Upper Grades: Dec 10 -14

Greetings, Upper Grades parents!

It was a [somewhat] quiet week as we delved into the stories and images of Ancient Egypt.  We continue this week. The children are making beautiful maps and drawings.

I sent you an Assignment Tracker.  All the children should have a hard copy of it now, because I gave them out today to the ones who said they still needed it.

Please take a look at it, and pay close attention to the fact that they have a book report due this Thursday.  

Also please support your child in making sure they have the 12’s times tables memorized.  At the beginning of the school year I found that they did not all have them “nailed.” I told them then that I wanted them to really have them memorized by the December break.  I will be checking their memorization this week. As you know, they need these math facts solid and “in their bones” so they can thrive with more advanced math as it gets more challenging in the coming years.

I hope that all of you have a lovely refreshing break, and we’ll see you back in January!

Warmly,

Ki Carol




Joyful Beginnings: Dec 10 - 14

This week was a calmer due to number of students staying home. We still could feel that there are less people in the school.

We were lucky that rain was stopping for us when kids were going out. They could enjoy the walk in the woods without getting their clothes wet. This week we explored a new trail for our class. We went down the hill near the half dome. They liked large puddles and mud.

In the class we explored snowflakes. We were learning one poem about the snowflakes and another one about icicles. Kids also used their hands and scissors to cut out paper snowflakes of various shapes.

This week will be our last week before the long holidays.

HomeSchool: Dec 10 - 14

Happy Christmastime!

We enjoyed the past week but missed our students who could not be there. We hiked on the new trails. We sang the Boondocks song about fishing in the crawfish hole and a seasonal Hanukkah song about the menorah. We did stretching exercises on the exercise balls. We learned more about reptiles and created some of our own out of modeling clay. We practiced walking with a lite candle in a base made from an apple. We helped Ki Jasmine set up the sanctuary for the Advent Spiral and then participated in this beautiful ceremony with the other grades students. I was so impressed with the students in how quiet and respectful they all were.

We cared for our new school turtle, a male yellow-bellied slider, in the Blue Sky Room this week. If you would like to take the turtle home for a weekend this winter, let me know. I've attached below a list of tips of how to pack him up and set him up at your house.

We will celebrate Lucan's 7th birthday on January 15th, our first day back at school. Caitlyn: Please email or facebook the other HomeSchool parents to let them know what birthday treat you will be bringing that day!

We will also give our reptile presentations on January 15th. We will get 4 sheets of master book paper to you by next Sunday the 23rd so you can work on this take-home project. Please use this paper horizontally and front-side only. Each student may choose a reptile to research. On the first sheet, write the name of the reptile, as well as a physical description of the animal (size, length, color, eyes, teeth, tail, feet, etc.) On the second sheet, draw or paint the reptile using crayons, colored pencils, watercolor, or acrylics. On the third sheet, draw or paint a dinosaur or other prehistoric animal that your reptile may have come from/descended from. Use crayons, colored pencils, watercolors, or acrylics. The fourth sheet is for mess-ups or to add additional info. (Some students are going to draw bones or muscles of their reptile on their fourth sheet.) Put your name on the back of each sheet. Don't forget to bring your competed master book sheets back with you on the 15th!

The next Garden Girls Girl Scouts meeting will be Tuesday, January 15th, 3:30-5:00pm. We will be in the Blue Sky Room, baking cookies to take to fire and police stations and making pinecone bird feeders to hang around the school campus.

We are excited to have Christopher's Dad bring in the train layouts on Thursday, January 17th. The HomeSchool students will mentor and shepard the two kindergarten classes as they come through the Blue Sky Room to see the trains that morning.

In the next season, we will be studying fish and other marine creatures. We will do the long-awaited activity with the white t-shirts that you brought to school. We will do gyotaku, the traditional Japanese method of fish printing, on Tuesday, January 22nd. Kate: Please bring a plain white t-shirt in Mike's size when you come back on the 15th. You can find inexpensive white shirts on the back wall of Hobby Lobby.

Quote from a child: "Never walk on ice with your hands in your pockets."

Quote from Unknown: "Every so often, invite the person in line behind you to go ahead of you."

See you next year!

