Friday, 11 March 2016

December 2015: Grade One: Math (Number 7; 4 Processes) & The Christmas Advent Season

Above the manger stood a star
A star all wondrous white
And all about His lowly bed
There welled a flood of light

It bathed the stable in its glow
It shone round Mary's head
And on the kneeling shepherds cloaks
It's radiant beams were shed

Star of the world, through time and space
It flames in glory bright
To make man's pilgrimage through the year
A pathway of light

Week 1

Snippets from our week...

We started December by finishing off a few projects, but then soon moved into the Advent celebrations and gift making ready for Christmas. Mr 7 worked really hard on his December calendar and was very pleased with the result.

Number 7
In the first week of December, we spent time exploring the Number 7 by using the Aboriginal dreamtime story of the Rainbow Serpent. We also studied rainbows and leaned how to make our own using a glass of water, a piece of white paper and light from the sun. 

Story: The Rainbow Serpent

TL: A white lipped snake we found in the garden this week!
TC: MLB Number 7 page
TR: MLB Skip Counting by 7

ML: Ways to make the Number 7
MC: Modelling the Number 7
MR: Walking the Number 7

BL: Skip Counting by 7 using the multiplication wheel
BC: 7 concentric circles can be arranged in this pattern with sides touching
BR: Making rainbows using the sun

4 Processes - Division

We did further work on the 4 processes, this time learning about division. We are using the stories from 'The Gnomes Gemstones' booklet (found <here>).

Mr 7 learns about division using gemstones as math maniuplatives

Week 2, 3, & 4

Snippets from our week...

Festivals & Celebrations
The rest of December was spent in preparation for Christmas. December, Summer and the celebration of Advent always seem to take on a whole life of their own, and the days leading up to Christmas are full and brimming with fun. I must remember this and plan to set aside this time next year. 

Our Advent calendar pockets were filled, as usual, with the little wooden nativity characters that are added each day to make our nativity scene, but this year I also added a little written note for each day focussing on gratitude and gifts of kindness we can give to others. I also included an Advent activity for each day based these around the four Waldorf themes of the week:

The first light of Advent is the light of stones. 
Stones that live in crystals, seashells, and bones. 

The second light of Advent is the light of plants. 
Roots, stem, leaf, flower and fruit by whom we live and grow. 

The third light of Advent is the light of beasts. 
Animals of farm, field, forest, air and sea. 
All await the birth in greatest and in least. 

The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind. 
The light of love, the light of thought, to give and to understand.

We got some inspiration for Advent activities from <here> and from another site which unfortunately I can seem to find again. If anyone knows, please post the link in the comments and I will post in here.  Our random acts of kindness Advent Calendar was a huge success and worked so beautifully to take the focus off the 'presents for me' attitude that seems to be the focus of the Christmas season, and shifted it instead on what we can do for others. We can't wait to do this again next Advent.


Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar 2015

Week 1: Stones/Crystals/Shells/Bones

Day One 
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart ~ Helen Keller

Today, give the gift of Affection; offer someone a hug.
Family Activity:  Set up stones on the Advent table & paint some Story Stones

Day Two 
One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better that any possession ~ Sophocles

Today, give the gift of Acceptance; tell a friend what you like about them.
Family Activity: Make clay ornaments for the Christmas Tree

Day Three 
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
 ~ Henri M. Nouwen

Today, give the gift of Laughter; share a joke with someone.
Family Activity: Make star lanterns

Day Four
Too often we underestimate the power of touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around ~ Leo Buscaglia

Today, give the gift of Empathy; offer your full attention and listen to someone who is having a difficult time.
Family Activity: Star gazing in the backyard

Day Five 
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world ~ Anne Frank

Today, give the gift of Surprise; leave a surprise gift for someone to find.
Family Activity: Gemstone/fossil fossicking

Day Six (St Nicholas Day)
Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of loving-kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in you smile. ~ Mother Teresa

Today, give the gift of Happiness; smile at three people.
Family Activity: Open

Week 2: Plants/Roots/Stem/Leaf/Flower/Fruit

Day Seven  
No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. ~ Amelia Earhart

Today, give the gift of Helpfulness; offer a helping hand to someone.
Family Activity: Make evergreen wreath for the door and for the advent ring

Day Eight 
A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles. ~ Washington Irving

Today, give the gift of Self-love; say something loving to yourself.
Family Activity: Fruit picking/Jam making

Day Nine 
Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on; ‘Twas not given for thee alone, Pass it on; Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another’s tears, ‘Til in Heaven the deed appears – Pass it on ~ Henry Burton

