Friday, September 25, 2009

Beach Plum Jelly

One of the many traditions that has developed over time at Woodside School is that of making beach plum jelly. We are fortunate to have beach plum trees thriving on our playground. The process is not complicated yet there are many steps and much learning that takes place as the children work together to create this delicacy for their families and all the classes at Woodside.

First the children learn about beach plums.

Each child is given a collection basket.

Final instructions are given before the harvesting begins.

Once the plums are harvested the work begins. The plums must be picked over removing stems, leaves and twigs and then checked for any imperfections. After careful inspection they are washed, mashed and cooked on the stove.

Next the plums are boiled and then transferred into a cheesecloth lined sieve to drain over night.

It is through this process that the juice, necessary to make the jelly, is extracted from the plums.

Sugar is added to the juice and it is returned to the stove.

Next the jelly mixture is poured into prepared jars to set up.

In the classroom the children used watercolors to paint decorative lid covers. They also worked carefully on labels for their jelly. Notes were written to the other classes as the children prepared to present their gifts to the younger children at Woodside School.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Routines

The first week of shortened days went well. Both children, families and teachers were happy to return to school. Over the next weeks we will be working on developing our classroom communities with an emphasis on establishing routines, understanding safety rules and supporting the children and families as they become accustomed to new expectations. The following video will provide an overview a typical day at Woodside School.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back to School

It was a busy summer at Woodside School. We have been working on completing our NAEYC Classroom Portfolios that document all the learning that happens at Woodside each day. These portfolios are one part of the re-accreditation process that we are currently undergoing. Many hours have been spent organizing photos, writing descriptions, gathering documentation and thoughtfully reflecting on the work we do to prepare children to enter the larger community. We have all worked together to clean and organize the classrooms and plan for the upcoming weeks as we begin again. However, it wasn't all work this summer. Two pizza parties took place in order to provide families with an opportunity to reconnect and enjoy each others' company. Fun was had by all. Planning was also underway for our first annual Woodside 5K Walk/Run. We hope you will join us for this fun family event on November 1, 2009.

It is hard to believe that the Summer is fading and we are entering a new school year. We are looking forward to developing our classroom communities, reconnecting with all of our returning families and welcoming new families. It was a pleasure to see so many families at our orientation evenings and visiting days. We are happy to hear the sounds of children in our classrooms once again.

Welcome back!