Field Trips and Sustainability days

We take weekly field trips. Yes, every Monday we hop in the van, take the city bus, or walk to a different destination around town. We are an all weather school, so we bundle up in the winter, throw on rain gear when its raining, and layer on sunscreen and wear hats in the hot weather. This year we teamed up with Earth Native Wilderness School for monthly survival classes. We practice making connections with nature and our earth, which is one of our core practices. In the beginning of the year, we ask for student input on places to visit and plan several wilderness trips around Austin. So far this year we’ve taken trips to Deep Eddy Pool, McKinney Falls, canoeing on Lady Bird (a schoolhouse tradition), backstage at Bass Concert Hall, Faulk Library, Eastwoods Park, and Hornsby Bend. Every Monday is an new adventure and we love every minute of it.

Our focus sustainability days happen once a month. Teachers plan activities around a theme and help students understand the importance of our earth’s resources. We talk about what we can actively do to take care of our earth and each other. So far we’ve learned about the importance of food, water, and waste.











Move by Bike: 9th Street to Radicle Roots

Saying goodbye to 9th Street was bittersweet, but early Sunday morning we were filled with anticipation and excitement nonetheless. There were tubs and tubs of books packed away, bags filled with supplies and craft materials, and empty shelves ready to be loaded. The big moving day had arrived!

Around 9am, volunteers started to arrive with cargo bikes, trailers, baskets, panniers and backpacks. After grabbing coffee donated by the generous Texas Coffee Traders, people began bustling in and out of the house. Before you knew it, there was nothing left to pack. Everything flew out of the house in less than 45 minutes. It was incredible! Bikes were everywhere, each one strategically piled with supplies and securely strapped with bungees and rope.

The 3 mile ride to Red River Street was magical, slow and steady. When we arrived at the new space, everyone pitched in to unload and organize our cargo. We did it!

With the location change, we’ve transformed from 9th Street Schoolhouse into

Radicle Roots Community Schoolhouse!

We are sharing this beautiful new 2,000 sq ft space with the incredibly fun and creative Spilled Milk Social Club. This allows us to connect with on-site after-school programming, and to serve more working families with an extended day option. We have room to grow, and enrollment is still open, so get in touch with us if you’re looking to make a change in your child’s learning environment.

There are so many wonderful people to thank who helped make our move successful. Our Schoolhouse parents and students who loaded up and biked with us, you are amazing! Thank you to our family and friends who took the time to help and make the move possible, y’all really blew us away with your willingness to work hard while having fun. Thanks to the Texas Coffee Traders for fueling us with fair-trade organic caffeinated goodness. And last but not least, thanks goes to the Yellow Bike Project  for the inspiration to be all human-powered.

We also made the local news! Thanks KXAN for covering our adventure and sharing it with the community.

Here we are loading up! IMG_3653 IMG_3643 IMG_3641 IMG_3657 IMG_3659 IMG_3660 Ready to roll out! IMG_3665 IMG_3667   We arrived at our new space! IMG_3672 IMG_3676 IMG_3684



Schoolhouse Move by Bike this Sunday!

Do you have a bike with a basket? A cargo bike or trailer? Or maybe a big backpack? Come join the 9th Street Schoolhouse Move by Bike: the schoolhouse is growing and we need your wheels to help get us there!

Date: Sunday June 1st
Time: Load at 9am sharp
Meet at 2006 E. 9th St. 78702 to load. We will have coffee and doughnuts for you!
We will bike as a group to 3310 Red River to the new schoolhouse location.

This is a kid friendly bike event, as we will be riding slow and in a pack. However, you must be responsible for your own child and make sure they are road-ready, please!

Thank you for supporting our grassroots alternative learning community!
Contact Caitlin with questions:

Puppet show and playground play

We met Progress School at Carver library for a fantastic puppet show called Grandmothers Story: A Tlinglet Tale put on by Literature LIVE! We had a great time! 


Awaiting the show

Despite some faces, we all really enjoyed the performance. 

After the show, we enjoyed time with the kids and teachers from Progress and played a few games and explored the area. 



