Educating Young Students From The Inside Out

Educating Preschool students from the "Inside Out"
Showing posts with label Friendship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friendship. Show all posts

Monday, January 23, 2017

NEW UPDATES ARE COMING SOON!

                                                 
                                       

                        So much has happened since I have changed my insights on this blog!
I have had several requests to return to writing about children and spirituality. 
I plan on revamping the site soon.

I am currently teaching a Pre-K /Kindergarten class. The Living Wisdom School  has moved into our new location which in many ways is a dream school facility for us. We have moved to Lynnwood, Washington.We had been located in Shoreline, Washington
 for the past ten years. Now we are finding our way around Lynnwood once again.  
.Our school was founded in Lynnwood in 2001.

I have seen that there are still visitors coming to this site. Thank you so much. 
 Please put your comments or questions below, and what information you would like to see on this blog. 

Many Blessings to an expansive new year in many respects. 

As we say often..STAY TUNED IN!!! 
Or as yogis often say:"Stay in tune to the principals of right action, dharma and compassion for all our brothers and sisters on the planet."

Earth Day 2012

       
My sweet boys of 2015 

  More wonderful stories are forthcoming!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spending time together in gratitude. Activities shared during the month of November.


Where has our month gone? We all had so much fun, this fall that it is hard to let it all go. 

In our classroom at the Living Wisdom School we combined our fall activities with our gratitude month.  Our primary focus for November was on communities, where we live and go to school. Next month we will expand the communities to the world and the many holiday celebrations that happen during this holy season.

Here is list of some of our classroom activities highlighted from the picture above. 
.
1.  The children glued tissue paper, using starch on their jars that made gratitude trees for their Thanksgiving tables. Each jar, we added fairy, magic glitter and well, a little plaster of paris. (I kept that part a secret. Then they magically turned into trees.) The children just loved it. 

2. This is one of our classmates. His picture is in our 3D mural in our hallway. The children love to climb in our outdoor natural play-space. The children had an idea to create this mural for our family open house in November. 

3. Each day at our circle time we wrote what we were thankful for on small slips of paper. The children loved this activity adding several a day. They were carefully hung on our classroom gratitude tree. 

4. Our nature altar was changed with a real tree on of the boys found in our tree playground. It had blown over in a storm so we brought it in the classroom. 

5. We are all practicing our cutting and pasting skills this month. We made our community neighborhoods. The children are also practicing for our all school fundraising project that we will be making for February. 

6. This is our 3D mural.  This was a several step process, complete with running paths, leaves glued to the service, trees painted by every child, leaves made from melted crayons, leave block painting and our stumps were made from toilet paper rolls, starch, coffee filters and acrylic paints. 

7. The children love the trees. Their pictures were cut out and put in the 3D mural. 

8. Our community "yogi", fireman came to our classroom. We had a wonderful time with Bryan Dotson. Bryan is a multi-talented fireman and teaches his team of firefighters how to meditate and practice yoga. He was a perfect role model for all our students at our school. 
For our community project we cooked cookies from Bryan and his staff. 

9. Concentration was another one of my sub categories in our curriculum. These were our Thanksgiving trees that each child carefully painted gold along each stem.This was extremely challenging for five year olds and they took great pride in their finished trees. All their daily blessings were then added to their own trees. Each tree was then taken home for their family Thanksgiving table settings. 



It was in gratitude that we were able to spend this joyful time together. A beautiful month indeed was shared by all. 




Blessings,
Chandi




Friday, September 27, 2013

"All the World is My Friend"



Working together

Every September I begin our year with the unit: "All the world is my friend." This is a song written by: Nayaswami Kriyananda.  This has such a broad way of introducing new friendships, cooperation and harmony in our daily activities. 
The words to the song:
All the world is my friend
When I learn how to share my love.
When I stretch out my hand and smile,
Then I live from above. 
Here is the link to the music. 

The children begin to sing this from the first day of class. I offer books, puppet plays, yoga practices, games and art activities to bring in the theme for the month. 
This year I did a few new activities in case you read my October entry from 2012. 

Felting world balls
Integration of whole body drawing with our feet. When we draw with our feet, and switch to the hands it all seems easy. We draw with play dough, sand, in the air and on each others backs. This is so exciting to be silly with our new friends. 

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. 
Sewing patterns with our friends

Harvesting sunflowers together from our school garden. 
Harvesting apples together at our Equinox celebration
Prayers together

Celebrations and parades


 This was our globe the children painted together.
One of the girls in my afternoon Prekindergarten class was coloring with our block beeswax crayons. She said to me: "These need to be cleaned." So I had told her about an idea that I heard and never thought I would have the opportunity to actually try it since I knew it might be time consuming. But we pulled out basic vegetable oil, and a small bowl.  We began to rub and rub. All the markings came off on our paper towels. It made hand made paper. It was so lovely and reminded me of all the felting projects that I love to do. I couldn't throw the paper away.



 So tore it up in small pieces and glued it as land continents on our globe.
This added another level of fun. We cut out many photos of animals that lived around the globe and glued them to our world.
The children also put a large floor puzzle together using the same principals of maps and habitats.




