December 5 2013 Newsletter
Mulberry is Twitter-less
"Making a Gnome House"

Upcoming Dates

St Nicholas Day
Fri. Dec. 6th

Board Meeting
Tues. Dec. 11th, 3:30 pm

Grade School Winter Assembly 
Thursday Dec. 12th at 3:30 pm

Kindergarten Spiral Walk
details to come from teachers

Thursday Dec. 19th   

Last day of school 
Friday Dec. 20th 

First Day Back at School
Monday January 6th

Candle Dipping at Winter Fair

Silent Auction Items

Thank You
Thank You to all who made Mulberry After Dark and the Winter Fair a success!
As many of us know, it takes an entire extended community to make this event possible.
The school was transformed into a winter wonderland thanks to the many parents, grandparents and teachers who lent their time and talents as well as Alton Tree Farm for donating the lovely trees and boughs.
Friday evening’s Mulberry After Dark was attended by over 250 people!  Many enjoyed a glass of wine (Three Dog Winery & Rosehall Run) or artisan beer (McAuslan Microbreweries) with a charcuterie board (donated by Seed to Sausage and Farmstead Cheese), cumin bites (Kris Colwell’s recipe), focaccia (donated by Pasta Genova) and desserts (donated by Bread and Butter Bakery).  Visitors mingled, shopped, bid on the silent auction items and enjoyed the talents of local musicians.  The evening had the atmosphere of a reunion with founding members, former Board chairs, parents and neighbours. 
 Seed to Sausage
Saturday’s Winter Fair was a huge celebration on all three floors and every corner of the school!  Adults and children enjoyed the day of delicious food (by Epicurious Caterin
g with vegetables donated by Fare Well Farm) complete with wonderful live music, desserts (donated by parents), children’s crafts, beeswax candle dipping, a magical forest, the amazing gathering of local artisans, the Faculty’s puppet show and the silent auction. Thank you to all of the parents, vendors and local businesses for donations to the silent auction!
 Thank you to Tara Natural Foods and Novel Idea for allowing us to decorate their windows to promote our largest community event of the year.Students, teachers, parents, community members, musicians and vendors – thank you for joining together to make this day a fun-filled and beautiful event. 
 Many thanks to Mulberry parent and photographer, Jeni Juranics, for these beautiful photos.
If you would like to see more of the Winter Fair photos, go to our website
Winterfare cookbook
The Winterfare cookbook is out! And it is absolutely beautiful. If you missed buying one (or two, they make a great gift), they are available at the Winter Assembly and are available in the Office. Only $22 - and remember these are a fundraiser for Mulberry! 

Teacher’s Desk Needed!  We would appreciate one wooden adult-sized desk with drawers. 

Annual Giving Campaign Update! 
We are now at 57% of our Annual Giving Campaign target of $20,000.  Please consider giving before the Winter Holidays so that we are able to access the Matching Funding.  As a charitable organization, Mulberry is able to offer a tax receipt for donations.  Donations are also welcome in the New Year if you would prefer a tax receipt for 2014. 

The first light of Advent is the light of the stones.
The light of crystals and seashells that dwell in Earth's dark homes.

The second light of Advent is the light of the plants.
Plants that in the sunlight grow and in the breezes dance.

The third light of Advent is the light of beasts.
Creatures that move on the Earth from greatest to least.

The fourth light of Advent in human hearts we find.
Love shared by one and all for all of humankind.

The Spiral Walk

The Spiral Walk marks the season when we seek the light from within ourselves to journey through the darkness of the winter.  
Each child will enter the spiral of greenery to receive a light.  Then they and add their light to the star path, helping to illuminate their way through the spiral while giving light to the next person to come through.  

