Library Lady's Corner
The End of Year Report in Waldorf Schools May 12 2017
Assessment is a “hot topic” in the news and in educational debate. In Waldorf schools assessment takes many forms, none of which includes standardized testing.
During the year, concentrated “blocks” of study might include an end-of-block assessment. A block might be three or four weeks long and concentrate study on one topic. After a botany block in the fifth grade an outdoor “treasure” hunt to find, for example, a monocotyledon, a pistil, a tap root, a deciduous conifer branch, a dicotyledon, and so on, might be the "test.” After a block on physiology in grade seven, an essay entitled, “The Diary of a Sandwich,” might be the means of assessment.
Traditional Tales Retold by Kelly Morrow April 20 2017
Lazy Jack; King Thrushbeard; The Prince and the Dragon; and Sylvain and Jocosa
When class teacher Kelly Morrow’s search for first readers appropriate and challenging for her students proved fruitless, she created her own. The four little books range from 18 to 38 pages. Each book tells a folk story in a simple, clear, but interesting way, and each story is enriched by a moral truth. The cover of each is an engaging color illustration, and there are black and white drawings throughout.
Book Review: Liputto ~ Stories of Gnomes and Trolls March 30 2017The first few stories in this collection recount the exploits of a disagreeable troll, who ensnares unsuspecting creatures – a goldfish, butterflies – in his net and keeps them in his dark cave; other animals help to free the captives. Then begins the story, in short chapters, of Liputto, a gnome whose job it is to bring drops of sunlight deep into the earth; after seven years of work, he is awarded a kind of sabbatical, to explore for a year.
New Release! Three Plays for Small Classes March 24 2017Three Plays for Small Classes offers class teachers an inspiring start at approaches to drama with only a few in middle school. Vivian Jones-Schmidt demonstrates her Waldorf class teaching experience in the ingenious re-telling of profound tales through the scripts she offers. Drama is a source of endless redemption for pre-teens and for students of all ages, really.
Happy Spring Equinox 2017! March 20 2017
March 20th or 21st always marks “the first day of spring.” Jokes abound in the Northeastern part of our country because it often doesn’t feel at all like spring on this inaugural day.
But the real event is a cosmic one that takes place in the stars and planets. This is why the exact day is not possible to state without stellar calculations. The day is called “The Spring (Vernal) Equinox.”
Waldorf Publications and WECAN Form a More Perfect Union February 26 2017
Here in the land of publishing it’s not always easy to tell what is happening beyond the borders of a completed book process. During the journey of publishing a book there are proposals from authors, committee decisions about those proposals, backs-and-forths with authors, decisions about the age range of the book’s usefulness, permissions from other publishers, decisions about illustrations where needed, layouts, font choices, size of the book, cover decisions, edits, proofreading, biographies of authors, sometimes translation issues, and then the actual lining up for printing of the book before going to press. Read More...
The Heart of Childhood in the Heart of Winter February 20 2017The Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) holds its annual east coast conference in Spring Valley every year during the first or second weekend of February. A while ago this coincided with the beginning of February break for many schools. Now school districts do winter and spring breaks at different times; however, the established rhythm was set and has remained. That this rhythm has withstood the test of time is fine tribute to our Waldorf Early Childhood teachers who understand better than anyone in the world how powerful rhythm is in cultivating the foundation senses and strengthening our life forces. Read More...
Annual Damaged Book Sale! February 16 2017Every so often we receive a shipment of books that have been damaged during transit. A slight ding to the cover or a creased page does not mean that the book is unreadable, only that we cannot sell it at full price. We collect these cosmetically damaged books throughout the year and hold a “Damaged Book Sale” when we have a nice assortment collected. Despite being slightly damaged these books are ready to be read and treasured! Read More...
Groundhog Day or Candlemas? February 02 2017
In the mighty Celtic calendar, the year is marked by the two solstices and the two equinoxes. At the Winter Solstice, the days are the shortest of the year; at the Summer Solstice, the days are the longest of the year. At the Autumn Equinox and the Spring Equinox the days are exactly as long as the nights.
The days that mark the halfway mark between these four celestial events are traditionally named “cross-quarter days” as they are the between the quarters markers.
There’s No Minute Like the Last Minute! December 16 2016Waldorf Publications and the Research Institute for Waldorf Education have many fine possibilities for thoughtful gifts when thoughtfulness in the hectic season becomes hard to muster.
