Thursday, March 22, 2018

March 2018 Newsletter

Klahanie School
March 2018 Newsletter

Transitions are almost always signs of growth, but they can bring feelings of loss.  To get somewhere new, we may have to leave somewhere else behind.

~Fred Rogers, Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers

February 2018 Reflection

What a wonderfully swift and rich month with your families and children and what transitions to new growths we are honored to witness.  Thank you for all the time and care devoted to making the Valentines and sharing them with children and Teachers.  Our class experienced wonderful opportunities to continue our Inclusion practice.  When a friend approaches saying “Can I play with you?” our Klahanie practice response, “Sure, we’ll figure something out.  We are playing…..” and the children let the friend joining know what the play or lesson is or say “No thank you, I am having alone time.  Maybe later and thanks.”  Our Teacher opportunity is to facilitate gentle reminders about the words used and walk around helping mediate when needed inside and outside the classroom.  Our garden outside time and classroom exploration has developed amazing partnership games, group games and those seeking a bit of quiet time.  The flow and balance has been amazing to witness.  Our class has entered into a normalized classroom, Montessori name for the time when the class flow is effortless, smooth, kind and quiet.  Lessons are between teacher and child (two most) and only speaking with intermittent repeats from children while we teachers offer new vocabulary and communication practice.  We are now ready for some big fun.  This is a meaningful time in class when we all really feel the impression of connection and empowerment.  These words become sensory meaning and the children are so kind to one another as a result.  

Fantastic quote of March between a five year old girl and five year old boy snuggled on our library pillow looking over the child biography of Sally Reed, the first American female astronaut at age 32.

M: Can you believe people thought women were not smart?!  
C: I know.  Look at Me.  So silly.
M: Ya look at You!  
C: Ya.

Thank you parents for continuing to communicate inquiries about your child’s school time and support with home experiences.  We are so thankful for the opportunity to explore beside your child!  Jordan highlighted the wonders of this job as, “you really see the changes in people, quickly.”  We are honored to honor such delightful humans.  As we giggle and place respect, this becomes our own imprint on this earth.  We all are organisms, mammals.  We share and hear story.  And with that, our morning circles have become Circles with candle, talking rock or stick and exploration of listening and empathy creation following morning greeting of songs and movement/dance.  All your children seek to participate either with listen-and-speak or listen-and-listen.  We share space and honor our elements each circle, close physically as we share space (blow candle out) and have a bit of group lesson introduction.  Ending circle Jordan leads us in Spanish songs, lessons and stories.  We all LOVE this time!

I re-found this quote I enjoy and believe we replicate at Klahanie School,

In the middle of the Pacific, Hawaii is just a dot.  And we live close together in this small spot.  With all our diversity, how do we live together peacefully?  
Hawaiian culture & tradition play a big part.  Living with aloha means giving from the heart.  It is a gesture of aloha to give a flower lei.  Showing kindness is the aloha way.
On these islands that are so small, the Hawaiian people made room for them all.
Hawaiian culture tells us: Honor our elders, our kupuna.  Our kupuna give us guidance and affection.
Dr. Carolan & Joanna Carolan, A President from Hawaii

Spring:  Review of seasons and loads of observation and sensory exploration 
The Structure and importance of Mycelium and Fungi: 
“Fungi are specialized eukaryotes that can break down very complex structures in nature. They have cell walls rich in chitin (the hard material found in the exoskeleton of insects) and utilize asexual reproduction through spore release. These spores have the ability to turn into mycelium.”  Mycelium can then create fruiting bodies, known as mushrooms. Mycelium come in many sizes, from very tiny to as large as a forest and are made up of rigid cell walls, allowing them to move through soil or other environments that require extra protection. Under a microscope, mycelium can look like little deciduous trees in the winter.
Puppet Show: the group requested to create a puppet show making puppets, the set and writing the play.  We will keep you posted on material needs and when the show will take place!  
Starting to talk about our Peace Pole.  We will put this pole up in April and have a May-Spring honoring.  Please start collecting colorful long ribbons to donate.  
Wood-working, this will go on until the end of the school year

Reminders/Thank You
March Spring conferences: Monday March 19-Wednesday March 21 (please refer to our google doc form to sign up)
April 1 is enrollment submission for Summer Session
Enrollment open, thank you for spreading the word as we fill a couple of spots
Thank you for the Play-dough donations!
Please let Emmy know about help establish calendar for remainder of school year for KVI field-trips

Island Community Developments: 
Klahanie School has been host space for Vashon Maury Teen Talking Circle honoring the Feminine, our Circles will begin to include a bi-weekly 3rd-5th grade Circle after school on along with the Teen Circle on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday and Thursdays of each month.  If you know of any individuals who identify as female who might be interested for 2018-19 school year please give them our school’s contact information.  

