Although it feels as though March has only just arrived, we are reminded that Spring Break is now less than a month away on April 5-9. We want to take this opportunity to remind families of our travel policies at The Garden, helping to ensure that all Spring Break travel plans align with our school policy and community expectations.
Washington state continues to observe the essential travel mandate issued by Governor Inslee in November, 2020, that was again renewed at the end of February, 2021. The current state travel guidance requires a 14-day quarantine for any travel outside the state of Washington. The Children’s Garden continues to follow this state guidance, asking our families to observe the required 14-day self-quarantine upon return from any out of state travel.
We also know that in some cases, although families plan to stay close to home, newly vaccinated relatives and friends may be traveling from out of state to visit. While we are thrilled at the protection vaccines are shown to offer recipients, it remains unclear how easily vaccinated individuals can carry and inadvertently pass the virus to unvaccinated individuals when social distancing measures are not in place. As we know that all our children remain unvaccinated at this point in time, we ask that if your family comes in close contact with vaccinated individual(s) that are not part of your household, you observe a 14-day self-quarantine and keep your child home from school accordingly.
We thank you for your continued efforts to uphold our community commitment. We are looking forward to Branching Out with warmer days and all that spring has to offer.
We’ve received several donation forms turned in this week- thank you! Keep them coming! Please turn in your donation forms by April 1st. For Auction information and to print our forms please see our Auction 2021 page.
From the Mousehole
Oh, my goodness, can you believe that we are rounding the corner into spring?! This weekend, we spring forward as we turn our clocks ahead one hour, and we marvel at the green sprouts of crocus and daffodils poke their heads out of the cold ground and salmon berry blossoms forming on the canes. It gives us all a little spring in our step after a cold and wet winter in our first school year completely outside! With the sunshine and spring weather, remember that the sun doesn’t really hit the playground or the Tree Circle until about noon, so it is still cold, and frost and often ice remain on the ground until the afternoon. Morning classes are chilly in the shadow of Tiger Mountain.
With spring in the air, and spring in our steps, our minds turn to the busy season at The Children’s Garden and all the lovely spring events. Leprechaun Day will be celebrated next week during class and we have heard that some cohorts are hosting their own egg hunts in family backyards. The school will be doing egg hunts during class time, complete with the children coloring their own ‘eggs’ and bringing home some sweet handmade spring and Easter decorations.
Coming up quickly is our Spring Art Festival! The staff has planned a festival and it is sure to be a memorable parking lot event for each cohort! Dates and Details will be coming soon. Along with the sweet little drawings and news illustrations that the students are bringing home, each season we do a teacher led art project that we add to their ‘artist portfolio’. These are matted, titled, and displayed/distributed to you along with a beloved ‘About the Artist’ Biography that the children write with the staff. (We will be working on these over the next few weeks and as such, there will be no regular weekly news) These pieces are so sweet and detailed, my youngest is 26 and several of her Garden Art pieces are still framed and hanging in our home. We can’t wait for you to see what they have created!
And our big fundraising Auction, “Roots of Resilience” is well underway thanks to Rose and Jazz, our Auction co-chairs. Such lovely procurements and experiences are coming in to the office, the staff can’t wait to bid on some of them! The teachers are also offering up some unique items and experiences that are lovely lifelong memory makers, and the room parents are busy organizing the class cohort projects. How blessed are we to have such an amazing supportive community! Thank you to all of you who are working so hard to make this, our biggest fundraising event of the year, a success!
Staff had a lovely send off ‘Sprinkle’ at lunchtime this week for Teacher Brook as she leaves Branching Out to begin her maternity leave. Brook was also showered with lovely wishes, baked goods and baby gifts from her students and families. Eddy’s baby sister is due mid-April! We know we will still see our sweet Mama occasionally on campus, but Friday was her last day of teaching for this school year. We wish her comfort and rest as she and Mick and Eddy, (and Grandma and Grandpa upstairs!) all await the big day.
Parent Teacher Conferences are complete, and we had such a lovely experience getting to chat with all of you about your most prized possessions, your children! For those of you new to The Garden, our Spring Conferences are typically held over three weeks, with parents and teachers coming in an hour before or after school hours and usually only one parent could make the conference due to work or childcare. This new format is one of the bright new solutions that has come about due to the pandemic.
