We have started to work in the community garden this week preparing it for the fall planting. The children have received a garden orientation with Ms. Gitana and Lacey to discuss plans. Several children this week have been working in our garden as well, removing grass weed, tilling the soil over, arranging loose stones and mulching. A few groups of children over the next couple of weeks will visit Natural Gardener with Ms. Gitana to purchase plants for our garden and the community garden. We will utilize our space next to our building with a variety of flowers which will attract pollinators (bees, butterflies, etc.), vegetables and herbs. Everyone is welcome to bring in a donation of $5-$10 to support with these purchases. The children will help with planting a few of the following plants; potatoes, onions, herbs and etc. The children are excited to plant and grow potatoes very much! The garden is a wonderful opportunity to learn practical skills; shoveling, racking and wheel barreling. A few have started learning how to wheel barrel; transporting mulch from the pile and leveling on paths. Many children are eager to receive a lesson on how to use a wheel barrel and mulch.
This week in the kitchen a group has visited HEB to get ingredients for chocolate cheesecake the group had recorder the recipe, planned the going-out and budgeted for the trip and then made the cheesecake in the kitchen. It was delicious and the children enjoyed it very much!
We will also make cream cheese wontons, garlic knots and deviled eggs this week in the kitchen as well. Once again, we are so appreciative of the kitchen ingredients donated. If you have signed up to shop for our kitchen, you’ll receive an email two days prior of what is needed and 4 ingredients max.
Next week we will learn how to make coffee using a French press for when visitors and/or observers come. The children will practice and serve the staff next week before serving visitors/observers. Each child prior to working in the kitchen will receive an orientation and kitchen certificate; similar to a food handlers card. This ensures an understanding of proper food prep, tool use and most importantly serving and sanitation guidelines. We will continue to practice these expectations when serving others.
We will open observations to all families in October using sign-up genius. The children will offer tea and/or fresh coffee if interested. We will use an old fashioned coffee grinder instead of electric. The children will shop for the roast as well from HEB or a specialty, local coffee shop in Austin such as Summermoon or Mazama Coffee House. We look forward to inviting you to come and observe and will open observations next week via email using the weekly and a sign-up genius link.
Also this week we will be playing badminton and learning about its origin from the ancient game “battledore”. It will be introduced and can be used at the playground independently during recess. We will also be playing a game of “box” capture the flag, which is a more advanced version and lots of fun. The children are enjoying PE very much and participating in positive collaborative teamwork.
This week we will be studying the states of matter; what is a solid, liquid and gas and performing experiments using safe food ingredients to support further understanding. The older children will be studying elements and the periodic table of elements. There is a strong interest currently with the Sun, Earth and surrounding planets. We will continue studying using books and references available within the classroom. Many children have started researching in other areas such as animals, historical events and time periods. Researching is a great opportunity to explore and naturally learn about a new area or developing interest. Then the children can decide if an interview and/or experience is needed. We have going-outs which support this further exploration and older children are available to assist and mentor younger children on these outings. We have volunteer drivers available to aid with transportation when a further interest arises. We will communicate any going-outs that are other than a common going-out (HEB, Natural Gardener, Petco, etc) with an email and permission link 4 days prior to the planned date. In the email we will communicate who will be driving, attending and the day and time of trip. Children who need car seats or boosters can unload theirs from the vehicle at arrival and simply place it on the porch the day of outing. Again, reminders will be communicated, and any questions or concerns will be answered promptly. These outings are a wonderful experience to learn more about a specific area within society from an expert and at the same naturally learning!
Please sign the link below to give permission for common going-outs: https://goo.gl/forms/zQRg44poum8oSvY33
Note: The link is sensitive and may not work with your default browser. Feel free to try alternative browsers such as Chrome or Mozilla as support, and if it still isn’t working, let us know and we will email the link directly from the Gmail forms app. ☺
Once again, families are we so appreciative of your support and please let us know if you have any questions by sending a note or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mountain Laurel Cottage