Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Day in the Life: San Mateo Erdkinder Thanksgiving Preparation

Thanksgiving Feast Preparation

This week, the ErdKinder class was incredibly busy. Not only were we finishing up our science competition video entitled 'Compost Gone Viral," but we also had to make and bake 15 pies for the school's Thanksgiving Feast! 

Xiao Zhang bought us a box of 80 apples from the farmers' market. We set to work ... some of us peeling, coring then chopping apples for the pies, while the rest of us were busy making pastry crusts.
We used 16lbs of flour and 8lbs of butter (we needed extra butter for inside the pies and greasing the pie pans). We set the chopped apples in water in a covered bowl, and wrapped each crust and placed the balls of dough in the refrigerator overnight.
On Tuesday, we filled each pie crust with a mixture of chopped apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and a tablespoon of flour. The filling smelled fantastic!
Here is a finished pie straight from the oven!
Pies to the rear of this photo are waiting their turn to go into the oven. The whole building smelled heavenly as the pies were baking.

It was a very busy project! We look forward to enjoying the delicious fruits of our labor!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A day in the life: San Mateo Infant Community Thanksgiving Preparations

                                                       I am putting oil on the pumpkin.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Day in the Life: San Mateo Infant Community

I cut the tofu and I'm using the tongs.

I am peeling the tangerine. 

A day in the life: Emeryville, Infant Community

We baked "oatmeal honey drops"

First, put the oatmeal into a bowl.

 Then, add some olive oil.

 Add honey and stir well.

Finally, drop the batter into the mold and bake in the oven.

Today is my turn for baking!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Day in the Life: Thanksgiving Preparations in Emeryville Children's House

Although our Thanksgiving feast is not until next week, the Emeryville Children's House began preparing food weeks ago! It all began with our bumper crop of pumpkins in the organic vegetable garden. In September, we began harvesting, roasting, peeling and mashing the pumpkin and freezing it for our eventual pies.

In October, a surfeit of apples brought for snack led us to prepare three bags of apple pie filling that also went into the freezer. Earlier this month, a family surprised us with a two-pound bag of fresh cranberries, and we cooked them and... yes, put them in the freezer. (Our freezer has begun to get a bit full.)

This week, our tasks have been to make pie crust, roll it out, line the pie tins, and freeze them (we just managed to squeak them in)...
 ...and to make three loaves of sourdough bread for the herbed bread stuffing for the feast.
 Our sourdough starter is "fed" twice a day, at 8:30 and 4:30. The children mix a thick paste of flour and water and stir it into the jar with a wooden spoon.

 Learning to knead the dough is a lot of fun, and harder than it looked. Lift, push down, turn, lift, push down, turn.

 Our square "loaves" of bread may look a bit unusual, but they will be easier to cut into cubes to make our stuffing next week!

A Day in the Life: Poems for Rainy Days

In the Emeryville Children's House, we have been studying three poems about rain this week. We would like to share them with you.

April Rain Song
by Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night.
And I love the rain.

The Song of the Little Ducks
by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold
(adapted from the French)

give us a flood of water.
Let it rain tomorrow and always.
Give us plenty of little slugs
and other luscious things to eat.
Protect all who quack
and every one who knows how to swim.

The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams

So much depends
upon a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Day in the Life: San Mateo Erdkinder's visit to the Legion of Honor

The ErdKinder's Visit to the Legion of Honor

Last Friday, the EK class traveled to San Francisco to visit the Legion of Honor.

We met with our docent who gave us a tour of the classical antiquities, including Syrian and Greek pottery. As we have studied the Greeks this year, we recognized much of the symbolism and art in these pieces.  Afterwards, we went upstairs and visited the Medieval through Renaissance Galleries.

The Medieval galleries were very exciting as we recognized a lot of the images and ideas about life, death, Catholicism, heraldry and aspects of daily life described in our current literature book set in 1290, the Middle Ages. The book is called Catherine Called Birdy, by Karen Cushman.

Since we couldn't take photos in the galleries, here is a picture of us enjoying our lunch break! We ate a very good lunch in the museum café.

Thank you to Emily's mom and dad, Richard Hom and Laurel Mousseau for driving!