Consider the caliber and depth of some of these gifts — remember, books and subscriptions keep giving long into the future!
This Special Time of Year December 07 2016In our western world, there is a building feeling of celebration leading up to the winter solstice, Chanukah, Christmas, and even the Lakota Winter Count. The sun’s turning toward greater and greater strength and light gives this season a feeling of “something significant happening.” Ancient stories indicate that the “windows of heaven” are open for a time in the deep winter and heaven hovers near the earth more closely than at other times of year. Read More...
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Buy Nothing Friday! November 24 2016
The Friday After Thanksgiving is celebrated at Waldorf Publications and the Research Institute for Waldorf Education, RIWE, as “Buy Nothing Day.” The sweetness of the Thanksgiving holiday is its absence of commercialism. Food, family, gratitude, gathering are all that need be pondered and enacted. Read More...
A Waldorf teacher's presentation on Martinmas & Veteran's Day! November 10 2016The feast of St. Martin coincides with Veterans’ Day. This is no accident because St. Martin of Tours started his life as a conscripted soldier in the Roman army. He was even in his youth, remarkable and he rose in rank to a leadership position quickly.
Happiness is Winning the World Series after 108 Years November 04 2016Just ask the Chicago Cubs what happiness is and they will tell you. Winning the World Series for their team and their community after 108 years of no participation in the Series or championship wins is the “sweetest thing, with no words to describe it,” one elated team member said to a journalist when the last inning was completed and the Series was won.
That word, “happy” or “happiness,” is a mysterious word, overused in the USA. Deviating from the sports arena for a moment — the word happiness is used frequently about schools and teachers and education. Recent surveys done by private schools indicate that many parents....
All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day: the Christian Counterpart to Samhain or Hallowe’en October 30 2016Those who grew up going to a parochial school of any kind in the Christian streams of faith know that Hallowe’en is the contraction of Hallow’s Evening. The pagan practices of Samhain or harvest festivals that include the awareness of the thin veil that exists at this time of year between the dead and the living were deeply rooted in ancient cultures. Read More...
Samhain –– Hallowe’en begins in Ireland October 26 2016It figures that the land of Banshees, fairies and Leprechauns would be the starting place for a holiday like Hallowe’en. The Celtic word “Samhain” is actually pronounced “Sow-in.” This word literally translates as “summer’s ending.” After the harvest was gathered and stored, livestock had been sorted for slaughter or breeding, and the earth was perceived to have exhausted herself, this festival of Samhain was one of four high festivals of the Druid religion.
Why Do Girls Never Slay the Dragon? October 06 2016During the Michaelmas season there are many stories of dragons terrorizing kingdoms. The pattern is, for the most part, repeated. A frightening dragon appears breathing fire and destroying whole villages, and a princess is inevitably frightened and weeps helplessly. A knight appears who courageously faces the dragon, slays the dragon, rescues the princess and earns her as a bride for his heroic actions. Read More...
A Deeper Look into the Days of Michaél September 29 2016
The season gives the signs now of the turning of summer to autumn. In the air, before the green of the leaves begin to blush, the air gives an occasional whisper of fresh chill to herald the changes that will come. Even in places in which there is not a dramatic change between seasons, reports of subtle changes as the earth turns and the parade of the seasons rolls onward come from those sensitive to expressions from the Earth.
The Perseid outburst or meteor shower in mid to late August each year marks....
Belly Laughs September 09 2016
The first grade class teacher kiddingly told the first grader that he was “full of soup,” that he was tricking her and she tickled him as she challenged his playful trick. The little boy let out a deep belly laugh as he conceded that he was caught out and that he was indeed playing a practical joke on the teacher.
The laugh gave the teacher a reason to pause. It was almost December and she had never heard this child laugh like that before. He lived in a difficult home situation and there had been questions around the boy’s placement in first grade. He was repeating first grade following the decision of the previous teacher and so was new to this class.
In the first days of the second time at first grade, the teacher noticed that the boy’s voice had a disembodied quality.....
School Begins and Michaelmas Arrives –– Thank Goodness September 02 2016
In some parts of North America, school has already been in session for almost a month. In other regions schools will start after Labor Day. Whatever the beginning, the new school year is always a rush of excitement; new books, new pencils and crayons, new promises about working hard and paying attention, and a few tugs of remorse that the open, free days of summer have come to an end.
The Rose Ceremony in our Waldorf schools holds a picture....
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