Sunflower Garden – In the Classroom

Sunflower Garden – A Word from Miss Kelly Friday, December 15, 2017

Greetings of the season, dear Parents!

“Once upon a time, there was a mother who was waiting for the birth of her child. It was Midwinter time, and all around the earth was dark and hard and cold…”

The children have been enjoying the puppet play of “the Midwinter Garden”.

And during circle time they are working with the gnomes, and finding out what the gnomes underground have to do with the sun, the moon, and the stars. This is a fun circle with lots of movement, and big contrasts of loud and soft, and big and small.

We painted with blue last week, and this (past) week, with blue and yellow. Our friends, the little ones of the forest (an ongoing story for us often on painting day) met a new character, Belinda the momma bear, in her cave home up among the evergreens, and RoseMarie and her friends decorated their Grannie’s cabin with evergreen boughs…

We have had super good luck with the weather on our hike days! And thank-you all so much again for dressing your children in appropriate warm gear. The children are really enjoying the vigorous time outdoors, and the smell and the warmth of our little campfire…

Time is flying by! Soon we will be at the turning point of the year’s cycle, and the days will start lengthening again. At school we are busy with all the preparations and special celebrations of the season. The children are getting excited as they anticipate the holidays to come.

Last week the children met our good Saint Nicholas, who gave them sweets while reminding them to use their kind words and kind deeds with each other. Six-year-olds especially need this reminder! They love each other, but they are also finding their own strength, and have been a bit quarrelsome with each other in indoor play… this is quite normal– I remind myself of the words of a favorite teacher of mine (Kim John Payne), that we mustn’t become “addicted to harmony”, since the children have opportunities to learn compromise, compassion, and resilience as they “bump up against each other” in their play. If they were good as gold at all times, we would worry, right? 🙂 They need these lessons many times throughout their school years as they grow.

Sweet Lucia , harbinger of the Light, will be visiting our classroom this coming week, and, dear parents, please remember our all-school festival of “Light, Love, and Hope” on Tuesday Dec. 19th after school (3:45). All are welcome! Please stay or return to school if you can, to see our grade-schoolers perform and bedeck our recently planted living Christmas Tree. More details will be forthcoming in the Da Vinci school newsletter.

Our last day of school on Dec. 20th will be a half day– no extended day care that day.

Sunflower Garden – Nature Table Friday, December 15, 2017
Our Advent nature table.
Sunflower Garden – Outdoor Play Friday, December 15, 2017
Our cheetahs climbing trees, playing in our magic woods, and warming by the fire.
Early Childhood Lantern Walk – Glimpses Friday, November 17, 2017
Early Childhood – Lanterns Friday, November 10, 2017

Early Childhood Lanterns – getting ready for lantern walk.

Sunflower Garden – Dear Parents Friday, November 3, 2017

Greetings, dear parents; Happy Halloween!

“Grow, grow, grow for me;
grow as big as big can be
so I may make for Halloween
the finest lantern ever seen
… … …
Gnome, gnome, good root gnome
May I take your turnip home
so I may make for Halloween
the finest lantern ever seen”
The children have enjoyed this story, with interactive singing, about a boy who wants to put a candle in his turnip. Family and friends try and try to help him pull it up from the ground… a favorite seasonal story about teamwork and permission.
We also enjoyed a little singing/movement story in circle time about a witch who doesn’t want to share her soup with anyone! Aside from the obvious moral about sharing, musically this story-song is an exploration of soft(spooky!) and LOUD! “…and the wind blew all around the house: ooo-OOO-ooo”.
We have welcomed a new student to our class; he is now our youngest “Mighty Oak” Kindergartner. Please greet him and his parents warmly when you see them!
Elizabeth Kelly
Sunflower Garden – Hike Friday, October 27, 2017

Sunflower Garden hiked to the magic woods this Friday!

Early Childhood – Outdoor Play Thursday, October 19, 2017

Enjoying the fall season!

Sunflower Garden – Theatrical Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The children creating their theatrical company during our indoor play time.

Sunflower Garden – A Note from Miss Kelly Sunday, October 8, 2017

Dear Sunflower Garden Parents,

“Oh, I wish me a galloping horse for to ride,
With a helmet of gold, and a sword at my side.
To the mountain I ride with a hey and a ho;
Against the old giant to battle I go;
Then I draw out my sword for a blow,
And I drive the old giant below!
Now, my pony, my pony, a-galloping go
Back to my home with a hey and a ho,
Where my Mother awaits me and smiles with delight,
For I bring her a basket of red apples bright.”

Themes of courage and heroism mingle with themes of homely comfort and nourishment in our circle plays, stories, and in playtime too. As the exciting Autumn winds stir us to new adventures, Mother Earth is calling her seed-children home to rest…

It was lovely to see so many of you enjoying our Harvest Festival last weekend. What glorious weather it was! We also had perfect weather for our apple-processing day on Tuesday– plenty of breeze to shoo the bees, lovely sunshine, and seasonable temperature… We peeled, cored, and chopped SO MANY apples! We will continue to enjoy our delicious applesauce with our porridge and with our granola for at least a couple more weeks.

