Thursday, June 2015
The Simpsons gave a well-crafted, comic shout out to Waldorf Education during their Season 26 finale for 2015—“Mathlete’s Feat”, which aired May 17, 2015
We are honored to have been featured in such a positive light on The Simpsons Season Finale and are anxiously awaiting further information about which writers, perhaps Waldorf parents or alumni themselves, were involved in the episode’s creation. As a thank you, and a responding shout out of sorts, Waldorf schools have been paying tribute to The Simpsons. A collective of handmade hats is being created to send to The Simpsons writers. The Waldorf School of Philadelphia is having students create beeswax figures of The Simpsons characters to share online and with The Simpsons execs. And the São Paulo, Brazil Waldorf school has done an amazing rendition of The Simpsons Theme Song, found here on YouTube, as a tribute to this mainstream recognition. Track the fun and folly on social media at #simpsonslovewaldorf.
WATCH THE EPISODE ON YOU TUBE. And here are the main details of the Waldorf-centric plot:
After a scathing math competition defeat, tech bigwigs take pity on Springfield Elementary and outfit the school with all the latest technology. But Principal Skinner’s ineptitude leads to a server farm crash and the school loses all tech, which the students had only used to watch Game of Thrones anyway.
This is when Lisa comes up with an idea that will save the school—“Learning while Doing.” Springfield Elementary becomes a Waldorf School!
From there the students learn by doing in tongue-in-cheek fashion—calculating the cubic feet of styrofoam to add to the sloppy joe mix, pouring pints of beer in fractions, wearing required sun hats, and singing songs of acceptance, love and diversity. In the end, their new Waldorf Education helps them win the mathlete rematch by transforming an M into nine non-overlapping triangles.
The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America was pleased with the level of in-depth knowledge The Simpsons writers clearly possessed about pedagogy and stereotypes associated with Waldorf Education, which made this fun caricature both lighthearted and flattering.
The Simpsons Episode's Insights Into Waldorf Education:
Math - Mathematics education is very advanced in Waldorf schools. Math is revealed to students as a useful and real part of everyday life. Numbers, processes and then mathematical concepts are introduced through doing—counting and holding, paper folding, musical interval training, and calculations to create rope and pulley systems are just a few examples of how math is taught in Waldorf schools. We are not surprised that the Springfield Waldorf School could answer such a difficult final math equation to win the math competition. The challenge of drawing the nine non-overlapping triangles mimics the lessons in form drawings taught in our curriculum—another intersection of math, art, and doing experienced in Waldorf Education.
Sun Hats - Why of course! Waldorf students are prepared for all weather, at all times. Why? Because, unlike many of their non-Waldorf peers, they still play outdoors for recess 3-4 times a day and also have classes outdooring such as science, physical education and gardening. Of course, hats for our adults are optional and they’re not required indoors. Nor is tie dye a requirement.
Technology - In the episode, Marge reads a pamphlet which says, “Waldorf Education: When you have Given up on the Modern World.” Considering the popularity of Waldorf Education among the children of Silicon Valley tech executives, this tongue-in-cheek parody is clearly not quite the case, but it had been a stereotype of the past. Waldorf Educators simply feel there are better ways, more hands on and complex ways to teach young children how to learn. Technology is introduced to secondary education children, which as Skinner notes in the episode is “Not our Problem.”
Textbooks - There are no textbooks in Waldorf Education, it’s true. But there are many, many books. They are just not the ones provided to the state by textbook companies. Instead our students are presented material by teachers from classics and mainstream books on relevant topics, where they then take notes and reflect on lessons while creating their own “Main Lesson” books. These books become both catalogs and resources for learning.
In the end, Springfield Elementay Waldorf School Mathletes go on to win the rematch competition, and who's to say if Springfield Elementary will remain a Waldorf School at the start of the new season. We'll just have to stay tuned to find out. Meanwhile, remember: You can follow more of the fun responses in social media at #simpsonslovewaldorf!
Image from “Mathlete’s Feat,” the season 26 finale, May 17, 2015
Tuesday, May 2015
The High School Drama Program and the 12th grade present:
The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe
Thursday−Saturday, May 21st−23rd
All evenings at 7:00 pm & Saturday matinee at 2:00 pm
Enjoy this dramatization of C.S. Lewis’s iconic children's fantasy novel, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Join the 12th grade cast as they tell the beloved adventure story of the four Pevensie children who travel to Narnia, a mystical land full of magic, mystery, and the talking lion, Aslan. The 12th grade play is traditionally the culminating event of the Waldorf drama curriculum; the acting, all stage craft (set-building, costumes and props fabrication) are handled by the seniors. Come support them and appreciate their final dramatic performance!
