Hello, dear families,
It’s with a grateful heart that we share all the events from another very full, busy month together!
We started our new month by celebrating Dia de los Muertos and learning about the traditions, symbols, and rituals connected to this meaningful holiday. Many students shared about departed loved ones, and we created an altar filled with paper marigolds, mementos, and photos to honor them. Students were attentive and compassionate as they learned about each other and our families.
We also enjoyed each other’s families at the Fall Fandango! Thanks for all of you who came out! It was laid-back and a good time. It was also very successful as a fundraiser. Fig Tree offered artwork in which students had “drawn with scissors,” inspired by the work of Henri Matisse, and it raised $250! Thank you for every generous bid!!
We also had our fall parent conferences, which I really enjoyed. I think of sitting with each of you by that big, open window, talking about your child and learning about each other. Thank you for your partnership and your support.
I also appreciate how many of you came to observe in our classroom in the weeks surrounding conferences. I recommend it for anyone who hasn’t joined us yet, or anyone who’d like to see us again. Fig Tree has an open door, so let the office know whenever you’d like to drop by for a visit.
You also showed your support for Fig Tree’s first ever Talent Show! It was an endearing performance on a sweet and sunny afternoon. The students were so excited! And we are so grateful for all the love you shared with us that day--from purchasing tickets, to buying baked goods and handmade gifts, to shouting out your love and support for all of our children. And it was really somethin’ to see the variety of all their talents and joys: we have magicians, martial artists, dancers, gymnasts, comedians, musicians….it was such a delight to see so many of them sharing so much of themselves.
And it was a tremendously successful fundraiser too! All together our community raised over $200 that afternoon, which will be donated to help the animals at Austin Pets Alive. Thank you!
Music is filling the classroom in other ways, too. Fig Tree shares a set of Montessori Bells with another class, and from now on we get to house them in our room! That means that students can--and do!--use them anytime (perhaps I should say “all the time”!). Students are learning more about pitch, matching tones, and notes moving up and down the scale. They are being exposed to the chromatic scale as well as the tones of the C Major scale, and we incorporate movement as much as possible. Everyday someone enjoys filling the air with music, and it’s so wonderful to have this material that allows such exploration and expression.
One afternoon some students also enjoyed a lesson in which we listened to Smetana’s “Vltava,” an orchestral tone poem about a river traveling first as a mountain stream, then a large river through the forest, then finally down through Prague and under Charles Bridge before joining the Elbe. The many students who chose to attend this lesson sat with rapt attention, and hands flew up at its conclusion so that they could share what they heard, imagined, saw, and noticed. Your children are so inspiring.
Reminders and Sign-Ups
So many of you have done so much to support us--we really appreciate it. Even with all the help so far, we could still use a few more volunteer drivers to help our snack teams get to HEB each week. If you have some room in your schedule this winter and spring, or if you want a first-hand look at an elementary Going Out, please use this sign up to volunteer if you can. Thank you!!!!
On Friday, Dec. 1, come see some Fig Tree students in their performance of the play “Three Little Elephants.” It’s a cute and funny play that they discovered, and you’re sure to enjoy it just as much as they did in independently casting, rehearsing, and staging this show. See you at 2:30 at the stage!
On the 14th, Fig Tree and Mountain Laurel will attend Act I of the Nutcracker ballet, performed at the Long Center by Ballet Austin. It is a rich cultural and musical experience that the children enjoy, whether it is a familiar favorite or a dramatically new experience. We prepare students by telling them about the history, plot, and characters of the story, as well as etiquette as an audience member so that they realize the theater is a shared experience between the performer and the viewer. This year, our preparations will also be supported by a docent visiting the class one week before the show. Attending the Nutcracker is a personal highlight for me each year, observing Fig Tree’s children as they experience the beauty and wonder of a live performance.
Don’t miss the Holiday Bonfire for all elementary families! It is a joyful night with a potluck, a bonfire, holiday lights, and kids playing under the stars while parents kick back with their community. Join us for good food and good friends on the evening of December 14!
Thanks you for all you have done to make this November and all our events so fun and prosperous!
Fig Tree Cottage