To another chapter!

“As we move around the circle of life, there are certain things we must do if we are to learn and grow and live a good life. The first step is to listen. If we do not listen, then we will hear nothing. The second step is to observe. If we do not look carefully at things, then we will not really see them. The third step is to remember. If we do not remember those things we have learned, then we have learned nothing. The fourth step is to share. If we do not share, then the circle does not continue.” -Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac is a writer of books relating to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a particular focus on northeastern Native American and Anglo-American lives and folklore.



I want to thank my community with all my heart for letting me share what I have heard, seen and remembered. The moments I’ve shared with you, your child and your family have become a part of my story as an educator and as a community member. Your unconditional love and trust in me is abundant and I will walk with it where ever I go.

Starting here may we split paths to write our own stories separately, perhaps to intersect in the future or to just remember fondly. Which ever it may be I wish you grace, joy and clarity in the developing chapters.

With all my love,

Jaala Smith








I welcome all families to stay connected to my freelance work and future endeavors via email. Pass a note along just mentioning (your name and you child’s name) that you’d like emails in regards to family friendly arts events, and activities I’m involved in.  And soon a new blog will be starting up. Thank you. (


Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Abby’s Song about the Planets

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chalk it UP!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Understanding Flags

Mystery Bay is exploring European Flags inspired by the Revolutionary War, the Olympics and the flags that hang from the ceiling at the pool we visit every Thursday.
First we did the German Flag.


“Even if its really hard to do, you keep going and you’re really focused.” Jake and Lucas

“When Izzy, Maya and I work in our math books we’re determined to work hard.” Norah


“To do something even though you’re if scared to.” Coho

“I think Adah was really brave when she went on the Hillside for the first time.” Lucas

“I was brave when I rode my bicycle without training wheels.” Carter


“To give and not need anything back.” Jake

“I was generous when I wrote a card for someone special.” Ellis

“I was generous when I caught a baby owl when it was falling.” Adah


Then we did the French Flag


“Peace.” -Norah

“Fighting for our right.” Holden



“To tell the Truth.” Hannah

“Being honest is something that is hard.”



“To go in a deadly path.” Tim

“I was brave when I went down the water slide.” Hannah

“I think lily was brave when she went on the hillside.” Jake




These words are quickly becoming a part of the vocabulary at Mystery Bay.  I’m looking forward to thinking about what our own flags would look like if we were to represent ourselves for the world!

More about this at The Living Classroom

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Critical Thinkers, both Young and Old.

“A primary challenge to teachers is to see students as three dimensional creatures… with hope, dreams, aspirations, skills and capacities; with bodies, minds, hearts and spirits; with experiences, histories, a past, a pathway and future; with a family, a community, a language and a culture. This knotty, complicated challenge requires patience, curiosity, wonder, awe and humility. It demands sustained focus, intelligent judgement, inquiry and investigation.”

(Ayers, W. A Simple Justice: The Challenge of Small Schools.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Joy is the Medium.

We’re weaving and wrapping and tying and braiding! We’re making “Spirit Eyes” and “Dream Eaters” and “Spider Homes” and “Sunshine Eyes”.


We’ve had a pulley attached to the ceiling (since we we’re building with tubes and exploring the world of plumbing). Silas wanted to run his work through the pulley system and attach it to a chair. Later in the morning William and Ethan discovered the system and thoroughly enjoyed the exciting wonders of gravity.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What special thing does your family do in the summer when it gets hot?

Fly a kite. The wind helps the kite fly.        -Salvadore
I’m gunna go to Orcas again!        -Hannah
Go to the park and play.        -Winter
I go to the wading pool and swim in the water.        -Mackenzie
I go in my pool.        -Molly
I play hide and seek!        -Sasa
Sometimes we go on trips, like Florida!        -Maya
Summer Party!        -Bryn
Go to Arkansas.            -Royal
Go to the fountain downtown.         -Atti
We went camping on Vashon.         -Ellis
We go to the wading pool. We play in the water!        -Carter
We sometimes eat popsicles or ice cream sandwiches
and sometimes fudgesicles.         -Ronin
We usually go to the wading pool! It’s so fun!         -Bella
Going on the slop and slide.         -Ethan

Play in the sprinkler.         -Misha

We go in the pool in the yard!         -Shia
We BBQ!         -Eric
Ella and Cole set up a water slide near the evening and we bring our towels and play until it gets cold.         -Nora
Sit down, relax and have some snacks outside.        -Izzy
We usually go to the swimming pool at the Y. We also go to our friends house and play in their hot tub!        -Holden
Go camping! Picnics with our friends and eat pancakes for dinner!         -Mia W.
I go swimming. I take swimming lessons. I also swim in my own pool.        -Adah
I go to the swimming pool.        -Roman
I go inside and my mom puts on a machine that makes it cold.        -Marcus
I put on sunscreen and play outside.         -Donovan
Oh, we just relax and drink things.        -Jaxon
Go swimming.        -Emmett
We swim.        -Sailor
I play at a park with Kiki.        -Kias
I wanna go in my pool.        -Zia
Go in the hot tub.        -Erez
We garden together.        -Alijah
We go swimming.       -Jake

Play in the lake till the sun goes down!        -Jaala
Eat watermelon and swim in a river!        -Whitney

(Send me photos of family summer fun! I’ll post them up at school and here!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment