We held our first council of the year as a community. Council is an "ancient practice which offers a way of communicating that encourages attentive listening, as well as honest and compassionate expression." Sixth graders guided the rest of the class in defining the agreements of this sacred ritual--speak from the heart, listen from the heart, be lean with words, and be spontaneous.
We began with a dedication when students shared individuals/beings in their lives that could use our thoughts and healing energy. Next, students told stories about an experience that pulled them out of their comfort zones and what they did to work with what arose. We then looked ahead to next week and spoke about what is arising for them in terms of what they expect will be challenging and what they needed to navigate it.
Our week ended with a touching Welcoming Ceremony where each child presented their partner with a wish and intention for the year. This was followed by the always popular 5/6 ice cream social.
It’s been two days of singing, playing, writing, reading, imagining, mathematical thinking, listening, planning, collaborating and sharing. I’ve enjoyed getting to know or continuing to learn about your child and watching them create a supportive and kind community.
Kaiyane launched our Genius 1/2 activity by demonstrating how to play the violin. After giving a virtuoso performance that left her classmates in awe, she helped each student properly hold and play a few notes on her instrument. Each Friday, students have sign up to show off a talent and teach it to the class.
Debbie Davla, a volunteer from the YWCA-sponsored, Reading to End Racism, visited our classroom this morning and began our time together with a emotion-filled story from her childhood. This early experience about racism inspired her to take action against racism and prejudice for the rest of her life. Debbie then introduced, led a discussion. and facilitated an activity about the original Green Book (not the movie) and white privilege.
So much has happened in the first two weeks. Our main focus has been on building community and collaboration through a variety of activities. As we analyzed our individual and common needs, one came to the top--the need for movement and exercise. We start our week off with yoga led by Kateri then mark the middle of the week with physical education with Bry and celebrate Fridays with fitness inspired by Nonie, Eden's mom. Of course, we move throughout the day by taking movement breaks and collaborative games.
Feel free to ask your child about what is going on in the photos below
After collaborating together the whole week and sharing their "worry brains and hopeful hearts," each student welcomed another student with wishes and intentions for the upcoming year.