Educating Young Students From The Inside Out

Educating Preschool students from the "Inside Out"
Showing posts with label Living Wisdom Curriculum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Living Wisdom Curriculum. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A year in reflection, 2013!


Well this afternoon, I was sipping my lunch soup and wondering how the year has slipped by so quickly.  I had a dear friend remark, that this must be your year of study and introspection. She was totally right! I am in the process of completing my Ananda Yoga Teacher Training as a refresher from the year 2002. It takes quite a bit of study, reflection and physical yoga. I am so enjoying this time to dive deeper in the ancient yogic teachings and taking the time to introspect about what the new year will bring. 


2013, was also another deeply inspiring time to study with my spiritual guides, and be certified as a "Sharing Nature® trainer. With this program, it is taking some time for study and deep reflection as to how I will be applying these deep teachings more fully.  They always say: 'If you want to learn something, it is best to dive deep and teach it." 
So 2014, will bring for me personally a time for deeper attunement by sharing these two streams of inspirational light that seem to be coming my way. 
The future, is in Divine Mother's hands. 

Now to thank all my readers and friends this past year, I want to keep the tradition that I started last year and revisit my most popular blog entries. In case you didn't see them,

In the fifth position this year on "Inside Out":
"Blowing in the wind: a year of crafts in review" 
Who can resist learning more crafts. We all have creativity in our bones and as teachers we love to see what others are doing. Here were my favorites from our last school year, 2011-2012. 


In the number four position: 

My Child, My Very First Spiritual Teacher
The title and photo says it all. This is a guest post from one of our lovely parents at the Living Wisdom School. I am thrilled to see how many of my readers loved her writing and humble account about  her new book and working with her children. Thank you, Nilanjana! 



In the third position most read: 
The very last entry during my school year ending in June 2013. 

This blog entry also began with a shared piece of art from one of my internet friends in Ashland Oregon, Elaine Frenett. It was so magnetic, I know this is how others were drawn to this entry. Thank you again Elaine. 

In the second position for this year:

This was one of my favorite and most meaningful celebrations that we had for our children this past year. 
It surely started our year out in a blaze of magnetism and joy. 


An in our top position this year:
DRUM ROLL Please


This was such a beautiful inspiring day the words and pictures I believe capture the essence of Mothers Day. 
 

Thank you all for a wonderful year in reading this blog. I am inspired by so many who I have met, and I will continue to meet in 2014. 


May we all be one in the light some day.  Happy New Year!


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




Saturday, November 16, 2013

Come gather round. stories, and music for families

Come gather round
With a friend on the left and a friend on the right.
Come gather round

It's time for a story. 



Its been awhile since I have put my attention on sharing my favorite stories for young children.  It is that time of year again when we focus in on the holidays and we want to give as special gifts for our love ones. This book is so sweet for all the budding musicians in your life.

This month's classroom favorite is: Mole Music by: David McPhail (here is a link to the illustrations and the book being read.)




Mole has always led a simple life.  One day on the television he sees a man playing the violin.  This inspires him to order a violin and start practicing himself.  At first he is terrible, but over the years as he keeps practicing he gets better and better.  He dreams of playing for others and little does he know — he is.  Mole’s persistence at playing the violin is inspiring and beautiful. There are actually two stories happening in this book. David McPhail creates the illustrations of mole's life under the ground and simultaneously how his music effects all life,above his home. It brings cheerful smiles to the reader on each page. 


This book is a beautiful way that I like to teach music in my classroom. Music is the channel of vibration  and how powerful it is to uplift our thoughts and consciousness.

 We were very fortunate to have the distinguished David Eby join us at the Living Wisdom School of Seattle this past month. He and others, shared with us a direct experience of music and vibration.






 David is a director, cellist, teacher and writer exploring connections between music and consciousness  He is living his dream to bring together spiritually minded musicians and intentionally creating inspiring
 performances of great masterpieces.



