HomeSchool: March 11 - 15

Howdy everyone!


Signs of spring are everywhere and we are enjoying more outdoor time at The Garden School. HomeSchool students gave their bird migration presentations and practiced tracing bird migration flyways on a world map and the class globe. Our champion migrator was Ollie's bird, the arctic tern, which travels up to 25,000 miles each year from its Arctic breeding grounds to Antarctica and back again. We drew birds using colored chalks. We learned how to use a compass, played compass basketball, and followed our compasses on a scavenger hunt through the forest. We took a close look at a goose egg and visited with a tiny turtle and an anole. We ate lunch on Kindy Beach and played in the creek, although the water is still a little cool.


This Tuesday, March 19th, HomeSchool will meet at Gibbs Gardens for a field trip at 9:00am. Gibbs Gardens is located at 1987 Gibbs Drive in Ball Ground, 35 miles and 45 minutes north of The Garden School. We will hike through the daffodils, 20 million daffodils in full bloom this time of the year, and tour the gardens. Gibbs has the largest display of daffodils in the nation. 


Parents should plan to come with us or arrange to have their child ride with another parent. Cost is $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children. Siblings are welcome to join us. No pets are allowed. No food or drinks are allowed except for water bottles. They have an Arbor Cafe in the gardens, and restrooms in two locations.
Please be on time. There may be a line of cars at the entrance when you arrive. Go through the entrance and meet me in the parking lot. Text me when you arrive. We will be at the gardens from 9:00 to 12:00pm. We will not eat lunch as a group. I'll return to the school so I can help with afternoon programs there. I'm not able to transport students in my car that distance. You are welcome to stay at the gardens longer or to head home instead of returning to the school.

On Thursday, March 28th, we'll have our second field trip...to the neighborhood behind the school. That's right. We are going to place Watershed Stewardship frog markers on each of the storm drains in the neighborhood, and hang bags of educational materials on doorknobs or mailboxes of the houses along the way. We hope to educate residents that nothing but water should go down the storm drains (no plastic bags, no leaves, no grass clippings, no pet waste, no charcoals from the BBQ grill). Everything that washes into these storm drains finds its way into our Little Noonday Creek and beyond.

Meet me in the neighborhood at 9:00am on the 28th. Students should wear tennis shoes, not rubber boots. To get there, take a right out of the church/school and head north on Canton Road. Take the first right onto Ebenezer Road. Cross the railroad tracks. Take the next right onto Bellair Drive. Turn left onto Debonair Drive. We will meet in that culdysac. We will be marking storm drains from 9:00am to 11:30am. We ask that parents stay for that time. If you have a conflict that day, you may arrange with another HomeSchool parent to transport your child both ways. We will arrive back to the school by 12:00pm in time for recess and lunch.

Ki Kate will be with the students on March 21st. I'm going to Mobile for my niece's wedding.

Quote from a child: "If I was a turtle, I would not want to be a tiny turtle. The crows would be looking at me with dinner on their mind."

Quote from Unknown: "If your ship does't come in, swim out to meet it."

See you amongst the daffodils!

Ki Sonya

From The Week of March 4 - 8:

Hi HomeSchool families!

On Tuesday, we learned about Mardi Gras and celebrated with Mardi Gras coins from different years and mango chocolate chip bread. We learned about Great Blue Herons and met Perdido, the Great Blue Heron puppet. Ki Sonya told us a story about her encounter with a Great Blue Heron and we worked together to build a heron nest, complete with three huge sky blue eggs. We learned about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, which was thought to be extinct before a few were found in the swamps of Louisiana and Arkansas. We drew herons and woodpeckers. We covered the terms extinct, endangered, threatened, and species of special concern.

On Thursday, We celebrated Elsu's 12th birthday. Elsu and her friend Gabby made brownies for everyone. Elsu received a rock (blue geode), a feather (from an emu), a shell (shark eye moon snail), and a treasure (a bracelet made from snake vertebrae). We tied kite string to our painted duck decoys and floated them in the pond to see if we could attract any ducks. We played Hidden Birds, hiding painted Cardinals, Bluebirds, and Goldfinches in the forests for others in the group to find. We discussed camouflage, why female birds are usually mutely colored, and why male birds are so brightly colored. We visited the farm animals and ate our lunches in the sunshine on the beaver marsh pier.

