Wood-fired baking – a middle school elective

Every winter, the middle school students choose a six-week elective, offered Friday afternoons. This year, six brave souls (who don’t mind the cold) are learning to bake in the school’s new wood fired oven. Here’s a little bit of what we’ve done during the first three sessions — Kristen Fehlhaber Week one:  we baked pitas, but had a hard time getting the oven hot enough.  Our dry-stacked bricks, combined with a beehive shape, left too many gaps in the walls.  But the pitas all got eaten — no one seemed to mind.   Week two:  we took the oven apart, down to its hearth, and rebuilt it, all in 90 minutes.  What a great bunch of hard workers!  We also baked some rolls (in a conventional oven), with some stenciling on top.   Week three:  time to test the newly designed oven.  After it was cleared of snow, it sent off a lot of steam.  Then we baked two kinds of naan — snowshoe naan with sesame seeds and Uighur naan with scallion, cumin and caraway seeds.  It held its heat nicely and we are looking forward to three more weeks of this baking elective.    ...

$10,000 Challenge Grant Met!

Thanks to donors like you, Cape Ann Waldorf School met the $10,000 challenge grant! Thanks to the generosity of the CAWS community, we met the goal of our December challenge grant. CAWS will now receive an additional $10,000 for the 2012-13 annual fund. In fact, over 81% of community families made a gift or pledge to the annual fund by Dec. 31, 2012 — exceeding our goal of 75% participation! We are thrilled and deeply appreciate that so many of you demonstrated your support during what we recognize is a busy and often financially challenging time of year. It is wonderful to see our community working together to keep our school strong. If you haven’t done so yeat and would still like to make a donation to the 2012-13 Annual Fund, please visit this page.   Congratulations and thank you to all of the CAWS...

Painting the Sistine Desk

Seventh Grade Curriculum Update by Anna Scalera The seventh grade recently finished a history block on the Renaissance – a period brimming with excellent possibilities for learning through biographies. Our block began with the life story of Joan of Arc. The seventh graders marveled at Joan’s bravery in choosing death over imprisonment. Learning about the lives of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael was fascinating for students and teacher alike. From Leonardo’s flying machine sketches and dissections, to Michelangelo’s habit of not wearing socks for long periods of time, the artist’s quirks and timeless masterpieces captured our imaginations. One assignment asked each student to copy a great master painting of their choice. They quickly realized how challenging it was to draw the figures (and in two cases, horses), as well as match the values and hues. We were able to apply our math study of ratios to scale the paintings down to the size of our paper while keeping the same proportions. One of the most memorable experiences of the block was a drawing activity intended to simulate what it might have felt like for Michelangelo to work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. For about 30 minutes, students drew a map of Italy on the underside of their desks! (photo below).  Credit for this fun idea goes out to Mr. Masi, former intern in grade one. At the end of the block, students shared which of the triad of great artists was their favorite. The top two were Michelangelo and Raphael – the former for his incredible willpower, and the latter for his gifts of being well-loved, and able to...

Our Holiday Fair

A post by Pam Fenner of Michaelmas Press, who was kind enough to work at our fair and write this lovely piece for her “Pam’s Perspectives” blog. Go to a Holiday Fair By PJF | Published: DECEMBER 7, 2012 Holiday fairs are often held in communities between Thanksgiving and Christmas or Chanuka. I recently worked at the fair sponsored by the Cape Ann Waldorf School. What a treat to buy items made of wood, beeswax, and other natural materials along with books and hand-made dolls. I am especially intrigued with the small wood animals from Germany—a veritable Noah’s ark. As people entered the school, they were greeted with a string quartet of 8th graders playing in the front hall. When I visited the room where children were making hand-dipped candles, we were entertained by a trio of 3 violinists from the middle grades. A group of parents and faculty periodically came through the halls singing madrigals—a lovely festive day. If you readers live anywhere near a Waldorf/Steiner school, check their website calendar for their fair.  You’re in for a treat. Here are some of the photos from the Cape Ann fair. The Enchanted Caravan store at the fair This constructed treehouse can be played from all sides. Swingset and seesaw for small dolls Advent calendars and winter scenes for sale Magical castle scenery, knights, and animals made in Germany Read the...