We have a Journey!

We officially have a Journey of Discovery! The students selected "Make It" as our first Journey for the year and they are busy designing, building, testing, drawing, knitting, cooking...you name it! Offerings to support Journey have included boat building and testing boats in the brook, wondering which ones would go the fastest or the straightest and how they reacted to the current of the brook. Origami has been explored as well. Our Farm to Table crew made delicious tomato soup and green beans for our tasting this week. The Middle School Read Aloud group is reading Darius & Twig by Walter Dean Myers, while the other two Read Aloud groups are engrossed in either A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck, or East of the Sun and West of the Moon, an old Norwegian fairy tale. Read Aloud is a great opportunity for students to unwind after a busy day and write in their journals, draw in their sketch books, or simply sit back and enjoy the story!

Woodland students are Making!

We began the week by picking fresh apples at Mountain Roots Farm. Apples will be pressed and cider enjoyed at our annual Fall Gathering this week. Yum! Other morning activities including walking the Woods Trail, Share, and Flower Art with Farmer Mikaela. Students harvested flowers and greenery and made their own temporary art by arranging the petals and leaves in unique arrangements on white paper. Cooking with Ali began on Friday as did Farmer for an Hour. During Journey, topic selection continued and the students have condensed their ideas into fourteen different categories. Stay tuned for further information as Journey discussions develop student ideas. Students also worked on their skills and their smarts and put on original skits to demonstrate their ideas about what our 2017-2018 School Rules should be. Skits including dancing, acting and rap! Woodland students were joined by Bill and Jeremy from White Mountain Science Inc. as we learned about tinkering and creating and ways we can pursue our personal projects and ideas during the course of this year. A group egg drop activity involved small groups using a limited selection of materials in order to protect their egg as it was first dropped from the porch, and then from a second story window. No breaks! And yet among all the activity during this abbreviated four day week, we still found time for free play!



Free Choice...


included dress up, insect identification, Legos, capture the flag, tag, climbing trees...



Each student worked independently to design a magazine cover and write an article about their future selves.



Our four middle school students worked to solve the mystery of the Four 4's...

Our first week of school at Woodland was filled with the sounds of laughter, new students and activity. The students moved into their lockers and cubbies, made personalized name tags for their own spaces, named each of the school rooms, brainstormed School Rules and Journey topics, worked on magazine articles about themselves, hiked Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain, and filled both the indoor and outdoor spaces with games and giggles! While some students played with Legos, others investigated our collection of magnets exploring the effects of attraction and repulsion. Some students chose to create drawings with markers and pencils while others explored using charcoal and pastels. We celebrated a birthday and the addition of four new students to the Woodland community. Thank you for a great beginning to what will be a wonderful year!

Because sometimes, we just need to stick colored pencils in our shoes!

This business of learning is hard work! Whether we are stretching our minds or our bodies, working inside of school or outside of school, Woodland students are getting after it. This week invited students to participate in a rock climbing class at White Mountain School along with WMS Outdoor Education students extraordinaire. An all day field trip to Squam Lake Science Center and a trip to Time Quest in Littleton were also on the agenda. Yarrow offered Irish Dance lessons as part of her Journey project and all students participated in our Second Annual Trail Love Day during which we cleaned up the Woodland trails. Our first ever "You Rock" Free Choice all day Wednesday was filled with brook play and a slip 'n slide, solar balloons, balloon rockets, and a pizza picnic. Whether working on Journey projects or learning to read, playing Capture the Flag or whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, students are engaging their minds and bodies in any number of ways. On top of everything else, Woodland students are active community members with four students participating in the Creative Edge Dance recital and a student involved in community theatre.  So, yeah, every now and then, we just need to take a break and stick colored pencils in our shoes!

Of course we swim on warm days at Woodland, doesn't everybody?

What a beautiful, warm week we've had at Woodland filled with swimming and floating in the brook, sliding down the slide, catching caddisflies and releasing tadpoles. Thanks to all the delicious goodies donated to the OSE bake sale and to the Littleton CoOp for hosting us. Olivia's "Chopped" Journey project filled the kitchen with delicious smells and lucky judges for the tasting. Students are working on a variety of projects including construction of a school bell tower, a hand carved Iroquois war club, cosplay costumes, quilting squares, scrapbook pages, and student-led conference scripts. We will round out our week with a visit from a group called T.I.G.E.R. from Plymouth State University.

Spring and Music are in the air at Woodland !