Free Admission (though any donations are gratefully accepted and will be applied to the 12th grade trip).
Recommended for children in 1st grade and up.
Poster Artwork by 12th grade student: Augie Verciglio
Wednesday, May 2015
CWS May Fair 2015
Saturday, May 16th
We are eagerly readying for Saturday. Here are the great activities, vendors and entertainment that will be part of the day’s events.
Please invite your friends to come together with the children, teachers, parents and friends to enjoy the day of our May Fair.
Our Waldorf community brings you music & performing arts:
10:00am The Levinson Family
CWS father and sons playing international
folk tunes on keyboard and strings.
11:00am The Kelson Twins
Maddie and Juliet Kelson (high school juniors)
are an Americana duo who blend sibling harmonies
and poetic lyrics that have attracted local
& international fans.
12:00pm Maypole Dance
Performed by the 4th grade, with musical
accompaniment by the 5th grade. Young children
may join with 4th grade partners in the
1:00pm Anna Fermin & Tony Richards
Anna is a well-known singer-songwriter who fronts
the alt-country band Trigger Gospel. Musician &
CWS parent Tony Richards accompanies on guitar.
2:00pm Michelle Shafer
CWS parent Michelle Shafer is a singer-songwriter-
poet who will be performing an eclectic mix of
classical, Flamenco, pop/rock and traditional guitar.
3:00pm Waldorf High School Students
Dramatic scenes, music & singing are presented
by the CWS high school students.
SELECTED ACTIVITIES AT THE FAIR
For young children in Early Childhood years:
Roll the Troll
Bowling with the forest creatures. Watch the trolls fall; Get ‘em all!
Explore the hay pile to find special treats and treasures inside.
Plant A Seed
You plant a seed in good soil... then take it home to watch it grow!
Children make their own floating/flying butterfly toy.
Bean Bag Toss
Enjoy helping the bees (bags) find the flowers (their targets).
FOR ALL AGES IN ALL GRADES, FROM CHILD TO ADULT:
Hand-crank the machine to turn yarn into your colorful jump-rope.
Adorned with a festive crown, you embody the spirit of the Fair!
Walk to music but be the last one sitting to win a choice cake.
Face Painting / Hair Wraping
Select your Waldorf style face art or choice of hair adornment.
Get a traditional India henna skin tattoo that will last for days!
Take home your own organic designs on a colorful shirt!
Who is the fastest in this crazy race? Speed & skills required.
Can you find your way out of the maze? Multiple challenges await.
FOR THE OLDER AGES FROM 6TH GRADE TO ADULT:
Test your accuracy. You’ll need nerves of steel to slay the dragon!
Who will rule this billiard game? Use strategy & cunning to win.
VENDORS AT THE FAIR
These artisans vendors were specifically selected for wares and services that are valued by the Waldorf community:
Baizaar / Lauren Bishop
Hand-crafted jewelry and accessories from artists around the world, vintage hill tribe & sari bags, handmade journals & cards.
Products made with all natural fibers. Handmade items for children & teachers, classrooms & season tables.
SW1’s Exotic Reflections / Sheronna Williams
Hand-crafted jewelry, gemstones, unique sterling silver, artifacts.
Nomadic Ant / Suzanne Miranda
Jewelry, children’s international souvenirs.
Claybration / Martha Plaza-Weber
Felted wool sweaters, birds, garlands, necktie fashions, skirts, totes, purses, needle felted denim.
Pacha Love / Lenin Morales
Jewelry, sunglasses, t-shirts, purses.
Katherine-Anne Confections / Kelsey Schroeder
Handmade chocolate truffles, caramels, marshmallows, and European style sipping chocolate.
doTERRA Essential Oils / Megan Hall
Single oils and blends, instructional uses.
Unan Imports / Al Ntamere
Handmade crafted jewelry, hats, organic body care items.
The Dribbly Pear / Marieke Van Der Maelen
1:12 scale modern dollhouse miniature, science themed toys, Chicago-themed culinary jewelry.
Dolls, gnomes, felt items, fairie houses, imports.
Bootleg Batard / Melina Kelson
Long-fermented, handmade and wood-fired breads. Jams featuring
local, sustainably and organically raised fruits. All natural granola.
Clay Ceramics / Jane Wohlreich
Hand made clay pots, bowls, trays, platters & mugs.
Twinkles and Twigs / Sue Erickson
Wool felted fairies and more.
Spinning wheels, weaving looms, felting and knitting supplies, kits and classes and everything Fiber-Arts related.
Balance Through Motion / Liz Kantorski
Hand-made balance boards. Using balance boards strengthens balance, bodies & minds through motion!
Urban Yoga Chicago / Anna Gratzl
Kundalini yoga & meditation classes. Vegetarian cooking classes.