If you seek to be involved in the ever growing work of youth empowerment and peace and empathy education extensions as a Mentor and community outreach person, please contact the school.  Thank you!

Be the change you wish to see in the world.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

February 2018 Newsletter

Klahanie School
February 2018 Newsletter
January 2017 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

“Can you read about, her, this lady?  I love her so much.”  ~ Calyx at circle asking to read about First Lady Michelle Obama.
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 new friend Arthur to our class.  Welcome Arthur Perley-Williams and family!  Coming back together celebrating togetherness and re-establishing connection and friend dynamics through dramatic play and garden adventures have been the core of our work this month while also sprinkling in our normal class lessons and fun.  We sang in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday full of joy and excitement.  We also dived in the world of islands, archipelagos  and created many amazing art projects.  Thank you parents for your wonderful check-ins and inquiries this month. All your children have shown tremendous levels of kindness and focus of helping self, friends and environment. This is a very sugar coated, sweet group of children!  We fully experience the following as a wonderment of being together and forming meaning of connection as a group.  

In the practice of compassionate listening, you listen with only one purpose: to give the other person a chance to speak out and suffer less.  Practice breathing in and out deeply and concentrate on what you are hearing.  While the other person speaks, they may express bitterness, wrong perceptions, or make accusations.  If you allow these things to touch off the anger in you, then you lose your capacity to listen deeply.  Listening with mindfulness helps you keep your compassion alive.  It protects you, and your anger will not be triggered.  Even fifteen minutes of listening like this can be very healing and can bring a lot of relief to another.  You may be the first person who has ever listened to him or her like that.  
~How To Love, Thich Nhat Hanh

February 2018 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.  We sincerely witness the following on levels of profound authenticity and honoring.  Your children are magnificent and we humbly offer love and joy while they exercise self in this big and amazing world.  We feel honored to fill up their HOPE and Dreams.

There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind.
The second way is to be kind.
The third way is to be kind.
~Fred Rogers

We will begin study exploration of
  • Love: exploring this powerful emotion and how we show love to self and others.  This will incorporate arts, movement, spoken word, songs and poetry.
  • Chinese New Year (February 16-March 2nd)-- year of the Dog.   We will make our dragon again and have a Chinese New Year: Year of the Dog parade
  • Valentines: Wednesday the 14th we will exchange Valentines (Teachers will help parents distribute Valentines in name labeled bags in tent).  We plan to cook a pancake meal (fruit compote, chop almonds and whole butter) and sing, 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.
  • Winter Birds
  • Poetry

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”
Reminders/Thank You
  • Winter Break No School: Feb 19-23
  • Thank you Jen Keller and Jordan Beck for the playdough and all the parents who volunteered to help when teacher Jordan was out sick!
  • Valentines: help your child make a valentine for each classmate
Names of Classmates (please note: this our total school enrollment.  Not all children are present every school day)

  • Valentines Date Night Parents!  Harbor School is hosting an 8th Grade babysitting night ($30 for night, $10 an hour) to help raise money for their Costa Rica trip!  Contact Harbor School to reserve your spot!  

  • March 1 Re-Enrollment Due--please email or call questions asap as both teachers will be using February for family time and planning away time.  Thank you and cannot wait to begin another chapter to unfold as our school continues collaboration with so many to find sustainable peace spaces for our youth.  

Happy Love to you All!

Monday, January 1, 2018

January 2018 Newsletter

Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Klahanie School
January 2018 Newsletter
December 2017 Reflection
Happy New Year!  We hope you and your family experienced a joyful holiday season.  We are excited to venture into the New Year with intention and care to reacquaint your child back to the classroom community and experiences and welcome a new friend Arthur Perley-Williams and family to our school community!

January 2018 Curriculum Topics
Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Along with revisiting our daily routine we will begin to focus our attention and circle-time lessons on Martin Luther King Jr.  MLK is the first of many Peacemakers we will study from around the world.  We begin the discussion of civil rights using age appropriate and relatable-fictionalized stories along with open-ended questions the children can identify with.  I also like to continue incorporating examples and role-playing of classroom community issues to assist the children in finding greater practice and understanding of human rights, empathy and compassion development through listening and sharing.

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do keep moving forward.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

To celebrate MLK day we will make personalized “I have a dream” clouds for all children who want to participate.  The clouds state what the child’s dreams are for the future of selves, family, community, world and imagination.  These clouds will be hung in the classroom.  We will also make MLK posters and have a Peace March on Thursday Jan 16th we chant:

“Martin Luther King was a mighty, mighty man and a mighty, mighty man was he.  He worked for peace, he worked for love, and he worked for harmony!”

While celebrating diversity we will begin making self-portraits.  Each child will have the opportunity to observe his/her features in a mirror then with the assistance of an adult, create a self-portrait that will be displayed in the class until the end of the school year.  When you come to visit our classroom have fun finding your child!  Thank you Katrina Lindgren for offering to help in class on this wonderful project. 