Next Tuesday each student will give their bird migration presentation. I'll have a world map and the class globe. They can use either (or both) to trace their bird's migration path.

On Thursday, we will learn about the bp oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. I had the honor of spending 5 weeks after the spill interviewing oil spill workers, shrimpers and fishermen, restaurant managers, and others who were affected by the spill. I collected samples from the water and beaches, took photos, and kayaked to barrier islands to check on nesting birds. We'll experiment to see which substance works best to clean oiled feathers.

The Garden Girls Girl Scouts will meet Tuesday the 12th, 3:30-5:00pm at the picnic tables. We will learn how to use maps and compasses. Each girl will receive patches for their participation in the following programs: creek cleanup, stargazing, cast iron cooking, tent pitching, cookie baking, bird feeders, leash decorating, and reading to rescued dogs.

Mark your calendars! These are the three dates I'm requesting for our HomeSchool field trips:

Tuesday, March 19th: Hiking through the daffodils at Gibb Gardens

Thursday, March 28th: Storm drain marking in the neighborhood behind the school

Thursday, May 2nd: TELLUS Science Museum and Booth Western Art Museum

I still cannot bend my left thumb, the one I injured when I fell hiking in the snow out west. I'll be going to the hand physical therapist the next three weeks to try to regain flexibility in it. Please add my thumb to your prayers!

Quote from a child:"The minute I saw it, I knew you would say that it was special. It was different from all the other things in nature."
Quote from Gustav Mahler: "The point is to not take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life, and to work unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."

See you down the trail,

Ki Sony

Upper Grades: March 11 - 15

The Upper Grades' journey through ancient Greece finally comes to an end this week. We're looking forward to visiting the Waldorf School of Atlanta on Tuesday for a joint pentathlon training session, and as the week ends we're working hard to finish up work on the Greek Mythology card game we'll be publishing -- look for copies at Springtide!

Middle Grades: March 11 - 15

The rain is giving us a break!!!!!

We did not have the opportunity to do the Celtic fairy tale block last week, so we will be doing that this week along with chores in the garden and continuing to work on our brick making.  There will also be a lot of math practice.  Since the prediction is that we will have no rain, most of our mornings will be spent outside, so please help your children make wise decisions about what to wear.  There will still be a lot of mud, so boots or washable shoes are a plus.

Have a great week!

Lower Grades: March 11 - 15

The Lower Grades spent the week with Times and Divide Gnomes.  We began the week with our times tables for 10’s, 5’s and the 2’s.  All year, the children have been skip counting through movement activities during morning circle.  This is the base for learning multiplication tables.  During this week, we used bean bags and other movement activities as we learned the tables themselves (10=10x1, 20=10x2, etc.).  We used the gnomes’ gems and together made equal groups which we then skip counted.  Finally, I wrote the various tables on the board, we looked for patterns within the tables, and the students copied them into their Master books.  It was wonderful to see them making the connection between our skip counting games and multiplication!  We also divided gems into equal groups and as we learned more about division and remainders, finally dividing a pan of brownies equally among us (which, really, was the best lesson of all and certainly, the tastiest…just ask them 😉).  We also spent time estimating how many gems were in containers of various sizes and then, as a class, we counted them to see how close we were to the actual amount.  Next week, we will continue to work more with estination, the four process and also on drawing basic geometric shapes.

Last week, we painted wooden pegs the same colors as the math gnomes and this week we began sewing hats for them using the blanket/quilt stitch and felt.  We will continue working on them next week as well.  The children are continuing knitting, working on hats and now flute cases for next year.  The pride and ownership they take over their handwork projects is lovely to see!  If you happen to have an extra skein of yarn to donate, that would be great.  We go through yarn faster than water!  We aim for natural blends, but we are flexible given our yarn appetites. 😊  The Middle Grades are working hard in the garden and each class now has their own garden bed.  The Lower Grades planted strawberries this week and also each student brought home basil seeds to plant and to give them a start at home.  Spanish and Mandarin classes are moving right along with their games, songs and activities.  

As we enter spring (I think it might be here for real now?!), please send your child ready for muddy, wet play.  Even if they think they won’t want to join in wet playtime, that feeling often changes when they are with their classmates outside.  Your child may leave their rain gear at school as we have our backpack “shed”  and can leave items over the weekend.  Finally, please be certain your child has a labeled water bottle daily.  It’s getting hotter in the afternoons, we stay busy, and hydration promotes learning and wellness.  Thank you!

