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 !

Warmly,

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.

Kindergarten Nov 27 - Dec 1

We had nice warm weather for the last week of November, although Sister Rain visited us on Thursday and Sister Fog started the day with us on Friday. This week we celebrated Anya's 6th birthday with a visit with her parents, songs, poems, and fresh strawberries. Mason broke his leg on a trampoline (Ouch!) but he is back at school with us and healing well. 

Kindergarten students went on a creek walk to look for animal tracks. We buried acorns for the squirrels. We worked on our crayon drawings and water bottle holders. We found some mud puddles! 

We practiced the songs we will be singing at the Advent Spiral. Miss Kathee helped us write new words to the 17th century English Christmas carol, I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In. We continued to talk about class expectations for our kindergarten, with an emphasis on being kind and respectful to each other, to our teachers, to our toys and tools, and to all life.

Grades Nov 27 - Dec 1

Hi Garden Families,

We had a lovely start to our “Stories of Light” block.  The children enjoyed the stories Ms. Kathee began sharing from around the world.  This week the upper grade students began to share information with the class they learned about various regions in the world, and will continue to do so over the next two weeks.  During this block we are working on spelling, sentence structure, conventions of grammar and writing paragraphs.  The lower grades are working with Ms. Melissa and the upper grades with Ms. Kathee.  In the afternoons, the lower grades are focusing on telling time while the upper grades are learning about fractions, and all are finishing up morning work in language and crafting for the holidays.  The children made beeswax candles, continued working on their woodworking project and copied and colored a native Hawaiian pattern.

This past week some children helped build bluebird houses in the garden, others helped re-package our sauerkraut and pickles as well as prep lunch, drew native plants and animals to participate in a drawing contest, wrote in their journals, practiced our verse and songs, flute and instruments for our Advent Spiral, learned and sang in Spanish while some children completed projects they have been diligently working on in Handwork!

Warmly,

Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Kindergarten Nov 13 - 17

In the week before the Thanksgiving holiday, the kindergarten students enjoyed playing in the leaves, climbing hills and trees, and building forts. We spent hours digging for jewels and sailing a pirate ship. For our tiny morning snack, we tried pears, pomegranates, and even sugar cane (always a favorite in the late fall). 

Mr. Warren read to us from Grimm's fairy tales. He twisted vines and ferns into wreathes, the students created candles and felted pumpkins, and Miss Sonya added hickory nuts and sweetgum balls to make centerpieces for our Thanksgiving dinner. Miss Sonya brought earthworms for us to visit with. Miss Lindsey continues to help each student sew their own water bottle holder out of felt. We sang a song about wild horses and one called "I Like Dirt"!

Grades Nov 13 - 17

Hi Garden Families,

We had a busy week at school!  The children enjoyed taking care of the animals in the garden, prepping food in the kitchen, pumpkin bowling in Games class, playing games in Spanish, and helping to complete the shelter the Grades class built together in the forest!  

Our Shelter block came to a close Friday.  The children all worked hard building the shelter in the woods using natural materials.  Ms. Kathee led us in a house blessing on Friday and we enjoyed corn roasted in the fire the students helped build and tend, as well as brownies.  The children also brought in the shelters they built at home and shared what they learned with their classmates.  It was wonderful and we thank you all for your time and hard work!  Ms. Jas is checking to see if we can display the shelters somewhere in our community (a local library?) before we return them to your child. 

Following break, we will begin our final block of this semester sharing “Stories of Light” as we hear stories from a variety of cultures of how and why they celebrate this time of the year.  There will be a lot of crafting during this block too!  We will be preparing for our Advent Spiral that is being held during the school day on December 14th (you are all invited to join us!).  The Lower Grades will also spend time focusing on the four processes in math and the Upper Grades on fractions as well.   

We hope you all have a safe and happy time together celebrating with family this week!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Warmly,

Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Kindergarten Nov 6 - Nov 10

Last week the Kindergartners enjoyed a visit with Mr. Rodney from our schools Garbage Disposal company. The highlight was getting to press that truck horn!. For story time, Ms. Kathee visited the Kindergarten class to share the Stone Soup story. For Practical work the children baked their own Sourdough bread, and tasted it for bread and butter snack on Thursday. Lastly, we completed our watercolor and cutwork Lanterns which we enjoyed sharing with our families and school community on Nov 9th. 

Grades Nov 6 - Nov 10

Hi Garden Families,

Thank you all so much for sharing our fun and lovely festival, Martinmas, with us this past week!  It was so wonderful to have us all come together for the evening!  The help and support you all gave, as well as the delicious food, made it truly enjoyable for all!  Our next festival will be our Advent Spiral on December 14th.  We hope to see you all there too!

This past week we learned about the tipi’s of the Plains people, igloos of the Inuit people and log cabins built by early settlers.  Next week we will explore shelters built in other regions of our world.  The children have been hard at work on our Grades shelter in the forest as well.  Shelter models and the reports about the shelters are due by next Friday. 