The EK Class

A Day in the Life: San Mateo Erdkinder at the Farm

This week at the farm, the EK students engaged in an incredibly creative project: filming scenes for a video about compost! The impetus for this project is both scientific, in that they have been learning about soil science and decomposition both on-site at school and at the farm, and also creative in that they will be entering their finished movie into a competition run by the online educational site The class has the chance to win computers and tablets for the Erdkinder, so they are very motivated to produce an excellent and amusing piece.
We were incredibly lucky with the weather; it started to rain JUST as we were finishing our last scene!
We hope that you enjoy these photos...

Building our flowerpot sets!

We will be showing the final result of our work before the holidays!

The EK class.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Day in the Life: San Mateo Infant Community

                                                               We are cleaning up leaves.

                                                                  I am making a pizza.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Attention PRINTS Parents: Thanksgiving Break, Thursday and Friday, November 28th and 29th

Dear Parents,

School will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday & Friday, November 28th & 29th. Thanksgiving Day is a North American holiday that commemorates the dinner feast prepared by the first pilgrims in gratitude for the harvest and for the help they received from Native American Indians.

Attention PRINTS Parents: Thanksgiving Feast, Wednesday, November 27th

Thanksgiving will be celebrated with a feast prepared by the children. The feast is served to all children. As the Thanksgiving preparation will require the participation of all PRINTS children, it is essential, to ensure a smooth operation and full attendance on the day of the celebration, that parents notify the Management Team by Friday, November 15th, if their child(ren) will not be attending the feast. This is, as you might imagine, necessary for the preparation of all the elements necessary for such a huge event.

Please note that the feast is served to the children only. This occasion is a chance for them to get involved in a complex activity from start to finish, and learn through practice all the details required by an operation of this scale. They will look forward to tasting the fruit of their own labor.

Thank you for your attention.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Attention PRINTS Parents: Emeryville CIN "Screen Time" on Thursday, November 14th at 5 p.m.

Emeryville Community Involvement Night – Thursday,  November 14 at 5 p.m. for all levels
Topic: "Screen Time: What are our children actually learning from movies and apps marketed for children?"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Attention PRINTS Parents: Shichigosan is Friday November 15th

Dear Parents,

On Friday, November 15th, PRINTS will observe Shichigosan. In Japan, seven and three-year-old girls, as well as five-year-old boys, wear formal clothes and visit shrines. A commemorative photograph is taken of each child holding a bag of special red-and-white stick candies; families then gather to celebrate the children’s growth with a special dinner at home or at a favorite restaurant.

A Day in the Life: San Mateo Children's House

 I love animals! I'm writing the names of these animals with the moveable alphabet! I'm also practicing writing those sounds on the chalkboard. It's a lot of work, but... I love animals!
 I'm building the Puzzle Map of North America outside of the map. It's fun to put the pieces together!
My teacher is writing me notes! I can match the pictures with the characters.

A Day in life: Emeryille Infant Community

I can put a lot of these beads on this string! Look! I put the same color of beads together.

I'm learning the names of vehicles in Chinese. 
I know all names in English but they are different in Chinese!

Wash, wash, wash. When I wash a cloth on the washing board,
interesting sounds come out!
Now I'm washing a towel we use for drying our hands.

A Day in the Life: Emeryville Children's House

I'm practicing singing in Japanese.

My classmate is helping me with my apron just like a big sister.

I put all the brown stairs vertically and discovered they are of the same height.

I can feel the different temperatures more readily when I am blind-folded.

I'm going to polish all the metal bowls to make them shiny!

I like practicing writing numbers.
One of us is doing the "action", and the other needs to guess it and say the phrase in Chinese. We can do the whole set of cards now.

A Day in the Life: Halloween Presentations in the Erdkinder

On Halloween, the EK students presented their "Historical Halloween" Reports to their parents.

Each student selected a hero or heroine from history, or from a book. The characters had to be from Europe as this is the continent we are studying this year. They also had to compile a research project which included a five-paragraph essay, an oral report (spoken as their chosen character), provide an MLA-Style bibliography, and include timelines, maps, pictures and - if relevant - make props.

After delivering their speeches, the students invited their audience back to their environment to view their project boards.

All of the students' writing, research and artwork is on display in the San Mateo building's hallway. We hope you will stop in and take a look!

Here are our "characters":

 Alexander The Great!
 Boudicca, Queen of the Celts!
 The Pied Piper of Hamlin
 Joan of Arc
 Leonardo da Vinci
 Queen Elizabeth I
 Margot Fonteyn
Dobby from Harry Potter series; report about J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling books!