It's been a lovely first week of fall here at school. Thank you so much to all of you who could come out for our low key equinox celebration last Friday night. We built a really pretty little collection of offerings and enjoyed some lovely pumpkin bread made from pumpkins started by the class last year and grown in our gardens here at school. We were lucky enough to catch a little bit of end of summer sunshine for it too.
We have enjoyed another week of seeds and fruits talk. We observed sprouting beans, talked about where the seed falls into the life cycle of the plant, we read "Growing Vegetable Soup" and made some "forest soup" from seeds and fruits and other ingredients in the woods. We talked about ways that seeds get around and found seeds stuck to our clothes and to Harper. We made some seed and glue pictures, and some pine cone bird feeders. We made berry and chia smoothies. We are taking down the garden and saving some heirloom tomato seeds for next year. So many growing things in the natural world are putting out their fruits and seeds as a sendoff to summer and a promise for next spring.
We had a chance to observe some swifts and swallows over the park this week, we heard jays, we saw very impressive spider webs, we watched juncos visiting our snack crumbs, we found some great flicker feathers, and we found lots of lovely mushrooms and fungus.
We will be talking about seeds and fruits for one more week, and then switching to talk about the amazing and ubiquitous pnw fall spiders.
Have a nice weekend!
Originally sent on Sept 20th
As I am writing this today, children and adults around the world are striking for climate protections. I feel very grateful today and everyday to be part of doing the work that we are doing at Fiddleheads. I am also thinking how appropriate our current unit on seeds and fruits is to early childhood work and this moment in time. At Fiddleheads every day we strive to help our children practice self awareness, compassion, problem solving skills, gratitude, and we are very lucky to being able to focus on this kind of learning while also being immersed in the sights, sounds, smells and lessons of the non-human world, which calls us out of ourselves and into the larger collective of beings on this planet. Seeds and fruits. We nourish these seeds of connection and compassion in these young children. It often seems to me that the challenge of our time is to be informed yet also optimistic and active for a better future. As parents and educators though, we have no choice but to hold optimism for the future in our hearts, and work with our hands to make that future possible. May the seeds that we plant and nourish today bear fruit in these young children's lives for the kind of future that they and all beings deserve.
We hope to see any of you who can come to the equinox gathering tonight. It's at 6pm, and although it is a bit drizzly, so far we are planning on holding it at the green at the Salmon Street entrance to the park. Bring your biodegradable summer into fall offering for the alter and get ready to hear a few poems and songs and eat some pumpkin bread and drink tea! It will be nice to mark this important change in the solar year with any of you that can join.
We have had a lot of fun talking about seeds and fruits over the last week. We went for a long seed walk, we've collected an impressive array of seeds and fruits from the park and the neighborhood. We've read some beautiful and lovely books about seeds and fruits, and we've played some flying dandelion seed games. Right now pumpkin bread is baking and pumpkin seeds are roasting from the little pumpkins that we started from seed last spring and grew in our garden. It's hard to eat a meal without seeds, and we have been noticing them often in out lunches. We will continue to talk about seeds and fruits for the next couple of weeks. Enjoy talking about them with your child at home too.
It's been a wonderful first couple of weeks at school. Everyone has been doing really well getting used to a new routine and getting to know new friends. A lot of our time and energy has been spent on those pursuits, but we have definitely been enjoying exploring our current theme of squirrels too. We have gone on some squirrel observation walks, were we found evidence of squirrels feeding on pinecones. We see them walking the edges of the fence in the back yard with acorns in their mouths. We've been playing a lot of squirrel games, where we make a home under a bush, practice climbing trees, hide pinecones for the winter, and sometimes hide from the hawk. We pretended to make a drey and got cozy in there together like squirrels. We practiced balancing like squirrels, and teacher Arielle made a homemade squirrel tail so that we could feel what it feels like to balance with a tail. We've been hiding acorns with special gold stars on them at the park all week, and we've been checking the next day to see if we can remember where we hid them, like squirrels must do. Sometimes we can find them, sometimes we forget, also like squirrels. Sometimes we know where they were, but now they are gone, and we can pretty much count on some real squirrels having found them before we could. We've been learning a squirrel poem. On cooking day we cracked peanuts in the shell, and put them in a bowl until we had enough to make homemade peanut butter. We also made bread to put our peanut butter on, and had homemade peanut butter toast. In our time in the park so far we have also encountered various lovely mushrooms, sticks, seeds, leaves, lava rocks, mossy logs, spider webs, insect eggs, and so many other wonderful things to observe. We hear bird calls, we hear squirrel chatter, we feel the wind and weather.
Thank you so much to everyone who has brought in fruit, berries and herbs for snack! It feels like such a blessing to receive bags of produce and berries and herbs. We have a bunch of fruit leather going, with pears, apples, and asian pears and I made some homemade raisins and dried figs, and we have some lovely mint and elderberries that I have dried for tea. It takes about half a bushel of fruit to make enough fruit leather for a week at school, so keep it coming if you've got it.
Thank you everyone for sending your precious children to our little school so that we can have these beautiful explorations and adventures together and create this special community.
Being a squirrel!