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

The Lower Grades enjoyed our second week of our math block.  We met Plus and Minus gnomes as all as King Equals.  The students worked with both operations adding or subtracting 1, 2, and 3 (or 10-13) from numbers through 100.  We used gems, number lines, our fingers and mental math skills as we learned.  Being able to solve equations in a variety of ways with a variety of tools allows us to become more flexible in how we think about and work with math equations.  The children enjoyed the on-going story as well as working on their skills with number.  This coming week we will work with both multiplication and division.

We also modeled cubes into boxes and worked on both drawing and painting mountain scemes.  The students really enjoyed the process of laying colors on their paper with crayons.  We mixed red and blue paint to create purple mountains, and then red and yellow to create a sunset (or sunrise).  The children are enjoying both Spanish and Mandarin and the many songs and games in both classes.  Ki Sonya has kept them busy working in the garden and exploring our campus during nature study.

Please remember to join us for our upcoming Media Lite talk on March  22nd at 10:00.  Bring a friend!

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Meadowgarten: March 4 - 15

Greetings Meadowgarten Families!

We have had fun (and cold!) weeks in the Meadowgarten last week.  Due to the icy temperatures in the mornings, we spent a bit more time inside our classroom.  We enjoyed Tuesday and Thursday as Sungarten, spending the entire day with our Mountain friends.  On Tuesday, we enjoyed Spanish class with our new teacher Ki Paulyna!

We received seedlings from Ki Kathee and we will watch them sprout in our classroom before sending them home for the weekend.  Please take care of the seedlings over the weekend and bring them back on Monday so that we can plant them in our garden bed.  

We spent a lot of time with our animal friends this week in the garden, which the Meadowgarteners greatly enjoyed.  In the garden, students enjoy climbing on the dome, pulling the mud filled wagon from place to place, crossing the student-built bridge to the area where they are digging for dinosaur bones, and finding slugs and earthworms below the many rocks that live there.  

We celebrated dear Luna’s birthday and enjoyed delicious banana bread as a treat! We also celebrated Lochlan’s birthday with some strawberries and coco whip!

We are so thankful to the Upper Grades students for sharing their Trojan Horse fort with us that they built themselves.  They led us into the forest and talked to us about the structure and each Meadowgartener had a turn climbing the steps and hanging out in the fort.  It was so much fun!  

The forest is still very muddy.  Please remember to send your Meadowgartener with appropriate footwear for forest play. Rain boots or other waterproof boots are the best option to keep their feet dry and warm as they splash and play.  

Kindly,

 Ki Amy and Ki Holly

Mountaingarten: March 4 - 15

Our past few weeks have been very cold, which lead to a lot of indoor play. This allowed for our moon children to get a chance to play with the toys in the classroom.  While outside, the children dug deep holes in the garden looking for fossils, and they made an ice work area where they would take the ice that they found and smash it. 

The children were able to enjoy Spanish and Mandarine. The children have really begun to enjoy Mandarine as they are interactively participating in the activities that are given to them by Ki Cerena. 

We’ve celebrated Nina, Julian, and Oliver’s birthdays too!

Thank you, 

Ki Aja and Ki Fatima

Joyful Beginnings: March 11 - 15

Every day we are having tea outside. Kids really love it. If I forget the tea they show me sad faces. This week on Monday and Tuesday we had our first snack outside as well. It was a very good outing. We will try having outside snack every Monday of the week.

We had a visitor this week on Wednesday. Asher came to our class on observation day. He played with all the kids during the day.

Wednesday we also tried our hand at making our snacks. This week we made the corn tortillas similar to last week. Last week hummus was not universally liked by all kids. This week instead of hummus, we made tomato salsa. Kids chopped tomatoes, onions and used scissors to cut up cilantro. Salsa was also not universally liked. We will keep on looking for the food that they like as much as tortillas.

Thursday middle grades gave us strawberry seedlings. We planted them in our garden box. Now we have flowers, vegetables, and strawberries in our garden patch. As the weather is getting warmer every day, we are getting closer to seeing the results of our work.

On Friday we celebrated Theo birthday. His actual birthday was a week ago but we wanted to celebrate with the whole class. He turned two years old. His mom and older brother visited the celebration.

