Grades March 12 - 16

Hi Garden Families,

The Grades students had a good time in our warmer weather and enjoyed a little extra creek time.  In class, the Lower Grades finished the story, The 13 Clocks, worked on spelling and grammar, practiced telling time, and began work on making our own clocks. In the Upper grades, the students heard new stories about Thor and Baldur, and continued lessons in spelling and grammar.  This week we will be finishing the Norse myths block with the stories of the Valkyries and the final battle, Ragnarok.

In Modeling, we all worked in making the basic human form with clay. We wet-on-wet painted from the Norse Myths (Upper) and nighttime scenes (Lower).  During Social Entrepreneurship, the students continued making soaps, assembled mushroom logs and made and labeled lip balm.

Have a wonderful week!  We hope to see you all at our Springtide Festival this Saturday!


Ki Melissa and Ki Kathee

The grades students enjoyed this week's Creature Feature on Snow Dogs. They visited with Ki Sonya's two dogs: a 12-year-old Samoyed named Story and a 5-year-old Great Pyrenees named Prancer. They learned about pack hiking, dog sledding, dog rescue, and using Samoyed hair to make hats, scarves, and mittens.

The students are preparing to enter a wildlife poster competition coordinated by the State Botanical Garden in Athens. The theme is Nature at Night so we talked about nocturnal animals and practiced drawing some of them.

We added new suet to the suet feeders for the woodpeckers and put a fence around the herb garden to keep the rabbits on the outside.

Ki Sonya

Kindergarten March 12 - 16

We started off the week by celebrating Oliver's 6th birthday. During Creature Feature, we met Ki Sonya's two snow dogs: a Samoyed named Story and a Great Pyrenees named Prancer. In the Nature Moment, we looked at different kinds of sea sponges. 

A trailer-load of logs was delivered and they made the perfect place to crawl about and look for hidden popsicle sticks. We also balanced books on our heads, discovered a new pine tree that had fallen to the ground, and sat on the wall in the sunshine. We are looking forward to warmer weather!

Kindergarten March 5 - 9

This week in kindergarten, Ki Warren told us a Seneca Indian story about Old Man Winter, the North Wind, and Young Man Spring.

We fed the miniature donkey and goats, made sourdough bread, and played in deep mud puddles.

In our Nature Moment, we learned how to line up objects in order of their size. Then we practiced by lining up pine cones, seashells, wooden frogs, and even ourselves!

We sat down by the pond with Ki Sonya and created a frog pond chorus using the wooden chorus frogs. 

Ki Tess from The Amphibian Foundation shared many special amphibians and reptiles with us during Creature Feature. These included a tree frog, a toad, geckos, a snake, and a bearded dragon. 

Grades March 5 - 9

Hi Garden Families,

We had a busy week in the Grades and enjoyed meeting some new friends as several children came to try out our school.  It was wonderful to watch our current students welcome our guests so effortlessly, willingly helping them navigate our days and readily including them in all our activities.

This week the Lower grades continued in The 13 Clocks, while working on penmanship, summary skills, parts of a story, spelling, sight words and grammar.  They are also learning the Vimala alphabet, our chosen form of cursive.  We continued working on math facts as well as revisiting reading an analog clock.  The Upper grades heard the Norse version of the Creation, and have begun to hear the stories about the gods and goddesses.  We had our first spelling evaluation, started lessons in grammar - verbs in the past, present, and future (like the Norns) and heard book reports from several of the students.  This coming week they will continue to hear Norse myths, and we will have a spelling evaluation and continue to study grammar.  We also worked on mental math using all four processes and also learned some of the number rules for division.

In Social Entrepreneurship, the students made labels for the bug spray, worked out a design for bat houses and made treasure soap.  In (clay) modeling, we formed a basic human figure with one hand and then used both hands to add arms.  Nature Exploration led us on a study of ants as well as gathering more twigs so we can make picture frames. 


Ki Melissa and Ki Kathee

This week during Nature Study, the grades students used the wooden chorus frogs to learn about frogs and toads and create a frog pond chorus.

In the Creature Feature program, Ki Tess from The Amphibian Foundation shared a tree frog, a toad, two geckos, a snake, and a bearded dragon with us.

The houses from around the world that the grades students designed are now on display at Kennesaw Public Library. They will be there until April 8th and then rotate to another library.

Kindergarten February 26 - March 2

This week the kindergarten students played in and on and around a tire, floated sticks and logs on the creek, slid down the banana slide, and picked up trash from the woods. 