This week in playtime the children have made so many “puppet plays” with our beautiful toys. It is delightful to see the children working together in groups to create these completely child-initiated story experiences. Yesterday, we actually had three different theater companies creating three different scenarios on three different “stages”—quite naturally it came about that the audience sat in the middle and turned around to view each play at the right time; and the players shifted into and out of audience mode so smoothly and attended so politely to each others’ stories– and the final curtain was just in time for clean-up time with perfect agreement. (Clean-ups are going pretty smoothly, too, as we are all becoming accustomed to how our room has a place for everything.) Your children are so full of imagination!

Very Warmly,
Elizabeth Kelly

Sunflower Garden – Autumn Winds Thursday, October 5, 2017

“…then there was a whistling around the wall, and a singing around the house, and with a hey and a ho, the Autumn Winds blew into the garden: ‘Arise, arise, Mother Earth’s children! Arise and dance!’ The winds were whistling and singing in branches and in bushes, and one by one, Mother Earth’s children flew into the air…”

Early Childhood – Apple Processing Day Wednesday, October 4, 2017
What a perfect day it was Tuesday for apple washing, polishing, peeling, and chopping in our Early Childhood classrooms!

Keeping little hands busy!

Early Childhood – Helping Friday, September 29, 2017

Early Childhood children are helping to sand new cutting boards for Wonder Garden.

Sunflower Garden – Autumn Nature Table Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Early Childhood – On the Playground Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Children from Apple Blossom Garden, Sunflower Garden, and Wonder Garden have enjoyed playing and exploring outside during these last hot days of the season!

Sunflower Garden – Birthdays, Ponies, Apples & Oaks Sunday, September 24, 2017

Happy Sunday, Dear Parents;

Thanks so much to our latest birthday boy’s family for attending his school birthday celebration last week. It was lovely to have you at school with us. The Sunflowers now have two six-year olds, and we have several more birthdays to come in the near future.

In our circle time, we have left the bees and have been riding our ponies out to the orchard—there are many things to see along the way! And, we are enjoying gathering apples into our (imaginary) baskets and bringing them home (of course pony gets one to munch in thanks for our day’s ride…)

Trot, trot, trot;
Go and never stop!
Trot along my little pony,
Where it’s steep and where it’s stony;
Trot trot trot trot trot;
Now it’s time to stop! (whoa, ponies!)
Our Early Childhood team has decided to put off our annual apple processing day (when we’ll peel, core, and cut as many apples as we have on hand, outdoors in the morning—and make delicious applesauce inside in our classroom). We will wait a few more days for more autumnal weather (please?). We are hoping to do our apple processing on Tuesday Oct 3rd.


I know a gnome who has his home
Right in the middle of an oak tree.
He wears a hat
And breeches that
Are all of the color of the oak tree.
Two squirrels live above his head
A family of rabbits beneath his bed
I keep them warm and safe, he said
All in the shelter of my oak tree.
It is a delight to work and play with these little and big Sunflowers!
Elizabeth Kelly
Sunflower Garden – Welcome Sunday, September 10, 2017

“The earth is firm beneath my feet,
the sun shines bright above;
And here stand I so straight and strong,
all things to know and love.

Kind hearts are gardens>
Kind thoughts are roots
Kind words are flowers
Kind deeds are fruits”

What a sweet class of children! They have made a very good start to our school year. Thank-you all so much for your patience with misplaced jackets (we found them both!), helping us get used to picking up children from the bus, bringing food for our bounteous school picnic, and for all your parental care and guidance this past week!

The children are getting to know a new classroom, and are falling easily into new and old routines. They are also getting to know new classmates, and greeting old classmates anew. I can see the beginnings of some firm friendships as the children feel what they share in common, and what excites them about each other. They are wonderful story-listeners, and such quick, agile and musical circle-time learners!

Our circle time imagination has been a story of Honey-bee, who visits three very different flowers, and tells each one a secret — which fruit each will become, with help from the bee, and the sun’s magic power.

“Inside the hive a treasure is made
Inside the honeycomb, honey is laid.
Inside the hive it is dark as night
Where bees make honey
From sun’s golden light.”

The children are playing with great verve and enthusiasm, both indoors and out. We had our first beeswax modeling and woodworking days, and this coming week we will begin painting, baking, and more… They seem to be enjoying their snacks (I only heard one “I don’t like it”!), and our transition times are very smooth considering it’s our first week.

Elizabeth Kelly

In the Classroom Monday, September 4, 2017

In the Classroom

Follow each class through the school year. Visit often to enjoy photos and information about curriculum, field trips, exciting happenings, special moments, celebrations and more.

Stay tuned—this year’s  journey begins September 5th!