Thursday, June 19, 2014

Painted Pencil Posts

Sunaina (Encinal student), summer 2014

We love our pencil posts that Ms. Noon and volunteers painted the summer of 2014. This hallway is a lot more cheerful and shows our love of writing and art. Our inspiration:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Willow Hut, Basket Weaving & Play

Buddy Bench


Redwood Tree Stumps, courtesy of J.T.S Tree Service                                                               

1 of 2 Chalkboard & Water Paint Walls

Mrs. Noon has been on a quest to provide more creative outlets on the playground for students. Play is a valuable part of the day for all children. Why not make our play spaces more aesthically pleasing, creative and diverse? A Creative Play Advisory group with Mrs. Noon (2011-12) used the design thinking process to develop spaces and ideas (sand, chalk, clay, water, marble runs, etc). Two Jeannie Ritchie grants (provided by MPAEF) in 2012-13 & 2013-14 added giant blocks to both the upper and K playground:
Outlast Blocks Grant (Ms. Merk)                         Imagination Playground Grant (Mrs. Noon)               

This year Mrs. Noon’s focus has been on the kinder yard as we are currently prototyping tree stumps as stepping stones, 2 chalkboard walls, Outlast building blocks, a buddy bench and introducing our…
This is what we hope our Willow Hut will look like some day
Living Willow Hut!  
30, 7 foot long willow sticks were planted in the ground on May 16. As soon as roots grow, then shoots should appear and the new growth will be woven together to form a tight “hut”. Students are waiting patiently, Mrs. Noon is watering diligently, and K-5 artists are studying Ohlone basket weaving. The Ohlones are master basket weavers and Encinal students are learning more about the People, plant biology & native plants, and basket weaving using natural (willow shoots, sedge & bracken fern roots) and synthetic materials. Ask your student what a spoke is, how the Ohlone cooked in wooden baskets and if their baskets really could hold water. View the baskets here! Mrs. Noon hopes to pass on the Ohlone’s respect for nature and native plants, beauty in form and function, attention to detail and resourcefulness through this unit. Find out more about California basket making here: California Parks- information on Indian Basketry. Did you know a traditional Ohlone basket takes almost 3,000 hours to weave and could use 20,000 stitches? Our baskets are taking 2-4 art classes. We couldn’t think of a better activity to do while we wait for the willow to grow! Students have really enjoyed learning about this art form, reading selections from The Ohlone Way by Malcom Margolin (young adult/high school age appropriate book in it's entirety) and learning about local artist...

...Linda Yamane, Ohlone basket weaver.
Ms. Yamane, a Rumsien Ohlone from the Monterey Bay area, is almost single-handedly preserving traditional Ohlone basket making. She also is working hard to preserve the language of her people. To learn more about Ms. Yamane and California basket weaving, click on the links below.  
Basketmaking links:

***Spark! video on Julia Parker's basket weaving & Pomo legacy*** (a great video) 

California Indian Baskets - State Park website  

Video - Life in the Arts, Linda Yamane  
Teachers- "Cliff Notes" from Life in the Arts on Yamane 

First few chapters of Margolin's 'The Ohlone Way' 

Andrew's basket, 4th grade                                                                                                                  Helena's basket, 3rd

Mrs. Noon would like to thank:
Encinal PTO, Ms. Merk & the K teachers, Ms. Von der Linden, Principal Burns, Mrs. Scott, JTs Tree Service, Ahmad, Ruben, Leo, Russell, Alex, MPAEF, and the Dutton-Gillett family


*Summer 2015 update on the WillowWondering why one corner of the kinder playground is fenced off? May of 2014 we planted 30 willow plants. Only a few survived some rough conditions. One year later we are trying slightly different willow (11" rather than 7') in much better conditions. Thank you to Jim of for providing complimentary replacement willow. Hopefully in a few years will have a beautiful willow hut. Patience is a virtue! Please let Ms. Noon know if you can help water the willow this summer. Thank you!

Next steps (wish list):
* Playhouse (Encinal community- let Mrs. Noon know if you would like to build a playhouse). We love the open look of these houses:

*Wheelbarrow, part of the Outlast block set
click here to view the lovely wheelbarrow on the kinders' wishlist

*More tree stumps 

*Never a shortage of inspiration on this website. Search around a bit, you'll be glad you did.

*My Pinterest board for the K yard:

*Outdoor Kitchen ? Water play ? Music center ?