Squeaks and Hoots from Brook, Cara and Matt
This has been a wonderful week with Matt joining us and Brook saying goodbye. Each class made a page in a book for Brook’s son Eddy that is called “Look Who is a Big Brother”. We sent home copies of what your child’s suggestion is for Eddy. They were all very sweet and brought tears to Brook’s eyes.
Our little Ladybugs were very busy this week on the playground. They listened to a few stories about Leprechauns to get them ready for our Leprechaun day next Thursday. We made our This Little Piggy nursery rhyme and circle danced to Ring Around the Rosie. I also got to paint each child’s feet and hand for an upcoming art project. They love it when I wash their feet in warm bubble water after painting them. And what fun we had celebrating Mara’s 3.5 birthday.
We all had so much fun on the playground this week running around in the sunshine. Thank you to Charlie for being our first student to read a story from home to the class. I am encouraging all our students that are interested to bring in a book from home that they can “read” in front of their peers. Some of our students are already reading and some have memorized their favorite book. This is another wonderful first step of literacy and the children feel so accomplished after they have read aloud their story. We worked on the letter Q this week, next week will be the letter R. We love it if the children bring in drawings of objects that begin with the letter R. We are also getting ready for a fun Leprechaun day on Wednesday.
Wow! The Honeybees went home with a lot of completed work in their folders this week. We celebrated Eva’s and Owen C’s half birthday and also wrote pages for Baby Eddy’s Big Brother book. Thank you to Malcolm, Owen A and Owen C for bringing in pictures for objects that start with the letter U. I look forward to more students bringing in drawings of objects that start with the letter V. All of the class did a fantastic job on reciting their poem “Tap, Sap, Lap” and decorated their next poem which is in the Leprechaun spirt. The children have been busy doing art work each day to get ready for our Art Show. I encourage any students who would like to “read” a story to the class to bring in a book next week. Maybe it is one of their favorite books that they have just memorized the story and can tell it from looking at the pictures. Once again, this is great practice for public speaking. Thank you so much for the wonderful Parent Teacher conferences on Thursday. Brook and I both love to have one-on-one time with the parents to discuss the development of our students.
Squeaks and Hoots from Cari, Donna and Thea
Oh, what fun we had this week up in the forest! We discovered a giant nest on Tuesday that the Honeybees had built, and we pretended to be baby birds tweeting and flapping our wings! We learned a new nursery rhyme, “This Little Piggy” and we all took turns walking around the circle with a big piggy watering can reciting the rhyme and saying, “Wee Wee Wee- all the way home!”
The Auction Art Project sticks were distributed on Tuesday and we can’t wait to see this beautiful piece come together. Thank you for planning this and making it happen!
Thea was in for Cari on Thursday as Cari had some nice family time with her parents. We started writing our biographies for the “About the Artist” pieces in the Art Festival in April. We also started working on our Easter/Spring decorations.
We love how these Ladybugs have formed such a lovely playgroup. Every session, the children all use each other’s names and invite peers to play, comfort others when they might fall or feel sad, and run to join in when they hear someone laughing. What growth we have seen since the fall!
We so enjoyed getting to conference with you all on Monday and talk about the growth and development of these amazing Crickets! Weren’t their Self portraits so fun to see?
On Wednesday, the Crickets were treated to a surprise! – A huge nest that the Honeybees had built! We had our wake-up circle in the nest, and we pretended that we were all baby birds and woke up bird body parts! Our wings, our beaks, our talons, our feathers, and our tails! All the while, we were quietly watching some robins hopping about the large nest as if it were looking for construction pointers! We just love the excitement of spring!
The Cricket class has also started our “About the Artist” biographies and therefore we won’t be having our regular weekly news for a few sessions. We can’t wait for you to see all the beautiful art pieces that these artists have made and their ‘About the Artist’ stories will be a treasured keepsake.