The mural had so many beautiful stages.


Here is the list from what a mural can accomplish in a classroom setting.

Celebration of harmony, cooperation, and joy in class. Dynamic tracing hands, right and left hands, cutting, pasting, geography, animal habitats, willingness to help others, gross and fine motor skills, sewing, sensory integration, grip control, recycling, singing , watercolor techniques, blotting, crayon resist, sponge painting, and blending.
One of the students as she helped me commented: " Wow, I had no idea, we did all that!
It is beautiful."

What a lovely way to honor our friendships and live in harmony with the world all around us.




Namaste,
Chandi

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Just getting my feet wet


Just getting my feet slightly wet.

These past two weeks have been filled with loving voices at my home in the Ananda Community.
I have been leading the 5-7 year old group this year in our Living Wisdom Yoga Camp.
I will continue to write about my 15th year teaching at the Living Wisdom Yoga Camp in the next few days.

This is one of our groups doing a Sharing Nature activity: Duplication Game. 
Sharing Nature Activities®
Sharing Nature Activities®

 But for now I am just getting my feet wet as I begin to prepare intuitively for our school year beginning in September. I am exploring my first class with the Waldorf Community and Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie. I met Lisa a few years ago when we were both doing another online class together through Fairydust Teaching. Lisa is a profound writer, teacher, parent facilitator, and mother. I love reading her blogs and experiencing the simple life she leads in Vermont.
                                  

 The internet is a golden opportunity to enrich our lives while meeting fellow teachers all though out the globe and I have found it deeply inspiring sharing ideas together.

I am catching up on her latest training late each evening. It takes all my willpower to not fall asleep while reading the materials. Our weather here in Seattle has been so beautiful, and while I am not complaining teaching outside each day in Yoga Camp can really zap my energy levels.

But as the title of the blog today: I am just tiptoeing in the water while thinking ahead for my new class, families, and fall registration.


 But not to soon, I am still feeling the bliss of this beautiful Northwest summer we are having.


Many Blessings,
Happy Summer
Chandi

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mother we thank you!


 Summer's Glow Original Watercolor by Elaine Frenett, Ashland, Oregon
 Today we celebrated our last class for the school year. In the past two weeks we finished up our garden unit and spent some time with creating our habitats for the new caterpillars. 
Divine Mother always has her own timing while working simultaneously collaborating with nature.
We were late in the season to start this project but our caterpillars hatched just in time for our last day of school.
 It was a perfect day, to release our butterflies as our last ceremony of the year. 

We had many fun activities leading up to this moment. 
 Creating three dimensional watercolor paintings 
                                     
 Creating our butterfly habitat in the classroom. 
  
 Sharing Nature with Children:
Duplication Game
The items were shown to the children and then they explored in the forest for the same items to duplicate.
Caterpillar stories, math games, and songs


 Yoga postures and stories about Gerdy and Caty. Gerdy is a goose and Caty was a caterpillar. I created a yoga story that was told all week  in class about how the caterpillar and the goose becoming fast friends. . 
video
                             
    This was a very sweet video that our children were able to watch. They were only three years old when this was taken, so it was exciting for them see how fast they had grown in a year's time. 

But the most exciting was for the children to watch the birth and unfolding of these amazing creatures. We were all in a state of reverence as we carefully set them free today. As Divine Mother's perfect metaphor, it was time to set the butterflies free and for our children to spread their wings and fly too.    

 They were our friends just for a little while,


What glorious smiles on their faces as we shared our last precious moments of our school year together. 

Mother we thank you,
Your joy shines in everything. 
Open these channels so the world once more may sing. 



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nature's infinite path


I have just returned from a trip to Nevada City, California at Ananda Village. The drive is just about 2 hours outside of Sacramento. Ananda Village is the home to the Expanding Light Yoga and Meditation Retreat. Ananda Village is one of our sister communities from where I live in Lynnwood, Washington. It was the first of the Ananda spiritual communities and was founded in 1968 by Swami Kriyananda. The community is situated on 850 acres of private land including meadows, forest lands,and valleys in the Sierra Mountains. Over 250 adults and children live harmoniously on this land.

I had the extreme fortune to be invited this year, to attend the "Sharing Nature with Children®
New healing activity: Forest Bathing
"Sky and Earth That Touched Me" Joseph Cornell
We spent five days with other participants from various backgrounds that spanned the globe. Many of us came together for the purpose of expanding our consciousness, while sharing our depth of connection in nature. I had to set my camera aside this week and became fully immersed in the vibration of the trees, forests and all life. It was a deeply rich and profound time for me. The pictures in this post are from: Barbara Bingham and Sara M.Skinner Photography. 



The reasons for my attending this training is to expand my work with children globally in the early childhood field, but to also listen to the inner guidance and resonance of my soul.

