Middle Grades: May 13 - 16

We ended our year with a great week. Field Day was filled with fun activities, and as the students finished up their main lesson books and gathered everything they needed to take home, I was reminded of how

much they have grown this year, not only physically, but academically and socially. They have worked as a team this Spring to create a lovely garden patch. 

I would like to thank Holly Hollister for being our class parent this year. It has been nice to be able to ask her to set up things, make phone calls, and chaperone one of our field trips, and post things on Bloomz as needed. Many thanks, Holly!!

Many thanks to Priscila Benson for being our class parent for 2019-2020.  You will be hearing from her over the summer. 

Soon you will receive an email from me with suggestions for summer study. The reading list I send will be specific to your child. All of them would benefit from reciting the multiplication tables and doing practice problems in math, just in case anyone wanted to get a head start😊. 

I hope you have a great summer. Maybe you can join me in the garden a couple of times. Keep your eyes open for announcements about gatherings. We might have a couple of new faces to greet. 

And thanks again for sharing your children with me!!

Blessings, Kathee

Middle Grades: May 6 - 10

My heart is filled with gratitude for the wonderful gifts I received during Teacher Appreciation Week.  Thank you all.  The greatest gift you have given me this year is sharing your children with me.  I learn from them every day, and their smiles, their songs, their enthusiasm for life is so heartwarming and sustaining.  

Field Day is Wednesday from 10 to 12.  If you can come and volunteer, please do. We hope to have a very fun morning with an all school activity which will go much more smoothly if we have parent helpers!!

Middle Grades: April 29 - May 1

Tomorrow is our field trip!!  Thanks to Teresa Kros for driving and chaperoning. Each child will need a water bottle, a snack, a lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, and a change of clothes. We will be gone all day. In the morning there will be a workshop on Pioneer Skills, and in the afternoon we will be attending a workshop on Survival Skills, including the building of a shelter. Our programming ends at 2:30, so I anticipate that we will be back to the school NLT 3:30.  If there is a reason we will be late, I’ll post it on Bloomz. If there is anything we need to know about dietary/activity restrictions, please send me an email or text as soon as you read this. The rest of the week will be spent in finishing all of our projects and class work, and working to assemble our main lesson books. 

Have a great week!!!!

Middle Grades: April 22 - 26

I was SO proud of the students and what they were able to accomplish during the play block.  I hope you enjoyed the evening.

Coming up this week is a performance at the Grand Friends Day celebration.  You should have all gotten a message on Bloomz about the attire for Friday.  We will be doing a Maypole dance, the string ensemble will be performing several pieces, and our class will do a recitation and a song.  The celebration is always great fun, and I hope you can come and bring a grandparent or grand friend.

This week in Main Lesson we will be finishing several projects outside and working hard on the four math operations.  There will be some spelling, reading, writing, and grammar too.  I am looking forward to getting back into our usual rhythm by visiting the garden first thing in the morning.  It's the time of year when every student should have 3 things with them at all times - sunscreen, bug spray, and water.  Please make sure your child has all of those in their backpack.  And, because it will be very hot this week, they will need a change of clothes every day, and boots or immersible shoes, just in case we need a quick cool off in the creek.

Have a great week!

Only 13 more days of school???

Middle Grades: April 15 - 19

For the Middle Grades, this week is all about play prep!  I look forward to seeing you Thursday at 6:30 ( the students need to be here at 5:45) for an Amazing experience. 

Middle Grades: April 8 - 12

Good day, parents of Middle Grades students.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars to attend our class play in Thursday, April 25, at 6:30 pm. Things are going great, and we are all getting excited about the outcome of all our effort. I’m also getting excited about our field trip to Red Top Mountain on May 7.  We will be gone all day, and the two programs we are participating in are awesome. Looking ahead, we have Grandfriends Day on Friday, May 1 at 11:00.  The Middle Grades students will be participating in the Maypole dance, presenting a poem and song, and playing with the Strings Ensemble. They will need to wear predominantly white, khaki, pastel shades that day. No jeans and preferably no t-shirts - polos, button-up, with khaki shorts/pants/skirts or dresses. 