We searched for hidden birds in the pine forest. We learned about birds with a visit from Perdido, the Great Blue Heron puppet. For our weekly Creature Feature, Ki Eve from the Chattahoochee Nature Center shared two beautiful birds of prey with us: a red-shouldered hawk and a barred owl. Students got to hold hawk and owl feathers during the presentation.

Grades February 26 - March 2

Hello Garden Families,

The Grades classes got off to a great start in our new blocks.  The Lower grades are working in a language arts blocks where we are focusing on fairy tales, beginning with The 13 Clocks.  This week we focused on the setting and characters of a story, sight words through games and vocabulary from our story.  In Math, we continued working in our practice books with addition and subtraction.  The Upper grades welcomed two new students, and began a block on Norse mythology this past week by hearing the Norse story of creation and discovering the nine worlds and the world tree. The students also had opportunities to use multiple types of lettering, and wrote with fountain pens.  In Math, they continued practice in multiplication of large numbers.  This week the students will begin learning rules of numbers for long division.

In Advocacy, we listed the many characteristics of people, and drew a Venn diagram, with a large overlapping center, to show the things we have in common and the things that make us individuals.  In sculpture, we worked individually with our left and right hands molding small bits of clay into various shapes.  During our social entrepreneurship class, we have a special guest visitor and made her special recipe for bug spray!


Ki Melissa and Ki Kathee

This week the grades students got a closeup look at 30 different seashells from the Gulf of Mexico and created some seashell drawings for their master books.

We learned all about birds and met Perdido, the Great Blue Heron puppet. Working as a team, we built a Great Blue Heron nest of sticks and dried grass and placed three large blue eggs in it. For our Creature Feature program, Ki Eve, a naturalist at Chattahoochee Nature Center, showed us two of their injured birds of prey: a red-shouldered hawk and a barred owl. We learned some of the great adaptations that raptors have and some things we can do to help them survive.

Ki Sonya

Grades February 12 - 16

Hi Garden Families,

It was a full conference week and we enjoyed meeting with and talking with all of you about your child(ren)/our students! 😊 Thank you for making the time and effort to join us!

The Grades classes kept busy for the last week of our Mathematics block. The Lower grades completed their journey of 0-100.  They also continued working with money, focusing on pennies and nickels. The Upper grades spent more time with multiplication and division as well as working with equivalent and improper fractions and mixed numbers (which were delicious as we used brownies as a mathematical prop;).  Both classes will continue to focus on these math concepts in the coming weeks, mainly during our afternoon practical periods. 

In our next block, Ki Melissa will be working with the Lower grades in a fairy tale block based on James Thurber’s magical book, The 13 Clocks (full-time students—do not read ahead!!! 😊). During this block we will be working on conventions of grammar, sight words and spelling, parts of a story and creating our own fairy tale. Ki Kathee will join the Upper grades for the Norse Myths block, working on many of the same concepts with the class at a higher level.  Both will include art projects based on the reading.  We are excited to get started!

We hope you are enjoyed your “winter” break!  Get and/or stay healthy!  Spring is alive and well!


Ki Melissa and Ki Kathee

Kindergarten February 5 - 9

The first full week of February brought us some pretty sunshine and so much rain! We celebrated Violet's 4th trip around the sun with a birthday circle. We painted rocks that we will use to line the garden path. We played in deep puddles and mud holes. We felt different animal coats and learned about how animals with fur stay warm in the winter. In our Creature Feature program, we had a visit from Ki Kim and Ki Tim. They brought their two rescue greyhounds, Riley and Max, who received lots of pats and hugs.

Grades February 5 - 9

Hello Garden Families,

The Grades students had a busy week at school.  The Lower grades are up to 80, worked on writing the one’s times table and will work through the two’s and three’s times tables this week.  The Upper grades continued working with the four processes and also reviewed  and learning more about fractions during our main lesson time.  On Thursday, all grades students are joining Ki Jas and Don Andres downstairs to make items to sell at our Springtide festival and in the school store.  The children are working in groups to plan and create products, signage and crafts.  In Handwork, the children are working on both knitting and crocheting depending on their grades.  In the Garden, they are readying beds both outside the church and in the garden itself for spring planting.  We also enjoyed several outings into the forest to study and play during the day and while there we tested the creek water with Ki Sonya, built a bridge and played many games during Spanish with Don Andres, made twig frames with Ki Kathee, learned about the wind with Ki Melissa and enjoyed some fun at the creek in the warm sun!

Please remember appropriate weather clothes and rain gear for the week!

