Monday, May 4, 2015

May 2015 Newsletter

Klahanie School
May 2015 Newsletter

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
April 2015 Reflection
Thank you for such wonderful conferences!  As always, the joy of sharing how your child is moving, feeling, exploring in class is a fantastically fun experience! 

We had a month full of amazing growths and connection as a group.  Being inspired by the Compassionate Listening work I am thankfully afforded to practice and experience trainings in; our circle times have been sprinkled with compassionate listening exercises tailored for our young multi-age group.  We have been playing a “listening game” each day (the children have begun requesting) where a child holds the talking rock to share a story or thought.  We listeners then have the fun job of listening to the facts and take turns repeating them back.   We also ask the person what they felt, or will some times guess if enough leading words are given during the story and ask if that was the feeling, the emotion?  The last step, if enough is shared in the facts and feelings, I help frame it with “it sounds like you really enjoy or value having quiet, independent time” or “…. time spent with family,” etc. to help highlight the idea of an internal value which are always positive, imbedded truths in all humans and what connects us to one another.  This story/listening exchange along with greeting each and every person around our circle silently, only with present and loving eye contact, are pillar foundations to the work of Compassionate Listening peace development work.  And the Klahanie School children are soaking it up!

This month we also have experienced a class of all boys more frequently than not because the girls have been out of class for varying reasons.  This is a new experience for both Patsy and I in the classroom, to have a classroom with only boys present, and the rewards of such an experience have been plenty.  This has also inspired me to re-look at The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do To Shape Boys Into Exceptional Men by Michael Gurian, PH.D. a wonderful and practical book framed to help support boys becoming sensitive and strong men.  I share this because I am floored by the level of empathy, connection and compassion brought forth by this dynamic group of very young nine males.  I feel deeply honored to be an educator of such a loving group of Teamwork! And when the girls are here with us, it is all the more rewarding!

Earth Day week we celebrated with many earth songs, planting seeds, discussions of edible and non-edible and invasive and non-invasive plants in our garden as well as releasing our Painted Lady butterflies.   We also began more introductions to our solar system. 

March Curriculum Topics
Niche In Nature
I’ve got a Niche in nature, no matter what you say.
I’ve got a niche in nature and it’s going to stay that way.
We’ve each got a niche in nature, whether we’re big or small.
If niches are protected then there’s room enough for us all!

Butterfly Song
Ten little eggs all in a mound, out come the caterpillars crawling around.
Then they will sleep and we know why, out they immerge 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?

Bend and Stretch, reach for the sky.
There goes Jupiter, there goes Mars.
Bend and stretch, reach for the sky
Stand on tippy toes oh so high.

·      Our Solar System! 
·      Teamwork: All groups that create teamwork
·      Bees:  bee hives and teamwork, bee life cycle and why they are so important
·      Cinco De Mayo:  More Spanish language introduction, music/dance and foods (please feel free to share what you like from Mexican culture and knowledge!)
·      Mamas!  Mother’s Day love!

Reminders/Thank You
·      The last day of school is moved to Wednesday June 17th:
o   Classroom sing-along at Noon
o   Family end-year party potluck 5pm-7pm Dockton Park

·      Please remember to put sunscreen on your child as well as supply them with a water bottle.  We will continue to do our walks to Klahanie beach and having water available is very helpful.  Thank you!

·      Thank you Meaghan Goliday for organizing our Scholarship fundraiser!  And to all those who sold, bought and supported!   This always goes a long way!

·      Please check out our Parent Reference on our school blog for some amazing children and family book references we visited this month

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Social & Emotional Development Children Book Series: Learning To Get Along

Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. is author of the Learning To Get Along children's book (and parent guide) series that support the domains of Social and Emotional Development in practical, easy to discuss and practice as a family and within classrooms.

Check out the Free Spirit website for more book titles from the same author!

Needs and Wants by Gillia M. Olson (Gail Saunders-Smith, PhD Consulting Editor)

Monday, March 30, 2015

April 2015 Newsletter

Jackson Pollack inspired group painting of our Chinese New Year Dragon costume

Our Chinese New Year Celebration and Dragon Dance each child was able to enjoy with a partner while classmates played loud instruments

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

Dr.Wangari Maathai

Klahanie School
April 2015 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 2015 Reflection
Happy Spring!
This long month has brought us many wonderful opportunities in and outside the classroom.  We were able to expand our outside play space to the south end of the property where we have a slide and much dirt moving, digging and creation opportunities.  The children self-initiate plays once or twice a week using the dress-up and Garden Stage—these plays are amazingly entertaining for all and I hope to expand on this for our June Graduation ceremony if they are up for it! 

Our class gathered dandelion greens for a class dandelion, apple and lemon dressed salad the children made and ate together and mixed with the very entertaining descriptions of the salad by the children, everyone tried it!  Walks to our neighboring Klahanie beach have increased.  Like all spring life our class is popping with activity, interest and movement.   Thank you again to parents holding concerns or questions about class-time who asked input as well as time in class to observe, fun to share with you how well this group of dynamic children are doing!  Check out our school blog to see pictures of it all!

April Curriculum Topics

·      Peace Maker Dr. Wangari Maathai: I was honored to listen to Dr. Maathai when she visited Seattle over ten years 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 Day I like to plant seeds and a tree with the children in honor of her vital work.  She is dearly missed.
·      Earth Day and Art Creation: For our 2015 Earth Day on April 22 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 Dr. Maathai.
·      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.  All paints are washable.
·      Life Cycles of Butterflies:  Our Painted Lady butterfly larva arrived and we will be observing the cycle of the butterfly as well as many art and science projects surrounding this fun unit.
·      Hawai’i continued as well as Introduction to Bees
·      Continued Sewing, Wood-working and Food Preparation opportunities
·      Outside Painting and large science projects (volcano making, parts of flower collage) and more Plays outside!

Reminders/Thank You
·      Spring Break J  No school April 13th-17th

·      Thank you, Thank you Meaghan Goliday for organizing the Klahanie Scholarship Fundraiser, please contact her for information!

·      Elizabeth Shaw for the play-dough and Ruthanne Rhoads for the cookie cutters donations!

·      A great book we read in class this month was “Cool Down and Work Through Anger” by Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed.  I seek to purchase her series for the school, she has great and practical Emotional and Social Development support in a children’s book format for families.  I re-read it for myself a couple times! 

o  The Learning to Get Along series

March 2014 Class pictures:

Thank you Mrs. Kelly for sharing your beach with us for these fantastic experiences!

Creating our clay air-dry Hawaiian islands

Monthly calendar

Card sewing

Hawai'i animal book creation

Carlough!  Our own Aerial Silk resident!

Hike back to school

Sewing specialist Jordan!

Wood working

Class play the children created and performed

Bridge and city building

Class Hawaiian islands

Picking dandelion leaves for our class salad

Preparing the dandelion, apple and lemon dressing salad

Everyone in class tried the salad!

Moveable Alphabet story writing