" The highest role of music is to inspire and uplift consciousness — to give us an experience of something greater than ourselves."



When I feature a book on my blog I never want to give the story away, but you can be sure it is about creating an experience while listening to music and expanding our awareness to something greater than our selves. 

Collage inspired by the story, Mole Music by Chandi Holliman
"A person’s magnetism is an expression of his consciousness. Improve your magnetism by infusing everything you do with positive thoughts and energy. The more joyful and loving your consciousness, the more uplifting will be your magnetism." 
Swami Kriyananda 


This is a beautiful video I just found. I would like to share with you.  Deeply inspiring. 

As I conclude this month, please visit "Inside Out," later this month and I will compile some new suggestions for all your holiday gift giving.

Aum, Shanti

Chandi

 





Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tree and leaves in the autumn


Leaves in the autumn came tumbling down,
Scarlet and yellow, russet and brown,
Leaves in the garden were swept in a heap
To jump up and down in,
with our two tiny feet.

Red leaves and yellow leaves,
Orange leaves and brown.
Leaves are everywhere,
Happily dancing down. 


I believe every school classroom all over the northern hemisphere is celebrating the seasonal changes now as we celebrate autumn. Our classroom at the Living Wisdom School of Seattle, is no exception. Our focus this month have been the beauty of trees. I like to build on the spiritual experiences for young children through the study of our earth's natural rhythms. 



What do the trees teach us?
  Just to name a few qualities that I focus on: inner power, strength, calmness, beauty. and stability. Tree medicine comes through many experiences in the classroom.  We can share a powerful story from nature, a song, interwoven bark textures, and though a multitude of visual art creations.    
I love the fall and all the many ways it can open the heart in nature.
 As we all know the projects are endless. 



Our class plays daily in our natural playground filled with Cedar, Douglas Fir, Maple, Alder and Hemlock trees. Is is a joyous sight to behold.  The children and I love to bath in this carefree childlike setting, filled with make believe bears, gnomes and fairies. The children are transported to a magical wonderland of their make believe worlds and story telling. 





We end each morning with a gathering together at the base of our trees. Here, we do an exercise called: "Reciprocal Breathing". We offer thanks to our trees at the conclusion of our morning in the playground. 

It is the highlight for many of us. 



May this fall be full of many blessings to your family and loved ones. May we all share in the inner  peace the leaves, and trees bring to us in this autumn season.  





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

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I am the bubble, make me the sea.



I am the bubble make me the sea..
Make me the sea,
Make me the sea.
Wave of the sea, dissolved in the sea
Wave of the sea, dissolved in the sea.
Oh, I am the bubble make me the sea.


The "wave of the sea", is our very last celebratory unit that we participate in our classroom. 

For the past 11 years, I had started the tradition of taking the children to the Puget Sound for our all school field trip.This year was no exception.  The Puget Sound is only fifteen minutes from our school. 
.  The children explored the Puget Sound seashore at low tide with teachers, parents, grandparents and friends.  





The next day in the classroom, I wanted the children to recreate the living tide pools that they saw. 

This is a two day project and begins with mixing:

3-4 cups of white flour
Enough dough to make the dough very sticky
One rectangular cardboard piece




Have the children apply the sticky flour to their cardboard



Let this dry flat in a cool space until the next day. 

So fun, sticky hands. 
The next day in class we all began to look at the pictures that we had taken from our 
the previous day at the beach. 




The children were reminded about all the tide pools and sea life they had viewed.

I gave them their dried play dough boards and we mixed several colors of paints. 
They were able to paint several textures and colors with sponges .
Textured sea stars were also added with a hot glue gun. 


I think their creations came alive and very real. 


Below is a chant written by Parmhansa Yogananda and is chanted by Swami Kriyananda in the 1950's 

We love this chant at the Living Wisdom School. We use this song particularly during this unit and our children know it well. It is often requested to sing repeatedly.

 I will leave you this evening with this beautiful chant. 


Blessings all
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.