Wednesday, May 31, 2017

June 2017 Newsletter

Klahanie School
June 2017 Newsletter

Whether we're a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we're accepted, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.

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.

2016-2017 Reflection
What a delightful school year full of so much laughter and connection, this has been a significant year and so much fun!   Thank you to all of your families for being a huge part of that.   Thank you Teacher Jordan Beck-Vroom for your amazing patience, knowledge, intuition and deep love and kindness to all the children you work with and offering such support and teamwork to the school community!
And thank you to our talented Specialists Jordan Beck-Vroom (Spanish and textile arts) and Elizabeth Shaw-Mendana for the movement wonders.  We were a lucky group of people for sure!

Wishing you all a joyful summer and hopeful to run into many of you during summer family adventures around our gorgeous island! 

Borrowed words I love to share each year with children venturing to other schools from Klahanie are the following:

Forever Young
Song and Lyrics by: Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

Mahalo, Muchas Gracias, Merci beaucoup to such a loving, lovely, dynamic and deeply kind group of children I will miss dearly and look forward to the honored opportunity of witnessing their continued growth in self and community.  

June Curriculum Topics
·      Please bring a NAME LABELED white new or old tee shirt(s) for your child for Tie Dying, we will Tie Dye Wednesday 7th and Thursday the 8th
·      Marine life: Puget Sound beaches and grace and courtesy behavior with beaches and marine animals
·      Papas:  Father’s Day love!
·      Summer and Solstice fun

This is going to be a busy next couple of weeks of wrapping up the school year so hold onto your hats!  

Reminders/Thank You

·      The last day of school is Thursday June 15th: 9:30-11am
o   Last class: 9:30-11am hopefully wearing their Klahanie tie-dye! 
o   Parents thank you for being on time and arriving at back at school promptly at 11am, our class will be walking a song parade to the stage where we will sing a couple of songs and end of the year giving thanks, everyone leaving by 11:45am.  If heavy rains, we will smoosh together in the classroom.  

o   PARKING: Important, please park in driveways and give yourself ample time to park and walk in and park as directed:

                2 cars in upper lot
                4 cars in driveway in-front of garage
                4 cars in the shared Starbreak driveway
                3-maybe 4 cars in the south/Conext container driveway
                Volunteers for four cars to park near the mailboxes and walk in through the south garden gate.

o   Family Potluck: Thursday June 15th, 5pm-7pm Dockton Park

·      Thank you Colleen Miller and Jen Keller for the substitute teaching help you provided our class this school year!
·      Thank you Elizabeth Shaw-Mendana and Jen Keller for providing our class with play dough all year!
·      Thank you Liz Carlson for helping three weeks in a row on creating the amazing class Self Portraits!
·      Thank you Colleen Miller and Jen Keller for organizing the massively helpful yearly Pie Auction fundraiser, Liz Carlson for the ticket design, Katelyn Costly for the flyers and all those who helped in donations and making the evening happen!  Here’s to the upcoming year and an even more fruitful event.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Klahanie School families for such a wonderful school year and to leave you with one of my favorite poets:

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends. 

Maya Angelou

Saturday, May 6, 2017

May 2017 Newsletter

Klahanie School
May 2017 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 2017 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!   As parenting process continues, please send me an email or phone call if you seek referrals or specific inquiries about developments.  Spring is busy and wonderful and what you see around you in the “spring green” is exactly the growths mirrored in your child.  We adults keep up with the changes and support our own processes as we steer in directions that inspire and support safety within our self and family. 

What an amazing group you parents are!

We had a month full of amazing growths and connection as a group.  Being inspired by the Compassionate Listening work in our circle times have been sprinkled with compassionate listening exercises tailored for our young multi-age group.  We began 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!

Elders have begun completing their large projects and we had the first of some anticipated future ceremonies honoring their dedication, excitement and knowledge.  These projects include exercise in math, language, science and sensorial.  Some upcoming excitements will be the elders practicing counting together, separate and teaching a younger friend up to 1000 on the Montessori 1000 chain.   Our class has also had great fun diving into the solar system unit.

Our Painted Lady larva will be arriving this week and spread us to the spring focus of butterfly life cycle observation and release in the garden.

