friends looked close up at pansies to draw and paint flowers like Georgia O’Keefe! We used oil resist and watercolor on these little blocks of wood. We did a Matisse pansy stencil over these .We looked at a slide show of the beautiful abstract flowers. Children liked the “mother of American modernism” Georgia O’Keefe!

Middle Nest and Eggs

Friends in the middle became the bird while building nests. They collected leaves, weeds and grass while in the park. They painted and created with intention. These are fabulous!


We noticed a bird building a nest on the porch eaves today! Ava found a little nest in the park! We now wake up to a different beautiful morning chorus as spring comes to Maine! We are making toy birds and sticks with paper mache. We also have little pairs of toy birds and a…

Montessori Math Bead Bars

A few friends worked with addition equations while counting with math beads.. There is a variety of pretty bead combinations to keep it interesting . There is also a board of equations to tally off as you learn more and m

River Puppet Theater

Friends took turns with animal puppets creating little vignettes! We are learning how to be a respectful audience too!

Outdoor Marbling

Friends had interesting fun marbling accordian book covers and papers to collage with . So many colors and patterns on this windy day!

Rivers Tibetan – Flags

Friends wished themselves and each other good tidings and happiness while creating their letter initial panel. We put these on our ribboned lobster rope to eventually let the wind take our wishes off into the sky. In the meantime we hung these for our visiting mind, Swan Kirtan! The colors represent the elements- white-air, green-…

The Egg

Middle class friends got into their egg making. Imagine which birds have made this wonderful collection. They made the colors and speckled all different ways. This project was especially good because initial directions were given, with big listening ears, eye contact and they managed the project on their own helping and informing each other along…

Marius the Monkey & Nigel the Hedgehog

Friends are all ears when Marius the Monkey and Nigel the Hedgehog offer their sage wisdom before outdoor time. They know how kids feel and how to get along. They know about rules and they make them interesting. They also know, most importantly , how to tell very, very funny jokes!

Flower Power Florist Co.

The dramatic play area in the middle class has become a wonderful flower shop. Friends started arranging tulips and planting cat grass ( 5 inch growth in a week!) All manner of flowers are ready to be arranged, priced, bought and sold. There is also just plain happiness playing near all the color imaginable! Flower…

Nests and Eggs

Friends looked at pictures of different bird eggs and made some for their own little nests! What type of bird made that egg?

Colorful Springtime Play!

The sensory table in the front class has hundreds of spring things to play with! Baskets, grass, eggs, flowers, rabbits, birds, ducks ….We love the hundreds of little games you can play!

Birds and Nests

Friends in the middle class gathered bamboo to make these wonderful nests. The bird sculptures are made with the Berkshire black clay . (These bird expressions are wonderful!)

Camping Adventure

Friends made a list of what they would need to go on a camping trip. Backpacks, sleeping bags, lantern, flashlights, cameras and field guides for starters. They also made a make believe campfire to roast marshmallows while sitting in the Adirondack chairs. And of course a tent! A beautiful night time was drawn with pastels.and…

Glazing Pottery Time!

  Friends today, have glazed lots of cups, tiles, bowls and celadon tripods!  We are getting ready for some magic to happen, painting with glass or glaze and then will fire in Ms. Kat’s kiln. With out wet clay that we’ve thrown on the pottery wheel and hand built, it will transform into things we…

Montessori Pink Tower and Broad Stairs

Vesper and Marty worked on a wonderful variation of the pink tower and broad stairs today. What a fabulous pattern and design with alot of sensory learning here!

Counting and Geometry Play

All kinds of number and shape  play is worked on and played with at River School, from Montessori works to big group circle counting games!

I made my Earth!

In the Front class this month, we have been traveling to different continents. Some of the children have made maps of these continents. When one friend finished his map, he exclaimed “I made my Earth!” You may hear your children singing the continent song, too. It goes a little something like this… Continents, Continents  Do…

Elephant Bas- Relief “Tiles”

What happens when everyone rolls out a square slab. It becomes an elephant! Cassidy, Nell, Lucy and Maddie started with not “staying in the lines”, or in a square, and added a trunk, ear, and four legs( with the “tile” becoming the body!) We talked about profiles – one side of us – as they…

River School Reads!

Fiona’s mom, Renee Bogart, read  “After Fall” . A story about how Humpty made  it back up again! Cooper’s mom, Sarah Rutberg read a few stories from a Dr. Suess Anthology !Reid Andress, Malcolm’s dad, read,”One Monster After Another”. Colin and Clara’s mom, Nancy Martin, came in to read, “Tacky the Penguin. “ It is lovely…

Fantastic Gymnastics and Games

Front and middle classes have rainy day fun with relays, balance, spinning and sliding !! Kai and Jocelyn came by with some magic wands too!

Kiarah Barnes & YHS Career Exploration Program

Every year we have the honor of hosting a student from Yarmouth High School or North Yarmouth Academy for a three day career exploration program, or CEP. Friends love to work and play with these fun people. Kiarah played games, read books, assisted with art projects and was an all around helper in both front…

Rainy Day Jam Sessions!

Rainy days at River become extra special with music and song! Ms. Meg pulls out her guitar for some Five Little Ducks and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star before rest time. I also saw John Prine and Bonnie Raitt duet rehearsing Angel of Montgomery in the back studio! Music is all happening at River School today…

Happy Spring!!

What a glorious day in the park ! It was almost 50 degrees in the sun! Exploring nature, finding whirlies and visiting the climbing tree was so much fun! We had fun with the game,

Daffodils & Springtime!

Kids cut daffodils to size to fit their own vases and then put them around the room to make Spring happen!! Friends also planted out some cat grass seed hoping that will spring soon too!!

Shamrock Shakes

It’s green and full of the luck “o” the Irish – It’s the famous River School Shamrock Shake, minty, creamy and delicious ! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Ms. Mandy showed slides today of her travels through north India. We saw the River Ganges, Taj Mahal and camels in Rajasthan. Pictures of cows, which are considered sacred in India, and must not be harmed, are allowed to go where they want, and may even cause traffic jams when they walk through cities!Ms. Mandy…

Parade of Elephants

As we begin a cultural exploration of India, we made wonderful elephants. in fabric and clay. There are some nice library books about elephants too !

Ooblek Science!

Is it solid? Is it liquid? Is it amazing? Yes! Alchemist friends mixed a concoction of St. Patrick Day colored ooblek after reading Dr. Suess’ Bartholomew and the Ooblek. Such fun !

River Fashion House and Consignment Shop

Friends are pricing items to go on sale at their new store! Shoes, handbags, coats, sunglasses and much more are being sold this week in a new dress up shop with a twist. We are learning so much! Fitting, Measuring, Pricing, Naming, Tagging, Vogueing !!!

River Guest Readers!

Parents, grands and friends are taking some time to read a favorite book to the middle class. What a great way to connect ! The middle class is enjoying all of these wonderful books and new voices. Yertle the Turtle was read by Christophe Strauss, Leo’s dad. Officer Buckle and Gloria, was read by Molly Liddell,…


Friends in the front take turns to describe the weather outside. Yes, we have big snow piles outside of River School still! It is winter, but cold and sunny! Daylight  savings time  starts on Sunday and that means Springtime is around the corner!

Dr. Suess

Leo’s dad came in to read Yertle the Turtle and help celebrate Dr. Suess’ birthday week. Ms. Meg read The Lorax! Ms. Mandy and Ms. Eliza are Suessing it up with our friends too! What is your favorite story? We have a Suess library and a check out for all these wonderful stories in the…