Wet felting is a common handwork activity in Waldorf schools. In wet felting, combed sheep’s wool (sometimes called “roving”) is soaked in warm, soapy water, then kneaded so the individual wool strands break down and combine into felt. Wet felting offers unlimited potential for creativity, as the felt can be manipulated and shaped in many different ways – for example, students in the middle and upper grades Handwork classes fashion it into book covers, hats, and three-dimensional sculptures.
Recently, our Early Childhood students helped their teacher with the preparation process of wet felting. Miss Kathy brought out a bowl of warm, soapy water scented with lavender oil and the children took turns stomping the wool in the bowl.
The purpose of wet felting with their feet is to give these young students a grounding sensory experience. On this particular day, the children had high energy levels and were having a hard time settling into creative play. But after this experience, which engaged the children’s senses of touch and smell while satisfying their need for movement, they were able to settle calmly into creative play.
The completed wet felting project will be a piece of scenery for a puppet show and story the children will be hearing during story time.
Right around or within middle school, children are taught the basics of geometry. Geometry runs the risk of being a dry, passive and abstract experience. If a teacher spends too much time writing formulas and drawing shapes on the board for observation or memorization, students can lose interest and believe geometry has “little to do” with their lives and experiences.
But this study of forms, their properties, and their relationships to one another, is far from uninspiring. In fact, geometry is at the heart of every human-made construction and is integrally tied to higher math and physics.
Waldorf does not take a passive approach to such vital and applicable mathematics. Sixth graders are at a time in their development when their complex and creative inner world can be merged with their ability to use tools and be precise.
This makes the study of geometry, at this age, ideal since teachers can help combine the practicality of angle, perimeter, area and volume with the beauty of complex, yet precise, forms that can, when applied creatively, marry math with art.
Each student is given the same task — such as the creation of a six sided polygon — but then allowed to apply color to their constructions, which allows their creativity and personality to enter into this precise mathematical uniformity.
In this way, geometry is brought to life and fully experienced by the students, who, when sixth grade is completed, will be ready to take this very concrete knowledge to a more abstract level.
Here are some examples of geometry forms, made by Spring Garden sixth graders.
Turn your child’s artwork into a cherished treasure or unique holiday gifts with the Silver Graphics Artwork Fundraiser, sponsored by Parent Council. Samples of available products will be on display next week on the glass case in the lower-grades hallway.
Artwork needs to be submitted to your Parent Council Representative by Friday, October 3! We know that’s VERY soon, but we need to send it ASAP so the products are returned before Holiday Break begins.
Click here for information about how to submit artwork. Check your mailboxes and watch your email for more information.
Small fundraisers can make a big difference. Spring Garden has three easy ways for you to shop and help the school all at the same time.
AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know — same products, same prices, same service. But Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to SGWS whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. Click here to start shopping now!
Save those Acme receipts. The Acme Community Cashback fundraiser has begun. We receive 5% of the total Community Cashback amount at the bottom of the receipts, which counts purchases of Acme brands including Acme Fresh Market, Food Club, Top Care, Full Circle, ValuTime, Paws, World Classics, Academix, Domestix, and Electrix. We need a minimum of $1,500 in eligible purchases to qualify, so be sure to enlist the help of family and friends in saving receipts!
Each one of these earns Spring Garden 10 cents. Don’t send those dimes to the local landfill! Bring them to the office, and place them in our container on the table near the Service Hours Log.
Every time you search online, we get paid. Just go to http://www.goodsearch.com/, login with Facebook or other account, and then choose Spring Garden as your charity. Use this browser for your search once logged in and we get a check.
Every fall, rain or shine, Spring Garden Waldorf School takes students in Grades 4, 5, and 6 on an overnight camping trip at Camp Y-Noah. Although it’s great fun and inspires camaraderie, there are academic and developmental reasons we take our older students camping.
Children get to go horseback riding, canoeing, and climbing, and they participate in team building games and sports like archery. Camp counselors are professionals in their given outdoor fields and teach students purposefully, exposing our students to adult role models who are worthy of being imitated. This experience of being taught by others who are not teachers by trade is great for older children. And in the broader scope, being out in nature and camping allows us all to connect with the natural order and the world in which we live. Students gain perspective from being outdoors and also learn in new ways about scientific phenomena, sustainable living, and much more.
Students in Grade 4 are undergoing an important developmental shift – they are beginning to see themselves as individuals in the larger world. At around age 9 and 10, children separate more fully from their parents, question all they encounter, and look for “real” experiences so they can test their growing abilities. This is the perfect time to leave home, experience nature, and learn among its challenges. For many students, the Grade 4 trip represents their first time away from home with a group of peers. Outdoor education experiences that occur during the trip help children gain courage, compassion, and cooperation.
Whether you are new to the school or a veteran parent, it can sometimes be difficult knowing where to best spend your time volunteering. Many hands make light work, and everyone has a gift to offer. We look forward to spending time with you!
There is something for everyone here at SGWS — driving, gardening, building, cleaning, cooking, fundraising, working with children, and so much more.
Here are some easy ways to get involved:
- Visit our website volunteer page, located in our Parent section HERE.
- Check the office windows. As festivals and events come around, sign-up sheets for volunteers are placed in the lobby near or on the office windows.
- Speak with your Parent Council Representative. Class meetings are a great time to volunteer, and your Parent Council Rep will help explain how you can help with upcoming events for your classroom and the school as a whole.
- Attend our Work Days. Upcoming work days can be found HERE and in the Parent Volunteer Section of the Website.
- Work at the School Store. Email Meredith for more information.
- Help prepare hot lunch. You can find sign-up sheets posted by the parent mailboxes, and sign-ups will soon be available on our website volunteer page.
- Plan to help with upcoming festivals:
- Pumpkin Walk — Parents design and build the stations the children visit during the Pumpkin Walk. Parents also help younger children carve pumpkins in class. For more information, speak with your Parent Council Representative.
- Children’s Festival — During the Children’s Festival, many volunteers are needed the day before for set up, the day of the festival to take tickets and run activities, and for a few hours after the festival for clean-up. For more information about how to help at the Children’s Festival, contact Lerryn Campbell.
- Save some time for the Annual Auction Benefit. Every year, over 50 people are needed to make the Auction a reality for Spring Garden. Volunteers are needed beginning with planning in January all the way through staffing the event in April and following up with winners. For more information, contact Sandy Conley.
Thank you for your talents and time!
By Hazel Emery, M.Ed.
Our school is supported by the time and talents of many volunteers. The volunteer efforts of our community help to reduce costs, accomplish projects more quickly, and support the festival life of the school. Service hours also help us to demonstrate to foundations and other funders the level of support coming from our parents and friends. Volunteers have supported the maintenance of the building and grounds, the development of the roof project, the hallway lighting project, the Monster Dash, the Children’s Festival, the Mardi Gras Bash, Annual Giving, the Spring Auction, the School Store, and the hot lunch program – just to name a few.
Many parents far exceed the minimum volunteer hours required in the yearly contract. Thank you to the following SGWS families that completed more than 100 volunteers hours last year.