Spring has been filled with laughter and energy along with sunshine at Woodland Community School!  Students are full throttle in our Amazing Sports Journey of Discovery working on projects involving fishing, obstacle courses, track and field, kickball, cooking competitions, Irish dance, biking and hiking. Farm to Table students made mason bee homes for the farm and then painted them with bright colors. The homes will be installed on the farm and will hopefully attract these wonderful pollinators. On the warm-ish days we have taken advantage of playing in the brook and reading outside. Zoe has purchased instruments with the funds she raised promoting her Capstone Project, Music for Woodland, and we are poised to begin our music program next school year.

Science Interim at Woodland

Our own in house Mad Scientists were busy all week with science making slime of various shapes, sizes and textures, speakers, boats, density columns, studying ocean layers and polymers, and so much more as we work during our Science Interim. Students are also deciding what the next Journey of Discovery will be and have narrowed down what began as a lengthy and varied list to:  Lights, Camera, Action!, Legendary Lands, and Amazing Sports. A group of students chose to go see Macbeth at Jeans Playhouse in Lincoln, while all students had the opportunity to spend time once again this week at Littleton Studio School working with clay. Farm to Table students helped out in the green house and were rewarded with a large bag of potatoes, which they promptly turned into delicious potato pancakes!

Woodland transformed into the Great Hall at Hogwarts and Diagon Alley!

Today students celebrated the end of the Harry Potter Journey of Discovery with a culminating event...a mouthwatering feast! Spicy chicken, broccoli and carrots steamed to perfection, broccoli and corn on the cob, broiled potatoes, all served with a delicious pumpkin juice followed by butter beer and consumed with the theme music to the Harry Potter movies in the background.  All of these enticing goodies were made by Zoe and Cole, and so many thanks to all the contributions of food from our Woodland community. The great feast was followed up with the student version of Diagon Alley with wand shoppes and a quidditch shoppe, magic potions and herbs for sale, and of course Gringotts Bank to obtain cash for all the purchases. Along with making wands by hand, students wrote books, created a myriad of decorations transforming the school, turned experiments into magic potions, and wrote a Woodland specific script for our own Sorting Hat. It was a wonderful day rounding out our week!

Rounding out the end of March with Magic

We began our series of pottery classes at Littleton Studio School this week. The beginners are learning how to build pieces by hand, the intermediate group is receiving an introduction to throwing, while the experienced students are in an advanced throwing class. Lily led the school in an offering about how to make quill writing pens while students crushed a variety of berries to make their own ink. The Farm to Table crew helped Farmer Tim restock nesting boxes for the chickens with fresh hay along with harvesting fresh alder for chicken roosts. The older group of students had their last WMSI class and we also welcomed Jessie with Advice to the Players theatre group. Jessie led an offering pertaining to Shakespeare in advance of their production of Macbeth we will see next week. Carolyn and Mary Jo shared their prowess with potions and transfiguration as students conducted several different experiments using a variety of materials. Stay tuned for information about our Harry Pottery Feast!

Screenagers Community and Film Event, May 5th!

    Join Woodland Community School of Bethlehem, NH and the worldwide Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) on May 5th for an evening of film, education, discussion, and connection at the Colonial Theater in Bethlehem, NH.  

    This event features a screening of the documentary, Screenagers, which probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world. http://www.screenagersmovie.com/  

    Not to be missed is a keynote from Dr. Peter Berg, AERO Representative, Author of the Tao of Teenagers and founder of Youth Transformations focused on alternative, holistic, integrated educational theory, and integrated health. Come enjoy opportunities to connect with local independent schools, businesses, and non-profits who celebrate the arts, education, and the outdoors, hors d’oeuvres prepared by Woodland students in their Farm to Table program, and AERO’s pop-up bookstore. Small group, round table discussions will wrap up this engaging evening!

