Our Hearts Doth Burst with Pride!!!

Do you recognize this tower?? This is the bell tower of our neighbor, University Presbyterian Church. If you stand in Room 341 (Mrs. Banks' snack room) near the painting easels, you will see this tower. That is exactly what our friend, Olivia, did one day. She looked out the window, and was inspired to paint this picture.....
Mighty accurate rendition, wouldn't you agree???
Kudos Olivia for your inspired work of art!
In another classroom down the hall, the T-Th Pre-3's were challenged to put together this foam puzzle of a rocket ship. Having put this puzzle together many times, our friend Gisela (2-1/2), painted this amazing picture of a pink rocketship!! Can you see it?! Genius I tell you!!

Welcoming a visitor!

To the delight of many, Mrs. Banks' brought a visitor, albeit somewhat uninivited, to her classroom today, via the bunch of flowers she had brought in for flower arranging.
Meet Sara Johnson, the baby slug!!

Why the name "Sara," you may ask? Because it sounded like a good name according to Annie, who took it upon herself to give our little visitor an identity. Naomi, who was right there when our guest was first discovered, was very concerned about Sara's survival, and overall happiness. Naomi wanted to set Sara free as soon as possible, but others in the class persuaded Naomi to let others see and experience Sara first before setting her out on her own in the great wide world of the playground! Naomi agreed to this, and Sara was given a temporary habitat, consisting of a blue tub, lined with papertowels, upon which Sara gifted us with a beautiful sluggie, slimy trail, and a jar lid of water. She was then toted to Mrs. Jaques classroom, where her habitiat was gifted with some leaves. After making the rounds of the morning classrooms, Sara was gently freed into the planter in the playground. She was a delightful distraction on this rainy day, and a thoroughly pleasant guest. May she live a long and productive life!

Thanks Puzzlemakers!!

Isn't this a beautiful wooden puzzle?
Making wooden puzzles from pictures that spoke to her was the brain child of Mrs. McArthur. After seeing some of the pictures that Mrs. McArthur had collected, and looking for a project that would engage her project-minded son, Mrs. Coleman created her own after-school program by combining these two needs. The following puzzle, and some others in the school, are the beautiful result.

After weeks of careful instruction and supervision, Philip has earned the privelege to "drive" the scroll saw, and help with the actual creation of these masterpieces. His instructor and supervisor (and creator of the correct sized puzzle patterns) is Philip's grandfather, John. We at the Children's School are very appreciative of these careful, dedicated artisans!


Staff Continues Work on Preparedness

It is the goal of your Children's School Staff to be prepared to care for your children in the case of emergency. What we have learned this year is a little more about what that means. Briefly it means you have supplies: food to eat, bandaids for ow-ies, lights for the dark, tools for communication, and lots of other things; you need a plan - something that covers not only where do you go, but who's in charge of what, and even what proceedures are used to release those children in your charge. It could be viewed as an overwhelming task, but the Staff has made great strides this year in all of these areas.

As you may remember, at the beginning of the school year, you were asked to participate in our preparedness by contributing to our food and first aid supplies. Here is picture of what we have done with those supplies.

In addition to the supplies, we have had 3 workshops for the staff to start to rough out our "plan." We have tackled issues such as, lines of communication, first steps following a disaster, dividing up on teams to deal with search and rescue, communicating with the other programs in the building, as well as the outside world, and most recently, what do we do to take care of ourselves and each other during those hours of post-incident activity.

Mrs. Jaques has been invaluable in tackling this last issue, and to the end of comfort and creative activity in a small, potentially dark, space has introduced the Staff to the above environment (A in-house camping experience): soft blanket to gather around, and even touch; hankerchiefs to be touched, smelled and even folded into dolls(!); chocolate (did you know that it is said to have calming qualities!!); a friendly lantern to do shadow puppets with, and keep us in the light; and any other object that could be used to ward off feelings of lonliness and powerlessness, known affectionately at The Children's School as "The Magic."

