Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 2016 Newsletter

Klahanie School
May 2016 Newsletter

I’m not saying we need to save the trees.  I’m saying that we need to not overlook their capacity to save us.  Put it in your yard and watch it for a while.  And pick it carefully because it’s hard to get a tree going.  You know if every seed turned into a plant, we’d be living in a very different world.  So choose well and open your eyes to give it everything.
Hope Jahren, NPR interview April 29th, 2016 “Lab Girl”
April 2016 Reflection
Our class has leaped into the spring with enthusiasm and creativity in imaginative play and classroom material exploration as well as amazing recycle art projects.  Please check out our school’s Facebook page and blog for wonderful pictures of the recycle art creations children appeared to thoroughly enjoy this month, expanding wonderful creativity with the materials.  The garden has taken new shape and inspired creativity in exploring play in the space as well as respect for the garden, hosting habitat to many insects, arachnids, oligochaeta (worms) and birds.  We began planting seeds and discussion of plant life cycle and plant care.  With the increase of imaginative role-playing during garden time we will be introducing more performance encouragement on the garden stage. 

Ending our month of Earth focus, I encourage many of you to listen to Hope Jahren’s NPR interview from last Friday April 29th as well as look into her recently published memoir “Lab Girl” focused on her geobiologist quest described in a deeply poetic way.  I found her study and focus of botany deeply inspiring.  Another fun find was Time magazine’s focus “The Science of Siblings” with some interesting articles and research focused on the inner workings of children within families of varying topic exploration.

May Curriculum Topics

Ten little eggs all in a mound.
Out they will crawl, crawling around.
And then they will sleep and we know why, out they emerge as butterflies.
Butterfly, butterfly what lovely wings.
Flutter by, flutter by how my heart sings.
Butterfly, butterfly I’d like to know, when it rains, when it rains where do you go?

We all have different gifts, so we all have different ways of saying to the world who we are.
Fred Rogers

·      Butterfly life cycle and habitat: egg, larva (caterpillar), chrysalis (pupa), butterfly.  Our painted lady butterfly larva is on display observation of the life cycle in class until ready for release.
·      Moms!  Amazing moms and how we show love to our Mamas as well as May Day celebration!
·      Amphibians: the amazing world of amphibians and habitats.
·      Insects: what is an insect, why are insects important and habitats.
·      Woodworking and sewing projects.
·      Self Portraits: self-portrait paintings.  These treasures will be on display in class until the end of school. 
·      Friends, Our Neighbors creating empathy development fun: what makes a friend and using Compassionate Listening models as foundation to practice listening games and role playing during circle time.  We will make Talking-Listening Sticks to bring home for family time (taking turns holding the Talking stick to speak and listen.  Each family member taking turns and repeating back facts, emotions/feelings, values).   
·      Thank you Klahanie School families for your scholarship raffle donations!  May 5th is the drawing! 

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.  The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward.  When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.
·       - Karl Menninger

Reminders, Thank-Yous, Dates to Save & Changes
·      Thank you & Reminder: May 5th is our scholarship fundraiser raffle drawing, thank you for your donations, time-organizing and support! 
·      Thank you for the play dough donations!

·      Thank you for spreading the word for next year enrollment!  Would be great to enroll two four-to-five year old children to balance out our multi-age class ratios

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 2016 Newsletter

Klahanie School
April 2016 Newsletter

“It’s the little things citizens do.  That’s what will make the difference.  My little thing is planting trees.”
Dr.Wangari Maathai

March 2016 Reflection
Happy Spring!
Thank you for fantastic parent conferences, this is such a value to my work with your amazing children and welcome and thank you for the continued communication.  And it is fun to share the joys and stories.  Imaginative play has increased to a fun level and everyone is in full, festive spring swing!

