Sarah Smith
Email:  sarah.smith@singingstones.org

Andrea Hector
Email:  andrea.hector@singingstones.org


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REFLECTIONS

Good evening Lavender families,


We are so happy to welcome back the children from our holiday break. The children seemed very eager to start school again and greet their friends. It did not take long for them to join in our weekly rhythm.

We have spent our days enjoying the rain and mud that King Winter and Sister Rain have graced us with.  Thank you to all parents for bringing weather appropriate clothes and rain gear. This allows the children to fully explore the elements to their fullest.

This month we have started a new winter circle and story, which are inspired by the Bremen Town Musicians. We are learning to make music like the animals from our story, playing the lute like the donkey, the drums like the hound, andsing like the cat and cock. The children are also enjoying singing about how the gray mouse, robin and brown bear keep warm from Jack Frost and the North Wind.  While the story was shared orally last week, this week we started our puppet play. The children greatly enjoy this type of storytelling. It is a wonderful way to build on the images and pictures they have created using their imagination.

After having a busy month celebrating many children's birthday and preparing for each birthday circle, we continue with our water color painting this week. A short story always inspires the children to explore with the paint and water. We will also be working on a new handmade craft and other winter activities this month.

Here are a few friendly reminders and thank you's:
-Parent meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday, January 10)
6:30pm gathering, 7pm whole school meeting.
-Parent teacher conferences will begin February 1-3, Wednesday-Friday starting at 1:30. They will be 30 minute meetings. Please take a moment to sign up at school near our hello door. We will also create a sign up genius online as well.
-Thank you to Meryn, Luciano's mother for bringing a beautiful plant and fresh apples for our classroom.
-Thank you the Austin's mom, Allison and Julieta's mom, Adriana who continue to volunteer their time in our aftercare program.
-Continue to work on the body of your "Little one" doll. Teacher Sarah and I will be available at 6:30 before the parent meeting for guidance and help.

We look forward to a wonderful month ahead and want to thank you all for your support.

With love and light,
Teacher Andrea and Sarah


December 2016

Dear Lavender Families,

We hope everyone had a joyous time celebrating being thankful last week.  We welcomed the children back to school this week and were very happy to see them fall right back into our daily rhythms.  Before we left for break we spent a week discussing what we are thankful for.  This brought about talk about our mothers, fathers, siblings and mother earth.  As we are approaching the darkest time of the year we introduced Native American tales regarding life without sunshine and began singing some related songs:  

 

We are one with the infinite sun, forever and ever and ever
Hay yanna, Ho yanna, Hey yan na
The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her 

 

We received a beautiful surprise gift of a canvas tepee that we set up for indoor play.  We are really beginning to see the children form together as a group and have love for one another.  The first thing they did when they saw the tepee was walk up and sit in it one by one and they called out to make room for the last child.  Once they were all inside together they began to giggle and then they started some imaginative play where some of them were cats circling the tepee.  They all played together within and around the tepee for about twenty minutes until some of them drifted into other play.  We also celebrated gratitude by creating a thankful tree in our class.  Each child drew a picture of something they are thankful for and hung it on the tree.  These went home with the children on Monday this week, as we are now moving into celebrating winter and advent.  The children have begun singing one of our advent spiral songs during our morning circle.  There will be a community page up soon that is dedicated to this event and will include audio files of the songs we will be singing.

 

In our winter garden, dark the earth below,
Earth is waiting, waiting; waiting for the stars to glow

 

We have started the oral telling of our winter story "The elves and the shoemaker," which is a classic Grimm Fairy Tale that focuses on working hard, kindness and helping others.  We will begin the puppet play next week.  The children made beautiful red play dough from scratch that has been a nice addition to our classroom during free play. The children will begin sewing next week and working on a project that they will take home before winter break.  The children have also participated in the first two birthday circles of the year for Averi and Luciano.  The children enjoyed learning more about their childhood and celebrating with them.  We are all looking forward to celebrating the remaining children's birthdays throughout the rest of the year.        

Upcoming Events:

*Elves' Winter Faire: Saturday, December 10th, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Singing Stones

http://www.singingstones.org/elves2016

*Advent Spiral:  Friday, December 16th (NO SCHOOL)
Each class will have a designated time slot in the evening.
Location: Danville Grange Hall, 743 Diablo Rd., Danville, CA 94526

*Next Parent Meeting: Tuesday, January 10th
6:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet
7:00-8:30 p.m.: Meeting

With Love and Light,
Teachers Sarah and Andrea


October, 2016


“In Autumn time Michael stands bright, holding his golden sword of light, giving us courage, strength and light, opening our eyes to behold Autumn’s gifts of read and gold.”

During our first month together, the Lavender Kindergarten spent our time establishing a rhythm of daily and weekly activities.  These activities create a harmonious and playful rhythm that supports many opportunities for songs and stories, movement, cooperative work and play, all while developing small and large gross motor skills.  Each child is carried by this rhythm of “breathing in and breathing out”.  This breathing rhythm allows the children time to explore freely as they move in an out of free play and more guided times during their day.  Our head, heart and hands approach to learning builds confidence as each child is supported socially and emotionally, physically and cognitively.

 Our first weeks of school were shared with the children welcoming the earth, sun, trees through song and movement.  We went on a walking journey over a flowing river, which led us to a beautiful birds nest.  Each child shared in the joys of creating new friendships by greeting each other through our “Blue bird” song and morning verse.  Autumn time brought us visits to an apple orchard, galloping with our ponies and sharing the fruits of autumn’s harvest.

 With the first few weeks behind us, our weekly rhythm led us to our school garden.  Teacher Cari introduced to us Gentle Toe, our garden gnome.  In our garden, the children are encouraged to taste what the seasons have brought forth.  Some enjoy our sugar plant, while others discover that last of summers harvest nibbling basil, kale and strawberries.  We learn together to pick only what our hands can hold and to be respectful of the bees and lizards that call the garden their home.  The Lavender children are learning that our garden is where they can observe the changing seasons and learn about life cycles.  As summers harvest return to the earth and new seeds are planted, the children witness the process of impermanence and feel nourished by the garden.  Garden based learning has many profound benefits for young children as it is always evolving, while creating a playful and interactive space for exploration. 

Along with the garden, we shared our first Spanish movement circle during this first month.  Senora Damany introduced the children to this language through songs and verse, which reflected autumn and the changing of seasons.  In a class where no English is spoken, the children pick apples, bundle up for a walk with sweaters, hats and shoes, and see a squirrel and welcome the golden sun.  Through movement, the children are encouraged to explore the beauty of this language together.

The Lavender children have also experienced much joy with our weekly Eurhythmy class.   Eurhythmy can be described as a dance-like art form in which speech and music are expressed through movement of the body.  Teacher Isabela uses her storytelling to bring live pictures through song, verse and movements.  She works to create a harmonious rhythm within the circle, enlivening the imagination in each child. 

Our story this month told of the brave and strong Michael and the Dragon.  The children experience the story through oral storytelling, then through a beautiful puppet play and end our month with a drama play in which each child acts out a character in the story as told by the teacher.

The learning that takes place in the Lavender class also involves our parent community.  Each month we share an evening together at our parent meetings, in which we share our knowledge of Waldorf education, engage in an artistic piece and reflect and share our experiences through discussion.  Our first meeting we spoke of the importance of rhythmus within the Waldorf kindergarten and in the home. 

“The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility-these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education.” –Rudolf Steiner