5:30AERO Pop-Up Bookstore, Networking and Education Fair, Hors d’oeuvres
6:00 Key note Speaker, Peter Berg
6:30 Screenagers Movie
7:45 Round Table Discussion in Small Groups
8:30 AERO Pop-Up Bookstore, Networking and Education Fair, Hors d’oeuvres

Suggested Donation: $10 per adult,  $6 per student


March Madness at Woodland

Woodland students are ambitiously continuing work on their Journey projects focusing on either Harry Pottery or the Revolutionary War Journey of Discovery. Harper is making homemade root beer while Leo is writing about Revolutionary War uniforms. Yarrow is making a poster about Alexander Hamilton and Finley made a poster replete with Revolutionary War facts. Zoe and Cole are collaborating on a feast worthy of the Great Hall at Hogwarts, and Ori and Tye are collaborating on an Ollivanders Wand Shoppe book along with splendid handmade wands and a handmade wand display rack. Aida is hard at work making hand crafted money for Gringotts and Olivia and Ani made tricorn Revolutionary War hats out of paper mache. We have had Yoga as a special offering from Carolyn - thank you to Balance Bethlehem for donating your yoga studio space! Farm To Table found us basking in the warmth of the seed room as we learned about transplanting seedlings one day and then continued with our winter activities by Nordic skiing at Bretton Woods the next day. Oh, and did we mention Taiko drumming (thanks White Mountain School and Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire) and WMSI??? Thank you parents for a great round of Parent-Teacher conferences and allowing us to share about our favorite topic - your children!

Open House!

Your child spends approximately 30 hours a week at school. And while there are many choices for families, the best choice is the one that workswell for your child and family unit.

Woodland Community school is going on their 13th year of offering a rich educational base for children ages 5-14. Located on a quiet rural road in Bethlehem, NH, it considers child led learning, play, and outdoor enrichment as the most meaningful and joyful ways to educate a child.

As a small, mixed-aged progressive school, kids spend much of their day moving and exploring, working independently or collaboratively on projects, and exploring the world at their own pace, guided by a team of knowledgeable trained teachers and facilitators.

Would you like to come see what we are all about?
Woodland Community school Open House is being held March 25th, 2017 from 2-4 PM. Everyone is welcome. Come meet the teachers, get a tour of the grounds from a present day student, talk with alum, ask our Board members questions, view current student work, and have some fun.

Woodland is located on 809 Brook Road in Bethlehem, sharing their campus with Meadowstone, a working farm. If you have any questions you may also call the school at (603) 444-1221 or email us at woodlandcommunityschool@gmail.com

Nordic Ski, Catamount, and Journey!

We don't know what the rest of New Hampshire does the Friday before February vacation week...but here at Woodland, we duct tape teachers to tables and head to Evergreen for Open Gym! We have had a wonderful week of nordic skiing at Bretton Woods and a trip to Catamount to see a musical performance. Students are working on one of three different Journey topics, one of which is Harry Potter. Beautiful and magical wands of all sorts of materials are being created throughout the school. The ever popular Popsicle Stick Bridge Challenge was begun and after break, we will find out which of the students built the strongest bridge by measuring how much weight each bridge holds. The Duct Tape A Teacher To A Table Challenge was met by team Tye, Leo and Nina with resounding success as their taping strategy held up Carolyn for more than twenty minutes! Playing at Open Gym at Evergreen was a great way to spend a rainy Friday afternoon before February break. Enjoy your week everyone!

Inspired Reading and of course, playing in the snow!

Naturally with all the fresh snow this week, Woodland students have been outside quite a lot! We began our week with a gorgeous day nordic skiing at Bretton Woods. The students who chose to stay at the school instead of go skiing baked up some delicious pumpkin/oatmeal/chocolate chip muffins to have as a Valentine's treat when the skiers returned. Several students finished up editing work and submitted their films for the North Country Film Festival. Journey discussions continued and students have narrowed the topics to Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Revolutionary War, or Extreme Weather. Woodland Mountain has been in constant use, as have our Altai skis and Tubbs snowshoes. Inspired by something called "gunk music" from their book "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy," by Douglas Adams, one Read Aloud Group spontaneously broke into song with Cole playing air guitar on his hand made Atlatl, Ori playing air piano, and Leo with Sharpies in his ears! Another Read Aloud group was inspired by the artwork of Skottie Young from the book, "Fortunately, The Milk," by Neil Gaiman, and created gorgeous pen and ink drawings. Our week will wrap up with a student requested Pajama Day and Valentine party on Friday!

Butter, Ice Globes, Sewing and More!

