Lavender Class

November, 2016

Dear Lavender Families,  

  "As we journey into the darkest time of the year, it is increasingly important for each of us to kindle warmth and light in our hearts." 

Thank you so much for coming out to the Martinmas Lantern Festival.  The Martinmas Festival comes from the story of St. Martin, who as a young solider discovered a poor beggar huddled along the roadside. The man was barely clothed, and shivering with cold. On seeing him, Martin took his cloak from his own shoulders, divided the long garment in half with his long sword, and covered the poor man to warm him. This experience moved him to have compassion for all mankind regardless of one's station in life. Martin went on to become a patron saint of beggars and outcasts, and was known for his gentleness, his unassuming nature and his ability to bring warmth and light to those in need.  As we journey into the darkest time of the year, it is increasingly important for each of us to kindle warmth and light in our hearts. Martin’s cloak can remind us to share with those in need. Our gently glowing lanterns and soft songs are a gift to our neighbors, as we bring them warmth and comfort in celebration of Martinmas.

The past couple weeks the children have been preparing for the Lantern Festival in many ways.  In our morning circle the children have been walking through the forest with their lanterns by their side.  As the days grow short and the nights grow long the forest animals are preparing for Jackie Frost while singing "Hurry hurry, hurry hurry, we must all get fat and furry." The gnomes are also traveling through the land with their lanterns.  The children take turns being a gnome who holds a special lantern.  The child then weaves in and out of our circle while we all sing "Glimmer lantern glimmer."  Next week, we will continue this circle and add on some Native American songs as we begin to talk about being thankful.  If you would like to sing the beautiful lantern songs with your child they were posted on our Community Page. 

The children were very excited about creating their own lanterns.  They did all of the work to make the lanterns.  They chose the colors they liked, tore the tissue paper and glued them on the jar in a place that spoke to them.  They selected the beads for the handle and threaded them onto the wire.  Once their handle had enough beads a teacher secured the wire to the jar.  All of the lanterns turned out beautifully.

As the weather is starting to cool, we have begun exploring the color blue during our watercolor painting.  This week we added two drops of "golden light" to the paintings.  The children picked where they wanted their light.  Some explored blending the yellow into the blue and making green, while others left their light shining among the blue.  

Our story this month also correlates with the season and the lantern festival.  It is a lovely story about a little girl who travels through the forest in search of Mother Earth.  The girl receives generous gifts from the plants in the forest to help her on her journey.  One of these gifts is a lantern to guide her in the dark.  This week they enjoyed hearing and seeing the story as a puppet play.  Next week we will begin our drama play and the children will take turns being different characters.  If you would like to hear the full story, please ask your child to tell it to you.  By now, most of them can tell if from memory.  There is magic in the way we orally tell stories and I am sure you will enjoy hearing your child tell it instead of just reading it from a piece of paper.   

The children have been really enjoying outdoor play this month as we have a new attraction up near oak grove.  The hay bales that were used in our beautiful Halloween journey have been transformed into ways to explore balance, climb and crawl.   

It is getting cooler out, please make sure you are sending your child to school wearing warm clothes and multiple layers.  “Warmth is probably one of the greatest gifts we can give our children, not only the warmth of love, but the physical warmth of their bodies.  Children are developing their bodies especially during the first seven years of their lives.  An infant or a young child will always feel warm, to the touch, unless they are on the verge of hypothermia because they have an accelerated metabolic rate.  If we don’t provide them with the layers of cotton and wool to insulate their bodies, then they must use some of their potential “growth” energy to heat their bodies.  This same energy would be better utilized in further developing their brain, heart, liver, lungs and other organs.” Susan Johnson, MD          

With Love and Light,

Teachers Andrea & Sarah