We look forward to meeting with you for conferences! 😊


Ki Melissa and Ki Kathee

This week the grades students learned more about snakes and their color patterns. We made snake bracelets with beads, representing the coral snake, the scarlet king snake, and the milk snake. We prepared a garden bed for planting onions. We felt different animal coats and talked about how they help an animal stay warm in winter. During the Wednesday Creature Feature program, Ki Kim and Ki Tim shared their two greyhounds, Riley and Max, and taught us about the greyhound rescue program in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.

Ki Sonya

Kindergarten January 29 - Feb 2

This week we celebrated 4-year-old Valkyra with a birthday gathering. In the Nature Moment we looked for Hidden Birds and then hid them in the forest for our friends to find. During Creature Feature Ki Mike brought a corn snake named Kernal, as well as a snake skin and snake skeleton, for us to see. We made bread dough, played in the cold mud, and raced our shadows. Ki Sonya helped us create a story about two children who go on a journey with lots of crazy animals!

Grades January 29 - Feb 2

Hi Garden Families,

In the Lower grades, numbers, numbers, numbers abound!  The first and second grades have been counting, adding, subtracting, and grouping numbers 1-60, and next week well be adding 20 more!  This week they played several games that require addition and subtraction, and we continued to count by 5s and 10s.  The Upper grades continued working on the four processes through copying and solving practice problems as well as playing various card games to practice speed for our math facts.  The children are adding and subtracting into the thousands places, multiplying two digit numerals times one digit numerals and working on seeing the connection between multiplying and dividing.  Using dice to add, subtract and multiply is a great way to get faster with math facts as well as card games and flash cards which directly supports working with higher level math skills.  We will continue our practice next week. 

All grades are continuing with Spanish class.  This semester the children are now having Upper and Lower grades classes as well as whole group class time with Ki Andres.  The children are enjoying using mosaic tiles to create designs that will be used to decorate the garden.  We spent time again working on creating spheres of clay using only our hands.  Ki Sonya introduced us to Ki Michael who showed us Kernal the corn snake and the children learned interesting information about various local snakes.  In Anti-Bias/Advocacy the children made list of their favorite things, and then we took a survey to see what the most popular favorite thing was.  It was food, with activities coming in a close second.  😊

We look forward to seeing you at our parent meeting Tuesday evening!


Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Grades students created poems and artwork for the Georgia River of Words contest. The houses from around the world that we built last semester are going to be displayed at public libraries throughout Cobb County.

Kindergarten January 22-26

Our first full week of spring semester was packed full of adventures! We celebrated Lucan's 6th birthday with chocolate chip banana muffins and a laurel made of pinecones and pine needles. 

We visited with Ki Vicky from A-Z Animals who had us try on bat masks, told us how bats come in all sizes, and showed us a live Egyptian fruit bat.

Ki Warren told us a Seneca Indian story about how the very first story came to be. We chopped veggies for soup, baked bread, and made wooden toys.

We created pinecone bird feeders and hung them from trees for the winter birds. We played in the puddles. We explored the creek where the highlights were the river cane and a dead frog. In our Nature Moment, we learned about seashells and held them to our ears to hear the call of the ocean.

Grades January 22 - 26

Hi Garden Families,

The Lower grades spent a lot of time with numbers.  Our goal in this block is to be able to calculate simple mathematical functions - adding, subtracting, multiplying (grouping), and dividing (how did we group) using the numbers 1-100.  We started with 1-20 and will continue to add 20 each week.  Most of our work was done using manipulatives - beads, acorns, wooden blocks, abacus, number line, and place value sheets.  On Friday, the students had a page of calculations to answer using the symbols for adding.  If you find teachable moments at home, I encourage you to ask them to do some mental math and problem solving using math.

The Upper grades class dove right into focusing on the four processes in mathematics.  The students enjoyed the challenge!  The equations are geared to each child’s ability level and then we work to progress from there.  We also revisited place value, naming numerals and values within the numerals as well as writing out values with words.  We played math games using both dice and cards.  Please continue working with your child/ren on memorizing their basic math facts.  Once they have them down, it allows them to focus on higher level math more easily, rather than be slowed down by basic calculations.  Thank you!

