Summer is just around the corner. Are you ready? This year we are bringing back two camp favorites and introducing something totally new! Come by the office or visit the website for a registration form
P.S. Having a birthday party? Need a space that is kid-friendly (and not your own house)? Have your birthday party at BMS! Talk with us about renting our enrichment space and outdoor space for birthday parties and other events.
Stay tuned to your email and our Facebook group for more information and pictures.
This year was our seventh year of hosting our Special Person Tea in honor of Valentine's Day. The Special Person Tea is a favorite event at our school because it offers our students an opportunity to recognize some of the important people in their lives by inviting them to attend. The Tea illustrates the important connection between home and school, a vital aspect of our school community.
A few weeks before the Tea, students begin to plan how they would like to decorate their classrooms, what kinds of treats they would like to offer their guests, how they would like to dress, and what type of entertainment they would like to have. Sometimes the Tea inspires students to practice instruments, try a new recipe, learn new games, or perfect a magic trick they've been working on.
On the day of the Special Person Tea, all of the students get involved in decorating and preparing for our guests. Wearing special clothes (and trying not to get them muddy at recess!) is often a sign that the day has arrived, along with lots of excitement all around. Hosting and serving parents, grandparents, friends, and siblings in their classroom allows our students to practice using manners and to demonstrate their gratitude for people they care about. The graciousness and gratitude that they receive in return is truly heart warming. Thank you to all who helped to make our Tea special this year!
Welcome, from the Knights of the Round Trailer!
We want to start by saying a very big "Thank you!" to Citizens Telephone Coop for donating a new computer work station to our classroom! We have many plans for working with music, creating our own movies, and much more with this generous gift.
The big news in class is that we've begun production on our play,
The Story of Jumping Mouse
. We hope you will join us for its debut at our school's Spring Celebration and Open House on March 21.
We are all working on many other projects, and we thought a good way to show you what we are up to is with a panoramic view of the classroom at a single moment in our day.
On one side of the classroom, Alonzo practices guitar while Summit rehearses the circle of fifths on piano. Gabriel is finishing up his latest synopses for
Custer and Crazy Horse
, and Amelia and Tara are working on their morning reflection: "The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgement," which was written by an unknown author.
In the middle of the room, Eva is working on her letter to the Black Falcons, and Grace draws some details on her CO2 race car. (Thanks to Justin Miller for helping us out with these!)
Finally, at the other end of the class, Reuben draws in his sketchbook and Indigo is working on her novel, The Garden of the Willows.
We had an eventful February! It was full of celebration and fun.
We celebrated Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey! We created banners using Chinese calligraphy, made rice dumplings, learned about how the Chinese celebrate the new year, studied the Chinese zodiac and read some interesting Chinese folk tales.
Leah's grandmother sent us a package that turned out to be a Mardi Gras party in a box! We invited our next door friends from the early learners class and had a limbo dance party!
We had a great time preparing for Our Special Person's Tea!
Along with all of these celebrations, we took the time to celebrate math among many other things!
Hari Berzins & Jenni Heartway
Watching our students become emerging and independent readers and writers is similar to the process I'm watching at home as Harvest and Pippi begin to develop language.
Babies are surrounded by language.We talk with them, sing to them, and respond enthusiastically to their attempts to communicate (well, we may grump a bit when they communicate their needs in the wee hours of the morning).
In our classroom, we create the same language rich environment for our students. We surround our students with books, stories and writing.We celebrate the success they have writing and reading.We believe they are capable, and we treat them as though they are already readers and writers because they are.
We view reading and writing as a continuum, rather than a skill you either gain or don't.Readers and writers begin developing their abilities as babies and progress as they are immersed in literate lifestyles.They learn that you turn the pages in a book in a certain order.They learn to move a writing utensil across a paper from left to right to create.As they get older, the lessons they learn from us become more specific, but the overall goals of reading and writing remain the same: connection, communication, and joy.
Here are a few snapshots from our class over the last month:
Incorporating cooperative, hands-on games is a way to deepen learning in social-emotional and academic areas. Here the kids are lined up by height--they did it on their own! They also lined up by age and by birth month. They are honing skills on seriation, communication, and cooperation.
Science Share offers students the opportunity to teach each other about areas of fascination in science. Here, Cedar is sharing an electric circuit he created.
Jessica's volunteer work has been a wonderful asset to our class. The Dragons love reading with her, and they are gaining fluency!
The Dragons are learning to tell time as part of our study of measurement.
Love is in the air....
The big event this month was our Special Person Tea, an annual BMS tradition. Some of the older Rosa Sharks remembered it from last year, and for the others it was a new adventure. We began talking about why we have the tea party, and without hesitation the children shared their ideas: because it was Valentine's Day, and you get treats, and friends and family come, and it's a party to show love, and hearts.... Out of these initial conversations several themes emerged:
party, treats, cards, and most importantly LOVE.