January and February we will be introducing different musicians, authors/poets and artists that have had important roles in using his/her art as a tool for looking for answers to world injustices.
“A simple and exhilarating truth: music and open, honest, human-to-human communication can shift ideologies and create meaningful change” (Lee Hirsch).

Two artists we will celebrate during January will be Pete Seeger and the Staples.  These musicians actively took the messages of MLK to the next level for bringing awareness of civil peace and equality in their own communities and beyond.

This unit study is close to my heart for it stimulates the children to look deeply and proudly at ways they themselves are peacemakers.  I look forward to hearing your home observations of family conversations and questions asked by your child while we study Martin Luther King Jr. and extended Peacemakers.  Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns, I am happy to listen and make time.

We will also begin study of
·      Atlantic and Pacific archipelagos
·      Pacific Northwest beavers and their vital importance in our ecosystem
·      Winter birds
·      Snowflakes, clouds, differing forms of water
·      Human bodies: our senses

February you will receive your re-enrollment packet for 2018-19 school year and March 1, 2018 deadline.  February you will also receive your last week of March spring conference signup options.  Our school does offer a Kindergarten year and some added options will become available for the 2018-19 school year, all listed in your re-enrollment packet.  Please feel free to contact Emmy to answer any questions you may have, happy to take time.

Reminders/Thank You
·      No School Monday January 15, MLK remembrance
·      Thursday January 16, classroom Peace March (wear rainbow colors!)
·      Thank you for the sweet Holiday Gifts from families to Teachers, such kindness!
·      Cold & Wet Days!  Please & thank you for remembering to layer your child in warm clothes as well sweatshirts and pants (sweatpant-ish pants work great!).  Our outside schedule remains the same.  Please also pack extra socks (can be mismatched): socks are great mitten substitutes when needed as well as extra cozy pants and rain pants if have them. 

·      Thank you Jordan and Jen Keller for the Play-dough!

Monday, December 4, 2017

December 2017 Newsletter

Klahanie School
December 2017 Newsletter
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

November 2017 Reflection
Your children thoroughly enjoyed the meal making and enjoying as a class.  Our great joy offering them the food that they made with such pride!  We have had a warm and loving month and missed many as illnesses and travels made our classes a bit more intimate.  The very wet periods of time have allowed us to practice more for the winter months and putting on layers, making this part of our class routine.  We have a lot of fun making up songs for possible added transitions.  Songs and oral stories have remained a great joy as well as Jordan’s masterful Spanish language practice and introductions.  Thank you all for a loving month!

December 2017 Curriculum Topics
“In the wilderness is the preservation of the world.”
Henry David Thoreau

Our short month together we spend smelling, story sharing and exploring the celebration of approaching winter and time with those we love and those we know deeply care about us.  We celebrate as a class the gratitude we have for sharing a space together in such a meaningful way, learning and loving.  Thank you parents and extended Klahanie School families for the support of our daily moments of witnessing your child expand her/his observation and exploration of this earth we feel and express individually and where we share space and living.  We educators feel so fortunate to share this pure joy of youth support with such a powerfully peaceful and welcoming group of humanity, thank you and a peaceful New Year to all.  Inspiring!  Muchas gracias!  Mahalo!  

This month we will have fun learning more about and practicing: 
·      Grace and courtesy practice and fun role playing of lining up for airplanes, sitting long periods in vehicles and acting out packing for the trips.  December through the remaining school year we as a class will do ample story acting (even beginning script/play writing), movement and singing/dancing.  
·      Winter Solstice and Festivals of Light
·      Horses, sheep and winter months.  We are felting daily in class and Jordan is diving us in the very fun world of sewing and weaving!  Muchas gracias Jordan!  
·      Eagles: we have a family across the street and they talk and sing in the neighborhood most mornings. 
·      Baking: class-made (possibly a pieto share together, week before holiday break.

Reminders/Thank You
·      Cold Days!  Please & thank you for remembering to layer your child in warm clothes, our schedule remains the same of 1.5-2hrs outside daily.  Please pack lots of extra socks (can be mismatched): socks are great mitten substitutes when needed!  You are welcome to bring children in PJs if they like and a full backpack of layering, warm/cozy clothes.
·      Thank you Jen Keller for the Play-dough! 
·      Teacher Emmy’s father-in-law is from Glasgow and the family is venturing back to Islay (where Alex’s grandmother was from) this summer and seeking to have some time visiting some pre-primary schools there and begin setting up possible pen-pal opportunities with other island schools around the world.  If you are interested in helping research spaces and contacts, please contact Emmy.  
·      Please help this Holiday Season & Donate a New Toy(s) & Books and warm coats, footwear to a local Holiday Toy Drive for children in need
·      Happy Holiday Break   No School: December 18-January 1

