Celebrating Earth Day from home
Usually on Earth Day our students work collectively to clean-up our school grounds in addition to our neighbourhood that surrounds us. This year, we hope that your family continues our tradition from home.
Ms Thornton planted spruce seeds and acorns for her class in honour of Earth Day.
Grade five students gathered the acorns near the portable in the fall for Waldorf 100 and Ms Thornton has kept them in cold storage. A squirrel got into them about a month ago but she still had enough to plant for grade five.
Creating Daily Rhythm - Meal Times from Miss Shannon, Nature Kindergarten
A good place to start when creating a daily rhythm is mealtimes. These predictable points of the day create the framework of our daily rhythm as we pause what we are doing to come together and nourish ourselves with food and good company. In the kindergarten, we hold the snack and lunch time with a bell, a candle and a blessing. This brings a reverence to the table: an expectation of behavior and gratitude for the meal. Once the children have settled at their seats, the bell is rung, the candle is lit and we sing our blessing. The meal is then served. To close the table, we wait for a moment of silence and then put the candle out. The candle holds this quiet space. The focus is on eating, as well as quiet conversation, often reflecting on the earlier events of the morning, or taking advantage of the quiet to listen to the birds, or watch the squirrels building their nests. There is an expectation to sit in our seat until the candle is out, and to be present at the table. It is a social experience as well as a dietary one. A candle and a blessing can be brought into home. The children are very familiar with our meal time blessings, which you can find a link to below. We love our beeswax candles at Waldorf, but any candle will do. You will also need a snuffer. The children can help with the candle after watching a parent do it. When the time is right, the child can snuff out the candle. This can be a will exercise as we aim to put the light out without actually touching the snuffer to the wax. Eventually, older children can help light the candle, having regularly watched an adult spark a match at every meal. Again, an act of will, with the added challenge of keeping a steady hand. I have a large sea shell beside the candle where the child can drop the match and allow it to go out on its own. If either of these are not working out, you can always take on the task, saying "we will try again tomorrow."
Nature Kindergarten Mealtime Blessing from Miss Shannon:
Spotlight on our High School learning:
Grade 9 Mathematics - Euclidean Geometry
In this course, the students are introduced to Euclidean geometry with an emphasis on precise and accurate constructions of a variety of Euclidean proofs. Beginning with basic constructions for finding perpendiculars and bisectors, students are required to form their own sets of instructions. Each construction throughout the block is backed by its attendant proof and the students gain an appreciation of the rigor and sequential processes necessary for geometric proof. The purity of the geometry is reflected in each student’s striving to achieve precision and accuracy.
Grade 10 Mathematics - Trigonometry
Photo below of one of our grade 10 students working on a Trigonometry Clinometer assignment -- measuring the height of a building, trees, and street lights using their handmade surveying equipment. Trigonometry covers the basic trigonometric relationships of sine, cosine and tangent. Both theoretical and practical triangle problems are studied, with a significant portion of the class devoted to basic surveying technique.
The Handwashing Song by Jana Skarecky
Jana Skarecky was a class teacher and music teacher at HWS from 1998 through 2003. She is a composer wanted to share a pentatonic hand-washing song that she wrote (a long time ago). It takes 20 seconds to sing, which is also the recommended time for hand washing!
Thank you to the families that shared photos with us this week! We love seeing the distance learning in action. Our grades 1 through 8 are now up and running on Google Classrooms. We are grateful for everyone's time and efforts to get comfortable with the system.
Troubling Times: Anxiety Rising, Schools Closing and Way More Time At Home With The Kids Simplicity Parenting, 5-part audio series