The children also completed their lantern making (and they turned out beautifully!), practiced songs, flute and drums for Martinmas, continued working on making wooden balls from cubes, made more pickles in the kitchen (as well as enjoying eating those they made previously), continued both reviewing and learning new Spanish words and phrases, and had fun drawing the animals well as building a climbing platform for the animals on our learning farm.  We are also beginning to make small group visits Thursday mornings with the Kindergarten to work and play with our younger friends, a benefit for all ages! 😊

Warmly,

Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Kindergarten Oct 30 - Nov 3

What a fun week at The Garden School! We wore our Halloween costumes to school on Tuesday. We made leaf and flower presses so we can preserve some of the colorful leaves and pretty fall flowers we are finding. We took home bumpy gourds in our backpacks to show to our families. 

Miss Sonya told us a story about The Fox and the Falling Leaves. Miss Lindsey taught us how to sew shoulder holders for our water bottles. Mr. Warren helped us swing very high on a new swing. Mr. Lee let us smash pumpkins for the goats and miniature donkey to eat. We grated lemons to make lemon zest. We stood around the fire pit in the mornings but then took our jackets and gloves off for the warm sunny afternoons. We are learning two special lantern songs that we will be singing on the Lantern Walk this Thursday.

Grades Oct 30 - Nov 3

Hi Garden Families,

It was a busy Halloween week at school!  The children began their Shelter’s block and are beginning their own shelter building in the forest with Mr. Lee and Ms. Kathee.  During this block, we will look all be learning about several types of shelters from around the world.  We are also each asked to create a model of a shelter at home and to write a short report about their shelter to share the last day of class before Thanksgiving break.  All are welcomed to participate!  We also began wood working this week with Mr. Lee; the children are focusing on using rasps and vices to form wooden cubes into balls.  Thank you to the parents who donated hammers and goggles from our wish list! 

Martinmas is just around the corner (November 9) and the children have been practicing a flute song with Ms. Kathee and we will be learning a few more songs this week and next as well.  Ms. Nina taught us correct place setting skills, Mr. Lee helped us to make tinder bundles for our morning fires at the playground, and we learned and celebrated the Day of the Dead with Don Andreas. 

Warmly,

Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Grades Oct 23 - 27

Dear Garden Families,

It was a fun and busy week as we finished our current blocks of Jataka Tales and Human and Animal.  The Lower Grades enjoyed the stories, crafts, drawings, summarizing stories and writing their own reader book.  They also acted out the story of The Hare in the Moon for the Upper Grades class and did a great job!  The Upper Grades had fun crafting, knitting reins on a lucent, casting deer tracks as well as learning to draw animals and writing about the various animals we read about.  The class also finished up their respective blocks creating unique animal quatrains (four-lined poems) with a partner and made animal nests using natural materials with Mr. Lee.

Starting Tuesday, we will begin a combined Grades block of Shelters Around the World for the next three week which will include a project completed at home as well as building a shelter together in the forest with Ms. Kathee and Mr. Lee.

This past week all the students enjoyed being together both inside for our rainy day and outside too!  We jumped rope by fours, played hopscotch by threes, used beanbags for math games and began pentatonic flute lessons with Ms. Kathee.  The children also wrote in their journals about various topics, worked in the garden, planted bulbs around the school entry, made sauerkraut and pickles and collected native plants for brewing tea at home to name a few of the fun activities.

Please remember to send your child with rubber boots for our creek play and thank you all for sending them with the necessary layers for our changing weather!  It is much more fun to be outside when we are dressed for it!

Warmly,

Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Kindergarten Oct 23 - 27

Fall is definitely here at The Garden School! The kindergarten students finished creating leaf rubbings using many different kinds of leaves from the forest floor. Miss Sonya told a story about pumpkins and gourds that were lumpy and bumpy and then we got to play with some very lumpy, bumpy pumpkins and gourds. Miss Jasmine taught us a lantern song that we will be singing on the Veterans Day Lantern Walk.

We worked to grind more cinnamon and nutmeg, and crushed garbanzo beans to make hummus for our snack. We played on the rocks in the creek. We visited the miniature donkey and the goats, Snow White and Prince Kudzu. Each day brought an opportunity for imaginative play as we rode on a stagecoach pulled by a powerful horse, cared for a snail that left a trail made of real silver, and dug in the sandbox for jewels buried by pirates. As they like to say in the Deep South, a good time was had by all!

Kindergarten Oct 16 - 20

The kindergarten enjoyed some gorgeous fall weather and a fun 5th birthday celebration for Eric and his Mom Anita. We worked to chop celery and zucchini for our soup and grind grain for our bread. We worked together to dig up a huge "golden stone" from the ground which we placed in the kindergarten classroom. We sewed our watercolor artwork into binders for new nature books that we will fill with drawings and bark rubbings. 