Ki Sonya

Kindergarten: Dec 10 - 14

This past week has been different for both Mountaingarten and Meadowgarten. We have decided that for these two weeks we will be combining are smaller classes to make the Sungarten class. 

The children enjoyed playing in the forest together, where they built a large fort out of sticks. Sungarten had show and tell as well. Students brought in bug houses, a homemade flower pot, a special stone, a feather, and we had students sing the ABCs and a student who sung a song about his father.

 Thursday and Friday the class was able to participate in an important event called the advent spiral. It was a beautiful ceremony that the students took very seriously. They handled the apple and candle with care and placed it on the star.

Reminders: 

Thursday is half day and the start of our Winter vacation

Have a wonderful and safe holiday, and we will see you in the New Year. 

Warm regards,

Sungarten 

Middle/Lower Grades: Dec 10 - 14

PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS.  IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE WEEK..  As we bring in the end of this semester, I am sad that some of you are not with us.  Please know that i wish you all the very best for a beautiful holiday season filled with love and laughter, and I will be eager to see you again next year.

Ki Melissa and I will combine our classes this week.  It will be a time for wrapping up our basket project.  in case you didn't hear, I apparently boiled some posion ivy when i boiled the vines to strip them and make them supple, and I have a full blown case of the scratches!!  I am highly allergic to it, and my guard was down because it was winter.  Lesson learned!   Thank goodness I got the steroid shot today.  I think I'll be able to be at school tomorrow and we'll work on the baskets again, although I might not touch anything unless I have rubber gloves on.


There wlll be a little special time each day as follows:


Tuesday
 will be board/card game day. If your child has a favorite board game to share, please ask them to bring it.  I will be bringing mankala, parcheesi, skip-bo, several decks of playing cards, dominos, and a couple others. We'll divide into groups and try to have each group play at least 3 games.  Each of the games involves counting.  I'm quite sure that playing myriad games like this when I was a child led to my love of numbers, and my ability to "count in my head."


Wednesday is wear-your-pajamas day. We will have popcorn and almond milk hot chocolate and Ki Melissa and I will be reading stories to the class about Winter and holiday celebrations.

Thursday morning we will have tea and "biscuits,"  AKA cookies, and fruit ( with maybe some chocolate to dip it in.  So that we can accommodate all of our students' dietary needs, the cookies need to be vegan and gluten and sugar free.  The Middle grades don't have any nut allergies, but there may be some in the Lower grades, so we'll stay away from nuts in the cookies.  It's hard to make cookies without sugar, but I'm going to try my hand at using agave nectar.  I have holiday flavored herb tea, so no caffeine.  If you have a tried and true recipe, please send it to me.  Otherwise I will be relying on the internet.

Remember that dismissal is at noon on Thursday.

Have a wonderful week!!

Middle Grades: Dec 3 - 7

This week we will hear Old Testament stories about baskets and basket making and stories of light. 

We will also be completing a math review and the assessments that I began last week for the students that are here. 

We have collected honeysuckle vines and after I boil them we will start our baskets. I posted a picture of the completed primitive weaving projects. So proud of the progress they are making. 

Have a great week!!

Lower Grades: Dec 3 - 7

The Lower Grades worked specifically with multiplication and division this past week through our stories with Mul de Pleir and Prince Divide.  The students gained a sense of how multiplication and division work together and how number sentences are written.  Using colored gems, the children multiplied and divided, wrote various number sentences using the appropriate sign and also copied the two and tens times tables.  The skip counting activities we do during our morning circle, help this process make sense for them.  During Spanish the students have been coloring pictures of fruits and vegetables and traded them at a “store” with Don Andres, while in Mandarin the children began learning to count and picked it up so fast! 

For the first week of advent, which is the week of stone (minerals, crystals and seashells), we enjoyed lighting the first candle on our advent table.  The children each chose a tiny seashell to keep, learned a poem and copied and illustrated the first verse of the poem.  Next week, we will begin the week of plants, making a craft to complement the week and continue learning the verses.  This week we will be continuing with our math block and spending the week exploring the relationship between addition and subtraction, again through story and looking more at number families. 

