The 3rd Grade shelter project is a highlight of the year, a venue for cultural studies, creativity, and building for our students. Below, please enjoy the wonderful description of this year’s project by third grade teachers Ms. David and Ms. Stroud, along with colorful pictures of student work.
The shelter project is such a big part of the third grade curriculum and this year we took on the challenge of building each of our shelters at home whilst we all have had to ‘shelter in place’ — it certainly gave a new depth of meaning to our shelter projects!
Once the children had each decided on the shelter they wanted to make, the challenge was to find materials from around the home to build their model: Gautham used clay from his garden to build his cob hut; Colin chose to make his igloo out of sugar cubes; Bianca collected sticks in the woods by her house to make her log cabin; Noah found fennel sticks to make his tree house; Adam used a dish towel for his tipi cover and Roen used mud from his yard to make his mud hut.
The students not only created their own shelters but also the people and animals that lived in them, and the landscape around them; Alona lives in Leah’s Clay House, she sleeps in a hammock that she wove from soft grasses; Kiian’s Mongolian Yurt is in a desert which is cold by night and hot by day; Adrian’s pueblo has a large fire place inside the red walls; Oliver’s Swiss stone cottage is under the Matterhorn mountain; Alexandra’s Thai Water House is on stilts; Sofia’s grandparents home was on a Colombian coffee plantation; Leo’s Tabernacle has a lapis lazuli heart stone hidden inside and Dario’s barracks was to house soldiers, like his Grandfather.
The children had to think about life inside their shelter — what would the people living their wear, what would they eat and drink, how would they get all their food and clothing and necessities to keep warm and dry? Sara’s imaginary ‘Hutacie’ had animal skins for warmth, Jude had two pigs and a chicken to help feed the peasant farmers that lived in his Chinese shelter; Angelo had cooking and sleeping inside his tipi which was situated near a lake for water; and Lucas’s shepherd had sheep for wool, meat and milk.
I am so proud of all the work that went into these shelters and so grateful for the patience and support of all the third grade parents!
We would usually have an event to display all this fantastic work and the children would all be there to answer questions. We hope you will tour the gallery of photos and please do ask us any questions you have!!
Thank you, from all the third grade students, Ms Stroud and Ms David
The interdisciplinary and experiential nature of Waldorf education encourages students to explore topics with their hands, with their hearts, through art, and through doing. A few days ago, we highlighted the way our gardening teacher, Ms. Betsyann, tied the 7th Grade curriculum to work in the garden with a video about spirals in the natural world.
In the video (left), our woodwork teacher, Mr. Neale, helped bring the 6th Grade study of the Middle Ages to life by providing students with materials and instructions for creating and painting their own knight’s shield.
The project dovetailed with 6th Grade Ms. Terziev’s “Knight’s Challenge,” in which she asked 6th Graders to complete a series of tasks to become like modern-day knights.
Here are pictures of some of the 6th Graders’ fine work on display!
Fifth Grade’s botany block begins with the study of mushrooms, working its way to trees and flowering plants. Our 5th Grade teacher, Mr. Stopeck, shared these wonderful main lesson pages created by his students.
Last week, Ms. Lisa, our Kindergarten Aftercare Teacher, shared a sweet audio recording with the kindergarten classes, inviting them to join her on a morning hike. As she walks, Ms. Lisa guides the children in imagining the sights, sounds, and smells along the way. At Marin Waldorf School, our kindergartners go for a hike every Friday, so this imaginative little story fits right into their weekly rhythm.
Here’s an excerpt from the note Ms. Lisa sent to families:
Greetings! I wanted to reach out and let you know that I have missed seeing you and the children, and that I hope you are well. I have a short, simple tale to share with the children–included both in a recording (5 minutes) and in writing (with photos) for you to share with your child if you would like… Many times the children in Bluebirds, and summer camp, have enjoyed the simple stories I tell them, either about my life away from school, or stories that I make up. So in that spirit of simplicity, I’d like to share my morning hikes in nature with the children. I describe what happens, though I do take some creative license to “include” the children, as though they are hiking with me. I am looking forward to seeing all of you again soon!
Last Friday, we would have gathered to celebrate our traditional May Faire in the shade of Grandmother Oak. It’s a favorite event, one we all look forward to, and since we couldn’t be together, we asked our families to celebrate the spring at home and to share their pictures of their May Faire celebrations with us.
The beauty, kindness, and creativity of our community is always astounding! Thank you to everyone who shared their celebrations with us.
Flower crowns are a tradition at our May Faire, and many children made their own with garden flowers, paper, or felt, while others gather wildflowers or roses.
