Thursday, January 19, 2012

Saplings ~ Fall 2011 Activites

In November, the Saplings held a Potlach (a gift-giving festival practiced by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast) and enjoyed a potluck lunch and exchanged small handmade gifts with each other. See pictures of the event in our school Photo Gallery. Currently, they are hard at work rehearsing a puppet play for the Winter Festival.

The winter season is a time when many cultures and faiths around the world mark this period of seasonal darkness with festivals featuring the power of light. Celebrations such as Advent (four consecutive Sundays beginning Nov. 27), Hanukkah (Dec. 8-16), Santa Lucia Day (Dec. 13), Winter Solstice (Dec. 21), Christmas (Dec. 25), and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26), feature symbols of light - lanterns, candles, fire, sun - and provide us with the reminder to let our lights shine, even in the darkness.

Some of the Waldorf-inspired traditions we mark at Greenwood Tree in December include Advent (recognizing the mineral, plant, animal, and human kingdoms during each of the four weeks), St. Nicholas Day, and St. Lucia Day. The Greenwood Tree community gathering on December 17 celebrates with a Winter Festival and Spiral of Light, with crafts, songs, perfomances, and dining. The Saplings perform their Winter Solstice puppet play written by Maryann and Cassandra.


The first Light of Advent, it is the Light of Stones:
The Light that shines in seashells, in crystals and our bones.

The second Light of Advent, it is the Light of Plants:
Plants that reach up to the sun, and in the breezes dance.

The third Light of Advent, it is the Light of Beasts:
The Light of faith that we may see in greatest and in least.

The fourth Light of Advent, it is the Light of Humankind:
The Light of hope, of thoughts and deeds, the Light of hand, heart and mind.


Deep Mid-Winter drawing near,
Darkness in our Garden here - -
One small flame yet bravely burns
To show a path which ever turns.

Earth, please bear us as we go,
Seeking Light to send a-glow:
Branches green and moss and fern,
Mark our path to trace each turn.
Brother animals, teach us too
To serve with patience as you do.

We walk with candle toward the Light
While Earth awaits with hope so bright:
In the Light which finds new birth
Love may spread o'er all the Earth.
Deep Mid-Winter drawing near - -
May Light arise in our Garden here.

by Nancy Foster

Seedlings ~ Fall 2011 Activites

Seedlings 1 ~ a recap from gwt parent Shanna Hawes

"Fall season at the Greenwood tree is almost over. It's been a baking, crafting, story-filled fun couple of months. We've enjoyed making (and eating!) dragon bread and pumpkin wagons, collecting veggies for stone soup at Hedlin's Family Farm, crafting Martinmas lanterns after learning of the kindness behind them, and counting apples as they fall from our pretend tree. The children have warmed up beautifully to the sweet presence of our new teacher and we've gotten into the swing of the school season after what felt like such a short summer. We're looking forward to more playing our way into knowledge and skills this winter season. Joy, Peace, and Happy Holidays to everyone! With Love from all of us in the Seedlings 1 group." ~ Shanna Hawes, Parent

Seedlings 2

The Seedlings 2 have been busy baking, making lanterns, sewing medicine bags, picking up more and more Spanish vocabulary and learning some new seasonal songs & verses. Here is a list of Spanish words from Shelley to learn around the Dia de los Muertos holiday: [A common practice during Day of the Dead is to honor someone who has passed on in your life. There is an altar that the family creates and keeps in their home and sometimes in the cemetery. The following items can be found on the altar:]

papel picado – cut-outs on tissue paper
velas - candles
agua - water
bebida favorita - favorite drink
comida favorita - favorite food
pasatiempos - hobbies
jabón - soap
foto - picture
pan de muerto - day of the dead bread
cempazuchil - marigolds
incienso - sage, copal incense, etc.
calacas - skeletons

The Cobbler
There once was a cobbler who lived by himself,
But he had a helper and she was an elf.
And all day long, they’d sing this song,
Making magic shoes to fit everyone.
Rip, rap. Tip, tap. Tick-a-tack-a-too.
Scarlet leather we sew together,
And this shall make a shoe.
Left, right, pull tight.
In summer days are warm.
Autumn days and Winter,
We’re laughing at the storm.