For wet-on-wet painting, we blended the three primary colors in various forms, for a fun craft, we made window stars as a class and then on our own to bring home.  Window star paper would be a fun holiday gift though I am sorry to say the kits that include instruction book are now only available for a ridiculous price on Amazon and I didn’t find them elsewhere.  There are directions online and other books available separately.  Our prolific finger knitters are now starting knitting on needles while our class knitters are completing first and second projects.  The children are all pleased with their developing skills as they well should be!

Please make sure your child has all their wet/cold weather gear in order.  Some items are being stored in our backpack shed and others at home or in backpacks.  The children will need their boots, and full rain gear based on the weather reports.  It will be muddy even if it isn’t raining.  Let’s keep being prepared!! 😊

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Mountaingarten: Dec 3 - 7

Greetings Mountain families,

This past week we warmed our bodies by the fire and cooked delicious meals over it including apple crisp and potatoes with peppers. While the weather has been cold, the children have still been able to have their usual fun as they're dressed in many layers. 

Friday's assembly was great, we enjoyed watching the other classes present what they've been working on over the course of the last few weeks, and mountain also got to share their songs and poems they've learned. They all did very well! 

We look forward to the Advent ceremony this week! 

Stay warm everyone. 

Thank you,

Ki Fatima & Ki Aja

Meadowgarten: Dec 3 - 7

Hello Meadowgarten families!

We had a wonderful last week at school. The temperatures were brisk, but the rain held off, and students were appropriately dressed for success!

We introduced our new winter circle this week, and we also practiced for our Friday assembly with “I’m Gonna Mail Myself to You” and the “Winter Canon” song. We’ve attached the lyrics below!

This week, some of our practical work included collecting firewood for our near daily fire and clearing trails with the rake. Meadowgarteners discovered how to make balance boards, or nature see-saws, which were a main interest this week. Students worked together to compile the balance boards, then they explored the magic of balancing with friends. Where do 2 people need to stand on one side to balance out the 1 friend on the other side?
We explored the boardwalk- walking with our fox feet and deer ears to explore what we could see and hear. Students found a silent place to sit while we observed the world around us. On our nature walks, we often walk with fox feet (walking with the outside edge of the foot first, then rolling inward in order to keep silent!) and deer ears (with our hands cupped behind our ears to help us hear better). This week we observed ducks, woodpeckers, rabbits, a hawk, tadpoles and more.

On Thursday, we celebrated Novi’s 4th birthday. Her father baked amazing cupcakes and Novi brought some of her favorite snacks to share - seaweed and snap pea crisps! We also shared our soup snack with the toddler classroom- it was very sweet to see the meadowgarteners open up our circle for the toddlers and wanting the little ones to sit with them.

As the days get colder, students are excited to discover ice throughout our forest play area. As we try to keep to dry play when the days are so cold, students often forget that playing with ice (and hopefully snow, one day!) makes their hands chilly! We’ve been discussing these chilly hand consequences with the meadowgarteners. Sometimes the thin-layer gloves are not enough to keep their hands warm, so if you have more substantial gloves, please send these with your child.

Otherwise, thanks you all so much for bundling your children up for outdoor play.  We understand it can be difficult, but it is much appreciated. The forest is typically a few degrees cooler than what we experience in the meadow or playground. Layers are crucial- especially on the legs!

Please remember to send your child with an unwashed, uncut vegetable on Tuesday or Wednesday of each week.  The students love looking for their own veggie in Thursday’s soup!

Up the Misty Mountain:

Part 1:

Up the misty mountain, down the valley low

March the merry mountain folk, Ho, Ho, Ho

We’ll cut the magic crystal, we’ll cut the stars a-glow

We’ll turn them into snowflakes and

Make it snow, snow, snow (Repeat)

Part 2:

We are woods folk, sawing trees

Sawing, sawing, sawing trees.

We don’t stop for winter weather,

We keep sawing all together.

We are woods folk, sawing trees

Sawing, sawing, sawing trees.

The tree falls down with a great big crash

Now it’s time to take our axe.

We chop and chop with all our might

To cut some wood for the fire tonight

We carry all our logs along

Singling gaily this merry a-song

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la, Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la

Put your logs on the tree stump – get your axes ready (Said by teacher)

We are working, working hard.

Chopping firewood in our yard

Hold the chopper, hold it tight,

Lift it high with all your might.

