Second Grade Flowers

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: News- May 21, 2017 No Comments

Hot on the heels of May Faire and just in time for June, the Second Grade has decorated the first floor with beautiful bouquets of flowers. These lovely, delicate watercolor paintings provide an opportunity to explore the color that lives and breathes in the world around us. Thank you to the Second Grade for reminding us of this natural beauty–and of the fact that summer is almost upon us!

Spring Reign 2017

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: News- May 04, 2017 No Comments

By Coach John Healy

The Middle School Ultimate team enjoyed a fun and successful run last weekend in Burlington at Spring Reign, the largest mixed-gender youth tournament in the world. The team played its way into the C Division championship game, falling to a spirited Whidbey Island Waldorf team. En route, Bright Water Waldorf beat teams from Seattle’s Washington Middle School, Roosevelt Middle School of Eugene, Ore., Stratford Hall School from Vancouver, B.C., and Winnipeg’s St. John-Ravenscourt School. The team went 4-2 on the weekend, with both losses to Whidbey. 

 

More than half the team had not experienced tournament play—six games in two days in a festival atmosphere—and the weekend saw enormous growth across the entire squad. The kids improved their play every game and showed admirable grace both in victory and defeat. Over the course of the season, they’ve become a much more skilled group and supportive team mates. 

The season continues this Saturday when the Middle School team returns to league play against Seattle Country Day School and Lakeside Middle School. The games begin at 1:45 on the Woodland Park play fields.

  

In Memoriam: Neal Mobley, former Bright Water Waldorf School science teacher

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: News- Apr 23, 2017 Comments Off on In Memoriam: Neal Mobley, former Bright Water Waldorf School science teacher

Neal Mobley a beloved former Science teacher at Bright Water Waldorf School, passed away in March. Neal had participated in the school from very early on. Many parents who have been around BWWS for a while will have fond memories of his engaging teaching—not to mention his famous tahini sauce! 

Inspired by science from a young age, Neal pursed a degree in engineering and worked in industry for fifteen years. After his daughter attended Seattle Waldorf School, he was inspired to teach, and eventually left his engineering career to become a middle-school Waldorf science teacher of Physics and Chemistry. Neal’s love of science, and of the Waldorf approach he adopted, is well-expressed in some thoughts he shared with us a few years back. 

“Science education begins long before a child enters school. The first nature walk where the child observes, picks up, and asks about every rock, leaf and caterpillar they encounter is a vital moment of learning. The first time a child climbs up on a stool and helps Grandma make biscuits is as well. Or their first experiences of throwing things off the highchair tray to watch them fall. Experiencing the world around us is science education. Children receiving a Waldorf education are allowed to explore their world through play, rhythmic movement, music, and observation—without the heady analysis they are not ready for in the younger years—by building the house from the ground up, rather than starting with the “roof.” A shift happens when the student enters middle school in sixth grade. Around 12 years of age, the child is ready to receive the world in a new way. They are focused more on the world around them and they want to engage this environment in a deeper fashion than before… 

The most rewarding aspect of teaching middle school students, for me, is to set up an environment where they have the freedom to explore their own interests and passions. I am there to shepherd them through the experience, provide the tools and materials they need, help answer any questions they have and get out of their way. The enthusiasm I witness in that environment is indescribable and it can be quite awe-inspiring.” 

As with so many teachers, the gifts Neal Mobley brought to his students will have a lasting, positive impact on their lives. Thank you, Neal, for sharing your love of science with Bright Water.

(You can read more from Neal here and here.)

Bright Water Weekly, April 6, 2017

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: News- Apr 08, 2017 Comments Off on Bright Water Weekly, April 6, 2017

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain
falling on the sunshine…” 

~ Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden

The days grow longer and the earth grows richer and greener. Something within us responds in kind, awakening from the meditative winter, eager to engage with the outer world again; Springtime births a blossoming within and without. Let’s make the bold prediction together that by the time everyone returns from break, Spring will be in full bloom. In the meantime, enjoy the break

To read more of this issue of the Bright Water Weekly, including important parking updates, please click here.

Annual Bright Water Waldorf School Eurythmy Concert

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: News- Apr 05, 2017 Comments Off on Annual Bright Water Waldorf School Eurythmy Concert

Grades three through eight treated the school to a beautiful Eurythmy concert on Sunday, March 19. The children contributed their diverse skills in a kind of Eurythmy “variety show,” featuring eurythmic skits and humoresques, poetry, and the music of Haydn, Pachelbel, Schumann, Türk, Mozart, and Chopin. Also featured were pieces informed by the Finnish epic folk poem, the “Kalevala.” The show was a rousing success, and our thanks go out to the students and, of course, their teacher, Miss McCall!

For more on Eurythmy, check out this earlier blog post.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Grade Animal Projects

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: Early Grades, News, Student Work/Class Projects- Mar 23, 2017 Comments Off on Fourth Grade Animal Projects

 In the fourth grade, students spend time exploring the natural world through the study of animals. Their animal projects are quite comprehensive, incorporating drawing, painting, writing and animal models. Working on the projects allows for an in-depth appreciation of each student’s chosen animal, which includes an understanding of how animals possess distinctive specializations that help them function in their particular environments. The students’ work deepens their awareness of the natural world and their relationship to it.

