Acorn News from Ms. Jan:
We have had another wonderfully busy week in the Acorn Nursery. We welcomed our grandparents and special friends on Monday and were so excited about the large turnout that we received. Our grandparents surely love us and are interested in what we do at school. We maintained our regular rhythm so they could see what their little ones do on a typical school day, and it seemed that all had a really nice time with us. If you heard any comments or suggestions from the grandparents or special friends about things that were good or things that we could do better, please share them with me. We are always trying to make our grandparents' visits better and more pleasing to our grands.
On Wednesday we had a sweet, toned down celebration for Halloween. As promised, we had some very special visitors in our classroom before school on Wednesday. You see, Ms. Jan just happens to be friends with a pair of little witches and they stopped by on Tuesday evening and had a tea party in our classroom. They left the tea party set up and when we arrived in our classroom on Wednesday morning we were shocked to see that someone had left a cauldron with apple cider for us for our snack. And as we ate snack one of our students noticed that a witches' broom had also been left in our classroom. We left the broom hanging on our door at naptime thinking that she might need her broom to get back home and when we woke up it was gone! I am sharing a few pictures so that you can share in our magic. We had a picnic lunch with many parents on Wednesday and a family walk around the neighborhood. I hope you all enjoyed experiencing the walk.
We had a fire drill on Tuesday and our class quietly exited the building in two minutes. I think we've got this protocol down! It's nice to know that we know what to do in case of a real fire. It might be fun to ask your child what happens when the alarm goes off. I told the story of "the little orange house" and the children were intrigued and mesmerized. Ask them about the story or the name of the story, they know. I have changed our Halloween verses in our circle time to fall songs and verses and will be telling a fall story and puppet show to the children. We are getting ready for Thanksgiving.
Jasmine Kindergarten News from Ms. Diana:
The long anticipated week of Halloween! The celebration has its origin in the Celtic festival of Hallowmas, a celebration of the beginning of a new cycle of the Wheel of the Year. Lore has it that the veil between the world of the living and the dead is at its most transparent during Halloween night, and therefore the spirits of the dead, fairies, witches and goblins roam about.
Our children had planned, imagining, and singing about this glorious autumnal celebration for numerous days. What exactly does Halloween look like for a Waldorf student? Regardless of your child’s age, it is a teaching moment which strengthens the child’s imagination and resourcefulness.
Magnolia Kindergarten News from Ms. Heidi:
Wow! What an incredible day we had today, during our Forest Kindergarten. It was perfect in every way. After parents took off, we packed up the cars with everything but our snacks and water, and took off to explore the park. The ducks looked cold as they hung back on the banks of the lagoon, but we were warm with our layers and laughter. We stopped at the Meditation Hut and sat quietly, thinking peaceful, happy thoughts as we listened to the birds and ducks around us. After meditating, we refreshed ourselves with water and continued the trek to St. Charles Avenue. We made the walk in record time (no complaints at all!), discussed our safety rules, and set the children free to climb, spin, jump, balance, hang upside down, crouch, skip, and pretend. The clouds gave way to gentle sunshine, and some of the more heavily layered folks peeled off the outer layers.
About mid-morning, we headed over to the sidewalk that runs along Exposition Boulevard, and looked for a sunny sidewalk patch for snack time. We looked so fine that passersby marveled, and two ladies offered to take our pictures. I have attached them above! Upon finishing snack, we collected all our garbage, and continued on the sidewalk. We carefully walked past an enormous tent that was being put up, meditated again by the lagoon, and made our way back to our base camp. We had circle on the pavilion. How lovely it was to sing Good morning, dear Earth; good morning, dear Sun; good morning, dear rocks and the flowers everyone; good morning, dear creatures and the birds in the trees; good morning to you, and good morning to me in such a beautiful space and to truly greet the world around us!
After a quick bathroom break, we practiced jump roping skills, first running over the wiggly rope on the ground (our purple snake), then running through the Tunnel of Love, and then practicing jumping up and over the rope without catching your feet. All of this brought us to lunchtime. Thank you so much to everyone who arrived on time and found us still eating…
Exuberantly enjoying the day with everyone, I didn’t keep track of time very well. It was extra special to share some moments with those of you who joined us in our lunch circle.
We claimed the pavilion as our nap room, and while Will and I supervised the bathroom break, Frances set up the sleeping mats. We started a new story of “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle,” as the ducks and geese quacked and honked on the lagoon. Some photographers nearby provided entertainment during quiet time, but eventually four of our nappers fell asleep. I believe everyone is going to sleep really well tonight. With all the walking and running, I think we walked at least four miles! Again, there were no complaints! What a strong and hardy group of forest kindergartners we have.
Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:
We had an exciting week at school. I was so proud of my students on Wednesday, they were able to focus during the main lesson with their costumes on and all the excitement of Halloween. My students enjoyed a brief concert in the morning with Ms. Kascia, our amazing music teacher. Her student orchestra performed some spooky songs on various stringed instruments. At the end of our day, we had a class party and the spider web game with the whole school. It was all so much fun! All together we had a productive week considering the bad weather half day and Halloween.
During parent evening I showed the parents some of the ways I teach math by demonstrating the math story with the counting stones. I also talked about language arts and showed the parents some of the main lesson books. I showed them how this slow introduction to the letters allows the students to visualize the letters through the drawings and helps with beginning letter sounds. I also discussed the progression of the curriculum throughout the year.
We will continue the language arts main lesson block this week with more fairy tales and learning more letters. Students came up with over twenty words that start with the letter "D." They then helped me tell a creative story using all of our "D" words. Students will listen to a new story on Tuesday and retell this story to me in class. Please ask your child to tell you as much of the story as they can on Wednesday after school.
Grade 2 News from Ms. Mulen:
Halloween was a blast. Our room was set up as 667 Dark Avenue, a location from one of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. The children were greeted with one of our favorite villains of the book, but despite spending the day with a villain, they managed to do a lot of exciting things. We made pumpkin bread during main lesson, painted pumpkins during our crafts period, and Ms. Anais painted their faces during handwork. The day ended with the annual spider web. What a surprise treat it was for a short day the day after halloween too! I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things during November. We will begin learning how to borrow when subtracting.
Grade 3 / 4 News from Ms. Flores:
On Monday, we completed the writing for our farm trip before heading out for our field trip to Mardi Gras World. The class learned about how the floats and props are made. It was interesting to learn about how they reuse materials and how long some of the large sculptures have been around. Big thank you to Robin for making the trip happen! On Tuesday, we began our fibers block with a look at cotton. Throughout last week, the class has been working to seed all the cotton we grew last year in order to prepare it for a project. Throughout the remainder of the week, the class learned about where cotton grows, the parts of the cotton plants, the tools that we use today to pick it and connection of slavery with the history of cotton picking in the United States.
Grade 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:
We had our block review on Monday, the quiz on Tuesday, and then jumped in to our new block. This time we will not be creating main lesson books, but instead the class will each have a big project (see guidelines and notes attached below) and a quiz on the 50 state locations and their capitals. The first paragraph draft of the project was due Friday. Those students who are geography geniuses and wish for an added challenge can VOLUNTARILY take the quiz this week (Tuesday at Homework Club or by appointment) and then will learn the territories of Canada, states of Mexico, and the location of the Central American countries and their capitals. I have been teaching the class about the natural regions of the North American continent, as well as the Inuit culture of the far north. We ended the week with the beginning of the legend of Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the underworld. I also was able to pass back the quizzes to everyone. This time, I have given a few students a second chance to take the quiz, using their first try as a study guide. I indicated who this was on the students' quizzes. Most of the class, however, did extremely well. The class average was 89%. The class also worked on their Physics books, which are due Tuesday.
Grade 7 / 8 News from Mr. Pauzolis:
This past week, we celebrated Halloween with a morning concert of spooky songs with Mrs. Kasia, then our class wove intricate yarn spiderwebs for all of the younger students to navigate (with a treat bag waiting at the end!). The kids were good-natured and worked very cooperatively, and we created an awesome Halloween day for the whole school! There is a gallery of photos from the day that has been posted on the Parents Council's Facebook Group, so definitely go take a look! While I was on the Facebook page, I also spotted a slideshow from our recent Grandparents & Special Friends Day (another great success, where the children had an opportunity to recite that impassioned St. Crispin's Day speech they worked so hard on for so long!). This most recent Sunday was the Bowl-A-Thon for our brand-new Mighty Oaks Athletics Department, and once again I was so happy to see so many of our class members present. Seeing the kids bowl and laugh together brought a huge smile to my face, and I hope everyone had a blast.
In classes this past week, we began winding down our study of the Renaissance. We fully discussed Casino de Medici and the stunning city of Florence, Italy! We also delved into what powerful influence and control the Medici clan exerted over both the city and over the Renaissance period itself. We focused some attention on Filippo Brunelleschi and the Cathedral of Florence (Santa Maria del Fiore). Brunelleschi's approach to building the Dome was astonishing and had far-reaching consequences Beyond the Dome itself. Some of his technological developments were used until the industrial revolution! We also discussed the works of artists Donatello and Michelangelo. We compared both of their statues of David, each of which was done at a different time in the cities history in a completely different political environment, and presented *radically* different results. If you have a moment, do look them up and see the differences for yourself!