April Curriculum Topics
Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space.  Every one of s is a part of this jewel; and, in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal.  We are intimately related.  May we never even pretend that we are not. 
Fred Rogers, Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers

·      Peace Maker Dr. Wangari Maathai: I was honored to listen to Dr. Maathai when she visited Seattle over a decade ago.  She is my favorite Peace Maker to share with the children.  Using a fictional story I wrote and orally tell during circle, I will share Dr.Maathai’s life mission for the earth, women and children of Kenya and beyond.  I welcome you to look up her work  Each Earth Month our class plants seeds and a tree with the children in honor of her vital work.  She is dearly missed.
·      Earth Month, solar system creation and recycle Art: We will be using the wonderful recycle materials from Tinker Topia in Tacoma ( to create Art pieces as well as plant some seeds and tree in honor of our earth and Dr. Maathai.
·      Talking Sticks:  branching off our talking rock we use during circle time, we will make talking sticks for the children take home that can be used during family speaking/listening time. 
·      Parts of a Plant/Flower: seed, roots, stem, corolla, pistil, stamen, nectar and pollen.  During the month of April we will be planting seeds and working in the soil most of the month.  Thank you for dressing your children in cloths you do not care getting home muddy or paint on.  All paints are washable.
·      Life Cycles of Butterflies:  Yearly we hatch Painted Lady butterflies to the garden, we will be observing the cycle of the butterfly as well as art and science projects opportunities surrounding this fun unit.
·      Sewing/weaving, Wood-working and Food Preparation opportunities
·      Outside Painting and large science projects (solar system and nature plus recycle collage).  The last week of the month we will be acting out our solar system and sing some earth songs in the garden Thursday and Friday.

Reminders/Thank You
·      Spring Break   No school April 11th-15th

·      Thank you for turning in summer session contract.  Dates are July 18-22, 25-29 and August 1-5.  This is open to current, future and alumni entering Kindergarten. 

·      Thank you, Thank you Jordan Beck for organizing the Klahanie Scholarship Fundraiser and all the family donations!   Check your emails for the raffle flyer to distribute.  Tickets can be purchased through, drawing will be May 5th. 

·      Thank you Sara Bennett and Elizabeth Shaw for the play-dough

·      Thank you families for all the transportation volunteering and meals to families going through life experiences that need a little help.  This is a community, thank you all so much. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

March 2016 Newsletter

Klahanie School
March 2016 Newsletter
The Pasture
I’m going out to clean the pasture spring;
I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I shan’t be gone long.—You come too.

I’m going out to fetch the little calf
That’s standing by the mother.  Its’ so young
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shan’t be gone long.—You come too.

-Robert Frost

February Reflection

 The Aloha Spirit Law of the Hawaii Revised Statutes
The Aloha Spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person.  It brings each person to the Self.  Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.  In the contemplation and presence of the life force.  Aloha, the following unuhi laula loa (free translation) may be used:

A  Akahai, meaning kindness, to be expressed with tenderness
L  Lokahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony
O  Olu’olu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness
H  Ha’aha’a, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty
A  Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance
Aloha means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. 

Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. 

Aloha means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
By Pilahi Paki (1910-1985)

February was a very connected and sweet month for our class.  The children welcomed our friend Charlotte to class and continue to nurture her adjustment to school for the first time.  This shared experience has offered deep levels of empathy and sympathy development for all your children. 

Everyone has enjoyed our island projects and this will continue for March.  More and more children are exploring longer periods of concentration and exploration of more advanced lessons and projects.  A very fun time indeed! 
March Curriculum Topics
·      Finishing up Hawaii and Scotland’s Inner Hebrides and all the wonders of these rich islands.  Kaua’i (the Garden Isle) and Islay, Scotland will be a main focus for the age of the islands and how they were created from the big W’s: water, wind, wings as well as Hawaiian vocabulary and focus on the Aloha Spirit and how we Vashon islanders strive too kokua (help, aid, assist, support) a similar spirit. 
·      Home: what does home mean to each of the children.  We will make some house posters for the children to express in words and art how they feel about Home. 
·      Introduction to Human Body study ( is a great site for the human body systems).  In class we will take a basic look at the skeletal, muscular and digestive systems. 
·      Water: why our earth and bodies need water and fun exercises to learn about water conservation in our own backyards.
·      Reading introduction to writings of Robert Frost and Beatrix Potter (as well as her artwork) and introducing nature observation and inspiration and writing poetry for children interested.

