Traditionally celebrated on the first of May, May Day has its roots in many cultures to honour the signs of birth and growth that become apparent around this time of year. Our early childhood classrooms start preparing for May Day after Easter and continue celebrations until our annual May Fair festival at the end of May. Our May Fair festival has a lead up that builds excitement and anticipation, culminating in the festival itself, followed by a closing period that brings us to a gentle conclusion. These traditions will be missed this year but there are things you can do at home. Miss Shannon, our Lead Kindergarten Teacher says that, "the simplest way to celebrate May Day is to go outside: Look for signs of life in the garden, watch the birds, have a picnic. Make a bouquet of flowers that can be added to the meal table to bring Spring inside!". Ms Jones suggests, "How about we all work on chalk drawings of flowers on the sidewalks and driveways outside our homes on May 1. This would brighten the days of our neighbours with good wishes for spring in honour of May Day!".
Miss Ani says; "on May first in our kindergarten we would celebrate Mayday and the joyful spring dancing period would start. The kindergarten Maypole comes in our circle time and we joyfully learn to skip and dance around it. We bake a cake which is dressed up with ribbons and flowers and we take the kindergarten Maypole into the backyard. We would dance in the green grass and enjoy our special cake. This year the songs are rejoicing in my heart and it would be wonderful for a small version of this beautiful celebration to be brought to the children at home".
Last week the month-long observation of Ramadan began for the Muslim community. This year will be unlike any other as we practice physical distancing, but the spirit and meaning of Ramadan will continue to inspire those observing this sacred time. Ramadan is the most important time of the year for almost two billion Muslims. It is a moment where people deepen their spiritual connections, fast during daylight hours, and connect with families and friends through love. During these challenging times, we want to wish a blessed Ramadan to members of the Halton Waldorf community who begin observing today. Ramadan Kareem
Spring Magic with Ms Markh
Spring Magic drawing and audio clip below are from Ms Markh from her grade 2 studies last week.
Storytime with Ms Henderson
Jack and the Beanstalk 20 minute video
Bread making with Miss Ani
I am sharing the bread making step by step as we do it in class. This activity is multilayered. First of all it makes one of our favorite snacks while the children feel very involved in the process and they take credit for the outcome. Secondly, it is a direct sensory experiment (smell, taste, touch) involving major tactile activity even on places that other times we don’t engage( in the center of the palm) during kneading the dough and shaping the buns. Thirdly, it is a will activity engaging the whole upper body, especially the core muscle which is one of the most important in the development of the young child.
You will need:
2 cups warm water 2 teaspoons dry yeast 1 teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon honey 1 Tablespoon oil 6 and a half cups flour (1 cup rye flour+ 5 and 1/2 cups spelt flour) 1 big bowl for mixing, rising and kneading
Paper Beads from Ms Jones
Here is an idea on making a necklace or bracelet with paper beads. It requires nimble fingers, glue, paper, scissors, and crayons or paint.
Ms Jones took photos below that will walk you through the process.
German class with Frau Fulda
A Creative Approach to Foreign Languages The teaching of foreign languages plays an essential part in the Waldorf curriculum. Rudolf Steiner intended children to be exposed to foreign languages. Here is some work from Frau Fulda's German lessons, as part of her distance learning:
Distance Learning: High School
At the outset of the schools closing down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Halton Waldorf High School immediately implemented a distance learning program that allowed our students to feel a sense of security in knowing that their learning was not going to be compromised and that, by having the familiar structure of their school day in place, they would feel supported as they negotiated this unusual time. From the first day back from March break, our high school students were given a daily online timetable which mirrored their normal school day in terms of lesson times and break times. Each teacher embraced the new Google Classroom and Zoom teaching platform with vigor and have been delivering interactive, engaging lessons that have allowed the students to continue on their learning path and to feel a sense of achievement by continuing to learn new and exciting course content. As we continue on this journey together, the Halton Waldorf High School commits to supporting our students in all ways possible to ensure their success during this time.
Spotlight on our Grade 9: Math, Philosophy, and Art aligned
Congratulations to our Grade 9 students for coming together, from a distance, and creating the project below! Each student was given sections of this poster to complete, without knowing what the whole picture looked like or what each other were drawing. Once put together, it made a lovely poster of Pythagoras.
The bigger message:
If everyone does their part, the whole picture becomes clear.
The "Finding Freedom" and "Invitation" articles below have been written by WECAN Board Member, Cynthia Aldinger: Finding Freedom
Truth, particularly when it comes to changing paradigms, worldwide revision or cultural transitions, is almost always larger than what we first apprehend. While one single event, let’s say a pandemic, may capture the collective consciousness, there are likely things unseen and unheard also going on.
Our children are watching us. No matter how the world around us may change, their silent, perhaps even unconscious hope, is that they will be able to find the goodness, the beauty and the truthfulness that still exists. It may feel like a tall order that we are the “first responders”, that we are the ones they are looking to in order to figure out how to navigate the daily unfolding of life. Rather than feeling it as a burden, we might consider it a gift.
Resources for Creating Rhythm Access several guides to creating a rhythmic home life: These guides are currently free to download
WECAN ONLINE BOOK SALE extended to June 5th! WECAN is offering 20% off of book orders There are several story books and other resources you might find useful. Use code SPRING2020 to save 20% Please note that the prices are in US dollars
How do we Stay Balanced in a Time of Uncertainty?
How do we stay connected and balanced as a family in a time of such uncertainty? A well-rooted sense of security, freedom, and imagination can grow into a strong, craved-for comfort for you and your children.
Strong roots, tangled and arranged with pure, considerate intention, will provide strong interconnections with one another. There are some supportive steps that can help maximize your efforts.
Access this insightful article shared by our friends at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod Written by Jennie Ellis, Kindergarten Teacher
School Supplies and More at Tomtens!
To support your efforts with Distance Education, we have decided to open the Tomtens Store through email ordering. The store carries schooling supplies, natural and handmade toys, health products and many books on parenting, human development, anthroposophy, and Waldorf education. The paper for Waldorf window stars is in stock, too! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to place an order. Once your order is confirmed, you will receive a receipt. Please make a personal cheque payable to "Tomtens" to bring when picking up the order. Items from Tomtens are coming from a controlled environment and volunteers will wear gloves while your order is pulled together. You will be notified by email when your order is ready to be picked up. Curbside pick-up ensures a contact free experience.