Today, give the gift of Kindness; in your words and your deeds.
Family Activity: Orange & clove pomanders

Day Ten 
The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humour and style and generosity and kindness. ~ Maya Angelou

Today, give the gift of Joy; sing with family and friends
Family Activity: Plant a tree or bush/Tend the garden

Day Eleven
Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstandings, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. ~ Albert Schweitzer

Today, give the gift of Forgiveness; for yourself and others.
Family Activity: Bush walk/clearing weeds/planting natives

Day Twelve 
Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. ~ Helen James

Today, give the gift of Hospitality; introduce yourself to someone.
Family Activity: Open

Day Thirteen 
A single act to kindness throws out roots on all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. ~ Amelia Earhart

Today, give the gift of Honesty; offer someone a sincere compliment.
Family Activity: Christmas Tree!

Week 3: Animals

Day Fourteen 
Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out. ~ Frank A. Clark

Today, give the gift of Generosity; give a secret Christmas gift to a neighbour.
Family Activity: Make/decorate beeswax Christmas candles

Day Fifteen 
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. ~ Mother Theresa

Today, give the gift of Caring; pick up rubbish.
Family Activity: Treat dog and bunny rabbit

Day Sixteen 
Imagine what a harmonious world it could be it every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing. ~ Quincy Jones

Today, give the gift of Purpose; share one of your talents with someone.
Family Activity: Treat cats

Day Seventeen 
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Today, give the gift of Inner Joy; smile to yourself.
Family Activity: Treat ducks & chooks

Day Eighteen 
When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves. ~ William Arthur Ward

Today, give the gift of Appreciation; let someone know how they have helped you.
Family Activity: Donate supplies to animal shelter or carer

Day Nineteen 
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

Today, give the gift of Thoughtfulness; hold open a door, return a cart, or pick something up for someone.
Family Activity: Open

Week 4: Humans

Day Twenty
If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought in the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angles give. ~ George MacDonald

Today, give the gift of Intention; think kind-loving thoughts about someone.
Family Activity: Christmas Lights!

Day Twenty-One 
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one. ~ Mother Teresa

Today, give the gift of Abundance; give the gift of food to a person in need.
Family Activity: Give gifts/food to the Giving Tree

Day Twenty-Two 
Good words bring good feelings to the heart. Speak with kindness, always. ~ Robin Williams

Today, give the gift of Love; tell someone why you love them.
Family Activity: Make gifts/cards for family

Day Twenty-Three 
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognise how good things really are. ~ Marianne Williamson

Today, give the gift of Contentment; count your blessing.
Family Activity: Make gifts/cards for friends

Day Twenty-Four - Christmas Eve
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ Dalai Lama

Today, give the gift of Gratitude; write a thank you note or draw a picture for someone.
Family Activity: Gingerbread House & cookies as gifts for neighbours


So for the rest of the month leading up to Christmas we spent many happy hours in the garden, bottling, preserving and jamming fruit and making homemade Christmas presents. We made paper crafts, did clay work and baked cookies. We spent time with friends and family. Here are some pics from the period leading up to Christmas and beyond.

Picking berries from the garden and making jams and preserves as presents for their Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles.
Making Waldorf star lanterns as presents for family and friends (using this tutorial <here>)
complete with handmade beeswax tea lights candles.
TL: Our beautiful Christmas Tree
TC: Christmas window star (using this tutorial <here>)
TR: Our 2015 Christmas tree ornament 

ML: Making clay ornaments for the tree
MC: Our advent calendar
MR: Making gingerbread Christmas cookies for gifts

BL: Christmas presents wrapping in silks under the watchful eyes of the Nutcracker guards!
BC: Christmas star lanterns
BR: Advent ring
December fun with friends!

TL: Patting sharks at Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre's last open day for 2015
TC: Bush walks and a "real" troll bridge!
TR: Decorating rolled beeswax Christmas candles

Middle: A beautiful drawing of our special friends, by their dear friend April <3

BL: Blueberry picking (eating) :D
BC: Cooling off in hot weather
BR: Watching NYE fireworks with friends
December in the garden <3


  1. Thank you for writing this blog. I find it so inspiring. Could you please post the random acts of kindness Advent Calendar?

    1. We are between computers atm, but once I can access my stored documents I'll post it here and let you know :)

    2. And thanks for your lovely words Jen x

    3. Hi Jen, I've just added our 'Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar' info to the blog post :) x