Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Working on Halloween Projects in the Erdkinder/High School

October is always a fun month in the EK/high school classroom as the students get to work on their dramatis personae projects for Halloween. Not only do they do exhaustive research into their Halloween "character" who is typically an influential person from the historical period we are exploring, but they come to school on the morning of Halloween dressed as that person and ready to deliver a speech about that person to the school community.

After trips to the library, mini-conferences with the teacher, the turning in and refining of first, second and even third drafts, the students are now focusing on the "creative expression" portion of their work - getting their project boards ready and making their costumes. We are all excited to see and experience the finished result!

Researching and making notes
More research
Checking references
Pondering options and getting input from a classmate.
Launching into the project board!
Still compiling information.
Multiple resources - including library books.
Using projection technique for board titling style.
Beginning to commit to an artistic approach.
More reference checking for bibliography.
Re-working an earlier draft.
Translating key words and phrases for the dual language version of speech.

We've acquired a lot of material for the projects.
Work in progress.
Image selection and preparation to put on project board.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Erdkinder's Spaghetti Sauce Factory!

Turning a glut of tomatoes at the farm into a product we can sell

An over abundance of tomatoes had us brainstorming while we were farm camping in September - so we decided to embark on making pasta sauce! This will enable students to learn skills regarding raw materials, cost of goods, wholesale vs. resale pricing and profit margins - key to running our "micro-economy" each year.

Collecting tomatoes that for a variety of reasons cannot be sold at farmers' markets
The tomatoes we have collected are washed at the spigot before we use them.
In the outdoor kitchen, we roughly chop tomatoes
Nature's bounty - but heirlooms don't make the best sauce, sadly.
There are a lot of tomatoes to process.
Boiling the finished batches of sauce to seal the mason jars.
Boiling down the sauce so it's the right consistency.
Chopping basil!
Beautiful tomatoes still warm from the sun!
Getting the stalks out of the produce.
Pressing many, many cloves of garlic to add to the sauce.
Using a traditional French "moule" (food mill) to remove seeds and skins form the sauce.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Erdkinder/High School 2016 Fall Farm Camping Trip

Our Fall Camping Trip at the Farm

Last week, the Erdkinder/High School program spent four days and three nights working and camping at the farm out in Pescadero. We worked very hard, digging for potatoes, harvesting squash, tending the flower fields, and working in the ornamental garden. It was a fantastic week of being close to nature. Here are some highlights!

We harvested winter squash
Working in the flower fields thinning plants
Group photo at our campground kitchen!
There was a lot of music this trip! We brought a guitar and ukulele!
Setting the fire.
Reading by the camp fire.
Tending the fire at night.
Our traditional "EK's Got Talent!" talent show on Thursday evening!
Clipping and pruning in the garden.
Time to start taking our tents down on Friday morning.
Cleaning up on last day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sing Peace Around the World

Elementary students love to sing! On Wednesday, September 21, Montessori schools around the world celebrated the UN Day of Peace by participating in “Sing Peace Around the World.” This is a program in which schools in different time zones all sing the same song, “Light a Candle for Peace,” for five minutes each, in one time zone after another. In this way, the song of peace “travels” all the way around the world. (For more information on this project, see http://singpeacearoundtheworld.com/.)

At PRINTS, we learned the suggested song, and at 11 a.m., we sang the song several times, singing our 5-minute contribution, along with other schools in our time zone who had signed up for that time slot. Other schools picked up the song at 11:05, 11:10, and so on, for the whole hour.

We enjoyed the singing, and we were proud to help contribute to a more peaceful environment in the class and around the world.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Brand New Beginning

A solid routine starts you off on the right foot

We greatly appreciate the parent volunteers who help with the morning carpool -- rain or shine!

Let me show you the proper way to clean a window

Preparing snacks carefully commands all my attention  

We love learning Chinese the fun way! 

Everyone is deeply engaged in an activity

This is a time when we get to hear important information as a group

A meeting of minds is sometimes best in small groups

Organizing our supplies goes so much faster in good company

I want to make sure that every utensil is in the right place

It's so much more enjoyable to eat with carefully arranged place settings

We find it satisfying to eat what we have prepared ourselves

Bon app├ętit, everyone!

Using chopsticks is an art we love to practice

After lunch, it is now time to clean up

With our hats on, it is safe to enjoy the sunny outdoors 

Sleep is sweeter following good work 

Let's practice some elegant steps in our ballet class

I get to express so much in our mixed media class

Color moves so fast when we use watercolor paint!