From Last Week:

This was a very cold week for us. Despite the cold kids ventured outside for play and for visit to the farm. We played outside in the small playground in the sandbox. The cold weather had iced over the puddles. Kids were excited to see the ice. They were enjoying themselves by breaking the ice and holding the icy shards in their hands.

In our painting classes, we discussed the sky, clouds, and sun. We used blue color to paint the sky and the clouds and yellow to add some sun to fight away the cold outside weather.

On Wednesday kids made snacks for themselves. We started by making hummus from scratch. To help us scoop it up, we also mixed masa harina with water and a bit of oil to make corn tortillas. We baked them in the oven. All the kids liked the warm tortillas. Most kids liked also hummus. We will try to have similar projects every Wednesday. Food always tastes better if you have participated in making it.

HomeSchool: Feb 25 - March 1

Hi and welcome to March!

HomeSchool had a wonderful week. We began our 5-week study of birds by learning what makes a bird a bird and discovering just how far a bird can migrate. Each student received their bird migration take-home project. We painted actual duck decoys to look like several species of ducks. 

We hiked to Quiet Corner with Prancer. Ki Erin brought a Russian tortoise and a bearded dragon for us to see and learn about in Creature Feature. We continued to practice with the other Grades students our movements and timing for the Maypole Dance. We'll be performing this Friday, May 3rd. The older HomeSchool students worked with Upper Grades to build marble mountains as a team building activity.

Next week we will celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday and Elsu's 12th birthday on Thursday! Elsu is baking brownies to share with everyone. We will take our newly painted ducks outside to see how they look floating on the pond. We will learn about Great Blue Herons, how they catch their fish and how they build their nests. We will paint a rain barrel to sell in the silent auction at the spring fundraiser next Saturday, March 9th.

Each student has received the name of a champion bird migrator and 3 sheets of masterbook paper. Here are instructions for your bird migration take-home project. 

1st piece of paper: draw and color your bird (may use crayons, colored pencils, watercolor, acrylics, or colored chalk).

2nd piece of paper: write a few fun facts about your bird (it's size, it's coloration, what it eats, how it catches it's food, wing span, how many miles it migrates each year, it's summer/winter migration path, if it is endangered or a species of special concern).

3rd piece of paper: draw a map of the area it travels and color your bird's migratory path on the map).

On Tuesday, March 12th, we will present our birds to the class. Each student will be expected to trace their bird's migration path on the class globe.

Be sure to bring with you each week: tennis shoes, rain boots, thick socks for the rain boots, extra socks, and pants to change into after our wet and muddy outings.

Quote from a child: "After I touched the bearded dragon, all the fear I felt just went away. Look at me. I'm not afraid!"

Quote from Maryann Coalmano Love: "I am your parent, you are my child. I am your quiet place, you are my wild."

Enjoy the daffodils,

Ki Sonya

Upper Grades: Feb 25 - March 1

It's been an eventful week in the Upper Grades class! Ki Carol has transitioned to a new role, specializing in the language arts component of the curriculum. Main lessons for the remainder of the year will be taught by Ki Molly along with Don Andres, Ki Jas, and other guest teachers. The students will still get to have their special time with Ki Carol, and today was the first of her specialty language arts classes. 

Last week we joined the encamped Greek army for their ten-year siege of Troy in The Iliad, and this week we journey with Odysseus through the many adventures that will bring him safe home to Ithaca. In addition to the Trojan horse- inspired tree fort we started last week, the upper grades is working on some Greek pottery, Greek roots of English vocabulary, and the 5 Greek sports in which they will compete at next month's pentathlon. 

Middle Grades: Feb 25 - March 1

Today was the day we started a new block - gardening!!  We will be postponing the planting for at least a few days - the ground may be frozen in the morning; however, the plan is to be outside and in the garden all morning every day for the next two weeks, so please make sure your child is dressed in layers, and in clothes that will stand getting dirty.  The temperature will be extremely cold for the next two days, so it is imperative that they have hats and gloves.  I was absent today, so I haven't seen the spelling tests, but if there are a lot of misspelled words, I will add them to the test this week and ask all students to spell them again. If you want to come help int he garden, please let me know you are coming.  There are many tasks, and it would be fun to have some of you joining us!