Most importantly, there was lots of bonding going on today. Friendships and closeness were apparent and our lights were shining bright on this dreary day. 

More pictures to check out!

Visit to Sy’s House

Today we headed north to spend time at Sy’s house. We all had a great time getting to know Sy, Nicole (Sy’s mom), and Sue (Sy’s grandma). We spent time exploring the spacious front yard, playing hide and go seek,  perfecting yoga poses in the studio, and building lego masterpieces.  

Amelia and Renee exploring the garden

Treasures are everywhere

Jonas and Sy in the front yard

Nicole made a delicious clove,

 ginger, and black pepper tea

Mia enjoying the tea

Nicole showing us a relaxing pose in the studio. 

Mia in full lotus

Renee and her lego masterpiece!

Caitlin getting us ready to catch the bus. 

More pictures to check out!

Thank you Nicole, Sy, and Sue for having us over! 

Visit to Amelia’s House

On Tuesday we took a short walk over to Amelia’s house for our weekly field experience. We packed a picnic and spent the day enjoying all the fun things to play on and with. There was a treehouse, a swing, a trapeze, various games, and cardboard boxes to play inside. We played hide and go seek, guess which box, and took some time to take in all the beautiful nature around us and sketched in our nature notebooks. Thank you Molly and Brian for letting us visit! We had such a fantastic time.

This was the last week to wrap up our projects for our first unit ‘Free to Be You and Me’ and we finally have them posted up and around the Schoolhouse. We have been working hard on them and can’t wait to share them with our families. The timeline of milestones in our lives turned out amazing and we all learned new things about each other. Apparently, in 2010 lots of things happened! 
In Laura’s class, we worked on estimating numbers, we found several patterns in the 100 chart, and wrote number sentences using manipulatives. In Caitlin’s class, we worked with factor patterns. We used counters to create equal groups and then we drew rectangular arrays on graph paper and wrote the corresponding multiplication expressions. 
Friday was sushi day! The kids got a big kick out of it. We spread the sticky rice, filled them with fresh veggies and smoked salmon, and rolled and squeezed. What a treat! 
Our next big project is the Cardboard challenge. We viewed the videos of Caine’s Arcade and were all immediately inspired by his creativity and perseverance. So many ideas came to mind and we took some time to draw and design our own projects. We had a great discussion about what we were going to make and that only inspired more designs. So, we spent most of our time Friday cutting, taping, cutting, taping, and creating! Tons of ideas and creativity filled the school house and we were all knee deep in cardboard. Literally, we had to move all our cardboard inside the house to protect from rain which made for a cozy space.  They made a ticket booth, an interactive world, all kinds of arcade games, copy machines, and tickets. We can’t wait to share our creations with everyone! 

Corrugated Creations

Thank you to Sofia for coming again this week to read to us. We love love loved it! Also, we want to send a huge thank you for those who brought in cardboard to make our creations possible. Keep it coming! 
Just a reminder that the Cardboard Challenge is on October 6th at Givens Park from 12-3 pm.
We can’t wait to see everyone at our first Showcase/park day Saturday! 3-5 pm at the Schoolhouse! 

Week 3, What an adventure!

Week 3 and library/Carver museum

We started our week with a walk down to Carver library on a refreshing Tuesday morning. We packed snacks, water, and took our backpacks that held our newly chosen books. We explored different genres, talked to the librarian, and found interesting bits of nature along our path. We decided to visit the Carver Museum next to the library. There we found artifacts of Carver’s life, sculptures, and beautiful wood carved relief panels. There was an exhibit on Juneteenth and we learned about the Emancipation Proclamation and the festive tradition. We also explored several founding historical african american families that have lived in the Austin community.

Great things have been happening during self directed time. Some planned and developed a lemonade stand that had several customers. (secret ingredient was honey and handmade origami cups) Origami, bead-making  painting, and sword fighting were other popular choices.
We got our new handmade burlap supply pouches! We started making them last week. We cut the burlap, pinned the hem, and started to sew, but Dan took over and volunteered to finish them. Thanks, Dan! They came out beautiful and we will use them everyday.
We planted some fall veggies early in the week. Greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asian greens, and brussel sprouts were added in the rows. We can’t wait to watch them grow!
We ended our Free to Be You and Me unit this week. We worked on our Family trees, started a timeline of events that happend in our lives, and finished our silhouettes. All of our projects are looking fabulous!

