Indigo Dyeing Party

Before the Spring Break, Kelly & Shabana, with the help of Melanie and April, hosted an Indigo Dyeing Party to kick off our indigo Jubilee festivities! All the napkins have been Shibori dyed from the indigo harvested from our very own East Bay Waldorf School garden! The day was topped off with a delicious Pakistani-inspired lunch, complete with Chai tea, courtesy of Kelly & Shabana. Thank you to everyone who participated! If you haven’t gotten your indigo Jubilee tickets yet, do so today – this spectacular event is coming soon: April 22nd!

Thank you, Alvin, for capturing this special day!

 

 

 

 

4th Grade Local Geography Block

From Ms. Saltet, our current 4th Grade Teacher:

On a recent sunny Wednesday the Fourth grade took a field trip to the top of Mt.Tamalpais as part of our local geography block. After mapping our classroom, school building and wider campus, the children suggested climbing to the top of the ridge in Wildcat Canyon to get a view of El Sobrante and the land beyond. We drew what we saw and turned it into a map.
What next?
Go higher! So we did. From the top of Mt. Tamalpais we could look down on our Bay Area and see that water, not land, is the center of where we live. We then came back and turned our sketches into a south-facing map.

Wow! EBWS Aerial Campus Video

We have some really talented and generous parents here at EBWS, and a few of them took it upon themselves to create this campus video from an incredible perspective.

A big thank you to Celia Lam, John Silliphant, Alvin Lopez, with the help of drone photographer, Khen Pa, for putting together this outstanding footage.

At first I thought – wow, our local birds are so lucky! Then I realized, wait, our STUDENTS are so lucky! They get to experience this campus, in every direction and in so many ways, each day. Our land is truly a gift.

 

5th Grade Competes in the Pentathlon!

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Mr. Loubet’s 5th grade class, along with Mr. Jorgensen, recently competed in the annual Pentathlon with other local Waldorf schools. This year’s participants included Marin Waldorf, San Francisco Waldorf, Waldorf School of the Peninsula, Santa Cruz Waldorf, Monterrey Bay Waldorf & Greenwood School.

 

The Pentathlon ties in with the 5th grade’s study of ancient civilizations, including an in-depth study on ancient Greece. The Pentathlon includes the traditional Greek games competitions such as Wrestling, Javelin, Discus, Long Jump & Relay/Running Races.

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Congratulations on a successful Pentathlon, Class 5! Read more on why Waldorf Schools participate in the Pentathlon here. 

Second Grade Builds A Labyrinth!

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The 11-acre campus at East Bay Waldorf School has undergone some dramatic and exciting changes this year. The removal of many dead and dying Monterrey Pine trees, though, sprouted some exciting new additions to our grounds – including the proposed Adventure Playground to be developed in the now called “Stumpland” or “Grove With A View.”

 

Second Grade also created a permanent Labyrinth structure on the Upper Field, utilizing the knowledge of some Labyrinth-savvy parents, ancient methods of mapping and the stumps from the felled Monterrey Pines.

 

Here is how the process unfolded:

 

Second Grade teacher Elana Margolis and Labyrinth-enthusiast and current first-grade parent Adam Boring gave class two some instructions on the formation of a traditional Labyrinths and instructed the students to draw their own using chalk on the pavement. Ms. Margolis was surprised at how adept the Second Grade students were to drawing these complex forms, but attributed it to the fact that formal Form Drawing instruction has been ongoing in Second Grade for the entire year.

Parent Adam Boring leads the Labyrinth project.

Parent Adam Boring leads the Labyrinth project.

 

Once the drawn form was practiced, the formation of the structure began. Here is a letter from Adam describing his process:

 

So, to create what we currently have up on the meadow, I used 400 landscape flags, and the yarn.

In order to know where to place the flags, or where the lines were, I used an ancient method passed down for generations. 

I started with what is referred to as the “Geomantic Act“. The Geomantic Act is used to determine the center of the Labyrinth. I did this using the ancient art of Dowsing. Using my L-rods, I asked permission of the land and all beings residing there both corporal and energetic. It is rare that permission is denied as a Labyrinth has a way of drawing life to it. 

After I was given permission to proceed, both from the school officials, and from the land itself I simply asked to be taken to the center of the Labyrinth, then my dowsing tools showed me the way. 

Once the center of the Labyrinth was located I set an anchor and attached my rope with path markings every 4 feet. At this point I used a little more dowsing to determine the exact orientation of the labyrinth. After the anchor was set and I knew my orientation, I proceeded to place the four stakes that outline a box, or essentially establishing the “seed pattern“.

Here is an image showing the use of the rope to build a labyrinth:

 

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Once Adam had the Labyrinth mapped out, the students could begin the fun part: hauling stumps to create the structure! Our own Alvin Lopez was on site during the 3 weeks of log hauling and arranging to capture this amazing process through the lens:

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Second Graders remove the marking flags to make way for the stumps.

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Hauling logs is hard work!

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Kindergarten pitches in…

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…and so does First Grade.

...and some parents.

