Friday, October 9, 2020

Saints / Election / Presidents Week 1

My first week in our completed Outdoor Classroom! A million thank yous to all of the parents who donated hammocks, straw bales, and shelters, and who helped haul very heavy tree stumps. We have a beautiful setup. A 10 x 10 ft pop up canopy tent over our tree stump seating area. A huge 12 x 20 ft completely screened-in room with straw bale seating (we call it our Canteen Tent and have our School Meetings and Lunch & Read Aloud Story there).

Tal: His Marvelous Adventures With Noom-Zor-Noom

by Paul Fenimore Cooper (our awesome read aloud story)

Our county went to yellow on Sunday Sep 27 and stayed there all last week. So we agreed that it would be safe to meet in person and were able to all this week! Now, sadly, our numbers are trending back up, so I'm not sure how next week will go. But we will get the kids together as often as we can. Everything is in place and ready.

I'll write another post going deeper into the Civics work we are doing by running the school as a Democracy. That has been extremely interesting! The schedule of our day is this: School Meeting at 9 am. Choice Time from after School Meeting to 1 pm. Main Lesson Time from 1 pm to 3 pm.

Here is a bit about what we have been doing in each of the blocks this week:

Legends of the Saints

Monday, October 5 - Saint Michael

  • explain that our study of the saints is strictly Cultural and not Religious (and that we will be doing Buddhist Jataka Tales in April)

  • discuss the just-passed holiday of Michaelmas on Sep 29
  • look up days in Bentley's A Calendar of the Saints

  • tell story of the Harvest Loaf (All Year Round: Christian Calendar of Celebrations, page 140) and demonstrate how to make the recipe

Tuesday, October 6 - Saint Colman

  • make a nature collage of a Dragon Eye using Autumn leaves & berries (this idea was suggested by a student and I loved it!)

    I provided some inspiration with Morning Altars: A 7-Step Practice to Nourish Your Spirit through Nature, Art, and Ritual by Day Schildkret

  • pass out copies of the Harvest Loaf story and recipe
  • do a table read of the play "Mont Saint Michel" by Barbara Dawson Betteridge (Whittle Your Ears, page 45)

    because our pods have four students, each child read a whole category of parts

    I was Satan (because he had the most lines and difficult words)

    one child was St. Michael

    one child was all of the angels

    one child was all of the little devils

    one child was all of the fishermen

    note: this book is also available completely for FREE at the Online Waldorf Library, where you can download it as a PDF (which is fantastic because then it's so easy to print copies of play scripts!)

  • look at photos of Mont Saint Michel in France
  • look at examples of how Saint Michael is portrayed in art

  • rough draft, edit, add Saint Michael to MLB
  • read "The Story of Saint Colman" in Saints Among the Animals by Cynthia Zarin, page 1

U.S. Election / U.S. Presidents

Thursday, October 8

  • give each child an orange binder (instead of a MLB) and a full-color hole-punched copy of Sonlight's FREE Election Day Unit Study
  • work as a group to lay out the Term of Office Date cards and Bio cards in Clocca Concept's U.S. Presidents Card Set; quiz ourselves with the "Who Am I?" cards and match them to the correct president

Friday, October 9

  • add 5-tab dividers to orange binders (this binder will be used for the Election Packet, research notes for the President reports, and the March block on North American Geography and the U.S. States)
  • continue to work together on the U.S. Presidents Card Set

To help the two pods stay connected to one another as one whole class, I am reading them the same read aloud story (and keeping them on pace with one another by reading the same chapters to each group). We have also started a tradition where each pod leaves a special beautiful surprise somewhere on the grounds for the other pod to discover when they come. The first was the Dragon Eye Mandala, which the Phoenix tribe left for the Magnolia tribe. All of the red to the left is the fire he is breathing out.

On Friday, the Magnolia tribe left a surprise for the Phoenix tribe to find when they return...

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