Miss Lindsey told a beautiful story about a mother spider and her babies. Miss Sonya taught us a fun song called "Froggy". We played with the colorful parachute. We walked over rocks through the creek. We walked to the garden to feed the miniature donkey and goats. And we had an archaeology dig in the sandbox where we discovered all kinds of bones, antlers, shells, and fossils.

Grades Oct 16 - 20

Hi Garden Families,

It is so nice to welcome in our cooler weather!  Please be sure your child/ren wear clothing appropriate for cooler mornings and warmer afternoons.  Also, now is the time to swap out water shoes for rubber boots as we will still being enjoying trips to the creek.  Finally, please label all you can of your child/ren’s outer wear.  It’s a big help for those items that get left behind during the day. 😊

We all enjoyed the week at school.  In Nature Study, the students learned and drew about invasive and native plants, while in Handwork the children worked steadily on their knitting.  It’s wonderful to see how much they have progressed so far this year!  In Spanish the children continue to play large and small group games while immersed in Spanish.  There is lots of laughter involved!  The first flute class was a great success as the students practiced one of the songs we will be singing at Martinmas on November 9th.  

This past week the children also wet felted hedgehogs as we continued our Human and Animal block and casted deer hoof prints found outside near our creek with Mr. Lee.  They wrote about the various animals as well as drew about them in their Master Books.  During the Jataka Tales block the students completed their reader books about cats and continued hearing, drawing and writing about the various tales.  The children also made wreaths out of kudzu as well as planted an herb garden for Ms. Nina with Ms. Kathee.

Warmly,

Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Kindergarten Oct 9 - 13

We had short days this week as we spent the afternoons in parent teacher conferences. We made the most of them though! We chopped celery and bell peppers for our Thursday soup. We use small grinders to grind cinnamon and nutmeg for our holiday spices. We finished up our water color sessions using red and yellow paints. We ate tiny snacks of fun cucumbers and juicy plums. Miss Sonya told us a story about a kindergarten student who turned into a snail and had to take a long journey back to The Garden School. We sang a new song about a snail's trail. We ate our snacks outdoors and collected the colorful leaves that are beginning to fall.

Grades Oct 9 - 13

Hi Garden Families,

Thank you all for a week of interesting and insightful conferences. We have enjoyed your children so much and it was lovely getting to share about their days and experiences in and out of school. 

We had a fun week that went by too fast!  The lower and upper grades continued working on their respective blocks of Jataka Tales and Human and Animal as well as working on mathematics. We began working on our Martinmas lanterns, cared for the animals and had fun combining Spanish class with helping and  learning in the kitchen.

In other news:  😊

Upper grades book reports are due the next two Mondays (Oct 16th and 23rd).  Please feel free to help guide your child as needed to include relevant information.  They enjoyed sharing in class about the life of their famous person and were excited to chose a new book.  If you need paper or supplies, please let us know.

We have decided to replace morning nature journals with Music time such as pentatonic flute lessons.  We are journaling in the afternoons with guided topics and feel that will be the best move forward for our class.

The Grades have posted a Wish List to support our Learning Farm and Garden activities and our coming Shelter block.  Kindergarten has a Wish List as well.  Please check them out and see the respective class teachers if you have any questions.  Thank you so much!

Warmly,

Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Grades Oct 2 - 6

Hi Garden Families,

We had a fun week last week!  The children enjoyed creek play, gardening (some children built a bridge!), math with Ms. Roxanne and cooking with Ms. Nina (the students learned to use a mandolin!).  In Spanish the children have been playing team guessing games that involve lots of cheering and laughter.  

We have also begun our Human and Animal block and our Jataka Tales blocks.   The upper grades are learning how humans and animals are similar and not so similar.  We also studied beavers with Mr. Lee and they students built their own dam as well as made their own beaver sticks (carrots).  The lower grades have made their own readers as well as enjoyed the stories with Ms. Kathee.

Please be prepared for our rainy weather this week!

Warmly,

Ms. Melissa and Ms. Kathee

Kindergarten Oct 2 - 6

The Garden School kindergarten was excited to return from Fall Break and get back to the business of play! Mr. Warren told us a story each day about a little boy and his star kite. Miss Lindsey taught us how to water color with red and yellow. Miss Sonya led us in sidewalk chalk art where we drew mermaids and rainbows and pirate ships. We sang a new song called "I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas" and ate bananas for a little snack on the playground. Then we slid down the new Banana Slide at the beach near the creek. We ate our snacks outdoors at the picnic tables. The weather was so pretty we stayed and ate our lunch outside too. Miss Naazneen shared traditions of Sharad Purnima, the Harvest Festival of the Hindu culture, and Miss Nina served us white bean quesadillas and cauliflower nachos to celebrate the eating of white foods on this special holiday.