I asked my friends, "What do we have to do to have a party?"
"Decorate, clean-up, have food, get moms and dads come!"
So we got busy! We had some store-bought decorations, and added our own creations by painting big and little hearts in red and pink because "hearts and red and pink are Valentine's things!" After deciding where we should hang our decorations, we baked a cake. "But it is for the guests and you can NOT eat it all," I was reminded.
Next we made cards for our special people. I provided pink folded paper, a heart shape hole punch, glue, and glitter (lots of glitter!). As the children worked on the cards, they practiced their fine motor skills, wrote their names, and learned new words by copying from a model. They also learned about glitter: "It goes everywhere and needs good glue to stick." To add some more decoration to our room, we made giant letters to spell "I LOVE YOU" and used the good glue to decorate them with glitter.
All week as we made our preparations, we also talked a lot about love: how do you show love, how do people show you that you are loved?
"Hugs and kisses, but kisses are only for family, because of germs."
"You can give them chocolate and cards, cards with glitter."
"You can say I love you and be nice."
I pointed out that being loved doesn't mean always getting what you want. Setting bedtimes, helping us brush our teeth, and feeding us broccoli are all ways our families show us they love us and want us to be healthy and safe. Snuggling, playing games, and reading books with our friends and family are also really good ways to show them we love them.
One way we thought of to show our special people that we love them is to say it with sign language. Throughout the year, the early learners incorporate American Sign Language into our curriculum, and we have practiced signing "I love you" in various ways.
Another idea we had was to create our own loving meditation to share. It goes like this: "Breathing in I feel my heart, breathing out I give love."
Finally the big day arrived! Everybody had a wonderful time and agreed that the cake was delicious. The children showed off their ESL skills and taught their friends and family a new way to say, "I love you!" Then we all made valentines for the birds: hearts covered in peanut and bird seed because "feeding birds shows them we love them."
Love, the Rosa Sharks
The Parent's Tao Te Ching
The martial master understands
how to yield and triumph.
When his opponent's blow arrives,
he is not there.
yet maintains position,
but stays balanced.
As a parent you must do the same.
When your children oppose you,
do not meet their opposition with force.
Bend and they will topple.
You will win your point
without harming them.
Thus in yielding,
you will truly triumph.
I wish all parents
could know the art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
In this graceful martial art,
flexibility, and grace
are the means by which
the goal is always reached.
Remember that this does not imply
your children always get their way.
Quite the opposite.
You give them unwavering guidance,
but without violence, tension, and grief.
It is a difficult practice,
but filled with great rewards.
This is the time of year where everyone seems to get a little tired and agitated. I am definitely wanting to stay in my warm, cozy bed longer, and I feel more exhausted by the end of the day. Along with these feelings of winter unrest, students often start to push the boundaries a bit;
routines that felt well-established start to unravel. February often means extra breaths and remembering that, this, too, shall pass.
In a few of my classes, we have had to stop working and simply talk, revisiting class room agreements and general aspects of engagement and respect. This is something that I feel we have an advantage with here at Blue Mountain School, that we can slow down, step back, and engage with students on a social-emotional level. I truly believe that without addressing the social, we can not effectively address the academic; or in my specific room, without classroom harmony, the paint can not be dispersed.
So as we look forward towards signs of spring, I personally am remembering to stay strong with the classroom agreements, hold the students up with high expectations, and take a deep breath when needed. Even in these challenging times, we are still making fantastic art!!
As always, thank you for sharing your children with me. What a learning and growing process it is for all of us!
And remember, summer is very close. Be sure to sign up for Big, Messy Art Camp!
During the past month we have continued to regularly practice mindful listening, sitting meditation, mindful breathing, chi kung (as moving meditation), as well as reading various books on mindfulness themes. However, like Lore, I have noticed that this past month has been challenging in the area of discipline in the classroom. As Lore mentioned, it is normal in any school setting for this to happen at this time of year. Even so, we must find a way to return to the agreements that we all took so much time to develop way back in September.
In my class, when necessary, we have revisited the classroom guidelines and opened discussion about our behavior. These discussions weave into our regular practices, and we come back to them as we need to while continuing to lovingly return to what was at hand over and over again until our work is accomplished.
Perhaps all parents could ask their child how the behavior in the classroom has been. If possible, ask them how they could help to improve the classroom environment. What could they do to help others in their class?
All four classes are working on the Spanish verb "tener," which means to have. If you want to practice with your child, there are many ways to do so. They know some basic nouns such as "un gato" (a cat) and "un perro" (a dog). If you see someone walking their dog, or maybe a photo of someone walking a dog, you could ask "Tiene un perro?" (Does he/she have a dog?)