Chopping, chopping, chop, chop, chop.

Merrily the pieces drop

It’s the finest game you know

Makes us warm from head to toe

Now a bundle we will tie

We’ll put it in the shed to dry

Chopping, chopping

Chop, chop, chop

Merrily the pieces drop


I’m Gonna Mail Myself to You!

(chorus) I’m gonna wrap myself in paper

I’m gonna dab myself with glue

Stick some stamps on the top of my head,

‘Cause I’m gonna mail myself to you!

Verse 1: I’m gonna tie me up in red string,

I’m gonna tie blue ribbon too.

I’m gonna run right in my mailbox,

‘Cause I’m gonna mail myself to you!

Chorus

Verse 2: When you see me in your mailbox

Cut the strings and let me out!

Wash the glue off of my fingers,

And put some bubble gum in my mouth

(Chew 3x, blow a bubble 3x, then POP!)

Chorus

Verse 3: Take me out of that wrapping paper

And wash the stamps off of my head.

Pour me full of warm hot cocoa

And put me in my nice, warm, bed.

Winter Canon

When winter pounds it’s icy fist

Upon our kitchen door,

We’ll never let it in

No, never let it in,

Though he may rage and roar.

Though he may rage and roar,

We’ll not let him in the door.

HomeSchool: Dec 3 - 7

Hi HomeSchool families!

Fun times at The Garden School!  On Tuesday, we celebrated Ari's 14th birthday and had final amphibian presentations by Ari, Elsu, Bear, Lucan, and Ki Sonya. We studied Amphibians vs Reptiles, the similarities and the differences. We went on a student-led hike led by Christopher, who took us to Kindy Beach, Quiet Corner, and to visit the farm animals. And we played Toe Dominoes (see photos)! 

On Thursday, we cut up apples and took them with us when Helene led us on a student-led hike through the playground to feed the donkeys and goats and climb on rocks. The Helene led us to the marsh pier to play with the 1-inch-thick ice that had formed on the surface. This was so much fun nobody wanted to leave! Back inside, we learned about sea turtles and why they are truly world citizens. We got to see an actual baby sea turtle and egg, and we drew sea turtle adults and hatchlings.

This Tuesday, Ollie will be guiding us on our student-led hike. We will play the Project WILD field game called Turtle Hurdles, highlighting the predators and risks that sea turtle hatchlings have to avoid to survive. You will need warm clothes and tennis shoes or hiking boots. 

This Thursday will be an inside day. Wear a nice outfit as we will have our class photos taken that morning. Christopher's Dad, Ki Richard, will set up several train layouts in the Blue Sky Room. HomeSchool students will get to see the trains and ask questions about the mechanics and stories behind them. We will also serve as mentors for the kindergarten students as they visit the train layouts. We will practice walking with a candle so that each student is comfortable with this. In the afternoon, we will participate with our grade levels in the Advent Spiral, held in the church sanctuary. Please make sure your child's hair is pulled back on this day (or I can help put it into a ponytail holder at lunchtime).

On Tuesday, each student will bring home four more sheets of white masterbook paper, signaling the next take-home project. Please use this paper horizontally and front-side only. Each student will choose a reptile to research. On the first sheet, write the name of the reptile, as well as a physical description of the animal (size, length, color, eyes, teeth, tail, feet, etc.) On the second sheet, draw or paint the reptile using crayons, colored pencils, watercolor, or acrylics. On the third sheet, draw or paint a dinosaur or other prehistoric animal that your reptile may have come from/descended from. Use crayons, colored pencils, watercolors, or acrylics. The fourth sheet is for mess-ups or to add additional info. Put your name on the back of each sheet. We will be presenting these on our first day back, January 15th, so don't forget to bring your competed masterbook sheets back then!

Always have one or two extra pairs of socks in your backpack. One can never have too many warm, dry socks at this time of year!

Quote from a child: "I've learned the best time to ask your Dad if you can do something is when he's sleeping."

Quote from Unknown: "Never wash a car, mow a yard, or select a Christmas tree after dark."

See you at the marsh,

Ki Sonya

Joyful Beginnings: Dec 3 - 7

We were excited to welcome new friend, Ruby. We had talked about our new student with everyone last week. They were excited to finally meet her. Ruby has seamlessly joined our group.