We have been having fun getting our number mat out for the Crickets. This is a vinyl mat with two rows of 5 squares and it accompanies a bag with wooden rounds with the numbers 1-10 printed on them. Each Cricket reaches in the bag and pulls out a wooden round and tells us if they know what the number is. If they don’t know, we tell them, for example, “That is a 6”. We then ask them to go and find 6 things that are the same to place on the number mat…6 stones, 6 leaves, 6 seeds, etc. and we learn to place the items left to right, when we get to the end of the row, we go back to the left to start a new row. All of these lessons are not only helping us learn the correlation between number recognition and what that number means as far as counting items, and also some literacy skills of reading left to right. It’s a great time to begin learning and practicing these skills.
With our Crickets growing and learning lots of new skills and routines, we are starting to have 2 circles each session. After we have washed our hands and run about the campus to explore and discover if there is anything new, we ring the bell and call our first circle. This is our wake up circle where we wake up our bodies, recite our poem of intention for the day and talk about our plan and our tasks for the day. Our poem of intention is
“We light this candle to remind ourselves –
to treat all people kindly, because they are our community,
to take good care of the earth, because it is our home,
and to try to live lives filled with goodness and love,
because that is how we will be become the best people we can be!”
More and more of our students are reciting this along with the teachers and really taking pride in their knowledge of the poem. We check in with them often throughout the day to see how they are taking care of the earth, or to give examples of how they are treating people kindly.
At our second circle, close to the end of the day, we give each Cricket the opportunity to share something at circle. They take turns standing up, saying their name and then telling us what they want to share – a song, a poem, a nursery rhyme or a fact. They then take a bow or a curtsy. We are not only learning how to present to our peers, but also how to be a good audience.
Hope you have a good weekend, and we will be on the playground next week!
It was bittersweet to have conferences with you all on Thursday. We enjoyed talking with you about your amazing kiddos and what growth we have seen with them this year and the last few years for several of you, but it is also sad to think that these Honeybees are quickly getting ready to graduate from The Children’s Garden! As we celebrate birthdays this year, Parsley Flakes often reminisces to when the birthday girl or boy was turning 3!
Speaking of birthdays, we had Adam’s birthday circle on Wednesday. Each of the students made a lovely picture for Adam’s birthday book and glued their picture on his birthday banner. We can’t believe that Adam is turning 5 this weekend. Happy birthday Adam!
During one of the very first Camp Tree Circle summer camp sessions, the campers made a lovely A-frame stick houses up in the forest. After a few years, the stick house finally gave way to the elements of the outdoors and fell down to make a big stick pile. The Honeybees have been playing around the stick pile for several sessions and on Monday, after observing several robins bobbing about busily gathering materials to make their nests, we decided to make our own giant nest with the branches from the stick pile. Check out the pictures below to see what a great job they did! It was such fun to watch them all work together as a team. Nice work Bees! After we were all sitting in the completed nest, we laughed about how the robins were coming so close to us, as if they were looking for ideas on construction!
As a Honeybee, one of the most special art projects that we get to do is a large self-portrait for the Art Show. We have started working on these masterpieces by learning to draw our facial features. We look in a mirror to see what our eyes, ears, nose and mouth look like. Soon, we will be busy putting all of our features together to make our head and shoulder self-portrait. We can’t wait to share with you.
Have a great weekend, and we will be on the playground next week!
View, download and print our updated school directory. You can also access our directory from the menu at the bottom of The Children’s Garden home page password: Garden202021
Mark your calendar with these Garden happenings.
This class day is full of fun, adventure and rainbows as we hunt for gold left by the leprechauns. Don’t forget to wear green!
March 17-Crickets and Honeybees
March 18 – Ladybugs
Children’s artwork will be presented as your child shares about themselves during this socially distanced event that takes place toward the end of class. Details to follow!
April 13- Ladybugs
April 14 – Crickets and Honeybees
Spring Forward this weekend!
Daylight saving time 2021 in Washington will begin at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 14.
April 1, 2021
All forms should be returned to the Children’s Garden Office no later than April 1, 2021
April 17, 2021
Roots of Resilience Virtual Auction Live Event-Email invitations will be sent closer to event date.
Tea with the Teachers
Honeybees parents, please join us for Tea with the Teachers Friday, March 5 at 1:00 pm.
Each week we meet with a different class/group.
1st Fridays – Honeybee Parents
2nd Fridays – Cricket Parents
3rd Fridays – Ladybug Parents
4th Fridays – Room Parents