Peace and Joy to you and all you love,

Emmy and Jordan

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

November Newsletter 2017

Klahanie School
November 2017 Newsletter
Thanks a lot,
  Thanks for Sun in the sky.
Thanks a lot,
 Thanks for clouds so high.
Thanks a lot,
 Thanks for whispering wind.
Thanks a lot,
 Thanks for the birds in the spring.
Thanks a lot,
 Thanks for the moonlit night.
Thanks a lot,
 Thanks for the stars so bright.
Thanks a lot,
 Thanks for the wondering me.
Thanks a lot,
 Thanks for the way I feel.
Thanks for the animals,
 Thanks for the land,
 Thanks for the people everywhere.
Thanks a lot,
 Thanks for all I've got.
 Thanks for all I've got.


October 2017 Reflection
Thank you parents and children for such wonderful conferences, what fun sharing about your children!   As shared during conferences, your children makeup a warm and inviting group.  The leaves are changing and the rain has re-emerged, autumn is fully here.  Thank you parents for dressing your kids so weather ready with warm layers and easy to slip on boots!  Thank you also for practicing with your child at home ways to put clothing and coats on independently.  We use the following technique at school:

“You put your tag by your toes, hands in the holes and your flip it” flipping the coat on by laying coat upside down by child’s toes.

Drop off has been a benefit witnessed by teachers when children are greeted by their school day with independence and feelings of pride entering the classroom.  The experience has manifested from our teachers hopes, the day begins and ends focused on the children and they sincerely show the joy from that.  They enter class with smiles and ease, ready to help sing or talk about animals we are interested in or even making a tent with our class parachute.   Now that the routine is well established please feel when you feel your child is ready, to walk your child to the door (maintaining all parent conversations in the cozy tentJ) to take a peek on our powerful circle of love and connection. 

We have been talking about how our rain gear acts as our own personal tent when in the weather elements.  Inside and outside the children are exploring new friendships and with that we are able to support the natural and normal relationship dynamics playing out and figuring out how to open our listening ears and learning to speak from the heart, and what defines a kind leader.  I am taking a lot of time to help the children figure out joyful ways to connect with friends and introducing mediation “holding our concentration” complimented with movement stories.   There is a great amount of kindness offered and received during class daily.  The main focus I leave them with is how kind they are.  We explore together that kindness and gratitude will lead to a joyful life on earth and possibility greater connection with others and earth.  We continue to build our empathy development with inquiry and listening along with important grace and courtesy response to friends’ questions and actions. 

“Dad believes that the things of nature are a gift.  And that in return, we must give something back.  We must give thanks…..
To me, it’s a little embarrassing to say thanks to trees and things.  But Dad says it becomes a habit; it makes you feel good.  ‘Thank you, stars,’ I say as we near home.  And the stars come out, one by one, as if from hiding.”
Giving Thanks by Jonathan London

November Curriculum Topics
Day of the Dead, Dia de Muretos (Oct 31-November 2) art and inspirations from the honoring and remembrance of family
·      Salmon: amazing life cycle journey, Pacific Northwest salmon and habitats.  This is a very dear unit to me and we read some amazing books and poetry about the salmon’s inspiring life. 
·      Giving Thanks: exploring ways to express our thanks to those we love and the earth.  Before our Thanksgiving break we will make a meal as a class over a couple of days, set our table, sing a Thank You song and eat our class made meal together.  The meal will be applesauce (pealed cooked by the children, a bit of honey added), smoked salmon and corn bread (made by the class).
o   Thank you song: “Thank you for the food we eat.  Thank you for the friends we greet.  Thank you for the birds that sing.  Thank you, thank you for everything.”

·      Orcas: Like Salmon, we are very honored as an island community to be able to observe first hand the Orca migration led by Grandma, the matriarch of the Puget Sound J pod.  We will learn about Orcas and compare our native whale activity to those surrounding Scotland’s archipelago Inner Hebrides. 
·      Turkeys: parts of the turkey and behaviors, get ready for some funny words coming home! 
Ara Lee, Juniper's mom and musician/teacher, will come in the first Wednesday of the months to introduce our class to music!

Reminders/Thank You
Thank you Jordan Beck-Vroom for your amazing teaching talents in class, your time offered for Spanish lessons and daily practice and loving patience with children and co-teacher colleague!  Thank you Klahanie School parents for your participation creating a beautiful school vibe of friendliness and kindness.  And thank you for helping create a fun and memorable Pie Auction fundraising event, the school made $3406.00 for scholarships next year and we could not have accomplished this without MC and evening Chef, Jeff Miller and organizers Colleen Miller, Jen Keller and Jordan Vroom.  Such a fun evening! 

·      No School: Thanksgiving, Thursday 23th