This week we spoke about gloves, mittens and socks and why we need them. I shared them a Latvian fairy tale about Grandpa’s lost mitten.  

We were also lucky to be invited to share the snack with two other classes. Wednesday we joined Mountaingarden for butter fried apples. Those were delicious!

Thursday Meadowgarden invited us for another snack. They had made yummy vegetable soup. It was very comforting to eat warm soup in this colder weather.

Upper Grades: Dec 3 - 7

Greetings, Upper Grades families!

We started learning about ancient Egypt today. We’ll be focusing on that til the end of the semester. It is a continuation of our journey through a number of ancient civilizations. We learned that every year, the great Nile River brought the gift of rich soil when it flooded at the end of summer. We also learned about the sun god, Ra. Some kids have to do their lessons from home this week. You are welcome to ask me questions about this or any other topics around the school. I would love to hear from you.

Warmly, Ki Carol

Upper Grades

The Upper Grades is finishing up our block on Gilgamesh by beginning work on our play which will likely be performed in February -- details to come! Gilgamesh is humankind's oldest story, telling the story of an arrogant king who is transformed by friendship and who journeys beyond the ends of the earth seeking the secrets of immortality. 

If your child is feeling overwhelmed by their assignment tracker, please remind them that we'll have extra class time this week so as long as students are making good use of it, homework should be minimal. 

We'd love to have parent volunteers help with our staging of Gilgamesh! Lights, set, costumes -- if you have the time and interest, please get in touch!

Lower Grades: Nov 26 - 30

The Lower Grades had a great start with our new block focusing on the four processes. We met all four processes (multiplication, division, addition and subtraction) via story, giving them each unique personalities. The children drew pictures, copied summaries and worked on each process with our counting gems (and trail mix on Friday—food is fun to count 😉). We modeled table settings with clay, played sight word bingo and memory and enjoyed a hike with Nature Exploration. We also celebrated Anya’s birthday with hot cocoa and apple cider on Wednesday. 

Please keep in mind that we are learning and working every day on new lessons and concepts. Morning circle is the time we practice math through movement as well as learning many verses, some we will share during assembly. When your child is late, they are missing a valuable part of our day. Please make every effort to have your child at school on time every day!  

Warmly, 

Ki Melissa

HomeSchool: Nov 26 - 30

Hi everybody!

It is great to be back at The Garden School and I want to thank Ki Kate for subbing for me last week. We have an exciting day planned tomorrow with Ari's birthday celebration and the DeWillers amphibian presentations. Our activities on Thursday, inside and outside, are all focused on one of my favorites subjects: sea turtles. You don't need boots, just some good tennis shoes or running shoes and a jacket.

I want to remind you to join me at the annual open house of The Amphibian Foundation. It will be this Friday from 6:00 to 10:00pm, but come anytime you'd like and for as long as you'd like. There is no charge. We'll be at Blue Heron Nature Preserve, 4055 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta. Highlights include the Ribbit Exhibit of amphibian art and photos, a backstage tour to see where the flatwoods salamanders are raised, food and drink, and the opportunity to hold a frog, a toad, a salamander, a turtle, and a snake. Bring your whole family!

Quote from a child: "Make sure there's toilet paper before you sit down."

Quote from Carter Roberts, President & CEO of World Wildlife Fund: 

"People sometimes ask me what I worry about most. Climate change? Species loss? Habitat destruction? I worry about all those issues. But what I worry about most is running out of planet."

See you down the road,

Ki Sonya

Meadowgarten: Nov 26-30

Hello Meadowgarten Families!

Last week was full of adventures for our Meadowgarteners.  On Monday, the students worked together to clear a spot in the woods for our new Base Camp.  The first spot we chose is prone to puddles when it rains so we chose a new spot that we hope will remain drier through wet weather.  We hope to add a tarp or other structure above our heads so that we can enjoy snack, foreign language and other activities, rain or shine! 

On Tuesday, we enjoyed a fire on the playground in the morning and ate our rice bowls in the sunshine at the picnic tables.  Rice bowls seems to be the crowd favorite when it comes to snack time! 

