Thursday, May 26, 2016

San Mateo Children's House: End of Year Lunch

The Children's House End of Year Lunch was on May 20, 2016. We had a lot of preparation to do!

We are grating cheese to use for the lunch!

We are drawing a sign to welcome the parents.

Scooping the cheesecake mix takes a lot of focus.

We are buttering loaves of bread and adding garlic cloves before we put them in the oven.

We are cutting up the cooked chicken that will be going in the salads.

I am mixing up the ingredients for the salad dressing. A classmate is helping me squeeze lemon juice for the dressing.

We ate lunch outside today because the tables are all set up for the End of Year Lunch!

I am setting the table - all the utensils are neatly placed. Now it's time for the bread!

We are adding finishing touches of tomatoes to the salads.

Our guests have arrived!

We welcomed all the parents to the End of Year Lunch.

Now it's time to bring in the salads!

We hope you enjoyed your salads!
We are waiting outside before we bring out the next course - dessert!

We are setting out the desserts and getting ready to bring them in.

Parents got to enjoy mini cheesecakes and tea for dessert!

Xiao-zhang greeted parents at their tables.

It's time to say goodbye! Thank you for coming to the End of Year Lunch! 

If you enjoyed the cheesecake at the lunch and you are interested in making it at home with your children, please see below for the recipe!

Mini Cheese Cakes

Items and Ingredients:
  • Foil liners or muffin molds (21/2 inches) - 20
  • Muffin baking pans
  • Nilla wafers – 20
  • Philidelphia cream cheese – 2 packages (8 ounces each)
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Vanilla – 1 tsp
  • Eggs – 2 large
  • Duncan Hines Fruit Toppers or Pie filling (strawberry, blueberry or cherry)

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 325 degrees
  2. Line the muffin baking pans with the foil liners or muffin molds
  3. Place one Nilla wafer in each foil liner
  4. Using an electric beater mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together
  5. Add eggs and beat until smooth
  6. Spoon the mixture over the Nilla wafers, filling the liners ¾ full
  7. Bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes. The cheese cakes will puff up.
  8. Place the muffin pans on a wire rack to cool down. The cheese cakes will deflate.
  9. Top with the fruit topping and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours minimum or overnight for best results
  10. To serve, leave the mini cheese cakes in the liners and place them on a serving platter.
  11. Enjoy! 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Children's Day Celebration Emeryville Campus

We celebrated Japanese Children's Day on May 13th.

We made lunch almost all by ourselves!
We rolled mochi (rice cake) and made sauce for dessert.
We learned how to make makizushi (rolled sushi).

After preparing lunch, we enjoyed a Taiko performance!
We got to play Taiko after the performance.

Taiko was followed by sumo (wrestling), tsunahiki (tug of war) and tamaire (bean bags toss).

After the games, we enjoyed various kind of activities.
Shaved ice
Fishing water balloons
Romper Stompers

We would like to express our gratitude for all the help from the parents volunteers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Progress on African Mask-Making Project

The concept of "masking or masques" is extremely important in the Montessori High School and Erdkinder curriculum. Adolescents must try on different personae and explore self-actualization in order to construct their adult personalities. Whether it's dressing up for Halloween, acting in Spring Festival, or - as in this assignment - actually making a mask that represents something about themselves, Montessori understood the power of the mask in human development.

We were lucky to have spent so much time seeing fascinating masks in museums and reading about masking in our African literature so that we could bring a depth of understanding to this project.

Sketching ideas

Part of the African Mask Assignment was to plan ahead and visualize what we wanted the final product to look like. In addition, students were charged to think of how their mask might say something about them as a person. 
Sketching ideas
Adding relief with paper mache
Using supplemental cardboard to add effects
Finally adding color to the mask
Thinking - there was a lot of pondering over approaches
A final sketch/plan
Masks taking shape

It's coming along - slowly
Happy with the direction at last
Some finished pieces with narratives
Adding texture and interest
A sophisticated use of paper mache to add relief
Adding more colors and layering complexity
Some fine detailing - almost finished
We hope you enjoy seeing our finished masks in the main building's hallway soon!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

North African Project Work in the EK/High School - Plus Mask-Making in Art

This entire school year, the EK/high-school program has been studying Africa - an amazing, diverse and fascinating continent. Here, the students are working on a variety of projects about the history, geography and culture of North Africa. Topics ranged from Africa's role in WWII, to the making of the movie Casablanca. We all learned a lot!

Decorating a project board about African architecture
The iconic mosque in the city of Casablanca is a backdrop for this project
Learning how to use the projector to enlarge an image for impact
A finished board
Geography work on the Atlas Mountain Range
Finalizing work on Daily Life in North Africa
Presenting our work to each other - we take notes as there will be a quiz later
Oral presentation is a big part of the Montessori curriculum, even through high-school
Learning how to make a papier mache mask by using balloons, old newspaper and flour-and-water paste
Getting the layers just right
It's messy, but the effects will be good
We need to keep the layers smooth so the final result is good