Klahanie School November 2022 Newsletter

NO SCHOOL: Monday November 14-Thursday November 24 

Conferences: Thursday November 3 and Friday November 4th click below to listen or read for more foundation information:

Halloween: Thank you for not overdoing it in parties, sugar and staying up late if you plan for your child to attend school Tuesday November 1.  We love the help not having too many tears the day after this sugary holiday, thank you!  

November Unit Topics

  • Dia de los Muertos and Diwali: Offrenda (altar) to celebrate Dia de los Muertos and Diwali will be in the front of the 3-6 class this month.  Klahanie families are welcome to contribute any papel picados, flameless candles, orange flowers, etc. that you may wish to share.  Love and Light to honor our loved ones and the earth.  
  • Wednesday November 9th is the Klahanie Thanksgiving Meal for both classes, during class. Normal schedule and school day
    • Giving Thanks: Exploring ways to express our thanks to those we love and the earth.  Before our Thanksgiving break we will make a Class Thanksgiving meal as a class over a couple of days, set our table, sing a Thank You song and eat our meal together while teachers serve and Emmy reads Jonathan London’s Giving Thanks.  The meal will be evergreen huckleberry, beet (from the garden) and apple sauces (picked, peeled, cooked by the children, a bit of honey added), smoked salmon and cornbread muffins.  All food, with the exception of the curing of salmon, is made by the class.  This is a very sweet couple of days.
  • Indigenous Salish Sea life: looking back to the ways of how and why the indigenous peoples accessed Vashon Island, specifically in our Ellisport, Klahanie beach land and waters: what was harvested and when and what kind of life was experienced.  Indigenous awareness of the past and of the local tribes we can continue to support. Chief Sealth exploration.
  • Author and Pacemaker Bryd Baylor and more Indigenous authors and stories centered on earth, family, ancestry, cultural awareness and celebration.  Please check out the following article for some great book recommendations to seek for your family library centered on North American Indigenous life: Kids’ Books That Share True Stories of Native Peoples “It is vital we read books that are tribally specific, include Native sovereignty and depict Native peoples as diverse people of today.” https://www.parentmap.com/article/childrens-books-that-share-the-true-stories-of-native-peoples-in-america 
  • Islands, Togetherness, Community Within & With Others: Exploring what an island is and other land and water masses using songs, poetry, storytelling we will explore being a true Neighbor to one another.   PeaceMakers Helen Keller Helen Keller’s Life and Legacy Fred Rogers’ work will be prominently featured this month and every month, as well as honoring Chief Sealth of Suquamish  (please checkout the Suquamish tribal center and his birth and burial site) with beautiful quotes and age appropriate honoring of the reasons behind indigenous Earth guide.  


How our words are understood doesn’t depend just on how we express our ideas.  It also depends on how someone receives what we’re saying.  I think the most important part about communicating is the listening we do beforehand.  When we can truly respect what someone brings to what we;re offering, it makes the communication all the more meaningful….

We speak with more than our mouths.  We listen with more than our ears. ~Fred Rogers

Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother.  Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.  If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.  This we know: the earth does not belong to man – man belongs to the earth.  This we know.  All things are connected like the blood that unites one’s family.  All things are connected.  

Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.  ~Chief Sealth

I’m Proud of You (We sing this with our hands on our hearts in thanks to Self) 

by Fred Rogers

I’m proud of you.  I’m proud of you.

I hope that you’re as proud as I am.

And that you’re

Learning how  important you are,

How important each person you see can be.

Discovering each one’s specialty

Is the most important learning.

I’m proud of you.  I’m proud of you.

I hope that you are proud of you, too!

  • Salmon: amazing life cycle journey, Pacific Northwest salmon and habitats.  This is a very dear unit and we read some amazing books and poetry about the salmon’s inspiring life.  Please contact Vashon Nature Center co-director Maria Metler (dear friend and previous Klahanie nature specialist) for respectful observation sites.  There are some great ones on the island and when introducing so much zoology and botany, we also incorporate grace and courtesy of all living things.  That includes how to act as scientists using our observation eye, ears and noses when witnessing other methods of life.  This does not include touch.  I ask that very clearly as part of our empathy exploration and the idea of stepping into another’s perspective and request to be alert on numerous levels of practicalities that can also assist in safety experience exploration (non-edible or poison items, delicate habitats or terrain, etc). Links: https://vashonnaturecenter.org/project/salmonwatchers/

Dad believes that the things of nature are a gift.  And that in return, we must give something back.  We must give thanks…..