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?

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.

·      Spanish Continued Intro and Practice: Jordan will begin leading ending circle time with daily Spanish!  A large portion of our community is from Mexico and what fun to begin exploring and sharing connections.  Thank you Teacher Jordan!
·      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 and Papas:  Mother’s and Father’s Day love!

Reminders/Thank You
o   Dates for Summer Session:
  •   July 4-6th (Tues, Wed, Thurs) 9:30-1:30pm

§  July 11-13th (Tues, Wed, Thurs) 9:30-1:30pm
§  Please note: paperwork will be emailed out asap.  Thank you! 

·      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 Liz Carlson for your weekly help children create his/her Self Portraits!

·      Thank you Jen Keller for coming in and helping Jordan in class!

·      Tie Dying:  Please send one or two pre-washed white tee shirts to school.  We’d love to get our tie-dye started the last week of May!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 2017 Newsletter

Klahanie School
April 2017 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!
And happy conferences!  I love this time of year when I am honored to share how wonderful your children are doing in school and what he/she have been up to cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically.  In conferences, parents are welcomed time to ask questions and get some support or resource suggestions when requested.  Please feel free to email questions before hand.    This is fun to share the joys and stories. 

Parents possibly are hearing more, “I don’t want to go to school” this is a normal thing to hear early spring with the light increase, the energy of spring can make transitions even more steps for families.  Once your child is at school we see and hear positivity and engagement.  If you are feeling lost about how to handle the resistance of coming to school, making a simply mantra to use can be useful.   Maybe, “I hear you do not want to change what you are doing.  You will have fun when you get there.  Everyday is something new and exciting at school.”  This could and other helpful positive response might ease the understandable parent anxious feeling when it rolls out of the child’s sweet and clear mouth.  This can also be positive for your child helping him/her remember they are entering a place they have ownership, creativity and self-expression opportunities within. 

Spring is a busy time of year and there is a true reason why we have the old saying, “spring fever.”  Large motor, fresh air opportunities, garden explorations and walks outside will become more prevalent in our daily routine so making sure you alert teachers if you are picking up early or dropping off late is super helpful.  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 
·      Earth Day and Month!  Outside Painting and large science projects (solar system and nature plus recycle collage).  We will be acting out our solar system and sing some earth songs.
·      Sewing, Felting and weaving all led by masterful Teacher Jordan!
·      Rainbows and Color Wheels
·      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 in honor of our earth and 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. 
·      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.

Reminders/Thank You
·      Spring Break   No school April 10-14th

·      Spring Conferences: Monday April 24, 25, 26

Friday, March 3, 2017

March 2017 Newsletter

Klahanie School
March 2017 Newsletter

When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.

February Reflection

Thank you Klahanie School families for your amazing support, kindness and joy this past month.  Your children have blossomed the classroom into a place of quiet contemplation, swift joyful choice, engaged cleanup and help to others and sincere independence that makes them all giggle.  We teachers receive the rare and honored gift to observe the wonder in which they create.  Inspiration is an appropriate word to describe the process.  And process is the point of focus for us the beginning of the school year and on.  Each child in class offers a unique and expansive process to his/her learning.  We teachers are in the environment to help open the windows further and maintain space where the children can learn life skills joyfully. 

February was a very connected and sweet month for our class.  The children welcome one another daily with a kindness that could vibrate the earth in goodness.  We all need that and it is fun to play with them creating it.  Imaginative play outside has transitioned to another amazing level of dynamic exercise.  Yearly this is the time of year we go through process when children are sharing ideas more and seeking to be heard from peers-friends.  This is the main area we pay closest support to: listening.  During beginning circle we are playing many listening games to exercise this vital skill.  We share that listening and being present is just as important as sharing verbal ideas.  The main words we focus on are: Listening and Patience. 

 I lead the children in eye contact games and storytelling listening games.  The eye contact game is covering my mouth and using my eyes to communicate an emotion and the children guess.  This one is very fun and engaging.  I then lead them in a discussion about our bodies, how we carry them, how we interact with other bodies around us.  How we show our intentions.  The storytelling listening game is used with the Talking Rock (held by the speaker) and we listen for Facts, Feelings and Values.  This shared experience has offered deep levels of empathy and sympathy development for all your children and I am telling you, when children use this skill they could blow MANY adults out of the water!  From the mouths of babes comes brilliance.

