Educating Young Students From The Inside Out

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

Friday, November 29, 2013

In Gratitude



We celebrate "gratitude" everyday during our morning circle time in our classroom at the 
I would like to extend my gratitude for my spiritual family and all the beautiful friendships throughout the world, that I have come to know through reading my blog. 
May this day be filled with deep peace as we inwardly thank the one giver behind all our gifts.  

With deepest love during this holiday season,
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.  





Sunday, September 1, 2013

Environment is stronger than will. Beauty in the Living Wisdom Classroom.

 The summer is slowly ending, but I can say the life of a teacher is always in clear focus.

 The past three weeks, I have been changing my classroom at the Living Wisdom School and creating my yearly curriculum. There are a few new changes in our environment.  Every item needs to be cleaned, and moved to create an uplifting foundation for the new students that arrive on Wednesday.  Some how it feels like I have been going at "turtle " pace though. I like to spend quality time in my classroom meditating, singing and actually creating some new art. This year some new felt pieces and art will be added into the classroom.

The environment is the third teacher and helps to uplift the spirit of the child. I like to prepare my classroom with soothing harmonious colors, materials and fabrics. This year especially I am focusing on beauty and calmness. Mentally I place each item in a certain location that can uplift and spark inner love, creativity, and beauty for the young child.

 I believe that children don't need a lot of unnecessary materials that clutter their environments and spaces. The materials I use are also natural woods with the elimination of  unnecessary plastic in the space. I also create all my own visuals. I don't buy teacher materials to put up all over the walls. The art on the walls, are there to stimulate children's creativity and instill the qualities that everyone can be an artist. We all have creativity deep within our beings. If I am teaching an aspect I will add my own visuals. These are just my own personal views and are very subtle to the spiritual child.

I begin imagining children playing in a certain location before the first day of school. What area will have the most children playing? What is the flow in the classroom? Are their areas that a child can play alone or with others? Are their areas for drawing, reading, and block play? Are there dark spaces? Is the lighting soft? Is every corner uplifting without clutter? Are the counters clean? Are there plenty of baskets for natural material: rocks, drift wood, and shells? Does the classroom flow with ease? Is there a space for all the materials?

I also place an importance in meeting my students before school starts. I like to bond a little with them and make them at ease with the new transition of entering the Living Wisdom School.



This past week, I added a whole new cooking area for our room and painted this picture that hangs in our reading area.  We are doing more cooking this year, so the children will be practicing along side of me while we prepare: soups, breads, muffins, fresh organic juices, and moon biscuits of course.

In the  pre-kindergarten classroom I use uplifting but soothing colors. The classroom is a nurturing space for a young child. For many children this is one of the first places away from their home. My classroom provides the bridge into a more traditional classroom. I use soft lighting, plants, flowers, crystals, and soothing colors.
This is our angel ring over their heads. 

Our classroom mural of the moon. 




I will end with a thought that a wise man said:

"No matter what work I am called upon to perform, I know there is a way to bring beauty and inspiration into it. May I always be alive to beauty and creative inspiration."

Many Blessings,
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. 



Sunday, June 2, 2013

" Blowing in the Wind", a year of crafts in review.




This is the time of year when teachers begin to look back, reflect and gather their experiences together through out this past year.   

Just as a dandelion germinates from a tiny seed, the dandelion forms a long hollow stalk with its flower on top. The dandelion flowers change and develop into tiny seeds. The seeds are attached to structures that are shaped like parachutes called pappuses. When the wind blows the pappuses carry the seeds for miles. Then the seeds land and the cycle begins all over again under the right conditions.  

Thus too, are the children in our classrooms. As tiny seeds they begin to form beautiful flowers and then as the winds of the spring approach, the children like seeds float into the their new schools and classrooms. 
As I have grown accustomed to saying good bye each year, I know these little seeds will be nourished in their new garden classrooms by the deep foundations that were planted at the Living Wisdom School.