To me, it’s a little embarrassing to say thanks to trees and things.  But Dad says it becomes a habit; it makes you feel good.  ‘Thank you, stars,’ I say as we near home.  And the stars come out, one by one, as if from hiding.

~Giving Thanks by Jonathan London

We sing the following song:

Thank you for the food we eat.

Thank you for the friends we greet.

Thank you for the sun that shines.

Thank you for the rains on the pines.

Thank you for the birds that sing.

Thank you, thank you for everything.

October 2022 Reflection

We LOVE YOUR CHILDREN!  What a gift, honor and celebration to Celebrate good-times with your children and witness the openings to life wonders and practicum learnings in the senses.  Thank you parents who were able as well for such wonderful conferences, what fun sharing about your children.   The richness of the time and the richness of where your children are in life is such a cherished honor for us to witness and support.  Thank you for the bravery of openness and kindness to build a better world for our children by listening and being so patient, resilient and present in the life movements and massive daily changes.  As shared during conferences, your children make a kind and inviting group.  

The leaves are changing and the rain has re-emerged, autumn is fully here.  Inside and outside the children are exploring new friendships and with that we are able to support the natural and normal relationship dynamics playing out and figuring out how to open our listening ears and learning to speak from the heart, and what defines a kind leader.  We teachers are taking a lot of time to help the children figure out joyful ways to connect with friends and introducing mediation “holding our concentration” complimented with movement stories.   There is a great amount of kindness offered and received during class daily.  The main focus we leave them with is how kind they are.  We explore together that kindness and gratitude will lead to a joyful life on earth and possibility greater connection with others and earth.  We continue to build our empathy development with inquiry and listening along with important grace and courtesy responses to friends’ questions and actions.  

Thank you parents for dressing your child weather prepared with warm layers and easy to slip on boots as well as keeping a cozy change of clothes replenished in name labeled plastic gallon bags!  Thank you also for practicing with your child at home ways to put clothing, boots, masks and coats on independently.  As well as the practice of washing hands and drying.  We use the following technique at school and thank you for the practice at home:

“You put your tag by your toes, hands in the holes and you flip it over your head.” flipping the coat on by laying the coat upside down by the child’s toes.

PREPARING FOR COLD DAYS for AM and PM classes: Please continue layering and coming to school in waistband (pull up and down) rain pants and rain coat.  Some children love work gloves in the garden or extra mismatched socks children can use as hand warmers. 

On Going Class Goodness:

  • Study and observation of the three woodpeckers and winter birds arriving and who frequent our garden: Downy headed,  Pileated and Flicker, Chickadee.  Following winter solstice, we focus on native Ellisport winter small birds, owls and eagles.  
  • Teacher Toby will begin focusing on painted self portraits and other incredible art projects.  These are absolute treats and will take time so when they hang up definitely give celebration to the children and incredible artist teacher Toby!  Thank you Kumu Toby!  
  • Fantastic Teacher Austin continues our Monday reading specialist work with 1-1 exposure and practice of piecing together reading, and exploring individual love of literature–he is getting them grounded in being amazing, patient and dynamic lovers of books, libraries and literature!  Thank you Kumu Austin!
  • Incredible Teacher Deb daily explores animal life needs, care and learnings alongside each of your children.  The children are coming to a new level of animal care with Deb’s love and expertise.  Thank you Kumu Deb!


  • Please help us organize a donation of food and toy drive for the Food Bank this holiday season for island families.  

Montessori Information and Helpful Resources

Inside Montessori Society Classrooms:


Montessori Terminology:


Montessori and Special Needs:


Montessori Articles:


Brain Development Early Years

The Impact of Early Adversity on Children’s Development

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