Welcome Your Light / Laura Pryzby
Health coaching , Reiki, angel healing and meditation.
Think Like a Fairy / Dawn Servitto
Fairy doors, handmade by Waldorf 5th grade students.
Barefoot Books / Terri Arain
Multicultural children’s books that spark the imagination and inspire
creativity from birth to 12 years of age. Celebrate art and story!
Children’s Vending Table / CWS Students
8th grader, Ely is offering his paintings, drawings & trading cards.
Visit Drake’s new crystal rock shop: “We Know Rock, Worldwide”
We can’t wait to see you at the fair!!
Wednesday, April 2015
This year at Chicago Waldorf High School, 16 of our graduating seniors have applied to a college or university. The schools below accepted our graduating seniors as of 4/7/2015. Merit scholarship offers have been generous as colleges attempt to lure the most qualified students.
Worthy Of Note:
A number of colleges and universities are new additions to our list our institutions seeking our CWS graduates. These new schools are Mt. Holyoke College, Northwestern University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as well as universities in Canada and the United Kingdom. College familiarity with CWS continues to expand with each graduating class!
Congratulations to the 2015 seniors & their families!
Colleges that the Senior Class of 2015 have been accepted to:
Bates College, ME
Bath Spa University, United Kingdom
Beloit College, WI
Bishop’s University, Quebec
Butler University, IN
California College of the Arts, CA
Carleton College, MN
College of Wooster, OH
Columbia College Chicago
Cornell College, IA
Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia
DePaul University, IL
Drake University, IA
Earlham College, IN
Eckerd College, FL
Fashion Institute of Technology, NY
Flagler College, FL
Illinois Wesleyan University
Illinois Wesleyan University Nursing Program
Indiana University -- Bloomington
Iowa State University
Juniata College, PA
Knox College, IL
Lawrence University, WI
Leeds University, United Kingdom
Loyola University Chicago
Lynn University, FL
Marquette University, WI
Monmouth College, IL
Mt. Holyoke College, MA
Northwestern University, IL
Queen’s University, Ontario
Parson’s—The New School for Design, NY
Pratt Institute, NY
Ripon College, WI
Rochester Institute of Technology, NY
St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia
St. John’s University, NY
St. Louis University, MO
St. Mary’s, MN
Temple University, PA
Tuskegee University, AL
University of British Columbia
University of Colorado -- Boulder
University of Dayton, OH
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Puget Sound, WA
University of Vermont Nursing Program
Whitman College, WA
Willamette University, OR
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA
Thursday, April 2015
You are invited by the CWS Music Faculty to attend an instrumental evening concert by students in 5th-12th grades.
The Spring Concert
Wednesday, April 15th
7:00pm • CWS Auditorium
Featuring the middle school bands and orchestras and high school African Drumming, Chamber Ensemble, Guitar I, Guitar Ensemble, Improv Ensemble and Jazz Band.
Appreciate the variety and depth of skills, experience and musical creativity our students have to share.
Doors open 6:45pm / begins at 7:00pm / ends at 8:45pm
We warmly invite the community to attend this exciting evening concert and experience the full scope of the Waldorf instrumental curriculum!
Photos, Top to Bottom: CWS Music Faculty introduce the Middle School & High School instrumental ensembles.
Each ensemble, orchestra and band performs in the 2014 Spring Concert.
Wednesday, April 2015
Dear Chicago Waldorf School Parents, Alumni & Friends,
The late poet, author and activist Maya Angelou once said,
“I‘ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I think many of us will remember Ilene Warfield’s kind deeds— her generous spirit and the way she moved in the world with uprightness and warmth, and those qualities she gave freely, that made us feel safe, made us feel we weren’t crazy, made us feel that we mattered. Ilene passed this morning at 3:30 am surrounded by her family, Sylvie, CWS Class of 2010, Liam, Class of 1998, and Cory, Class of 1992.
Though she sat behind a large desk, it did not act as a social barrier in her office. Her office operated as more of a confessional, for both colleagues and children. She always stopped whatever she was doing, welcomed you with a smile and her big blue eyes, and she embodied what we call the Parcival question: “What ails thee?” She listened without judging, witnessed without prying, and allowed one to maintain dignity in the face of a struggle – even adding levity and humor without offense to help bear the burden. One’s mood was always improved after a visit with Ilene. Her empathy was born out of the struggles she had faced, but she never made it about her. Her generosity of spirit and work was boundless.
We often say that the children are educated by a circle of teachers. Though not a teacher, Ilene knew and loved all of the children. She took an interest in their work and enjoyed watching them grow. She knew all of them and they all knew her. She participated in child studies with the faculty with insight and knowledge. She always wanted her office door left open so that she could hear the children. She greeted every child who brought her attendance, and relished the daily morning musical offerings that came in through the walls.
