From Robert 3/22
From Robert – Jan/Feb News
Dear Camassia Room Families,
In January, for my birthday, I was lucky enough to be celebrated with an elaborate display of affection from the children of Camassia. They had worked with Danielle for weeks to gather written affirmations from classmates, staff, even admin from the office. They built math chains to decorate the entire room and when I got to school I felt overwhelmed with the generosity of your children.
Music is an important part of life and the children know that music can set a mood or change your emotions. We play music in the classroom a lot and the children are used to dance breaks mid-morning. Recently I’ve been giving lessons on finding the beat and rhythm in a song. I helped them to feel it in their feet, in their hands, and then to take that beat and find a way to move just how the music sounds. The result is that now when we play a song for the whole class you can see the movement and passion ripple through the classroom. Many times it is through the arts that we are able to witness the human soul and I have been seeing it every day expressed through movement and dance.
January also marked the raising of expectations in every facet of our classroom. I believe the children are ready for this! It has been wonderful to see them rising to the new expectations academically and socially. February has been a successful continuation of this important notion. There’s follow-up work after every lesson, the children have elevated their journaling by beautifying, specifying and quantifying what they are doing. There’s a higher expectation to work with a variety of people and to complete work that they begin.
There is dynamic work going on consistently. Children have been happily studying the Ancient Egyptians and making dioramas, there have been children discovering equivalent fractions, following up the main function of a leaf, there have been written interviews of each other, discoveries in long multiplication on the checkerboard, water coloring the parts of the stem, transforming 26 squared into a trinomial, making a geography bee and composing songs on the tone bars. The children have also been doing research on Vincent Van Gogh, finding and recording words for a spelling bee, performing long division on paper and practicing the adverb grammar box, to name a few. We are buzzing with activity every day.
Elementary Presentation Day-February 21
I should also mention that this coming Thursday 2/21, we will be hosting our annual Student Presentation Day. Last week, some of the children practiced how to give a presentation and all of us will be working on them all week. The Lower Elementary classrooms will both be open from 2:00-3:00; the Lupine Room will open to visitors starting at 1:00. See you then!”
Dear Camassia families,
It is hard to believe we are so close to the winter solstice and our winter break. The Camassia has been a very busy community for the last month or so. We have read many chapter books, had many lessons, begun huge projects, had a couple of math timings, hosted young children from the Primary classrooms, had many observers, had many heart-to-heart conversations at our gatherings and welcomed a new student to our class.
Our gatherings are so important. A myriad of subjects come up and lately, we have been talking about how to be peaceful and what is pride in oneself and the classroom. Its been really sweet and eye-opening for the children. I feel very fortunate to hear what they have to say and to hear how much they care about their community is priceless.
In other news, we welcomed our new Camassia community member in the first week of December. Her name is Genevieve and she is 7 years old. She is finding her way nicely and making new friends. She has a twin in the Trillium and we are so happy to have her and her sister!
Later this week, on Friday, we have our annual Solstice celebration. There will be crafts galore! Please let me know if you won’t be attending so I can support your child in the best way possible. I look forward to seeing you and if I don’t, have a fantastic and cozy winter break!
Hello Camassia Families!
It was wonderful seeing most of you at Back to School Night. Here are a few points I may have forgotten and few points I thought were worth mentioning again. I emailed you two articles that I spoke of the other night. The article by Allyn Travis is my Montessori trainer. Its a lengthy but very useful piece she wrote, I hope you appreciate it. The other article is the one I cited during Back to School Night. Enjoy!
*The best way to get in touch with me is via email: email@example.com
Also there are a variety of ways you can find out what’s going on at Sunstone and specifically the Camassia Room:
- Read the weekly Communications (Tuesdays) and the Sunstonian (Fridays)
- Check your email; I will sometimes send out an email to all of you, a group of you or directly to you. If you send me an email first, I will do my best to get back to you with a response within 48 hours.
We offer parent-teacher conferences twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.
Monica will put a link to sign-up in the weekly Communications approximately 3 weeks in advance.
Sign-ups are first-come, first served, however, families with siblings in different classes will have a chance to sign up first. Childcare is available during your child’s conference slot. Just check yes on the sign ups.
I look forward to this opportunity to check-in, celebrate your child’s development and discuss was we can work together to better serve your child’s needs.
We will continue to have P.E. on Fridays. Please make sure that your child wears foot ware that suits running and jumping. Slip-on sandals and clogs, for example are difficult to run in.
Lunch and Snack
I would like to encourage you to facilitate your elementary aged child in packing his or her own lunch for school. This is a developmentally appropriate step towards greater independence.
Clothing with cartoons or TV/video game characters is not appropriate for school. Similarly, please do not send your child to school with expensive jewelry or flashy shoes.
Bringing Items from Home
All toys, games, money or electronics should be left at home. If your child has a special item (a rock, a fossil, a seashell) that she or he would like to share, please send in a note first so that we can arrange an appropriate time for your child to bring this item.
From Robert – Great Start!