Some of our sweet families dropped off spring baskets for their neighbors.
Others made maypoles for dancing or for their toy gnomes, including a very inventive maypole made from an outdoor umbrella!
Others gathered wildflowers on their hikes or gifted garden flowers to their neighbors.
Did you celebrate the May Faire at home? Let’s keep our celebration growing! Please share your pictures with us.
The class: Outdoor Education. The challenge: to create an outdoor hand-washing station using everyday things you can find in your home.
In this video, our outdoor ed teacher Mr. Neale shows middle school students how he created a simple apparatus you can use to wash your hands when camping, on a kayaking trip, or at the beach.
Create a portable and water friendly wash station for field trips and camping trips.
Materials Bucket or wash tub 16 oz plastic cup ( yogurt cup) 24 inches of string 12 inches of wire (coat hanger) A nail or screw for making holes in cup 3 sticks 48 inches long or longer, broomstick size
The featured image at the top of this post shows the handmade station created by 6th Grade student Zoe at home! Nice work.
UPDATED WITH MORE RESOURCES! Our annual May Faire is a celebration of spring and of community. While our campus is closed, we have a plan to celebrate the hope and beauty of springtime together, in addition to spreading that joy to our neighbors, friends, and grandparents, who were supposed to be the guests of honor at this year’s May Faire (stay tuned for more information on that!).
For more elaborate bouquets, Origami Guide has a step-by-step guide to creating paper lotus flowers. Choose a piece of paper that won’t rip easily, and don’t worry if your corners start looking worn as you fold and fold: the result is lovely when the flower is complete. This video shows you how to create surprisingly pretty paper flowers using Post-it notes.
“We have been having a wonderful time at home discovering new ways of bonding as a family, and settling into a routine that honors everyone’s needs,” says preschool mom Elizabeth. “We have transformed a corner under the stairs into our Waldorf inspired area, which we call it “La casita de los chiquitines.” Our children love spending time in their new space.”
Here’s a picture of the space before they transformed it into a children’s nook.
And here (drum roll please!) is the after …
When the children aren’t playing, “We have also been having fun cooking, singing, watching seeds grow, harvesting veggies and herbs from our small potted garden, watercoloring, making watercolor paints out of spices, and improvising puppet shows,” says Elizabeth!
Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing these amazing photos of your home!
This month, our 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade students are participating in an elective story time on Zoom with our lead aftercare instructor Mr. DeRienzo. Using his imagination and a natural flair for storytelling, Mr. DeRienzo has created a series of wonderful adventures for Philip and Suzette, two child thieves who in previous stories were adopted by King Navarre of Córdoba. In the story we’ve shared below, Philip and Suzette must overcome dragons and wizards to deliver a special wedding gift to the king’s cousin Lord Geoffrey.
This imaginative story was originally told to lower grades students, but it’s appropriate for younger (and older) children as well.
Listening to stories, fairy tales, legends, folk tales, and fables are an integral part of the Waldorf curriculum, throughout early childhood and the early grades, leading students in upper grades to their study of biographies, history, and culture. In the grades, academic subjects are often approached through stories, and students at Waldorf schools become keen and curious listeners.
Not surprisingly, many Waldorf teachers (like Mr. DeRienzo!) are skilled storytellers, holding their students’ attention rapt and teaching them to deeply comprehend a story or fable.
In a thought-provoking opinion piece from the Get Schooled Blog at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, two University of Georgia professors, Stephanie Jones and Hilary Hughes, argue, “No one can (or should) expect the Covid-19 schooling happening at home to be anything close to usual, and perhaps this moment is providing all of us a chance to do something different: learn to be.”
Opinion: This is not home schooling, distance learning or online schooling.
By Hilary Hughes and Stephanie Jones for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Gov. Brian Kemp announced today that schools won’t re-open this year, marking a historic moment in time that none of us have experienced or imagined before, a time that will shape us all – and possibly education – moving forward. It’s a time to pause, take a collective breath, and learn to be in this new reality so our path forward is one that we can be proud of when we look back on it.
What is happening is not home schooling.
It is not distance learning.
It is not online schooling.
There are philosophies and research guiding those ways of teaching and learning; theories and pedagogies that are enacted in intentional ways. So, we need to guard against using language that we already have about education.
What we are doing right now is something different. (Think “Hunger Games.” “Contagion.” “Grapes of Wrath.”) Schooling and its purposes can change in the blink of an eye when a society is in shock and crisis.
So, let’s call this what it is: Covid-19 Schooling; or better yet, Teaching and Learning in Covid-19…”