Have a good week!

Lower Grades: Feb 25 - March 1

The Lower Grades started their new math block this week meeting four gnomes that must find the Secret of Numbers to break an enchantment cast upon them.  We reviewed basic numeral formation, Roman numerals, and the concepts of odd and even numbers.  The students enjoyed being able to tell if a number into the millions was odd or even!  Next week, we will spend more time with both addition and subtraction and work on discovering the secrets and math facts for both operations.

The children wet-on-wet painted a mountain scene and also drew another mountain scene with block crayons while we worked on layering colors.  For clay modeling, we turned our spheres into cubes and then into boxes.  It takes patience and dexterity to create sharp corners for both cubes and boxes using clay.  Hats and flute cases are on our knitting needles, and knitting is a popular free-time activity.  During creature feature, the children met a turtle and a bearded dragon, each having a turn to feel the dragon.  All the children touched her, and were impressed with how her skin actually felt.  We also enjoyed nature study with some creek time on a warmer day as well as time in the garden this week.

The rain seems to be here to stay and the cold isn’t gone yet either.  Please send your child with boots, raingear and extra clothes daily.  Each child has space in the shed to store extra items, so feel free to send them in to be kept at school.

Our Fundraising event is Saturday eveningMarch 9th.  Please consider buying tickets and attending, and bring friends if you’d like!  We are a small school, so all parent participation is helpful, needed and deeply appreciated!  We are also sponsoring a Media Lite talk in March 22nd at 10:00am.  We’d love a solid parent turn-out for that event as well!  It promises to be an informative and positive session to help us all tame that media monster! 

Warmly,

Melissa 

Meadowgarten: Feb 25 - March 1

Greetings Meadowgarten Families,

We had yet another fun (and muddy!) week in the Meadowgarten.  The week started off sunny and warm.  The forest was busy with activity as always.  Two students discovered how to make music in nature, hitting sticks against a fallen log.  Both Meadow and Mountain students worked together to create a large pile of supplies, in hopes of building a tree house in the near future.  Everyone enjoyed squishing their boots in the mud and the mud kitchen was as busy as ever with a vast supply of muddy water for all of their bakery delights.  

The students enjoyed making birdfeeders this week.  We cut mandarin oranges in half, ate the inside of the orange and used the peel as a cup to hold the birdseed.  Some of the feeders are hung by the playground and others are in the forest. We are excited to see the many birds they will attract!  

We did a brief introduction to finger knitting this week and we will introduce it more formally over this next week.  The students were very excited to work with yarn and a few were able to bring home a piece of their work.  We will continue to build this skill until all of the students are comfortable with it. 

We enjoyed Creature Feature on Thursday, which was presented by our very own Christopher Sanchez and his mom, Erin. The students were able to pet Christopher’s tortoise and bearded dragon.  They learned a lot of valuable information about these wonderful animals!  We are thankful to the Sanchez family for sharing their beloved pets with us!  

First Friday assembly was wonderful as always!  The Meadowgarten did a fantastic job reciting our new Spring Verse and singing Sol Solesito in Spanish.  We were very proud of them!  

As always, thank you for sharing your children with us.  We love watching them grow and play each day!

Kindly,

 Ki Amy and Ki Holly    

Mountaingarten: Feb 25 - March 1

Dear Mountaingarten families,

We welcomed the week with three new Spring songs for our morning circle, by the time Friday came around, the children were already partially singing and following along with the movements. 

A big thank you to Erin Sanchez for bringing in the tortoise and bearded dragon for Creature Feature, it was a lot of fun to see them up close and to touch and feel the texture of their skin.

We had a great turn out for Friday's Show and Tell. We looked through a book about sharks and tried to name as many as we could, we touched a beautiful crystal heart, giant pine cone, various stones, and a coin. One child brought in her very impressive mermaid painting, and another child brought in his finely crafted sock caterpillar, we also listened to a couple of sweetly sung songs!

Friday's assembly was also a joy to watch. Our Mountaineers did a wonderful job singing "Yonder Come Day" and a song in Mandarin. We loved the new addition of the Parents chorus too, it sounded so beautiful and in harmony- thank you!

We are excited to start the seeds that were gifted to us by Ki Kathee's class, we are hoping to get our hands in the garden this week!

May all be well.