What a wonderful and varied week we have had at Woodland! Linus, the scientist, was amazed that a Ziplock bag pierced by five sharp pencils sprung no leaks. Miles brought in his state and national park collections of quarters. Tyler, Pilot and Nina worked on their sewing skills while making hearts for our Valentine tree and pillows. Cole made "Mr. Learnie" out of blocks instead of Legos during one of his brain breaks. Ori, Olivia, Nina and Pilot made sage butter, salted butter and pumpkin pie spice butter. Team Finley and Yarrow and Team Aida and Olivia continued editing their film entries for the North Country Film Festival. Ori and several other students spent time outside enjoying the beautiful snowfall, sledding, and playing "wolf" out in the woods. Gorgeous ice globes, looking much like Murano glass, were made by many students. The process of selecting a new Journey of Discovery was also begun this week. So far, the choices are Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Revolutionary War, French Culture, and Extreme Weather. Love is in the air as students craft their own Valentines and plan for Pajama Day next week!

Improv, Legos, and WMSI

Woodland students have had the opportunity to join in a variety of activities over the past couple weeks! Through the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, Jocelyn Duford taught an improvisational class to a group of eager thespians who focused on the spirit of cooperation and teamwork among a troupe of actors. Jeremy from White Mountain Science Inc. joined us for several days of working with students teaching them basic programing using WeDo 2.0 from Lego.  Continuing in the spirit of using effective tools to motive and engage students, teachers also offered our own in house Lego Learn To Learn activity which involved each student following directions and attempting to build "Mr. Learnie!" The teacher group is grateful to the staff at Mountain Village Charter School who opened their arms and doors for us for our in-service day. We had yet another successful Winter Program week at Cannon and Altai skiing/showshoeing at school.  Lots of sledding down Woodland "Mountain" rounded out our week!

Snow and Ice Magic at Woodland

Woodland is now home to a field of snow people! You can see these fun creations as you drive by the school!  Students continued with their many Journey projects this week, each child following their curiosity down whatever road it lead them. Winter Program met with great success at Cannon as the skiers and boarders had a wonderful sunny day and beautiful snow. Students spent time with local artist Lucy Golden at Littleton Studio School learning how to make beautiful jewelry. Skills learned included working with metal, enameling and soldering. Cole celebrated his 13th birthday by enjoying a ride in the front seat of the Woodland van. Cole and Leo also learned this week that the artwork they submitted to the Scholastic Arts Awards of New Hampshire won an Honorable Mention and a Silver Key respectively. Congratulations Cole and Leo! Their work will be on display at Pinkerton Academy from January 23-February 12. Make a day of it and go see Fiddler on the Roof along with Woodland student artwork on display at the Silver Center in Plymouth, then continue to Pinkerton Academy for more student artwork from around the state. Woodland students are making a name for themselves in New Hampshire!

Chagall, CPR...and who is that masked man?

Woodland was a hub of activity once again last week as students finished a collaborative project that is on display in Plymouth. "Far From The Home I Love" is the theme of the exhibit put together by the Educational Theatre Collaborative and Plymouth State University in conjunction with their production of Fiddler on the Roof. Students participated in a Compassionate Communication activity and emulated the early cubist style of Marc Chagall for their creation. To see the finished project make plans to go see Fiddler on the Roof at the Hanaway Theatre in the Silver Center at Plymouth State University! Over six thousand people will be passing through the Silver Center to look at the amazing student artwork from around the state. Remember when the OSE students conducted a bake sale to raise money for a CPR/First Aid class? Well, we welcomed Bill Brusseau to Woodland last week as Leo, Tye, Zoe, Cole and Carolyn earned their American Heart Association CPR certification and learned the basics of first aid. Journey projects this week involved flash floods, swords, the periodic table, writing a play about Rumpelstiltskin, researching the Altai people, science experiments, the Titanic, building a Lego army base, making a magic wand, researching about wolves and mask making. Can you tell who Finley is putting the mask on?

Celebration of Snow and Ice!

Winter Program began at Woodland this week. Skiers and boarders had a blast at Cannon with their several inches of fresh snow, while those students opting for Winter Program at school had the opportunity to try out Altai skis. These skis are modeled after traditional skis used deep in the Altai mountains of Northern Asia for travel and hunting. With a partial climbing skin integrated into the base, all ability levels have been able to joyfully participate in our very own backcountry skiing at Woodland. Our sledding hill began the week covered in fluffy snow and mother nature soon transformed the hill into a sheet of ice. Kids took full advantage of the ice and slid on their knees, bottoms, and pieces of cardboard! Among all the outside play was a lot of academic skill work happening inside the school. Computers were out, white boards were full,  and snap circuits were buzzing. A school-wide activity involving the work of artist Marc Chagall was begun and will continue into next week. New books were started in Read Aloud in this new year and Zoe launched her Capstone Project. (www.gofundme.com/musicforwoodland)