…and some parents.

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The Labyrinth is complete!

The Labyrinth is complete!

The labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness, and all community members are invited to walk the East Bay Waldorf School Labyrinth on the Upper Field. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. Some people like to bring a gift to leave in the center of the Labyrinth – a symbol of their question or contemplation.

 

In between the Reverse Rose Ceremony and the 8th Grade vs. Faculty Kickball game on the last day of school for Grades 1-8, June 8th, we invite you to experience the Labyrinth.  Adam will be on site that morning to answer questions and guide visitors through the Labyrinth experience.

EBWS Graduating Class of 2016

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8th grade boards a bus for their final camping trip to Zion National Park with their EBWS classmates.

East Bay Waldorf School is proud to send off its most recent graduating class into various High Schools around the Bay Area. Several of the students have been together since the Parent Child program at EBWS, and still others have joined us along the way. In noting their school intentions for next fall of 2016, we asked the 8th graders to tell us:

 

“Where will you be going to high school, and what will you be taking away from East Bay Waldorf School?”

 

Ryan – San Francisco Waldorf High School; “I’m taking a lot of things because I feel very well rounded from this school.”

Heron – San Francisco Waldorf High School; “Memories, lifelong relationships and confidence in math.”

Brigit – San Domenico High School; “I’m taking away an understanding of art that I might not otherwise have had.”

Eliana – Berkeley High School; “A lot of great memories with my classmates, and a good understanding of how I learn.”

Abbot – Las Lomas High School; “I have confidence and self-respect, because people at EBWS give you respect.”

Aditya – San Francisco Waldorf High School; “Waldorf has made me well-rounded – as in handwork, the arts and things like unicycle riding.”

Arianne – Bayhill High School; “I’ve learned to appreciate others.”

Lukas – Berkeley High School; “I’m thankful for a fruitful and rich education.”

Alejandra – St. Mary’s High School; “I’m taking away friendships.”

Alex – John Swett High School; “Great memories of my friends and the ability to climb trees.”

Jens – Berkeley High School; “I’m taking away a couple of the class reader books I never returned, and good memories.”

Carolina – Holy Names High School; “I’m taking away my great friends and great memories.”

Marlo – John Swett High School; “My best friend and the creative experience.”

Preparing for May Faire

Daisy PreK watching Maypole practice

Daisy PreK students, along with their class pet Wong Wong the guinea pig, stopped to watch the Maypole Dance practice.

The Annual May Faire Celebration is Coming Soon!

Saturday May 7th from 11am -2pm. 

A few things:

  • Wear Your White/Light Clothing
  • Bring Flower and greenery clippings for May Crowns
  • Bring Plates, utensils, picnic blankets, water bottles for potluck
  • Contribute a Potluck dish: PreK-3rd Grade brings Salad, 5th-8th Grade brings Main Dish (please, no desserts)
  • Plan to walk the new labyrinth on the upper field!
  • Family and Friends welcome!

 

What is Warmth?


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By Jennifer Schmitt, Anthroposophical Doctor and EBWS Parent

 

We use the word “warmth” to express more than just a thermometer temperature; there’s a warm smile, a warm embrace, a warm color. Something can warm our hearts. We all know warm people – open, inviting, friendly, interested.  We’re not saying these people are running a fever! We’re expressing how we feel when we’re around them.

 

We support our children’s wellbeing by surrounding them with the warmth they need to fully enter into life.  An important part of that is how we dress them so they can relax into their surrounding with a feeling of warm comfort. Here are a few ways to help keep your child warm as we enter the cool days of autumn.

 

  1. Often children don’t sense that they’re cold. Unlike adults, children might not even notice their lips are blue or their hands are freezing – they’re too busy playing! It’s up to us grownups to make sure our children are dressed appropriately because, well, we know best!
  2. Children first learn by imitation. So set a good example.  A good rule of thumb is to dress your child to how you yourself are warm enough, and then add a layer.  Their littler growing and learning bodies need that extra bit of warmth.
  3. We know it can get warm and sunny as the day goes on in the East Bay, but it can be really chilly in the morning! Dress your child for the chilly part of the day and let them know that later that layer can come off if it gets warm out.
  4. You know the old saying that most of your heat loss is through your head? Well it’s true! Wearing a hat is a fantastic way to maintain warmth for a child, and how else are we able to tell when children on a field trip are from a Waldorf School?
  5. Natural fibers like wool, cotton, and silk surround the child with warmth and feel better to the skin than man-made fibers. While high-tech textiles may be ideal for hiking in the wilderness, for day-to-day comfort nothing beats natural fibers. Try it yourself! Wear that acrylic sweater to see that it doesn’t maintain heat, nor does it let your skin breathe. Find clothes that feel nice and maintain that nice warmth your child needs.
  6. Before a child can really take an interest in the world around them, their basic needs must be met, and warmth is a fundamental need that we as adults can help them with. Having trouble getting your little one to wear a hat or put on a jacket? Spending the time and patience to make sure your child is warm will reap far-reaching rewards making the effort worth the while.