Warmly,

Ki Fatima & Ki Aja




Joyful Beginnings: Feb 25 - March 1

Kato had a birthday this week. He now is four years old. We celebrated it together with the class. Kato had brought brownies and strawberries for the treat. Everyone was excited about the birthday and the treats.

We also had a guest this Thursday when Kato’s sister joined us for a day. At the start, she was a little unsure but she quickly joined the rest of the kids and played like a regular.

Wednesday we went to the creek. Kids had small fishing sticks and we tried to catch some fish. We will have to work on our technique or tools to be more successful and actually catch one.

This Friday we went to the garden to check on the progress of our vegetables and flowers. We also planted radish seeds to supplement our expected harvest. On the way back the day treated us to very large and muddy puddles.=

We were discussing a wind this week. Unfortunately, the week was not particularly windy to help us with live observations. Nevertheless, we talked about the winds. We also started to explore the blue color and used it to draw the wind.

HomeSchool: Feb 11 - 15

Hi everybody!

This was our last week of underwater exploration. We drew sharks and shark jaws, and each student took home a shark jaw to keep. We soaked up some facts about sponges! 

We also hiked with Prancer, read the book Zen Shorts, and helped set up the sanctuary for the Gilgamesh play. Our class loved attending the play and we were delighted to see Brolin and Elsu do so well in their roles. We had a get-together on Thursday to celebrate Valentine's Day and my 60th birthday and to wish Ari best of luck on his new adventures! Thanks to each of you for the beautiful Valentine's cards and generous birthday gifts. Larry and I have packed our snow boots and are looking forward to our trip to the Southwest.

As we turn the corner into a new season, we will begin to study one of the most amazing classes of animals: birds. When we return from the break, each student will receive their take-home project on bird migration. I'll give each one a different bird and 3 sheets of masterbook paper. They'll have 2 weeks to complete the project and prepare for their presentation on March 12th. 

Throughout our 5-week study, I am going to highlight some other special birds, including Great Blue Herons, ducks, sandhill cranes and whooping cranes, owls, ospreys, and seagulls.

The next Girl Scout program will be a two-part community service project. We will meet on Tuesday, February 26th at Mostly Mutts Animal Rescue, 3238 Cherokee Street near downtown Kennesaw. Meet us there at 6:30pm. We will paint leashes and collars for adopted dogs to wear to their new forever homes. Then we will meet the dogs, cats, and staff at Mostly Mutts. 

Girl Scouts who are 2nd grade and older can meet us again at Mostly Mutts the next night, Wednesday, February 27th at 6:30pm. The Girl Scouts will have an opportunity to read to the dogs in the kennels. Bring your own book to read and a towel to sit on. Due to space constraints and liability, parents and siblings will not be allowed in the kennel area (just the scout leaders).

We will have a school-wide shelter in place drill and a reptilian Creature Feature on Thursday, February 28th.

Quote from a child: "I better go to bed early tonight. I have a dream locked up in my heart that I need to let out."
Quote from Anne of Green Gables: "Dear old world, you are very lovely and I am glad to be alive in you."
Enjoy your winter break!Ki Sonya

Upper Grades: Feb 11 - 15

The Upper Grades students worked hard on the class play in the two weeks prior to Winter Break. By week two, the students had immersed themselves into their characters and the story. The class worked together to lift each other up and enhance the production with many of their own ideas for their characters and the set. In Waldorf education, the class play serves multiple functions beyond being an additional branch of arts education. Pedagogical theater is a tool for developing individual capacities in students and also serves to strengthen the social dynamics of the class as a whole. Our end goal is not just an entertaining experience for the audience but also a vehicle for the students to stretch themselves and grow through the art in ways that may not come naturally. Our block and public performance of Gilgamesh exceeded my expectations, and it was a delight to behold the unique growth of each student in the class. This article expands on the function of pedagogical theater in the Waldorf schools: https://www.waldorfpublications.org/blogs/book-news/why-a-class-play-in-waldorf-schools

This week, the Upper Grades class is settling in to a study of Ancient Greece which will culminate in their participation in the Pentathlon along with students from other Waldorf schools in the southeast.

Middle Grades: Feb 11 - 15

Welcome back!!  I hope everyone had a good week off.  I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing about the dwellings projects as they come in starting today.  This week we will finish up our look at the types of dwellings that are found around the world with the oral reports for each student's project, and if the weather cooperates we'll begin our construction projects outdoors, beginning with brick making.