For Maths this week, Caitlin’s class has been working on concepts of large numbers, place value, and orders of magnitude. We started by modeling a one-centimeter square cube for one unit. We worked with the concept of 10 makes 1: ten cubes make one long (a ten-bar); ten longs make one flat (a hundred square); and ten flats make one cube (a thousand). Then I asked the students to figure out What Comes Next? They began to recognize the cube, flat, long pattern as we had to leave the confines of the studio to measure out ten thousand. We grabbed meter sticks and headed for the alley to contemplate the power of ten. Once we got to a million, the cube was so large we estimated it was as tall as the neighbor’s two story house (10 meters tall!) We also worked with recording the numerals and reading big numbers. Encourage your child to practice at home!In Language Arts, Rio and Sy worked together to sort word family cards to recognize spelling patterns. They then selected one of the word families and read a story featuring that pattern. Renee selected a book project from our folder of choices and will write a sequel to a story of her choice. This project is due Thursday 9/27.
Laura’s class has been working on instant recognition of amounts using dots. (like on a dice) We used dot cards and discussed the patterns and relationship between different numbers. Dominos was a huge hit! Using the patterns on the dominos, we played different games like, one more than, and one less than. This helped with fluency of numbers and relationships that will help with computation in the future. 
In Language arts, we all read together the book You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You to work with sounding out words and reading with expression. This helped by getting a good idea where they are in reading levels. 

Thursday during siesta, we had Sofia, Rio’s mom, come and read to all of us. We loved the books she chose, like Chester’s Way, Unique Monique, Widget, Jamaica Louis James, and Dream Catcher. What a treat to have her visit! Thanks, Sofia! 

Our second week at the Schoolhouse was filled with exciting events! We had our first field experience on Tuesday at Deep Eddy Pool. We hopped on the #4 Metro bus, cruised down historic 6th St., and spent the afternoon swimming and soaking up the sun. 
Back at the Schoolhouse, fort building is still a popular choice for self directed time, and we even got a new load of sturdy cedar polls to build up and lash. We explored art in the studio to express our creativity. Some chose to make kaleidoscopes, secret envelopes, key cards for the forts, dioramas, drawings, and pictures using different kinds of textured tape. There is even an exciting project of creating a comic book about ‘Blaze’ one of our many chickens that is in the beginning stages. Super the cat has been hanging out with us in the backyard and some of us have been petting, holding, and getting to know him better.
Kitchen patrol and cook crews are improving at light speed! We are eating fresh, local food everyday. Quinoa was a new experince and almost everyone enjoyed the stir fry tofu with rice and veggies. During lunch on Wednesday, we also opened the time capsule and got a chance to see old friends and see if we had changed over the year. 
During siesta there has been lots of interest in read alouds. This week, we read Sing a Song of Tuna Fish by Esme Raji Codell on the porch while the rain fell beside us. 
We love having special visitors and this week we had Mollie come in to show us the magic and power of essential oils to repel mosquitoes. Emily is hosting a popular origami club on Fridays and lots of interesting animals and intricate folds were made. The change in weather this week was so refreshing and exciting! We played in the rain, stomped in puddles, searched for frogs, and loved the feeling of fall approaching. 
For our classes we start with a maths (Wednesday and Fridays) or a language (Thursdays) lesson, followed by a project for our unit, ‘Free to be You and Me’. We made new Schoolhouse ID cards with our pictures and included current information about our hobbies and things that make us happy or sad. We started a new project Friday using watercolor and our profile silhouettes which will be debuted at our first Schoolhouse picnic/showcase on Saturday the 29th. 
Exciting things are brewing up at the Schoolhouse and we are having lots of fun getting to know each other and beginning the new year. 
Deep Eddy and Week 2