Third Grade Class Play: Joseph the Dreamer

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: Early Grades, News- Mar 16, 2017 Comments Off on Third Grade Class Play: Joseph the Dreamer

Last week the third grade shared a lively performance of Joseph the Dreamer, which told the biblical story of Joseph.

Sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph eventually becomes the right-hand man of the Pharaoh, a position from which he is able to help his family and find it within himself to forgive his brothers.

 

 

With humor, grace, music, song—and joy—the third grade created a wonderful and engaging performance. We hope you caught it!

Second Grade Fables: The Fox and the Crow

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: Early Grades, News, Student Work/Class Projects- Mar 01, 2017 Comments Off on Second Grade Fables: The Fox and the Crow

A fox spied a crow sitting on a branch of a tall tree with a golden piece of cheese in her beak. The fox, who was both clever and hungry, quickly thought of a plan to get the cheese away from the crow… First he called up to her words of praised for her beauty. Then he wondered aloud if her voice was as beautiful as she was. Succumbing to the flattery, the crow opened her mouth to sing. The cheese fell out and the fox promptly gobbled it up!

Please enjoy some of the lovely artwork the second grade created of the crow, just before the fateful moment when she lost her prize . . . 

Eurythmy Program: See What I Say, Feel What You Learn

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: Child Development, Community Spotlights, Early Grades, Extracurriculars, Middle School, News, Pedagogy/Educational Methods and Philosophies- Feb 25, 2017 Comments Off on Eurythmy Program: See What I Say, Feel What You Learn

by Bright Water Eurthmy Teacher Melissa McCall

Eurythmy plays an essential role in Waldorf education, and here at Bright Water, the Eurythmy program has grown steadily along with our school. There are Eurythmy classes for the kindergartens and all the grades, the opportunity for our community to attend professional performances, the fifth grade “Eurythmy jam,” and a thriving student Eurythmy ensemble, now in its thirteenth year. For those who have never experienced this unique movement art, however, the benefits and even the purpose of Eurythmy may seem a mystery. 

Rudolf Steiner developed Eurythmy, in collaboration with his wife, Marie von Sivers, as a new impulse for the renewal of dance and the movement arts. One of the primary artistic aims of Eurythmy is to make speech and music visible. When speech or music sound forth, the air becomes alive with movement that is normally invisible to the human eye. Eurythmy unveils the inner movement concealed in speech and music and conveys it through the medium of the whole human being: body, soul and spirit. 

Pedagogical Eurythmy kinesthetically explores and supports the learning experiences that students receive in their main lesson and other subject classes. From the feeling center of the human being, the two poles of human experience intersect – the consciousness of the head and the will activity of the limbs. Eurythmy exercises work from this center in two directions: to the experience of movement in space, and to the experience of knowledge or intellect. These strengthened faculties help link the human being to the world, to the divine, and to humanity. Eurythmy works with the life forces that manifest in the physical body and keeps them lively, flexible, and strong. 

The pedagogical Eurythmy curriculum closely follows the ongoing development of the child. It engenders understanding of the lawfulness of geometry, a sense of timing and precision, love for the beauty of language and music, reverence, flexibility, and social awareness. It is ever inspiring to see a group of young people moving in harmony with each other, sensitive to the dynamic of the whole as well as their own striving. Their shared intention seems to carry them along, leaving little space for personality clashes or self-doubt. 

To move harmoniously with a group is a concrete practice in healthy social interaction! Waldorf graduates who have experienced this movement have commented that the soul is moved in Eurythmy along with the pysical body, that they have a greater ability to engage with others harmoniously and even that they play sports better because of their Eurythmy experience!            

It is my hope that this brief look into the purpose of the Eurythmy lesson has been instructive and
stimulating. One of the best ways to understand Eurythmy, of course, is to try it for yourself. Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to explore Eurythmy. 

ANNUAL BRIGHT WATER EURYTHMY CONCERT 

This year’s Eurythmy concert, featuring work by our students in grades 3 through 8, will be held on Sunday, March 19 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. in Skinner Theater.

Come see your children in a variety of offerings, from eurythmic skits and humoresques to classical poetry and music of Schumann, Türk, Haydn, Mozart, Pachelbel and Chopin, as well as the Finnish epic, the “Kalevala”. 

The program will run about one and a half hours and refreshments will follow.

For more information, click here.

 

 

 

Bright Water Weekly, February 16, 2017

Posted by: Chris Nelson   -   Posted in: News- Feb 16, 2017 Comments Off on Bright Water Weekly, February 16, 2017

“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”

~ Barbara Winkler

Is it too early to start thinking about Spring? The weather has been playing tricks on us—draping the Earth in white, rinsing it off with rain, then gracing us with a brief respite of sun and blue skies. The slumbering giant of Winter is stirring, it seems, restless, but not yet ready to awaken and be transformed by the first rustlings of Spring. Yet the moment is just around the corner . . . Enjoy these last rumblings of winter on your break; we look forward to marching together into Spring.

For more from this issue of the Bright Water Weekly, please click here.