Have a great week. If you celebrate Passover or Easter, I hope your celebrations will be filled with love and laughter. 

Middle Grades: March 25 - 29

Welcome back. I hope everyone had a safe and restful Spring Break. We are well into our play block. Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 25, 6:30.  The Lower and Middle Grades will be telling the story of Joseph and his brothers. I hope to see everyone Saturday at the Springtide Festival. 

Have a great week!!

Middle Grades: March 18 - 22

This week we will begin the new block for the Spring Play, which will be presented on Thursday, April 25, at 6:30 p m .  We will also be concentrating on math functions and will try once more to finish our bricks. Tomorrow we are dying fabric with mud, which we will use for the costumes of the 11 brothers of Joseph. If you sew, and can help sew them, please contact me. They will be ready to sew by the end of the week, and we will need them by April 20th.   The spelling list is shorter than usual, but we will still have the quiz on Monday when we return. 

Have a wonderful Spring Break!!

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!

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!

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.

Middle Grades: Feb 4 - 8

Middle Grades,

     We have collected four kinds of mud for making bricks.  We will experiment to find the best combination of materials, then, once each child has a brick to bring home, we will make some more and decide what we will build with them for the school.  If anyone has experience with bricks, I would love to have a cohort.  Please let me know if you can/ are willing to help.

     The spelling test this week will be on Wednesday again.  The test for the new list will be on the Monday that we return from break, and hopefully we'll be back on track for Mondays for the rest of the year.

     If your child has not returned their books and book report, please make sure they come back in this week.  The book report is now more than a week overdue, unlsss I gave them an extension.  All of them are due this week.  I will distribute a new book by Friday.

     I talked with the students about their Dwellings projects, which are due when we return from break.  The model building needs to be on a hard surface for easy transport.  The report that accompanies the model should answer these  questions:  When did this structure become common?  Why is shaped like it is?  What materials is it made of and why?  Where are these houses built (what part of the world)?  What is the climate and geography of the area?   Who lives in them? 

     It needs to be hand written, and in their very best handwriting. Each paragraph should have at least two sentences, and the first word of the paragraph should be indented. I would encourage you to edit a draft, and if you can't read it well, ask them to write it again.  If your child is not able to complete this assignment alone, please make sure that the guidance you give is after they have told you what they want to say.  In other words, it should be written in their own words.  

     I also told them that I would much prefer a model that they designed and built themselves than one you design and build.  Creative use of recycled materials is a plus.  Please call/ text/email me if you have questions.

     Multiplication tables are a priority!!!  Please use whatever methods you can to help your child memorize them.  We will be practicing all four operations - adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing - for the remainder of the year, and the third graders will be doing multiplication and division problems that involve carrying and remainders, so the multiplication tables are essential.

Thursday is St. Valentine's Day.  If your child would like to give their classmates valentines, please be sure to include every student in the class. 

     i look forward to seeing you this week for conferences.

     Have a great week!!

Middle Grades: Jan 28 - Feb 1

I was very proud of our students at the assembly on Friday. Many thanks to Kate Brown, my sub for two days, who helped them get ready for their presentation. 

If your child has not yet finished their book report, please help them get them back to me this week. And the initial research for the model houses should be beginning this week if you haven’t already started to talk about it. Each child will need to write about their model house - answering the five major questions - who, what, why, when, where, with an emphasis on the geography of the area where these homes are built, including weather. 

During the next two weeks I will be introducing types of dwellings from around the world, and give their historical context through stories about the people who live in them. When the weather permits, we will be gathering mud for our brick and mortar projects as well as a small demonstration of waddle and daub technique. 

