Passionate Teachers
Focused Learning Environment
Responsive Students
Involved Parents

Swan School Mission

Swan School builds strong learners in an environment of academic excellence aligned with creativity and personal expression. We develop wise and compassionate leaders as an investment in everyone’s future.

Karen Akins

The Navigators!

Grades 2-3

Karen Akins, Teacher

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Welcome to the Navigators, Swan School’s second and third grade class! As in a family with children of various ages, students in our multiage class have opportunities to be part of a cooperative learning community, where they can make contributions as mentors as well as benefit from the expertise of others, each learning at his or her own level.

My first priority with the children is establishing a safe and joyful classroom culture where students can take creative risks and share who they are. Teaching with respect, caring, and tolerance sets up an environment in which the children learn and put into practice the values of tolerance and respect.

Each morning after our Swan School Whole School Meeting, the Navigators have a class meeting to read the schedule of the day, share news, and play learning games, often using beanbags or scarves. Each day students work in Math, Reading, and Writing in large or small groups, with partners or individually. Through this flexible grouping, the multiage classroom maximizes learning and promotes cooperation, responsibility, and independence.

In Science and Social Studies, our unit studies, we deeply explore a topic for four to eight weeks. Through engaging age-appropriate projects and activities, the children grasp key concepts about the world they live in.

Learning experiences that pique interest, are relevant, and tap into students’ multiple intelligences through hands-on/minds-on activities prepare students for success. In addition to Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies and Science, the Navigators have regular opportunities to explore the arts and the world around them. Handcrafts, painting, and drawing, local field trips, interactions with visiting experts, music, poetry, drama, movement and games are included in the curriculum to broaden and deepen the children’s understanding of topics they study.

I value the opportunity to share the pleasure of educating your children with you, their parents and first teachers, and welcome parent volunteers! Let me know if you would like to help in the classroom, do a special project with the children, or just come in to visit.

Look for weekly email updates on classroom news. Communication is important to keep everything running smoothly, so feel free to contact me via email, in person after school, or by phone if you have questions or ideas to share.

I look forward to sharing the learning journey with each of you and your child.

Email Karen at



Navigator Supply List

All items except Kleenex and glue sticks should be labeled with the student’s name before school begins – especially the pencils!

If you do not have a set of 12 usable Pentel markers and a set of 12 Mr. Sketch chisel tip unscented markers from last year, please notify the office and they will be ordered by the school and billed to your account (approximately $20-25). This will save you money and ensure that all children have the same markers. Students having the same markers works well in the classroom.

  • 2 dozen #2 pencils (individually labeled with student’s name in permanent marker & sharpened)
  • 2 wide-ruled 70-page spiral notebooks
  • 2 pocket folders
  • 1 large pink eraser
  • 6 glue sticks
  • 2 boxes of Kleenex
  • Comfort Kit Items (see separate list)Please note Swan School will purchase the following items & invoice you
    Pentel Markers (12) & Mr. Sketch unscented chisel tip markers (12) (if needed) $20-$25

A Poem of the Month


by Christina Rossetti

What is pink? A rose is pink
By a fountain’s brink.

What is red? A poppy’s red
In its barley bed.

What is blue? The sky is blue
Where the clouds float through.

What is white? A swan is white
Sailing in the light.

What is yellow? Pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.

What is green? The grass is green,
With small flowers between.

What is violet? Clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.

What is orange? Why, an orange,
Just an orange!

Navigator Guidelines
Be Respectful- of yourself, others, and the environment
Be Curious- wonder, think, ask
Be responsible- do the right thing at the right time
Do your best- make the effort!

Navigator Rules
1. Follow directions
2. Listen to the speaker
3. Stay on task
4. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself
5. Be kind with words and actions