Acorn Nursery News from Ms. Jan:
Although last week was a short, unusual one, we still found a way to have the children experience their first painting. In Waldorf schools we use a technique called wet on wet watercolor painting where we wet the paper and use wet watercolor paint. We also use very nice quality materials which you will see when your child brings their painting home. The paper is thick, nice quality with a good feel to it and the watercolor is made with organic ingredients safe for children and could actually be eaten, although we would never let that happen. We soak the paper in water before distributing it to the children and we model the painting technique to the children. The wet paint "dancing" on the wet paper and the quiet, stillness with which we paint creates a soul experience in each of us. The process is more satisfying than the final product and sometimes the children don't even recognize their paintings or like them as well once they dry. I have a sweet story that I told the children about care of the brush (the squirrel's tail) and the children are taught respect for our materials and care to work carefully without spilling. I plan to send this first painting home tomorrow so you can see, then we will store them in a portfolio and all will be returned home at the end of the school year. Hope you enjoy.
Magnolia Kindergarten News from Ms. Heidi:
Our Nature Table has changed to reflect the legend of St. Michael and the dragon. Examples of courage, uprightness, trust, and responsibility will appear in our new story and circle, as well as in conversation and images we offer the children. We will introduce our class jobs this week, so all the children will get to “work as a knight” to keep our class safe and happy for everyone who resides in our kingdom. In a nod to our two eldest girls, who are taking on several challenging tasks as rising first graders, the hero of our story will be a young girl who longs to be a knight.
Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:
We finished the "Wizzard of Oz," during reading and rest. Ms. Kasia has been singing all kinds of new songs with your children. They are loving the songs so much that they sing them on their own. They seem to enjoy all of their classes and I am getting many compliments from their other teachers on how quickly they are adjusting to being in the grades! My students enjoyed listening to the story “White Snake.” This past week the children acted out the story and delighted in retelling the story in this way. We reviewed the letters we have worked on previously and started doing some form drawing to get them ready for the letters coming up.
Next week we will focus on “S”, for the snake, “W” for wave, and “F” for fish. We will work together to create illustrations from the story and work on the formation of these letters.
I will include a fairy tale from around the world for fun this week. “How the frog came to be the king of the rivers and marshes,” is a West African fairy tale that I think the children will enjoy and have fun with acting out all the parts!
Grade 2 News from Ms. Mullen:
We are about to complete our first math block which focused on place value through the hundreds and the memorization of 3s and 4s skip counting up to twelve. We have begun working on multiplication flash cards and regularly discussing/reminding each other about how skip counting directly relates to multiplication and division. I was so excited to see how serious and thrilled the children were about making their own flash cards. Some spent their entire free period working through the 5s while some were content to just complete their 2s, which was the goal for the day. It also was wonderful to watch as many children finally had it "click" about hundreds, tens, and ones and how they represent different amounts based on different places. It is a tricky, somewhat abstract idea (that can be made visual, and we did do this with various items in the room) but it takes time to make the leap to the abstract aspect that, for example, the 5 digit in the number 453 actually means fifty, not five. The concept of a single digit versus a complete number is also tricky, and they are doing so well! Way to go second grade!
Grade 3 / 4 News from Ms. Flores:
On Thursday, Bellegarde Bakery came to visit our class. They brought in different types of wheat, dough, a loaf for each child and a small grain mill. Each of the students had a chance to grind wheat seeds on the mill in order to experience how flour is made. They also made pan bread with some of the dough. The class was really excited about everything that was presented! I think they are going to have a lot of fun in our farming block. Our practice of times tables is now in full swing as the children are able to now combine rhythmical movements with the tables. The class excitedly took on the work of liquid conversions eagerly completing their work and helping their friends.
Grade 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:
This week we transitioned to our new block, Ancient Cultures, by exploring the traditions and stories of India, particularly with regard to the Hindu religion. We began by speaking about why we studied other cultures and faiths - how this brings more understanding and respect for the diversity of the human experience. It was gratifying to me how easily the students grasped the importance of this. I wish more adults could be as open-minded! We started at the literal beginning through the presentation of several versions of the Hindu creation story. I then told of how Vishnu, the world protector, and Brahma, the world creator, discovered the presence of a third great Hindu deity, Shiva, the destroyer of worlds, and god of new beginnings. From this, we learned of the three seasons in India (the hot season, the wet season, and the cool season) which correspond to these three gods. We concluded by discussing and looking at pictures of Hindu temples, priests, and special festivals such as Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, and a Hindu wedding ceremony. Overall, we accomplished a great deal in two days!
Grade 7 / 8 News from Mr. Pauzolis:
Due to the Labor Day holiday and multiple weather-related school cancellations, our week was cut drastically short. With the little time we did have, we wrapped up our study of the Late Middle Ages! We began with the review of how gunpowder and the printing press contributed to the end of feudalism and sparked the beginning of the Renaissance.