Wow! April was PACKED!
We started the month with a visit to Pure Luck Farm, where students met over 100 goats on the organic, family-run farm. Students loved petting and running with the goats, watching them butting heads, learning about the goats’ names (and how to keep track of them all!), touring the herb gardens (mmm...sorrel!), and seeing where the goats are milked. It was a wonderful experience of the richness that comes from generations working a single piece of land. It was a true gift to be there.
While at Pure Luck, the students saw the entire process of how goat milk is turned into cheese. This supports a long series of lessons addressing the interconnectedness of human beings, explored through various processes like cotton-to-cloth and wheat-to-bread. We are so, so fortunate to have sampled some of the decadent cheese that came from the very goats we played with.
The very next day we enjoyed the Spring Festival: playing with friends, eating snowcones, dunking friends in a booth, winning auction items, taking silly photos, and playing games. It was a very successful fundraiser, thanks to all of you. Thanks again to all who donated, volunteered, and contributed!!
“Camping Classes” began in preparation of the Full Cycles’ annual camping trip. The weather forecast meant that the trip is postponed until mid-May, but we’re ready! Students learned cooperative games, how to brush their teeth without access to flowing water, how to pitch their tent and roll up that sleeping bag, and skills on hiking safely and staying hydrated. We’re looking forward to our time in nature together, eating s’mores, and swimming in the river.
Fig Tree enjoyed another Family Tea, and many of us gathered to discuss our vision of next year’s classroom, to be located in the original stone house. I thank each of you for coming, sharing your thoughts, and asking great questions; it was a helpful meeting that fostered a deeper sense of community. Thank you.
Did you know that Cedars has thousands of new pets? Yes, we have a working beehive on the property, which is maintained by Jodie and supported by the expertise of the Amazing Lacey! The bees are adjusting well, and they’ve begun building their combs. The children were fascinated by them, watching the bees orient themselves during the first few days. In addition to all that we harvest from our gardens, I’m really looking forward to adding our very own Cedars’ honey to our resources!
A really fun afternoon happened fairly spontaneously on “Poem in Your Pocket Day.” Did you know about that national celebration?? It’s so fun! People celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day. It was such a joyful explosion of poetry in our room!--students scrambling over papers and books to find a new or favorite poet, a familiar verse, or writing their own. Students asked each other, “What’s in your pocket??” or “Read me your poem!” I teared up when students read to me their copies of Whitman, Dickinson, and William Carlos Williams…. It was a vivid, energizing afternoon.
The very next day was our first-ever Fig Tree lemonade stand! To prepare, students had lessons on identifying coins and counting money, making lemonade from scratch, and hearing an inspiring story about one girl who is using lemonade to change the world.... Thank you so, so much for supporting us by coming out and enjoying the refreshing honey-sweetened lemonade. Perhaps next year it can be sweetened with honey from our own bees!
Fun experiences in the classroom this month included adventures in measuring area, working with fractions, poetry, learning more about explorers of the Antarctic, making more polymers and crystals, writing stories with cliffhangers, learning about the history of our written language (Thank you, Phoenicians!), making “kale-sadillas” [quesadillas with kale and chard from our garden], and--as most of you are aware by your child’s recent demands for their own copy--we started a new and VERY popular read-aloud, The Land of Stories. It has been a rich and fun month, for sure.
Reminders and Sign-Ups
We still need 2 weeks in May to be covered for laundry...any takers?? It is a great opportunity for your child to learn about doing the wash. If your schedule allows, we’d love your help. <3
Also, feel free to sign up for flower donations to keep our room beautiful through the end of the year. Several students have learned a lot about flowers from observing, dissecting, and drawing them. We love the color and joy they add to the room, and it’s a very helpful Practical Life activity for the children. If you are inclined, check out our sign-up. And thank you!
Upcoming in May
**In May, we will be providing information on fun activities to do with your child over the summer. It’s not homework, but these activities certainly can enrich your child’s summer and keep them connected to some of their ongoing lessons.
**Also in May, look for details on a class outing to see a play called “Young Bear,” based on the life of Frances Slocum, a young girl who was taken in the early 1800’s to live among Native Americans in the Midwest. It focuses on the meaning of family and belonging, and I will connect it with Montessori lessons on human migrations.
**On May 6th I will hold the second day of Spring Conferences; I look forward to spending time with you that day.
**May 12 and 13 will be our overnight camping trip for Full Cycle students; others will enjoy a regular school day with the Lovely Ms. Lacey.
**Stay tuned for more activities in our last month of this school year!
[Can you believe it??!!!]
With great appreciation and joy,
Fig Tree Cottage