Hello Camassia Families,
The year is off to a great start. I stood at the rug with all of the children and played a game where I prompted them with statements – “walk across the rug if you have a younger sibling” “walk across the rug if you’re born in April.” By the end I said “walk across if you like making friends” and they all walked across, meeting each other’s eyes and smiling.
It takes time to build and form a community. For many, the beginning of the year just means familiarizing themselves with a culture they already know, and getting back to to the work they love. For our new children they are doing the hard work of assimilating to new customs, rules, as well as getting used to new friends. Especially in these early fall months, your child may need more sleep than usual, they may be exhausted after school, so give them loads of love, chores, and send them to bed early.
I look forward to seeing all of you at Back to School Night so you can know me better and get some insights on what your child’s day is like.
Check out this picture. I’m sorry I didn’t make them into a heart shape. I really missed that opportunity!
Dear Camassia Room Parents,
Its so wonderful to see your children again! We spent the morning sharing stories of our summer, reacquainting ourselves with our classroom and old friends, finding the 16 rivers that our tables are named after in atlases, conversing about our daily routine and rules, and how to help the incoming first years. The first day of school is so much fun and I look forward to having the rest of the Camassians here with us on Thursday!
Here are a few points for your informational needs:
-The Camassia is a nut free room. We have two children this year that have severe allergies to tree nuts and peanuts. If you are looking for alternatives, Danielle and I highly recommend sunflower butter. It is so good!
-Please help your child pack snacks as we do not provide them for the elementary children. The children are welcome to sign up for snack from the moment they walk into the classroom until around 11 o’clock. They will be very tired getting back into the school routine, so please encourage them to pack plenty of healthy snacks. They are welcome to have extra snacks in the afternoon too, I just don’t broadcast this piece for logistical reasons.
–If you haven’t already, please read the Sunstone Community Handbook.
-Your child should have a raincoat with a hood. When it is raining, we require the children to wear them outside with their hoods on. If they don’t have a raincoat at school, we have them go under our covered areas, which is not always fun. Please help them to remember to bring one to school or to keep one here all the time.
-Please remember to discourage your children from wearing potential distracting items such as jewelry, perfume/cologne or hair accessories. You’d be amazed how much time they spend fiddling with jewelry or taking off their hair accessories and tracking them down. Also, their noses are extremely sensitive, so you can imagine if a couple of children come into the classroom wearing perfume or cologne how much distraction this may cause.
-If your child wears a watch my request is that it is an analog watch. Many children are learning how to tell time and it is helpful for these children to learn without the digital answers all around them.
-Next week your child is invited to bring a small canvas bag with one ball of yarn for finger knitting if they would like to (we will show your children how, if they don’t know already). If your child already knows how to knit, she/he may bring knitting needles. This is not a requirement for all children. It just serves as bonus hand work during our read aloud time.
-Look for chores for your child to perform at home and have them participate in making their lunches. Thanks again!
From Room Parents – Welcome Back!
Dear Camassia Friends,
Welcome to all new and returning families! As this year’s room parents, we’re excited to spend time with you and to help make the 2018-19 school year a great one for our children, Robert and Danielle, and for the school.
Room parents play a variety of roles at Sunstone. Most importantly, we are here for you. We will facilitate time to get to know other families with Camassia gatherings, help find ways to knock out those volunteer hours, and coordinate the winter solstice celebration and spring gala class auction project.
Speaking of volunteering, here are links to some current opportunities:
Over the course of the year, you’ll receive messages from us alerting you to upcoming events and/or asking for your help via the Camassia email distribution list. Already there are a lot of exciting events happening and we hope you’ll be able to join us for some or all of them:
- Camassia Gathering, this Saturday, August 25 from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Spend time with other Camassia families at Williamette Park. We’ll bring the coffee, donuts and water.
- Elementary Orientation Visits, Thursday, August 30 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. This is a great opportunity for your student to visit Camassia before school begins. While you’re at Sunstone, maybe you can spare a little time to help with Campus Cleanup!
- Campus Cleanup, Thursday, August 30 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Take some time to help spruce up the campus before the new school year begins.
- Back to School Night, Thursday, September 13 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. After a brief welcome from Cathy, we’ll head to the Camassia classroom to hear from Robert. Childcare is available but you need to RSVP.
- Family Camping Trip, the weekend of September 22 and 23. Join us for an afternoon of fun on September 22 or pitch a tent and stay the night at beautiful Oxbow Park. RSVP Family Camping at Oxbow
- Fall Festival & Free Elctronics Recycling, October 6 from 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m. Join us for our Annual Fall Festival on the front lawn. Enjoy bobbing for donuts, the bounce house, bean bags toss, face painting, glitter tattoos, henna and live music.
If you have any questions about these events, please reach out. To keep up to date with school announcements, please look out for Tuesday’s Sunstone Weekly Communications and add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email address list.
Lauri Wooley (mom to 3rd year, William M) – email@example.com 503-388-7226
Laura Stensland (mom to 2nd year, Leah) – firstname.lastname@example.org 503-896-4261