Your child will also be familiar with saying someone has pizza, a lightsaber, and a few other animals!
For an extra challenge, try asking "Tienes un perro?" This means, "Do
have a dog?"
We hope you enjoyed reading the Indigo Messenger.
Be sure to it to anyone you think may be interested.
The folks at
Mar 4: Friday Class - OM
Mar 11: Friday Class - OM
Mar 17: Enrichment Field Trip
Mar 18: Half-Day and Parent Conferences for All Students
Mar 21: Spring Celebration and Open House (5:30-7:00)
Mar 28: No School
Summer camp registration is open, and registration for Fall 2016 will begin at our Open House on March 21.
If we can be of assistance as you make your plans for the summer or the fall, please feel free to call (540.745.4234) or email!
Board of Trustees
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is Wednesday, March 9, at 5:30 in the enrichment room. The public is welcome to attend.
7 Springs Farm Supply, Adam Lake Ceramics, Agatha Grimsley, Ambrosia Inn, Amy Avery,
Andrea Goodrum, Andy Anderson, Andy Volker, Angie Barrett, Asa Pickford, Ashley Morales,
Beegle Landscaping, Black Dog Salvage, Blue Heron Pottery, Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine, BMS Black Falcons, BMS Dragons, BMS Knights, BMS Rosa Sharks, Bob Sisk, Bootleg BBQ, Buddhagraph Spaceship, Buffalo Mountain Kombucha, Cameron Woodruff, Candra Cantrell,
Carol Volker, Cassie Wilson,
Chaos Mountain Brewing,
City Magazine, Clark Gas & Oil, Confectious Shenanigans, Crystal Mountain Beeswax Candles, Dana Beegle, Dillard Fraizer, DJ Rahbee, Dogtown Roadhouse and the Sun Music Hall,
Elisha Reygle, Erica Joy, Farmer Supply, Fat Bean Farm & Food Co., Floyd Country Store, Floyd Fitness, Floyd Jewelry, Floyd Lodging Association, Floyd PFLAG, Floyd Yoga Jam, Floydfest, Gentle Giant Massage Therapy, Good Food Good People,
Grayson National Bank, Green Label Organics, Green Man Inn,
Harvest Moon, Inge Terrill, Jagadisha,
Jane Shaw, Jayn Avery, Jenni Heartway,
Justin Grimes, Justin Miller, Kim Kessler,
Kristy's Creative Creations, La Bella Vita Inn, Lagniappe, Laura Jo Powell, Local Roots, Lore Deighan,
Mary Brown, Maya Ittah , Medina Mercantile, Michael Keyes Photography, Mickey G's , Monkey Business,
New Mountain Mercantile, Oddfellas, Omnea Design, Pam Frazier, Paper Bird Studio and Design, Pat Sharkey, Penny Lane, Perrin Heartway, Phoenix Hardwoods, Playspace Childcare, Rebbecca Jackson, Red Rooster Coffee Roaster, Republic of Floyd, Richard Ursomarso, Roanoke Co-Op, Rowan Chantal, Sarah McCarthy, Sarvisberry, Scott Perry , Scott Smith,
Shawna Williams, Shelly Fox, Shelly Sherman,
Sol Roots, Southern Print and Copy,
Subject to Demolition, Tangled Up In Yarn, The Jacksonville Center for the Arts, The June Bug Center, Tom O'Neill, Tree Gigante, Tree Tiemeyer, Two|One Ceramics, Under the Sun Tattoo, Venture Out Creative Agency, Virginia Tech Cave Club, Vital Touch Massage,
Walker Grenoble, Warren Lapine,
Wing Chun Club of Floyd
for making the 7th Annual Tom Ryan Memorial Mardi Gras Costume Ball an epic success!
Citizens Telephone Cooperative
for donating a new computer workstation for the Knights of the Round Trailer and a new workstation and copier for the office.
Shanti & Kelly Posadas
for donating class materials.
for sending "Mardi Gras In A Box" to the Black Falcons
for donating to the scholarship fund in memory of her brother, Tom Ryan.
for donating to the scholarship fund.
Linda Johnson, Jessica Maas, and Max Biskup
for helping in the classroom.
Shopping on Amazon?
We encourage everyone to support local businesses whenever you can. However, if you find yourself shopping on Amazon, please use the link below, and a portion of your purchase will go into our scholarship fund.
With all the wonderful and farm fresh food in Floyd, it's hard to imagine spending much time in Kroger, but if you find yourself there, please help the school earn a little extra for the scholarship fund.
Link your Kroger Card to BMS with the
Community Rewards Program
. Our Organization Number is 84005.