Other things we will do this week:  plant some seeds in our garden space, work on the 7's, 8's, and 9's multiplication tables, learn the first song in our play production and discuss how to make the costumes, get new spelling words, and more.

Have a great week.

Lower Grades: Feb 11 - 15

Thank you all for making Parent conference week a fun and interesting time to talk about your child and to get to know him or her better.  I always come away from conferences feeling both inspired and blessed by our wonderful community of parents.  The partnerships between parents and teachers are a gift to each child!

The Lower Grades finished their third Language block of the school year.  This past block focused on phonics and conventions of spelling.  Many students worked with short vowel sounds and writing word families based around those sounds, while some children worked with long vowel pairs and word families based upon those.  We also learned four common diagraphs (/ch/, /sh/, /th/, /wh/) and their sounds and worked with sight words as well.  Please continue playing sight words games with your child at home.  The children who can easily recognize sight words have an easier time learning to read as a whole.  For students already reading, sight word games can focus on spelling these words as well as reading them.  I typically use the Dolch sight word lists (though there are certainly other lists you can use) which offers lists with increasingly challenging words.

Our next block will be math-based and focus on the four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Through stories, the children will practice each process and see how they can work together.  We will also focus on basic math facts and rules.

We will continue with our foreign language instruction, handwork (our knitters are happily engaged in a variety of projects), clay modelling, wet-on-wet painting, music, games, gardening and nature study as we start to welcome our early spring weather (fingers crossed!).  Please be sure your child has all their rain gear and boots that fit as we will continue to play and learn outside on daily basis.  While our students typically know their own gear and each other’s as well, please remember to label everything clearly.  It helps the adults, who find items in interesting and unexpected locations, return them easily and quickly.

Finally, please take time and look at our calendar of events for the coming weeks.  Spring promises to be a busy and active time for our own growing school!  Your time, energy and support keeps us and growing and blossoming in wonderful ways!

I hope you all enjoyed your winter break!

Warmly,

Ki Melissa

Mountaingarten: Feb 11 - 15

Dear Mountaingarten families,

We are excited to return back to school this week! Although our days were cut short the week before our break, they were full of good experiences and play. 

We enjoyed the Gilgamesh play and were so impressed by everyone's good work and memorization skills! We were especially excited that our Golden Knights had a part in it as well, and they seemed to especially love being clad in white. 

We celebrated Clarke's birthday and loved hearing his amazing birth story. Thank you Elizabeth and Dominic for being present and for the delicious treats! 

Thank you to all who prepared sweet Valentine's day surprises to place in the children's bags. 

Another special and furry surprise joined us in the forest as well. Ki Sonya brought her sweet pup who was so gentle with the children. They loved to touch her soft, white fur. Thank you Sonya. 

A special thanks for taking time out of your day and joining us for parent teacher conferences, it was nice for us to meet again and discuss your child's progress and happy to hear they are happy at school.

May all be well.

With Gratitude, 

Ki Fatima & Ki Aja

Meadowgarten: Feb 11 - 15

Dear Meadowgarten Familes,

We greatly enjoyed speaking with all of you about your wonderful children the week before break. We hope that you are happy with the information you received during conferences.  Please do no hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns moving forward.  

The half days always seem to fly by so quickly! We spent the whole week outside in the forest, keeping up with all of the wonderful activities that the children love so much. Ki Serena called on volunteers to lead the color song during Mandarin class and we practiced our Sol (sun) song in Spanish class.  Our story this week was Stone Soup and the kids had so much fun telling Ki Holly what ingredients to add to the soup.  The Meadowgarteners had a lot of fun with our real soup snack this week as well.  We added a bean medley in with our veggies and we were guessing what types of beans we were eating.  We found lima beans, chick peas, black beans, great northern beans, split peas and many more!

We really enjoyed seeing the play “Gilgamesh” that was performed by the Upper Grades and our very own Golden Knights.  It was a very impressive performance by all! 

We hope that everyone had time to relax and spend time with family and friends over the break and we are very excited to be back to school!

The weather looks mild in the week ahead and we can’t wait to start doing some arts and crafts and other practical work outside at our forest base camp!  

Kindly,

Ki Amy and Ki Holly