The Kindergarten Spiral Walk is on Thursday December 19th


Notes from Clover Garden
by Margaret Moncrieff,
Lead Clover Garden teacher

The north wind doth blow

And we shall have snow
And what will the birdie do then?
Poor thing
Fly into the barn, to keep nice and warm
And tuck its head under its wing
Poor thing

The children in the Clover Garden, along with the Meadow Garden, started off the month of November with a trip to Farewell Farms. While there, we enjoyed a hike in the woods, a story by the fire and delicious baked apples roasted over the fire.  What a lovely way to make warm memories before the colder weather would arrive!
Our circles were about finding our way in the darkness with our lanterns.

Glimmer lantern, glimmer
Little stars a shimmer
Over rock and stock and stone
Wander tripping little gnomes
Peewit, peewit, rick a ticka tick roo coo roo coo

Then the snow arrived!  The children have had fun making giant snowballs, pulling each other in the toboggans and making snow angels.  After playing outside, we come into the classroom for a story and a warm snack.  Our last story was about Little Half Chick who, on his journey to the city with the goal of ruling the king’s chicken yard, refused to help the water, the fire or the wind when they were in difficulty.  To his dismay, on his arrival at the king’s chicken yard, the king’s cook popped Little Half Chick in the pot.  Neither the water nor the fire would help Little Half Chick.  The wind, however, saved Little Half Chick from the pot, but Little Half Chick lived out the rest of his days as the very first weather vane.

Sail away silver boat, over shining seas afloat
Sail away silver boat…..

       l’Ordre du Bon Temps 

by Johanne Talbot, French Teacher

The Grade 6-7-8 students are learning about one of the first French colonies in Canada this term in French.  Established in Port Royal, Acadia (Nova Scotia), Samuel de Champlain and his men encountered great difficulties when they arrived in the New World: winter is cold here!  With the help of the Mi’kmac they managed to survive the harshness of the weather by . . . feasting every evening  and establishing l’Ordre du Bon Temps (The Order of Good Cheer). The Mi’kmac showed them how to hunt and fish to prepare the feasts.  These festive banquets were filled with music, poetry and singing and kept the spirit up in the colony.  The class reenacted a feast ofl’Ordre du Bon Temps for their families and teachers on November 13th here at Mulberry Waldorf School.  

By Laura Gerrity
Grade One Lead Teacher

Since the beginning of the year, the grade one children have been learning letters, and things were humming along nicely during most of the term.  The children heard stories about various characters such as a nest of ravens that were saved by a gallant servant (raven forming the letter R), the youngest brother who obtains a golden lantern for a king (K), and a clever tailor who outsmarts a brutish giant (N for needle).  Consonants are neat little packages to teach.  The children learned verses where they listened for consonant sounds (typically only one per letter), and as a teacher, I felt very comfortable working with the children in this predictable world of letters with clear boundaries.
The vowels, on the other hand, were another story.  In contrast to the neatly tied packages of consonants, vowels are messy, emotional creatures.  During my summer training, I had been told by two different mentor/teachers to teach the vowels as “singing letters.”  In my preparation, I read about the “soul qualities” of the vowels and how they allowed us to express human emotions.  I looked for the right gestures for each vowel sound, and reflected upon the way Margaret, during our singing practice, had spoken about vowels being the essence of what one sings in a song. I thought about the English phonetic system where vowels can have multiple sounds associated with each letter.  How could I possibly communicate all of this in an aesthetically beautiful way to my small but mighty class of grade one children?
Ms. Heins, our handwork teacher, was one of the people who guided me towards the right path.  She suggested that maybe a lot of the work I needed to do would be helpful for me as a teacher, but that I didn’t necessarily need to impart all of this to the children.  This reminded me of something I learned in graduate school about teachers needing to learn everything they could about a particular subject in their planning and then keep most of what they learned to themselves.   
The grade one class has just begun this mysterious work of studying vowels.  The children heard a story about a woman who reaches out to an animal after it has been hurt.  They listened to how she sang and cared for the animal, and I believe they are responding to this story in a different way than the ones they heard earlier this year.  It is an interesting and sometimes challenging journey that teachers and students embark upon over the course of a school year.  At times, we all need to venture away from what feels comfortable to get us to the right place.

Vowels from Grade One


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