Kindergarten

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Our 2-year kindergarten classes serve children between the ages of four and six. Both of our classes have a mixed-age range, allowing the children to form deep relationships with their teachers and peers as well as develop foundational skills.


Play Centered
Research confirms play is the young child’s work, supporting them in exercising their creativity and imagination and laying the groundwork for a life-long love of learning. Through play, young children gain a sense of the world and themselves. The simple natural toys found in a Waldorf kindergarten provide endless possibilities. A rock from the basket of river rocks are handed to a shop keeper as payment, boards and wooden boxes are transformed into airplanes, doctors cure baby dolls and forts are built.

Outside, our large kindergarten yard provides ample space for a variety of play. Here the children enjoy climbing trees, building teepees and playing house in the homes they built, being gnomes by crushing rocks, or building a fairy home in one of our garden spaces. Play is just as fun in the rain! On rainy days, our students suit up in rain gear for their outdoor play where they enjoy the bliss of a good mud pie or a slide down our muddy mountain.

Strong Foundation
Physically
Over the two kindergarten years the children are growing exponentially. Their bodies are lengthening after leaving toddlerhood and they are becoming more and more capable. The kindergarten classes take walks in the greenbelt weekly to support large motor skill development. Circle time provides opportunities for healthy movement, crawling, rolling and crossing midlines while playing games and singing songs. Outside, the children are encouraged to try the monkey bars, jump rope and practice other milestones. Fine motor skills are acquired through the practical arts of sewing, finger-knitting and woodworking, as well as through artistic endeavors such as coloring and watercolor painting.

Language skills
The children experience the richness of language through the art of storytelling. Teachers tell stories often in four week blocks allowing a story to live deeply in the children. The stories are initially told by heart and without images allowing each child to develop the capacity to mentally picture the story and the characters.

After several story circles, a puppet show is performed followed by a people play. In the people play, the children are given the opportunity to take on a character in the story, experiencing the human archetypes that we all carry. Language skills are also acquired through song, finger games, nursery rhymes and verses.

Meaningful Work
The children participate in meaningful work, chopping vegetables, raking leaves, feeding the chickens, sweeping, folding, washing and so forth.  These purposeful activities strengthen their will or their ability to achieve a task. With each task work gets easier and becomes enjoyable. Such activities also develop a sense of responsibility and foster a sense of self confidence and achievement. The children feel capable and proud when they know they can do real work and serve others.


Community Oriented
In the kindergarten, there is always an occasion to express gratitude and to come together. From Michaelmas in the fall to May Faire in the spring, there seems to always be something to look forward to and prepare for. Festivals and birthdays are celebrated allowing the child and their family to connect to the natural cycle of the year. Parents work in partnership with teachers to support their child’s development and, through volunteering, support the curriculum and festivals in the kindergarten. Parents form close bonds through parent evenings and time spent after school together while the children play.

Reverence
Our toys and classroom materials are natural and mostly wood, glass, silk and wool. These materials provide the children with a real sensory experience and provide a greater appreciation for the natural world around them. We show our gratitude in the way we care for our toys and environment, taking care to roll up silks and tuck in our baby dolls.

We believe in honoring the natural world.  In the yard, we treat the lizards, frogs and other tiny creatures that share our yard with care. We strive for the children to live with a sense of wonder and to be filled with awe and joy in the beauty found in the world.

 


Video Introduction to Kindergarten


Kindergarten Rhythm

8:00-8:25 am Morning Gathering Circle with Parents.  Children, teachers and willing parents join together to sing good morning to the new day.
8:30-9:00 am Circle Time.  The teacher leads the children on a magical journey through song, dance and story, inspired by the changing seasons.  The children move their bodies in developmentally challenging ways as they participate as a group, while learning verses and songs.
9:00-9:45am Inside Playtime.  Children engage in child-directed creative play.  Examples of their play include going on an airplane trip, camping, taking care of the home and the babies, or acting out ideas from our stories. Children also participate in teacher-led activities like finger knitting, sewing, and cooking and prepare for the many festivals celebrated in the kindergarten (i.e., dyeing silk capes, crafting lanterns, carving pumpkins, shaping wreaths).
9:45-9:55 am Clean Up Time.  We sing a song and clean our room.  Each child has a job to do and everyone works together.
9:55-10:25 am Healthy Snack.  We serve fresh fruit and/or vegetables with our snacks.  All items are organically grown, season and from local sources when possible.
10:25-11:40 am Outside Playtime.  The children play in our lovely kindergarten play yard.  They dig in the sand or our digging hill, garden, spin on the tire swing, climb in the trees and enjoy nature and each other.  
11:40 am-12:15 pm                      Story and Activity Time.  A different activity each day. (e.g., painting; coloring; walk; beeswax modeling).
12:15-12:45 pm Lunch.  We all sit together to enjoy the lunch we bring from home.
12:45-1:00 pm Goodbye Song and Hugs.  We sing goodbye to our day.
1:00 pm Parents Arrive.  Children are received outside. 
                                                                                

Optional aftercare begins at 1:00 p.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. for families who need full-time care


Kindergarten Teachers

Casey Powers

Climbing Rose Lead Teacher
Casey Powers grew up in Davis and has returned to her hometown after finishing up her studies at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where she studied writing and education. Before taking on the role of Lead Teacher in the Climbing Rose Kindergarten, she worked as an assistant kindergarten teacher at Davis Waldorf School and at the Olympia Waldorf School.  She received her Early Childhood Waldorf Teaching certification through the Sound Circle Center for Arts and Anthroposophy in Seattle, Washington. In her spare time, she loves watercolor painting, writing children's stories, practicing yoga, playing ukulele, gardening, and making puppets. 

B.A. Education and Writing, The Evergreen State College

 


 

Mira Sahoo

Climbing Rose Assistant Teacher
Mira Sahoo received a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Economics in India, but her love for children drew her to the field of education.  She has been working with kids for over five years at various local schools and is a mom of two.  Her main  goal when working with children is to provide them with an engaging and safe learning environment, where intellectual growth is fostered - yet the kids still have fun. In her spare time, Mira loves to garden, cook, and spend time with her family.

 

 

 


 

Emily Lalande

Morning Glory Lead Teacher
Emily Lalande has worked at DWS for three years, assisting in the kindergarten and preschool as well as working in our nap program and June Bug Aftercare.  Emily also worked as a nanny with children 8 months-14 years old for more than six years and helped facilitate children/family events at her Meditation Center with children
4-9 years old for several years.

Emily completed her Waldorf Teacher Training with a focus in Early Childhood from the San Francisco branch of Rudolf Steiner College.  She has attended many lectures and conferences on Early Childhood Education, Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy.  Emily brings magic and joy into the kindergarten through her love of singing, nature and story telling. 

B.A. Fine Art and Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz; Waldorf Early Childhood Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California.


 

Rebeccah Murray

Morning Glory Assistant Teacher
Rebeccah Murray, also known as Beccah, began teaching in 2015 and led her classroom for 5 years before joining the Waldorf family. This coming year will be her first leap into the world of Kindergarten! As she continues on this path, Beccah plans to continue working towards her Bachelors in Education and Waldorf Teacher Training. 
Beccah is a mother to two young boys, Henry and Elliot. She recently learned how to sew and has fallen in love with the craft. She enjoys needle work, reading, iced coffee and crafting of most kinds. Her favorite outdoor activities are camping and gardening. Beccah looks forward to sharing this journey with all of us here at DWS!