May 2015 Newsletter

"The Magpie's Nest" a Grade 1/2 Play
The Class Play: A Process from Start to Finish

Our grade one/two class performed the play, The Magpie's Nest, on Friday, April 24th.  It is hard to imagine that we began learning the first words of our play over a month ago as part of our morning circle.  When you begin rehearsing a play with a class, the task almost always seems insurmountable.  How will a class of 20 busy grade one and two children learn to speak and sing three pages of dialogue plus participate in the making of costumes and sets?  The answer is little by little.  One step at a time, children learn to speak their lines with confidence, to stand together as a group, when to flap their wings, and how to paint the trees that will become the background for our performance.  With help along the way from their teachers and parents, all of those little bits of work become a play.  It is a tremendous learning experience for both children and teachers and one that is well worth the wait.

“Madge Magpie, oh Madge Magpie,
Pray will you teach us how?
To build such nests as you do,
 Upon a swaying bough.
There’s no one in the treetops,
 Who knows as well as you,
How to build their houses,
Caw caw to-wit to-woo,
Caw caw to-wit to-woo! “


And off they flew in a hurry! 

Local Geography and History in Grade 3/4

As the sun has been welcoming in the first few weeks of spring, the grade threes and fours have been discovering more about Local Geography and History. Watching as the arc of the sun's pathway has grown with the coming of spring, the children have been learning about the four cardinal directions, seasons of the year, climate, and map-making. Each child worked with their ruler to form an intricate Compass Rose including not only the four cardinal directions of north, east, south, and west, but also the intermediate directions of northeast, southeast, southwest and northwest. Beginning with their immediate surroundings, the children have also created detailed maps of their bedrooms, classroom, and school yard. They made clear and simple legends to make their maps easy to read and follow.

Brittany Shannon, Grade 3/4 class


Bumper Stickers!

A big thanks to Janice & Ka-Yu Law for donating these bumper stickers! Such an easy way to advertise for our school! You'll find one in your child's pouch sometime this week. If you have two vehicles or have a friend or family member that could use one, please stop by the office and let us know!


Mother Earth, mother earth, take these seeds and give them birth....During the week before Easter, the Kindergarten classes planted wheat grass seeds in indoor gardens adorned with natural, non-living items (dried flowers, shells, etc.). The children also made clay caterpillars to sleep in among the seeds and decorations. Nothing was stirring in the garden when we said good-bye on Thursday, but when we returned on Monday, this is what we found!

 Jenny Taylor, Meadow Garden Kindergarten


Earth Day 2015

This pretty planet,
Spinning through space,
You’re a garden, you’re a harbor,
You’re a holy place.

Honoring the Earth and caring for our environment is an important part of the curriculum, community and culture of Mulberry Waldorf School every day:

* We express gratitude to the providers and growers of the food we eat (e.g., parents, farmers, and Mother Earth).

* We plan and plant our flower and vegetable gardens as part of the curriculum to teach an understanding and appreciation for where our food (and beauty) comes from.

* We help to take care of our school grounds and the areas in our neighborhood where we walk and play (e.g. Mc Burney Park).

* We strive to instill awe, wonder, reverence in the children through time in nature and by bringing nature into our curriculum.

* We encourage litter-less lunches.

* We compost and recycle.

* We strive to conserve electricity, heat, and water.

Just as we celebrate our mothers in a special way on Mother’s Day, we have the opportunity to celebrate our Mother Earth on and around Earth Day, April 22, 2015. The following are some of the ways the Mulberry community may be seen showing extra care and thought for the earth in the coming weeks:

* Spring clean-up of our school grounds. 

* Helping with the spring clean-up of our immediate neighborhood, especially in the areas that we use for nature walks and play, and especially on these days:

o Pitch-in Kingston Day, Friday, April 24th

o McBurney Park and Doug Fluhrer Park Spring Clean-Up Day: Saturday, April 25th beginning at 9:00 AM. All Mulberry families encouraged to participate in either of these events—bring rakes, wheel barrows, gloves, etc.!

* Preparing our gardens for planting.

* Accepting the challenge of “Clean Your Commute” this year’s Earth Day Canada theme—a particularly difficult challenge for our school, as our families our scattered across the city and surrounding countryside! Here are some ways we can strive to clean our commute on Earth day, and every day:

o Clean your drive: Drive speed limits; carpool/car share; don’t idle, match octane fuel to your vehicle; service your vehicle regularly; go electric or hybrid for your next car

o Use public transit

o Use People Power: walk, run, bike, scooter, rollerblade, wheelchair, skateboard

o Shorten your drive: Drive part of the way to school, then use people power for the rest of the commute! April 22, 2015 also marks the launch of Earth Day Every Day, a national framework helping Canadians to reduce their carbon footprint 20% by 2020 via an online, mobile-friendly platform.  For information about this and other Earth Day Canada initiatives, please visit the Earth Day 2015 website:

 Upcoming Dates


Wednesday May 6, 2015              Bake Sale at 12:15 pm and 3:30 pm. Proceeds to the Grade 5/6 class trip to Aurora, NY for the Greek Olympics


Monday May 11, 2015                    Board meeting at 3:30 pm


Wednesday May 27, 2015            Grade 3/4 Play at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm


Friday June 5, 2015                          PA Day.  No classes.  Camp available with advance registration in office


Monday June 8, 2015                     Board meeting at 3:30 pm


Thursday June 11, 2015                 Grade School Assembly at 3:30 pm


Friday June 19, 2015                        Last Day of School


Monday June 29 – June 26, 2015               End of Year Camp available with advance registration in office

In the sunny days and freezing nights following March Break, the Kindergarten children tapped the big maple tree in front of Tammy Caldwell's house. The students and neighourhood friends helped to collect the sap, then Fare Well Farms boiled it down for us to enjoy with our porridge! 

Jenny Taylor, Meadow Garden class

“Many hands make light work.”  Please join us in our community effort to make the May Fair a success by signing up at


A great time was definitely had by all at our square dance on Sunday April 26. Hannah Naiman and the Wolfe Island Revelers and friends had everyone hand clapping, sashaying and kicking up their heels all afternoon! Many thanks to all the dancers and  volunteers who helped make the dance and the bake sale a huge success. We raised almost $600.00 in support of the upcoming grade 3-4 trip to Upper Canada Village in June. Special thank yous to Tim Crease, Teilhard Frost & Cindy Johnson for her bean counting contest to win a beautiful silver Mulberry leaf necklace.  


Bean Counting Contest!

Stop by the office sometime this week and make a guess! The winning prize is a hand made, one of a kind Sterling Silver Necklace donated by MG parent Cindy Johnson. It is made from a leaf from our Mulberry tree in the Morning Garden Yard!
3 for $10
The Draw will be at May Fair on May 9th.

All proceeds go to the School.

Cindy is a Goldsmith and designer here in Kingston. Find out more about her at

The Grade 5/6 Class performed "Pythagorus" in March.  The Class is grateful for the guidance of Ned Dickens with set design and advice on acting.  With Ned's advice, they worked on deepening their personal journeys through the play by asking three questions:  Who am I?  Where am I?  What is my motivation for being there?  It was a rewarding experience for the students to witness their own progress from chaos to form.  This journey was shared with Ben Spears, a Queen's student teacher who spent a three week practicum with the Grade 5/6 Class.  

Photos by David Chang 


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