Is there more work to be done? Absolutely! There are details to work out, rituals to practice, paperwork to follow up with, personal preparedness plans to work on, and an on-going "updating" that goes on with every new school year. It can feel overwhelming, but the Staff are committed to working on this plan, this sense of being prepared. If you would like to know more about what we are doing to be prepared, contact any Children's School Staff member. If you would like to know more about preparing in your home environment, visit 3days3ways.org.

Heifer Project Update(s)

What's a good Heifer Project update without a couple of good pictures? Here are some pictures of animals that our friends Ethan and Ellis Andrews would send if they could:
Ellis would send a variety of animals if she could. Represented here are a leopard, a bird and a salmon (good PNW girl that she is!!)

Ethan, in no uncertain terms, would send everyone a zebra!

And my personal favorite -- the spotted cow, complete with label and arrow -- from my friend Ellis!!

“What animal would you send to a farm in need with our Heifer Project money?”

This was the questions posed to some of our friends in Mrs. Jaques M-W-F class during their time in music, and here are some of their answers:

Luke: chickens; they would give the people eggs.
Nikola: cow; they could give milk.
Zev: goat; Discussion revealed that goats can give milk and cheese.
Sophie: pig; Here we learned that pigs can provide bacon or a pork chops.
Mary Ellen: horses. Mary Ellen loves horses, and we learned that horses can do a lot of work; and you can ride it for transportation.
Julia: a cow for milk

There was quite the lively discussion going on during this brief music time. It’s exciting to discover all the wonderful uses for animals on a farm. Mrs. McArthur helped out the class by pointing out that the poop or dung (a new word for some of our friends) from cows and chickens can be used to fertilize the gardens – good for growing stuff!
Teacher Cinda helped the kids know that goat’s milk can be made into something else, something we can spread on crackers and sandwiches ... When the kids tried to fill in this blank, they guessed “peanut butter? Jelly?” We all learned that what Teacher Cinda was getting to was cheese – cheese from goats??


Chinese New Year, which starts with the first New Moon of the year, started this year in February! That gave us a good chance to be prepared for this marvelous celebratory time of year. Keep reading and you will be delighted to see some wonderful examples of how the Children's School helps our friends use this holiday to learn about a fascinating place in the world!

This is a table in one of classrooms which shows several different items to spark an interest in maybe asking some questions. Can you see the chinese money? The shirt? The fan? Wouldn't that spark your interest?

Red is a very important color to celebrate this holiday with. In the examples above, friends in Mrs. Banks' M-F class, red is the starting color used to create these marvelous nametags. Elsa even used cuttings from a Chinese newspaper to decorate her nametag with!
What a fun opportunity to talk about these intriguing animals. Cloth Pandas, and later Pandas in rice, make a wonderful sensory experience.
Oh! And look what our friends in the Pre-K were challenged to do! To draw Chinese characters! Aren't they fabulous!!
And what is this? Why Chinese puzzles of course! They are commonly known as Tangrams, or Brain Puzzles. The story behind them goes something like this -- A tile worker in China has an accident and drops the tile. It breaks into several pieces. His goal was to put the pieces back into the shape of the tile, but in the meantime, the pieces put together in other ways created a myriad of other things: fish, dog, penguin or bird. With these puzzles, of which our school has several versions, our friends can experiment with this mosaic making experience!

What didn't I capture via photos? Oh my goodness - so much! Eating rice and soy sauce or Chinese noodles and fortune cookies! Doing the lion and dragon dances in music with small cymbals and triangles, and low bows at the end! Reading the story of Ping, and then painting our favorite scenes. Listening to traditional Chinese folk music while working in our classrooms. And painting fish!!

But Chinese New Year has passed. The songs have changed, as have our stories, puzzles and art projects. Look for our friends to create things with a transportation theme, build puzzles with rockets, cars and trucks! Sing wheels on the bus, and other songs about movement! And they continue their work with the Heifer Project. Whew!! How do they fit it all in?