Morning circle:

Today, above all other things, was Oscar’s first day back. A few of the kids from our class staked out the front of the building waiting for his arrival.  Oscar has come back to us from a public school kindergarten. When him and his mom walked in this morning, she said; “It was like we were on a different planet!” Instead of Oscar’s usual start to the day, which was sitting at a desk, reading and working on phonics, we started with circle and what a circle of introduction it was – with the kids all chanting in unison and completely on their own accord; Gandhi, Gandhi, Gandhi.

Here is a little background on the subject: I introduced Gandhi to our class on the anniversary of his birth, October 2nd. We talked about what peace and protest meant. Then, when we were talking about Martin Luther King Jr. on the anniversary of his birth, the kids said; “He’s like Gandhi!” and we talked about how they were similar and how Martin Luther King Jr. tried to follow in Gandhi’s path of non-violence. After this conversaton, Neve, who’s father is from India, wanted to bring her Gandhi book in to share. For the past two days we’ve been reading this book which was illustrated by a group of school children. And they LOVE it! We read about half of it yesterday and read the rest today.

At morning circle, Oscar, his mom and another visiting educator were in on our morning meeting. We were talking about our news of the day and getting ready to do the calendar and word of the day when Harriette asked if we could read the Gandhi book. I said; “Let’s wait a little while so that we Oscar can look around and get re-acquainted with the classroom. ” I asked Oscar if he knew who Gandhi was and since he didn’t everyone wanted to tell him.  Harriette said, “He was a man of peace” and this is when everyone started chanting Gandhi, Gandhi, Gandhi – it was amazing. They were protesting (non-violently I might add) to get me to read Gandhi to them – how perfect is that!

And because we also do instruction type learning:

The first half of the year has mostly been focused on “big idea” concepts in math – shapes, patterns, base ten etc.  But recently we have been bringing our math focus to a more fine motor skill development.  Along with counting which we do every day, we have been practicing writing our numbers more and more (on paper, on the white board, in the air ect.), not just for the need but really practicing form, where to start the number when writing it, spacing, pencil grip (which is so hard for some) and putting the number symbol in context with the word (such as 1 = one) and how many that actually looks like (such as drawing one cat or whatever they are interested in drawing.)

“Look at my most excellent 3 Michelle!!!” ~Justin

“Three in the family.” ~Neve

Oscar breaks into the scene at the electronics dismantling station…

And guess who loved having him back the most, Autumn didn’t want to let him go home…