Reminders, Thank-Yous, Dates to Save & Changes
·      Parent Conference sign-up sheet for March 28, 29 and 30th is on top of cubbies
·      Klahanie re-enrollment for 2016-17 school year is due Friday March 4th
·      Play dough volunteer? 
·      Thank you for supplying your child with easy to open snack/lunch and backpacks with rain gear and warm coat, water bottle, full set of extra change of clothes and warm layers (either on child or inside backpack: sweatshirts and hoodies work great!).
·      Thank you for keeping up on head checks on your children.  The lice preventative research Jordan offered us this autumn is on our school blog under Parent Resources  Thank you also for keeping children home when sick or in discomfort when healing from an illness. 

·      Thank you for your participation in the upcoming Scholarship Fundraiser gift basket!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February 2016 Newsletter

Klahanie School
February 2016 Newsletter
January 2016 Reflection
 Hawaiian Poem: Peacemaker (To make Peace)
Ua kuikahi ke aupuni e haawi e paa I ka lima ke kuike e mamua o ka olelo – alohaloha ua kuikahi ke aupuni  ~ To unite as one and make peace you must give your hands up in agreement that you will ‘try’ to understand one another, speak kindly, entreat gently and go with love, yes, in order to unite as one and make peace
 ~Bonnie Flach, English Translation

Brothers: Older brother asked to bring younger baby brother in as sharing

Self Portraits

Thank you parents that attended the Curriculum night, I found the experience incredibly delightful and fun to share with you.  I found sharing more about your child’s classroom experience and time to listen and respond to parent questions very grounding and fun experience, thank you. 

“Can you tell us more about that lady on the bus so we can play her outside?” ~ Julip at circle asking about Rosa Parks.

January brought us amazing levels of connection, reflection and presence.  With the solid base of this unified group making peace everyday within themselves and in friendships, we were able to welcome two new friends to our class.  Welcome Grayson Moncrief and Charlotte Sordenstone and families!  All your children have shown tremendous levels of kindness and focus of helping by working consistently on listening games and more story time with Renee when I need to be available for children having an emotional time transitioning to school from parent. 

This is a very sugar coated, sweet group of children!

February Curriculum Topics
I wonder what memories of yours will persist as you go on in life.  My hunch is that the most important will have to do with feelings of loving and being loved—family, friends, teachers, shopkeepers—whoever’s been close to you.  As you continue to grow, you’ll find many ways of expressing your love and you’ll discover more and more ways in which others express their love for you.
~Fred Rogers, Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way

This is a busy, full and wonderful month we will share together in class.  More hiking opportunities will be shared weekly or bi-weekly for the 1:30pm class.  If your child has a birthday this month and you would like to do a little honoring in class, please let me know. 

We will begin study exploration of
·      Finishing up Pacific Northwest beavers, their amazing family structure and vital importance in our ecosystem.
·      Love: exploring this powerful emotion and how we show love to self and others.  This will incorporate arts, movement, spoken word, songs and poetry. 
·      February 8th Chinese New Year!  We will make our dragon again and have a Chinese New Year: Year of the Monkey parade Thursday February 11th along with our Valentines sing-a-long in the garden at 11:30am.  Parent participation welcome! 
·      Valentines: Thursday 11th and Friday 12th we will exchange Valentines (Renee will help parents distribute Valentines in name labeled envelopes inside cubbies).  We will share a healthy treat we make in class and sing and recite Valentine songs and poems.
·      Hawaii islands and Inner Hebrides, Scotland beginning exploration of similarities and differences and the native languages of these remote islands. 

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”

Reminders/Thank You
·      Winter Break: Feb 15-19, no school

·      Thank you Sara Bennett for the one-on-one time with the kids for self-portraits!

·      Valentines: help your child make a valentine for each classmate for our little Valentine celebration-Chinese New Year Thursday 11th