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Classroom Updates

Updated: Oct 1, 2018

Acorn Nursery News from Ms. Jan:

What a wonderful Michaelmas celebration we had on Wednesday.  I told the children the story of George and the Apples with a sweet little puppet show and they were so enthralled.  I cut an apple in half on the horizontal and all of the children were filled with wonder at the magic of the star that was contained inside the apple.  We made apple muffins for snack with cinnamon and our red apples of courage and they were enjoyed by all, even one of our little students who "doesn't like apples!"  Shhh...  And the teachers continued to look for and acknowledge all of the displays of courage within our class family.  It was a full week of fun and learning for us all.

Jasmine Kindergarten News from Ms. Diana:

Our playdates in August are a distant memory now and every week brings more activities, songs, stories, crafts and life events.  We enjoy baking, making delicious  Stone Soup,  coloring, painting with water colors, and  creating crafts.

The month of September holds many celebrations and festivals; the Jewish New Year has passed and for the families celebrating this joyous event, we would like to wish you that the new year be filled with good health, happiness, and sweet moments. L’shanah Tovah!

The celebration of festivals is an important part of Waldorf education. A festival is a joyous celebration of life, and has the quality of lifting us out of the ordinary and into the mysteries and magic of the rhythm of the seasons....

Waldorf education echoes the essence of the Michaelmas celebration. Each and every one of

us has a gift to bring to the world. Can we learn to recognize and have interest in each other’s gifts, and encourage each other toward our full potential? This inspires us to face the inner and outer darkness with courage and strength of will.  Each grade plays a certain part in the pageant, an experience that students enjoy, as they anticipate their turn to play important roles. The early childhood teachers create a beautiful separate event for the youngest students.

Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:

It looks like good weather on Monday for our Michaelmas Pagent. Friday ended up to be a lovely morning, even though they predicted 80% chance of rain at 10:00 am. This gave us another chance to have an all-school practice. Students then enjoyed the Michaelmas Games with the whole school at the end of the day on Friday.  Ms. Cambell along with the 7th and 8th-grade students guided my students through a series of games. It was fun to see them interact with all grade levels. Mr. Pazolas and I will start planning ways for the 7th and 8th-grade students to bond. Lunchtime might be the best way to start. Older students will help first-grade students carve pumpkins towards the end of October. Mr. Pazolas reads to my students during reading time on Friday and they look forward to him coming to our classroom. 

Even with daily play practice, my students have worked hard to learn how to form their numbers this week. Students drew a four-sided square for the number four. For the number five students learned how to draw a five-pointed star. Six will be the six colors of the rainbow, (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet). Seven and eight will be based on one of the fairytales I tell this week.

Last week I told fairy tales from Japan and China. This coming week I will tell them stories from a wonderful collection called “ Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters, Heroines in Folktales from Around the World”. Students will receive their counting stones this coming week for use as manipulatives for counting and calculations. 

Grade 2 News from Ms. Mullen:

The children have been practicing [for the Michaelmas Pageants] quite a bit both with the first grade and with the whole school. They have also been working on word families, lots of beautiful drawings and longer sentences in the main lesson books and handwriting. They made wonderful wands in crafts, are continuing to explore shapes and color combinations in watercolor painting, and will soon begin working with first grade during gardening. We have been waiting for the weather to cool down a bit before beginning this class. 

Grade 3 / 4 News from Ms. Flores:

In circle, we continued our times tables and speech work while adding in play rehearsals each day. The class so loved the play practices and enthusiastically recited their lines. I know they are going to do a spectacular job in the play tomorrow! Please remind your child to come dressed for their part. Even though our play was rescheduled, the afternoon Michaelmas games were able to proceed as planned. Older students are asked to help the Michaelmas games with the guidance of Ms. Campbell. This year, the 3rd and 4th graders contributed by creating the chalk art games in the basketball court. They drew designs and worked in small groups to draw mazes, long jumps, etc. 

We dove into our farming block with an explanation and discussion about how farming began, the types of farming that exist today and soil sustainability through crop rotation and compost. We are kicking off our Soraparu Campus composting program next week and have begun a small compost program in our classroom. See the attached photo below. Each container contains a different product - orange peels in one, paper in another and plastic in the final. We are seeing how long each takes to decompose and how much the temperature rises. This helps to raise awareness of environmental consciousness within the student while learning about the process of decomposition. Next week, we dive into learning about major crops beginning with corn.

Grade 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:

MAIN LESSON: ANCIENT PERSIA - We transitioned from Ancient India to Ancient Persia, beginning as usual with a creation story.  This time we explored the duality of good and evil in the eternal struggle between Ahura Mazda (the good, wise creator) and Ahriman (the evil, dark spirit).  We then learned about a virtuous shepherd named Yima who lived in a world of wickedness.  Ahura Mazda let him know that he would destroy creation with a huge snowstorm so that he could start again, and directed Yima to find the one kind couple left on earth, along with two of every animal and all the seeds of the plants, and bring them to a square cave he was supposed to dig.  We also learned about a brave girl named Dugdav who was told she would one day have a very special child.  Sound familiar?  Last, we learned about the birth and life of the great prophet Zarathustra (Zoroaster, in the Western tradition) who would become the founder of the Zoroastrian religion.  For our work, we also completed our writing on the Buddha or Buddhism, and hopefully also finished work on the drawing of the Buddha.  The updated list of assignments can be found below.  Due to the storm days, I will be extending the block to Friday, October 5, which is the date of our block quiz.  This means that the Main Lesson Books will be due Friday, October 12.  We will be continuing on to Physics starting on Wednesday, October 10! 

Grade 7 / 8 News from Mr. Pauzolis:

In class, we continued to build upon our understanding of the flow of electrons and the concept of conductivity. We applied what we have been learning to the study of series and parallel circuits. We performed a fascinating and challenging hands-on experiment in which the children were asked to create a homopolar motor out of copper wire and AA batteries! The students broke out into small groups, and only one pair was ultimately successful, so HUGE congratulations to Cait and Rogan! I have included a brief video clip of their mesmerizing homopolar motor at the bottom of this email, so be sure to check it out! We also learned all about potential energy, volts, amps, and the unit with which we measure electrical resistance: ohms. Finally, we discussed some hugely important historical figures, like Guglielmo Marconi, who is often (perhaps incorrectly) credited as the inventor of the radio. We studied the work and efforts of Thomas Edison, known as 'The Wizard of Menlo Park'. We discussed his shocking attempts to prove that his direct current was safer than alternating current. Ultimately, the children were appalled to discover, he electrocuted a number of animals- including a young elephant at the 1893 World's Fair! We also discussed how he later contributed to the creation of the electric chair. Finally, we concluded by learning all about the life of Nikola Tesla, one of the most fascinating, revered, and important scientists and inventors of modern history. His tale had QUITE an impact of the children. We discussed his tremendous accomplishments and how Tesla changed the entire world, despite being opposed at every turn. 

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