Thanks to all of you for supporting these first two weeks of me back in the classroom. All is going well, and I thank you. Keep reinforcing good manners at home… “I want…” is an expression I would love to banish from our garden. “May I please…” is so much finer. I have come to say, “There is no ‘I want’ crying in the Sunflower Garden.” Please reinforce this at home by listening for and expecting words like please, thank you, no thank you, I’m sorry, and you’re welcome. Thanks!
This week we did an outdoor obstacle course on Monday, which will be our Monday tradition. It involves hanging from a high bar and dropping (holding up and catching one’s own weight), going across monkey bars, balancing on stumps, climbing, sliding and skipping. Some Might Oaks need to work on monkey bars and skipping, so have some fun at home!
These past eight days of school have been all about our work and daily rhythm. We’ve had lots of reverent moments and joyful, giggly ones as we painted, hiked, grinded grain, modeled beeswax, churned cream into butter, and made bread and soup. The children have been great about pitching in to clean up the room after play time and transitioning to the next activity. The 3 R’s of early childhood: rhythm, repetition, and reverence! The children have very much enjoyed the African tale I’ve been telling “Akimba and the Magic Cow.”
Mighty Oak 6 year old activities for home: jumping rope, using scissors to cut, tying bows/shoes, finger-knitting, monkey bars, skipping, and playing rhyming games, and doing CHORES. Please get your Mighty Oak at least one pair of shoes that must be tied and work on this skill. There are YouTube videos for you to reference for ideas to teach shoe tying (note that the videos are for you, not for your child). Any imagination of butterfly wings or bunny ears will do. These are all skills that show a readiness in fine motor and gross motor activity…ability and command of one’s movements.
Donation~ I am seeking a few simple, small, stackable tea cups with no handles that can be used in the classroom for sip and sup in the event a water bottle is left at home. Thanks.
Happy Snow Weekend, dear families!
Trees are bareeverywheresnow is deep and skies are grey,but one birdcan be heardon the coldest day.Ask his name and he’ll reply,cocking up a roguish eye:“Chickadee, chickadee, chick-a-dee,chickadee-dee-dee-dee”
Extended Day begins after our regular early childhood classes end and takes place from 12:30-3:30p.m., now Monday – Friday in both Apple Blossom Garden and Sunflower Garden classrooms. Wonder Garden children will be will be divided between these two classrooms if they stay for Extended Day.
Extended Day families are welcome to order hot lunch from our lunch program or send your own healthy and balanced lunch from home. During Extended Day the children have lunch, hear a story, enjoy a relaxing lavender foot bath, and take a nice rest. Children should bring two small blankets and a small pillow. A cot is provided.
Please contact the office or your child’s teacher for more information or to sign up!
Greetings, dear parents,
The Sunflower children have enjoyed their outdoor play this past week, from snow to thaw. It was a joy to watch them sledding down our little hill until the snow had turned to slippery ice, and then– to MUD! It was a nice warmish day Friday for our hike, and we had a lovely time in the woods.
In indoor play there have been many Kings and Queens, and little mommies too, taking care of the babies. We continued with the story of Mother Holle. There have been lots of good helpers with setting the table and preparing snacks. We painted with red last week and will do so again this week– we are getting ready for Valentine’s day in a couple of weeks.
Valentine’s day (Feb 14th) is on a Wednesday and it happens that this will also be a birthday celebration, so it will be a very special day indeed. We will be making “heart pockets” the week before, to collect each child’s valentines, and, dear parents, you are asked to make at home with your child a very simple (and not too large either) valentine for each classmate. Please bring 15 all identical to avoid hurt feelings and to ease the distribution. No candy, please!
Also please keep in mind the upcoming parent night on Tuesday Feb 6th!
Peace and blessings,
Greetings, dear Sunflower Garden Parents,
Old King Winter came out to play,
and he said ‘I’m gonna make it a very cold day’
So, he blew to the South (whooooo)
to the East (whooooo)
to the West (whooooo)
but when he blew to the North (WHOOOO)
he said ‘that’s the best!
cause the old North Wind is my very best friend,
and when we play I’m gonna make it a very very very
Cold Day!’ (Brrrrrr!)
The Sunflower children have been having such a good time with our wonderful snow this week! Some of our friends have been out sick and we are wishing them speedy recoveries. We are getting to know our new assistant teacher, Ms. Tuly. We have been hearing the story of “Mother Hulda” from the Brothers Grimm. She lives in a land at the bottom of a well, but when she shakes up her featherbed– the snow flies on the Earth.
Today it warmed up so beautifully for our hike! Tromping through the snow is great fun, but more strenuous than un-snowy hiking for sure. The children did lots of climbing in the woods, and it was interesting to have a campfire in the snow.
We will have a parent night on Feb 6th at 7pm. We’ll spend an hour together in our classroom, then we’ll join the Apple Blossom parents for a presentation by Ms. Fiskum, the first grade teacher, about Da Vinci’s grades program.
Greetings, dear parents,
Look out! Look out!Jack Frost is about.He’s after our fingers and toes!And all through the nightthe dear little spriteis working where nobody knows.He’ll climb each tree,so nimble is he, his silvery powder he’ll shake;and then while we’re asleepto the window he’ll creep,and such wonderful pictures he’ll make.Around the town, with a leap and a bound,he’ll change every color to white!And then home he will go, and he’ll laugh “Ho, ho, ho!–Such fun I have had in the night!”
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.
Greetings, dear parents; Happy Halloween!
“Grow, grow, grow for me;grow as big as big can beso I may make for Halloweenthe finest lantern ever seen… … …Gnome, gnome, good root gnomeMay I take your turnip homeso I may make for Halloweenthe finest lantern ever seen”
Enjoying the fall season!
The children creating their theatrical company during our indoor play time.
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!
“…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…”
Children from Apple Blossom Garden, Sunflower Garden, and Wonder Garden have enjoyed playing and exploring outside during these last hot days of the season!
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!)
I know a gnome who has his homeRight in the middle of an oak tree.He wears a hatAnd breeches thatAre all of the color of the oak tree.Two squirrels live above his headA family of rabbits beneath his bedI keep them warm and safe, he saidAll in the shelter of my oak tree.
“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.
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.