This entry today is about remembering all the many great projects, and crafts over this past year.
I am not sure who all my readers are on this blog, but I can only guess that you are early childhood educators, parents, and grandparents. 

There are so many great activities it was hard to edit, but I will do my best to share the most meaningful.

We start every year with the "All the World is my Friend Unit."
These are our very first self portraits that hang above their cubbies in the hallway. 
These are globes that are made with form, tape and then art plaster added to each round ball. These are  then dried and painted. The process above is the first stage before plastering.  The children take them home for their home altars or nature tables. 
I wish I could take the credit, but this came from our Kindergarten/1st grade class. I love it.  So great for birthday displays in the classroom setting.
This was the world and our hands. I love murals and how they immediately invite all to work cooperatively. These are their hands that were traced and displayed for our first curriculum night. The children loved this. 
This was our community map. The children worked  together mapping the direction of their homes to the school.  I have found  it is a very usual tool for the parents . This allows the parents to see where their classmates live. Small houses were attached to their 3-D structure. It was displayed flat on a table in the main hallway

We began our fall tree unit.This is our 3-D forest in the hallway.
 Each child painted their version of a fall tree from looking outside our classroom window.
What beautiful memories in Nature.


From the apples we picked we made fun fruit pies for a birthday party. I love to cook in my classroom. Each child selects a card and that is their contribution to the day's cooking project.
These were our alphabet  pretzels. We made these several times. Yum.



This was one of the simplest projects but to a young child so fascinating. This was a very simple paper plate folded into four parts. Small dots of paint were added to one side/ or around the plate. The children then folded them and what a surprise it was when they re- opened their plate. These simple mandalas were decorations for our all school fundraiser.

These were our Thanksgiving gratitude pots.


The holidays were upon us.

 We started the journey of the"Tomten" to all the far away counties and farms.

Each day we traveled to a new country which was our theme for the day. We enjoyed many celebrations.
The children reflected on the deeper meaning of the holidays. 


Celebration of Saint Lucia day 

 Our  New Years boats and setting off our wishes for the New Year. 
Making our boats
Wishing stones from our blessing New Year's cake. Each rock is wrapped individually and baked in a cake. 
I paint rocks in the classroom frequently for teaching all types of  inner qualities. 

Queen of Tarts day on Valentines Day. What a fun game this is. Giving tarts to all the students at Living Wisdom School. The queen never knew what happened. 

100 day activities were a highlight in our classroom. 

Getting ready for our art show. Georgia O'Keeffe. These were made by making a petals from cardboard. The children then added their petals around the paper by tracing. Then black sharpie was used. The next stage was water-coloring in the background, then the foreground. These will be memorable for our families.  
Our watercolor portraits added to jewels with ModPodge. 

Our Monet garden bridge for our art show. One of our fathers gave us a hand with making this beautiful structure for our art show. 
 Here it is at the Art Show, with the pond, willow tree, fish and lily pads. This was the all school project. Each class added to the exhibit at Monet's Garden. 

More flowers for the art show garden. I wrote about this on a previous blog post. 

What would our class be without celebrating the full moon each month. This is from our Equinox celebration. Sun and Moon are equal, happy spring. 

 Equinox Cards made for their bedrooms.

We make crowns for all our celebrations or something for our heads. 
All the children made their own birthday crowns to wear on their special day. 


This was a wonderful week on healing. 

This year our children made Mother's Day statues of their favorite thing they like to do with their mom. 

 I know I got this from Pinterst so I cant take credit for it. Each paper was water-colored with the moon shaded with another piece of cardboard. When the picture was dry the cardboard was removed.  In order for children to get the stars very small I had an idea to take a small piece of cardboard and hole punch a small hole in it. Several holes were actually cut in the cardboard. Then the children could draw through the hole a small star onto their picture. The ladders were made from small sticks from Starbucks. I took a picture of each child climbing a small ladder. I  printed the picture and cut them small to fit the ladder. 
They love their "Moms" to the moon and back. 


This has been a very meaningful year and I am filled with the seeds of gratitude as these little ones float to their new homes.