Welcome to the Beehive Class

First and Second Grades - to honor their active learning and energetic grappling with big ideas. The intention is to provide dynamic learning experiences that supports a growing drive to do and be and understand.

At GCS, our Beehive Classroom focuses on a positive, encouraging introduction to an academic setting while recognizing the power of play. We believe that much of a child's learning is constructed through play as they then have authentic experiences with leadership, collaboration and critical thinking. Through child-led, teacher directed experiences, and a rich literacy component, Beehive students are incorporating social skills, language development, reading and writing skills, science and social studies discoveries, and developing a love for math.

We start each morning encouraging students to explore the ever changing materials in the classroom which are tied to one or more units of study.  This time to come into the classroom and get comfortable is an important piece of flexible time within an increasingly structured day as students adjust to the academic aspects of first and second grade.

Morning Meeting
After exploration, we start each and every day with a class meeting.  During this time, we greet each and practice social skills, listening skills, and memory skills.  Morning Meeting is a time to thoroughly discuss the day and schedule so that students feel comfortable knowing what to expect.  Activities may include a book or story as well, as we study different subjects throughout the year.  

Daily 5
Daily Five is an academic component of GCS that helps students foster independence and time management skills. Because of our individualized curriculum, each student will learn how to work independently and in small groups, as well as one-on-one with the teacher within this framework. More information on Daily 5 is included in the Beehive Academic Overview each year.  

Wiggle Time / Recess
Beehive students enjoy a morning and afternoon recess time.  Ample time to play and enjoy the outdoors is an important piece of our daily routine.

Number Corner 
Number Corner is a daily math meeting that puts students in charge of calendar work and data collection.  This is used in conjunction with other math instruction but is always a favorite time of day for students to chart findings and solve problems and patterns.

Shelf Time
Shelf time is an important part of the work students in the Beehive Classroom do. Studying in thematic units allows students to explore materials and games that are related to subjects and to find their own interests and creativity along the way. Balancing structured academic time with time to explore the classroom materials creates the environment of learning that makes the Beehive Classroom tick!

Responsive classroom practices create a culture of friendship and respect between students and teachers. Project-based learning allows students to learn through a variety of experiences and field-trips throughout the year foster opportunities to engage with the community in ways that bring learned skills to life. Our multi-age class helps the Beehive students develop a sense of community that supports varied social and academic development by fostering collaborative skills, while diminishing competition and comparison since all students are not expected to have identical skills. A love of learning is the outcome when students are able to express themselves in their own unique learning style.

Latest Events in Forest


December Newsletter

December 1, 2019 8:37 AM

12/19/19 - 12:30pm Forest Room Class Party and Homemade Gift Exchange 12/20/19 8:30am - Festival of Lights 12/20/19 - 10am - Holiday Happenings and Noon Dismissal


November Newsletter

October 28, 2019 9:04 AM

Hello Forest Families! October has been a great month in our class. We wrapped up our geography studies and enjoyed a visit to Lost World Caverns, a perfect adventure for showing local geography in real time. We have celebrated Halloween and the fall season with a color and nature study (see bulletin board in front of Forest cubbies) and I know how excited the students are for celebrating with their families. In November we will be focusing on animals in our science studies. We will be learning about life cycles, habitats, the five types of animals, predators and prey, and much more. I will confirm our field trip to Greenbrier Humane Society and send dates to you as soon as that is confirmed on their end. This month we will incorporate mindfulness into our daily routines and find ways to express gratitude to those around us. The culmination of our studies this month will include an animal research project and Grandparents/Special Friends Day leading into Thanksgiving Break. I can't believe the holidays are approaching so quickly! We will maintain our routines as much as possible during these exciting times and look forward to the celebrations ahead. Ms. Caroline


October Forest Room News

Reflecting on the last few weeks - we have been very busy adding more challenging work to our Daily 5 and Number Corner components, and with that came a deeper sense of classroom community.

Meet the teachers

Stephanie Dickenson
Lead Teacher

Rosie Ketchum

Stephanie Dickenson
Lead Teacher – Beehive Classroom

BA - Elementary Education K-9 Mathematics Bluefield State College

Teaching has always been my passion. I was able to fulfill that dream in 2007 when I graduated from Bluefield State College with my Bachelor’s degree in education. Mathematics is a favorite of mine, so it became my specialization. After graduating, I had the privilege to work for Greenbrier County Schools as a substitute teacher and then classroom teacher at Alderson Elementary School for nearly a decade.

Over the years, I have been a lead teacher in kindergarten, first, second and fifth grades. My teaching style is to embrace the moment, inspire my learners, and work hard to know what my students need in order to be successful in reaching their goals. I am excited to implement creative projects to support the brain-based curriculum being used at Greenbrier Community School.

My husband and high school sweetheart, John, was by my side the whole time of becoming a teacher. We have now been married for twenty years and have two children, Lexi and Luke. We enjoy traveling to Florida to visit our family farm, but always miss the beautiful scenic views of West Virginia when we are away.  

Beehive Classroom Community
‍My goal for the learning environment at Greenbrier Community School is to create a positive, loving community, where students are led to ask questions and investigate their theories. Students will have high standards and take risks. Our Responsive Classroom based community will use project-based learning, and small groupings, while also having independent time. In addition to our pinpointed focus on academics, we will have a vision of social and emotional well-being. As a multi-age class focused on community, the students have ownership of our classroom and work off of intrinsic rewards. We will take some very important time to establish the relationships among us needed to succeed together.

I look forward to supporting your children on their educational journey!

Creating the Culture
of the Classroom

Over the first six weeks, the primary focus of all GCS classrooms is to set up the structures and behavioral atmosphere needed to create the ideal learning environment for all students. Students co-create this environment so that they feel safe to voice their concerns and needs, clear in their understanding of behavioral and academic expectations and inspired to learn and grow as a valued member of a real community. Click on the links below on the right for details.

Click on links below for details

Daily agenda Introduced
Every classroom has a daily agenda and the day begins and ends with a morning circle to discuss the the goals for the day and what may have been missed at the end of the day so students are aware of what adjustments will be made for the agenda on the following day.
Classroom Structure Development
Students make lists of what will make the class work smoothly. Procedures are set for how students operate in the classrooms, how they transition from activities, how materials are used and put away, and how they will take responsibility in the classroom for their behavior for their needs.
Social Behavioral Constructs
Procedures for how teachers respond to breakdowns with students, and how peers respond to each other if there is a conflict are developed. Teachers model behavioral responses for students to emulate, which helps to set the tone for a harmonious classroom environment.
Building Trusting Community
Teachers connect with students on a human level to create relationships as caring community members not authoritarian teacher/student roles. Strategies such as being at the door in the morning, saying good morning, showing empathy with separation from parents or emotional concerns of students may have.
Class Promise
A behavioral contract for the rules that govern the class is co-created by students and facilitated by the teacher. All students sign or add hand prints to validate the contract. The contract may get read daily and students are reminded that failure is ok and the class promise is in place for students to realign with if a breakdown occurs. Teachers post the promise in a visibly prominent place in the classroom for students to refer to often.