I extend inclusion of our darling boys to this awesome quote:
“A girl (boy) knows her limits, but a wise girl (boy) knows she has none.”   
-Norma Jeane Mortenson

Thank you also for your support and joy surrounding our first annual Pie Auction!  For those who we know wanted to be there and could not attend, we missed you dearly and look forward to more to come.  Jeff Miller created an amazingly magical experience as our master chief and auctioneer!  Colleen Miller and Jen Keller-Parker were the brains, joy and power behind our successful first year endeavor; the room was twinkling with love and light for sure!  And our amazing Jordan Beck-Vroom was the master behind our beautiful fish prints (next year we want a whole salmon!) and many thanks to Camp Sealth offering such a beautiful and historic space.  And thank you Bob Keller and Jen for creating a beautiful school slide show I hope we can play at the end of our school year.  Please look for a fundraiser report in the next week that details where our proceeds are going!  We had a successful first year with $3400 raised!  

March Curriculum Topics
·      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 their own Home. 
·      South America continues
·      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. 
·      Beginning Self Portraits
·      Water: why our earth and bodies need water and fun exercises to learn about water conservation in our own backyards.

Reminders, Thank-Yous, Dates to Save & Changes
·      Parent Conference sign-up sheet for end of March is on top of cubbies
·      Self Portrait volunteer? 

·      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. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2017 Newsletter

Klahanie School
February 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Reflection
Establishing lasting peace is the work of education
~ Dr. Maria Montessori 

January brought us amazing levels of connection, reflection and presence with the core of focus being on Dr. King and Peacemakers.  With the solid base of this unified group making peace everyday within themselves and in friendships, a joyful and magical time of “normalized class” has been created where children move about at independent will, making choices that nurture their inner drive for more learning, more growing and more helping friend interactions.  All your children have shown tremendous levels of kindness and focus of helping one another.  The world at large could take some major lessons from this dynamically loving Klahanie School peacemaker group!  

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

Here is our class chant:

Klahanie kids are mighty, mighty kids and mighty, mighty kids they are.
They work for peace.
They work for love.
They work for harmony!
February Curriculum Topics
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”

This is a busy, full and wonderful month we will share together in class.  Neighborhood walks will become more available.  If your child has a birthday this month and you would like to do a little honoring in class, please let me know. 

·      Love: exploring the power of love emotion, how we show love to self and others, how it inspires arts and peace.  This will incorporate arts, movement, spoken word, songs and poetry. 
·      Dr. Maria Montessori and Aline Wolf: Peace Makers.  Our global tour of peacemakers continues and focus on Dr. Montessori’s reasoning for her observation based research of poverty-stricken children and establishing Casa dei Bambini in 1907, Italy.  As well as Aline Wolff, Montessori educator and author who took Dr. Montessori’s work and developed more.

“I think its purpose is to give children an experience of silence in our very noisy world. It lets them see that silence does not occur automatically; one has to make an effort to create silence. The Silence Game gives children the rare opportunity to hear the tiny voice inside them.
I've written a few meditations for children. The one on kindness will be in my new book. I suggest that the children sit very still and close their eyes while the teacher reads the meditation about kindness towards others."
~Interview with Aline Wolf

·      Valentines: Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th we will exchange Valentines (Jordan 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.

·      South America: Because we have beautiful cultural items in class from Peru, we will begin our focus on Peruvian culture and beautiful geographical makeup.  If you or a family/friend have traveled to Peru and wish to share stories, photos, foods, music please contact me to come it!  Our peace-maker unit will expand to South American peace makers into March.

Reminders/Thank You
·      Winter Break: February 20-24, No school

·      Sunday February 5th Thriftway, help sell and support tickets sales to our annual scholarship fundraiser 

·      Saturday February 11th 7-9pm our and Pie Soiree, Camp Sealth/ Rounds Hall!

·      Valentines: help your child make a valentine for each classmate for our little Valentine celebration Monday February 13th (if your child goes to another school Monday, we will have another mini celebration on Tuesday the 14th).