Now that it’s February we will spend some time looking at gardening books and seed catalogs in preparation for our gardening, and we will be gathering materials for the entire school to do a seed starting project. If you have half a bag of seed starting soil mixture that you’d like to donate for our projects, we would be very grateful. 

Please continue to drill the multiplication tables up to 15x12. 

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the all school meeting Tuesday night, and  the following week at Parent Conferences. 

Have a wonderful week!!

Middle Grades: Jan 22 - 25

Thanks to some donations from the students our class store was a success, and I think everyone learned more about money: how to count it, use it for purchases, spend it wisely, and save it.  We will continue our project on simple interest.  If your child has not already brought in a plastic container with a top or glass jar with top,, please send it in.  The initial investment of a penny is deposited on the first day they have their jar.  Each day after that they will double their money in simple interest.  The pennies are coming from a huge jar I have a home.  In several weeks they will have a clear idea of the value of saving and earning on the savings.  I did tell everyone that absolutely no bank will pay 100% interest ever....

The biographies have been issued, and the book reports are due on Friday, Feb. 1.  (I extended the due date by a couple of days because I was late distributing the books.)

Today we will be completing the Money Block by preparing the Main Lesson Book pages, and will begin the Dwellings Block either today or tomorrow.  

Next week on Wednesday afternoon I will be asking each child to say the multiplication tables up to the 5's by themselves.  Please go over these with your child.  After the Winter Break we will add one number per week until we can get all the way to the 15's.  (We go up to 12.)  

There are some very important dates in February coming up.  Here are the dates.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

Have a great week!

February 1 - Book Report due;  First Friday Assembly; 12:30 dismissal

February 5 - evening, All School Meeting;  all parents need to be there

February 11-15 - Parent Conferences;  12:00 dismissal for students; child care available

February 18-22 - Winter Break

February 25 - Model house project and report due

February 28 - Book Report due

Middle Grades: Jan 14 - 18

Good morning Middle Grades parents. We had a great time counting money last week, and were opening our class “store” today to get practice in counting money. Have a great week!!

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:

 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!!

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.

Middle Grades: Nov 12 - 16

By the end of this week, our students will have learned how to measure liquids, solids, lengths, widths, and weight, so please encourage them to help you measure at home.  We did not cover the metric system.  We will visit that sometime in the Spring.   And we haven't yet started our block on Money, but that's coming up soon.

I will be at a Training Institute all week, but I have a great substitute and class will go on without me.  At the end of the week, Lesley will begin our block on Ancient Crafts.  Between now and Christmas break we will be weaving, spinning wool, making a basket, and we may have time to make a pinched pot.  All of these will be woven into the telling of several stories from the Old Testament.  If any of you have expertise in these crafts, please give me a call, text, or email,  and then come and join us.  I could surely use an extra pair of hands!  This will be happening in the mornings between 9:30 and 11:00.

I want to share several stories of light with the students during our Opening Circle activities as the dark of winter comes upon us.  We will be talking about the importance of light, and how cultures have responded to the need of light and warmth.  We will be lighting a candle each morning, and we will be learning a verse by Rudolf Steiner about Advent in preparation for our Advent Spiral Walk.  I will also introduce them to the customs of other cultures for their celebrations of light.  If you have a story from your own tradition that you would like for our students to know about, please let me know, and I will incorporate the story/celebration into our day.

I hope that you all had a wonderful time of thanksgiving, and that our children are ready to get back to learning.

Middle Grades: October 29 - November 2

Hello Middle Grades parents,

We had a great week last week working in the garden and measuring lots of things.  This week we will continue to measure using inches, feet, yards, and maybe even a mile (using paces).  Our next block will be measuring weight.

Remember to help your child finish reading their biographies.  The actual reports are due Wednesday, November 14.  I would like for them to all be on main lesson book paper, which I will be sending home either Tuesday or Wednesday.  Please remind them to take their time and make the report beautiful handwriting.