I love the two fold mirror that our soul reflects while in nature. 
"Silent Sharing Nature Walk"
Sharing Nature with Children®
@Dawn Publications 1998
"Silent Nature Sharing Walk on Lotus Lake"

How we can take nature's serenity inwardly and find it's peace consciously in any given moment but also how can we become a witness to our thoughts as this benign beauty unfolds as a spiritual communion before us? In nature, we feel a spirit of community with all life.

We gain a more positive state of mind as it guides us upward towards a deeper state of inner joy.

 During the workshop we were able to work directly with Joseph Cornell on two consecutive mornings, lunches, and during a celebratory banquet. He is currently writing his next book: "The Sky and Earth that Touched Me" and his "Sharing Nature Wellness Program." These will be published in 2014. We were able to sample the new activities.

Now as they say, after attending a workshop or training; the real work begins. How can I easily and effortlessly apply all that I have absorbed?What is my next step?

I'm convinced that I will be guided spiritually, as nature's path unfolds before me.

My first step on the ridge. 

  " Unendingly magnificent is Nature; yet we view only one of her billions of planets. Her splendor is spread across endless space and manifested on countless worlds;but for us, Her most wondrous gifts remains Her willingness to teach us about ourselves. And when we learn to see and understand ourselves and the world around us, we humans become the pinnacle of Nature's accomplishments; for through man, Nature is able to view and appreciate herself in the fullest, most vividly aware way of all.
      Quote: Sharing Nature with Children®, Joseph Cornell.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Many Hands Make a Miracle



People climbing together
Soon we reach to the pinnacle of every mountain peak
we travel as one,
We lift our hands to welcome the sun. 
Song by: Swami Kriyananda (J.Donald Walters) 

The Living Wisdom School is celebrating our annual all school art show this weekend. 
It is always a labor of love in planning, teaching, and exhibiting all the artwork collectively. This year especially the teachers have really collaborated to present art in many diverse ways.
Each class choose a different Modern or Contemporary artist to focus their inspiration. 
We also came up with the idea of combining all the children towards making an all school Monet garden. This will display the art together from each classroom. 

This is one of the special outreach events we do at Living Wisdom School. Eight years ago we came up with the idea to expand and share our school with the greater community. This event gives such a joyful expression of our children and a glimpse into their lives at the Living Wisdom School.

This past month, one of my students was not present in my classroom on the day we painted our major focal piece for the show. I had talked with her father and asked if she could stay after class, so I
 might guide her through the art lesson.

She did an amazing job that I wanted it to be a surprise for her parents. 
Well low and behold, her art was featured in the local Shoreline News this week, so I had to tell them.
This was done by one of the pre-kindergartners in our classroom. 


This was the second piece painted by one of our students in the 4th grade class. 

We have an amazing staff this year at the Living Wisdom School and I an extremely honored to be working with these inspiring woman. Many of our teachers are also full time mothers and grandmothers.  So it is not just at work that they are serving our children unceasingly, but they head home and have to put on their "moms and grandmother hats too." 

The song written above really finishes out the whole theme:
Soon we reach to the pinnacle, of every mountain peak
we travel as one.
We life our hands to welcome the sun and a wonderful accomplishment.



Thank you Living Wisdom Staff for sharing so much of yourself while
serving all our students and families . 

 Bless you all.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Come Gather Round...


This is the time of the year when our pre-kindergarten class is sharing experiences around the seasonal activities of winter. I thought that I like to feature a story from one of our classroom activities.



A winter time favorite in my classroom  is: The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen

This is a sweet book  for children ages, 4-8 years with a theme based around, gratitude, generosity, love, and kindness. These are all qualities that I want to teach in our classroom.

The story begins with a widow, Sarah who carefully watches the children outside her living room each morning . The bus stop for school, is at the foot of her driveway.   She notices all the children are wearing new mittens except one little boy. She thinks:" Why isn't he wearing mittens?" That evening Sarah knits a pair of mittens and hangs them on the spruce tree at the end of her driveway.  The little boy notices the mittens  on Sarah's spruce tree and places them on his hands.  Sarah is delighted and begins to surprise all the children each morning, as she knits new mittens, and hangs the pairs on the tree. 

The children secretly become part of her new family. Now in the joyful spirit of giving, someone places a large basket of yarn on Sarah's doorstep. She excepts this spiritual gift just as the children excepts her  handmade mittens. The circle of joy and harmony is like a song of love that is shared by all.

After our morning circle, the children in our class were able to make their own mittens to place on our nature table in our classroom.  Each child's hand was measured and then tiny slats were cut all the way around the mitten.

The children selected the yarn that they wanted to use to decorate their mittens. By holding with their left or right hand, they would wrap the yarn carefully with the opposite hand. As they wrapped different designs were made on the front and back of their mittens, This was such a great eye hand coordination activity for this age group. At the end of the yarn string, they just tucked the end piece into the slat. the children then started to layer a second and third layer to their mitten.


The children then finished and hung their mittens on the winter nature tree in our classroom.


To the sheer delight from all of us, we looked outside and it had began to snow.  So we quickly put on our coats, hats, mittens and ran out on the playground to share in the excitement  of a spontaneous light winter snow shower. 


A perfect ending to a glorious sweet winter morning in Seattle.