All grades enjoyed wet-on-wet painting rainbows where they experimented with blending colors.  They also are at the beginning stage in Landscape Art where we will eventually be creating mosaics on cinder blocks.  The students diligently worked on creating their spheres in woodworking and we began modeling spheres with clay as well.  We began a unit on Anti-Bias and Advocacy this week with all the students.  We started with ourselves.  They drew a picture of themselves, and as they drew we had opportunities to talk about color - skin, eyes, hair, etc.  In the next session, they will make lists of the things they like and draw pictures of their families.  From families we will move to community, and in the process, we will be discussing the validation of each person, each person's family, and the community that we live in.  Finally, in Music the Upper grades began to learn the diatonic flute.  The Lower grades continued to explore the sound of their voices and how to sing; they are learning solfegiotto, which will lead to an understanding of musical notation, and they sang some singing games.  All students are learning a song for the Candlemas celebration next Thursday; we hope you can join us!        


Ki Melissa and Ki Kathee 

The grades students created pinecone bird feeders with peanut butter, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, millet, dried mealworms, and blueberries. We hung them from trees throughout the school's 15 acres to help the birds make it through the rest of the winter.

Ki Vicky, a wildlife biologist, shared her bat facts, bat stories, and live bats with us in the first of our weekly Creature Features.

The Garden School Water Kids did their first water quality monitoring of 2018. We completed a visual stream survey of our little stretch of Little Noonday Creek and submitted the information to Georgia Adopt-A-Stream.

Grades January 16 - 19

Hello Garden Families,

We almost had a start back to school 😊, but we will try again this Monday!  

The next block for both the Upper and Lower Grades will focus on mathematics.  We will be practicing the four processes (and continue fractions for the Upper Grades) through a variety of games and activities as well as direct instruction.  We will continue our many other specials and activities and are looking forward to seeing everyone together again!


Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Kindergarten Dec 11 - 15

Monday was a SNOW day so we started back to school Tuesday. We began the week by celebrating Abby's 6th birthday with her Mom, grandmother, and brothers. They brought us popcorn, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider! We finished sewing a few more water bottle holders. We enjoyed our Spanish class. We created some crayon drawings. Miss Sonya told us a story about an old man who punched holes in the night sky to create the stars and the moon. Mr. Warren read us a lovely story about four princes. 

The snowstorm brought down a lot of pine boughs so we used them to build a fort. We were thrilled with the new fairy garden created by Miss Tammy's daughter, Grace. We shared a milestone when one of our students lost her very first tooth while in class! 

We practiced lighting a candle and walking with it carefully and respectfully to help us prepare for the Advent Spiral. We practiced our songs that we sang for Advent. Finally, the BIG event arrived and we participated in the beautiful Advent Spiral and performed our Advent songs.

Grades Dec 11 - 15

Hi Garden Families,

We had a fun-filled last week  before break at school!  We wrapped up our Stories of Light block.  The Upper Grades children shared information about Sweden and Norway as well as about various ancient places created specifically for honoring the Solstice.  We also celebrated St. Lucia’s Day by making wreathed crowns and candles as well as bringing cookies to all around our school.

Thursday's Advent Spiral and performance were lovely and we thank all of you for attending and helping us to make it all go smoothly!

We enjoyed our final Games class having egg races and egg tossing with Mr. Lee.  He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered! 

We also want to thank each of you for sharing with us your most precious gifts, your children, this first semester.  We have felt truly blessed to be sharing each day with them.   

Have a safe, warm and happy holiday season!

With Love and Light,

Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Grades Dec 4 - Dec 8

Hi Garden Families,

We had a fun and busy week!  The children are enjoying the Stories of Light, stories from around the globe.  The upper grades children have been doing some research at home and sharing about various places and their geographical make-up.  It’s been fun having them help “teach”!  The upper grades children will also be sharing about a particular spot in the world where an ancient culture observed and celebrated the sun’s path through the sky this Friday.

We had a fun time in the snow Friday and enjoyed our long weekend of adventure!  This Thursday, we hope to see you all at our school Advent Festival and are planning a school sing-along for !


Melissa and Kathee

Kindergarten Dec 4 - Dec 8

There was lots of activity in kindergarten this week. We celebrated 4 trips around the sun with Mason and his parents. They brought us banana bread as a birthday snack. 

We took a sunny walk in the creek looking for clams and quartz and raccoon tracks. We created stained glass from sycamore leaves on the playground fence. Miss Sonya told us a story about the monkeys that live along Silver River in central Florida. We helped Mr. Lee empty the compost bin and add all that good stuff to the soil in the garden. 

Alice brought her tiny turtles Holly and Tinsel to the kindergarten and taught us all about them. Roman and Andi did crayon drawings to enter in a poster contest. 

We sang a fun song about Jack Frost and one about the leaves and the wind. We also practiced the songs we'll be performing at the Advent Spiral. 

We completed our snow globes and packaged them to take home to our parents. On Friday we got the real thing as we played and built snow families in several inches of fluffy snow.