On Wednesday, the children discovered the first patches of ice throughout the forest.  This was extremely exciting for them and it was delightful to watch them engage in winter-inspired forest play!   We also made butter while in the forest and served it with bread and jam around the fire.  In the afternoon we washed and chopped veggies for Thursday’s soup.  It was fun to watch the children take pride in chopping their very own vegetables.  

Thursday and Friday were full of sunshine, leaf piles, fort building, and discovering fun forest creatures such as slugs, worms, bugs, a newt, and a bunny rabbit.  We took snack compost to the learning farm and had a nice visit with our animal friends.  We also started learning some fun, new winter songs. 

Thanks to all of the Meadowgarten families for bundling your children up for outdoor play.  Everyone was dry and comfortable through the changing temperatures this past week.

Please remember to send your child with an unwashed, uncut vegetable on Tuesday or Wednesday of each week. The students love looking for their own veggie in Thursday’s soup! 

Joyful Beginnings: Nov 26 - 30

Welcome back from the holidays!

I feel like everyone missed each other.

It was a cold week. Thank you for dressing up your little ones for the cold weather.

We enjoyed joining the kindergarten class in the big playground. The kids loved to see their siblings.

Let's have a great December!

Mountaingarten: November 26- 30

This past week has been a new fresh start for the children, as we have changed the schedule to ensure that the children are getting enough outside time. The children were able to run and play freely in the forest. The children jumped into mud, made fairy houses and forts, and used imaginative play with the rocks. 

With the class being outside during the snack we will be making most of the snacks on our campfire. On Thursday the children were able to eat potatoes made on the camp fire, and Friday the children were treated to pizza from over the camp fire. 

Friday the class had show and tell, and almost every student brought an item or told a story. A couple of the items include a T-Rex made of rock that was originally make in Pakistan, a first tooth, a turkey project, and a yoga bowl. 

Reminders:

This upcoming Friday we will have our assembly, and it will be half day. Per usual, dismissal will be outside, weather permitting.  

Teachers are asking to have assistance on Monday mornings at 7:30 for set up and Fridays at 3:00 pm for take down. 

Thank you, 

Ki Aja and Ki Fatima

Middle Grades: November 26 - 30

I am so appreciative of Lesley Lang for subbing all week while I was in the training intensive.  I hear that it was a tough week for everyone.  I am excited about what I learned at the Orton-Gillingham Comprehensive Training, and I will be implementing my new knowledge as soon as I can integrate the method into the Waldorf curriculum.  I will want to have a meeting with you as parents to explain what I will be doing. I am convinced that this reading method is comprehensive, sequential, and absolute fun as you go experience,  More later.

Coming Up:

This week we will be weaving wool on a stick loom, and we may start weaving a basket.  I will be asking the students to write descriptions of their projects and also a narrative of instructions on how to knit.  We will spend some time at the garden, and some instruction time outside as well, so please make sure that your children are layered.

Dec. 7 - First Friday Assembly, early dismissal;  string ensemble performance - please make sure your child is practicing, and don't forget the dress code for the performance.

Dec. 13 - Advent Spiral.  More details next Monday.

Lower Grades: Nov 12 - 16

The Lower Grades finished a second reader this past week based on the story, The Lazy Gnome.  The students wrote sentences and drew pictures following the storyline.  We made the various fairies the lazy gnome learned from using wool roving.  The children practiced reading their pages daily aloud and to themselves.  Many books went home this past Friday to be read at home.  Please bring them back the Monday after break.  If your child’s book didn’t come home, they can bring it home after break if desired.  😊

The Thanksgiving/ talent show potluck was a success.  Thank you to all our families for making it a fun-filled and relaxing event!  And a big thank you to the sun for shining!

When we return from Thanksgiving break, we will begin our next math block based on the four processes.  Through stories and using manipulative, the children will meet each process (multiplication, division, subtraction and addition).  The stories are meant to evoke feelings for how each process works and how they compliment each other.  This works through the idea of multiplication making plenty and division helping her to share; Minus gives everything away while addition accumulates and by working in tandem these processes both save and give in balance.  We will be using manipulatives to explore each process and recording equations as we go.

Happy Thanksgiving! ❤

Warmly,

Ki Melissa