Number Verse
ONE is the sun who shines above,
TWO is the prince when he finds his love,
The king, the queen, and their child are THREE,
FOUR are the winds that blow at me,
FIVE am I with my limbs and head,
SIX is the honeycomb sweentening my bread,
SEVEN are the planets that cross the sky,
EIGHT are the hours asleep I lie.

Root Children ~ Fall 2011 Activities

A recap from teacher Maria Hanson:

"Well, what do you know? That gnome who kept trying to get that pumpkin off the vine was not only successful, but actually made all of us in the Root Children room pumpkin pie the week before Thanksgiving. It was yummy! We even made our own gnomes to help tell the story at home. We also learned a few Native American chants and songs as well as a few about the rain and naturally, turkeys!

To celebrate Martinmas we discovered how tissue paper and glue can come together into a lovely lantern. And we bid one last "hurrah" to the wonder of harvest by shucking dried bean pods and using the beans to help stuff bean bags. Again, I had to marvel at how much discovery and joy can be found in digging into a bowl of beans, whether it be with your fingers or a spoon.

As we look toward December, snuggle in and ponder and celebrate that which brings light to our lives. We will be learning some songs and rhymes about Advent, light, and a story about Mother Nature tucking her seed babies into bed for the winter. To tickle our senses, we will be making cinnamon spice dough and seeing just how many cloves we can manage to stick into an orange to make pomanders. And, as I know we have all done our very best to be good this year, if we put our shoes out there might just be a special visitor leaving us some goodies on St. Nicholas Day."

Here is the recipe for
Cinnamon Spice Dough:

1 cup cinnamon
3/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon oil or white glue

1. Mix all ingredients together and roll out.
2. Use cookie cutters to make shapes, or cut your own.
3. Make a hole for a hanger (if desired) before allowing to air dry.

Hang on your tree ~ or from your car rear view mirror as the "original scented tree."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Join the Root Children

We have two spaces available in our Root Children class.  We meet on Fridays from 9:30 to 11:30 am.  This is a parent/toddler program for children 18 months to about 3 years.  If you'd like more information please contact Nancylee at

Winter Season Volunteer Schedule

Family Volunteer Schedule

If you are unable to fulfill your day, you must find your own replacement. Much goes on behind the scenes and these jobs are very important. Please use the phone list given out at orientation to find a replacement. Thank you.

Here is a list of what days people have signed up for. For those of you not at class last week your name has been assigned to left over spots. Please email MaryAnn with any questions or concerns.

Sapling sign up
Jan 20 Carrie  
Jan 27 Jamie
Feb 3 MaryAnn
Feb 10 Jenn
Feb 17  Carrie
Feb 24 Lisa
March 2 Lisa
March 9 Nancylee
March 16 Heidi
March 23 Jenn
March 30 Amy

Seedling 2 sign up
Jan 20 Dana
Jan 27 Britt
Feb 3 Tami
Feb 10 Tami
Feb 17 Jenn
Feb 24 Britt
March 2 Jenn
March 9 Pauli
March 16 Sarah
March 23  Lisa
March 30 Lisa

Set up before class: Before 8:30 am on Thursday or Wed eve after 7:00
Jan 19  Dana
Jan 26 Laurel,
Feb 2 MaryAnn
Feb 9  Jamie
Feb 16 Amy
Feb 23 Shanna
March 1 Tami
March 8 Britt
March 15 Shelley
March 22 Pauli
March 29 Lisa Z

Take down of school after 4:00 on Fridays
Jan 20 Maria
Jan 27 Sophie
Feb 3 Jenn
Feb 10 Sarah
Feb 17 Carrie
Feb 24 Lisa L
March 2 Kelly
March 9 MaryAnn
March 16 Heidi
March23 Kristian
March 30 Nancylee

Please also check the job you signed up for if you have forgotten. The
bulletin board will remain up for the season.

Thank you again for your support