She insisted on taking every phone call to schedule parent/teacher conferences so that she could build relationships with parents. She often substituted, and referred to substitutions as “opportunities to enjoy” the outdoors with..., lunch with..., or time with various classes. The current 8th grade used to greet her with “Hip, hip, hooray!” every time she entered their classroom.
Most often, the phrase, “How can I help?” passed her lips, and then after agreeing to do more work in support of her colleagues and the school, she always closed with, “Thank you.” She spoiled us, and made things so much easier for us. By always staying positive she even made her illness easier for us. Her humility, courage and energy were inspiring.
On behalf of the Faculty and Staff,
- Karen Hartz and Andrea Shaffer
Monday, April 2015
The final weekend of March offered this year's annual presentation of the 8th grade play; a tradition that showcases the talents of the middle-schoolers. The students demonstrate their dramatic skills as they conclude their Middle School drama program with a capstone production.
Ms. Hartz's class elected to present the tale of Alice, who tumbles down the rabbit hole into Wonderland where she must try to make sense of a place where animals talk, flowers walk, and tea parties never end.
The auditorium was packed with a full house for the opening night; which featured Lewis Carrol's famous tale of Alice--a lost girl who comes to learn about herself after undergoing absurd challenges and trying to make sense of a world ruled by topsy-turvy nonesense.
With poise and grace--as well as periodic zaniness--the students took on the challenge of playing multiple roles,
with many inter-scene costume changes and even shifting character assignments in the last days of tech week. Their efforts paid off with an unexpectedly whimsical show braving the colorful, dreamlike and sometimes nonesensical world of Wonderland.
The parents of the 8th grade supported the show, while Ms. Hartz led the production as its accomplished Director, and special mention must go to the amazing costume design, created by volunteer parent, Roberta Schmatz. The event was great fun for the whole family! To get a taste of the production, enjoy the accompanying slideshow: a small sampling of the amazing and engaging scenes, costumes and characters from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland...
(For larger photos, click on the main image once to enlarge, then click again or use the arrows to navigate thru the slides...)
Tuesday, March 2015
Circus Clubs start this week!
Enroll in Circus Club Classes from March 9th thru May 30th
Pick one day, two, three, or all four. Circus classes are available: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. All circus clubs run weekly from beginning of March until end of May, except the week school is closed for Spring Break (April 20-24). All Circus Clubs (except Early Childhood Club) will end with an exhibition show. Specific dates and fees are listed in the Schedule & Registration Form. Register your child this week!
CHOOSE FROM THESE AWESOME OPTIONS!
Let your child develop skills in:
AERIAL: spanish web, trapeeze, silks
BREAKDANCE: individual and group choreographed routines
CLOWNING: skits, juggling, plate spinning, globe walking
GERMAN WHEEL: inline wheel routines to advanced spiral
JUMP ROPE: team, paired and individual performance
TUMBLING: acrobatics, floor exercises, gymnastics
Students will learn from our professional staff:
CJ Williams- Breakdance & Gymnastics
Mr. Williams was a competitive gymnast in high school. After high school he trained with Circesteem in Chicago. He eventually founded the ConnectForce breakdancing team, and he competes nationally. Mr. Williams currently performs with the Break‐a‐bulls. He is also getting his physical education degree and we are happy to have him for his third year at the Chicago Waldorf Circus program.
The Actor’s Gymnasium- Aerial Performance
Our two aerial instructors come to us through the Actor’s Gymnasium in Evanston. Actor’s Gym is preparing to celebrate its 20th anniversary in Chicago as a premiere theatrical circus arts organization. We are happy to be working with their staff for the eighth year in our CWS circus program!
Ashley Gambill- Jump Rope
Ashley was a competitive jump roper as part of a team for years. She teaches German at our school in the early grades and the high school. She regularly brings her passion for jump rope and sustainable living to her students.
Cirque Experience– German Wheel
Our German Wheel instructor is a teacher from Cirque Experience; Chicago’s gymnastic wheels program. Cirque Experience was founded by Wolfgang Bientzel who coordinates the teachers of the German wheel and, fittingly, hails from Deutschland. He is the 7 time world champion of the German wheel, and now trains other competitors.
Andrea Shaffer (coordinator)
Ms. Shaffer has taught gym for 4,000 years at CWS and believes in the power of artistic and competitive athletics to enrich young people’s lives. She has an unnatural love of Tootsie Rolls.
Photos from Circus Club 2013: A duo's jump-rope routine / A student performs Spanish Web (also top image) / Students demo a clown routine / The club rehearses a clown skit and floor tumbling simultaneously