I can’t begin to describe how much I love this story and the fact that Shelley Davidow has so much insight and such an understanding of children that she created it. The Wise Enchanter actually makes me wish that I could go back to the time before I learned to read and enter the magic world of words through this rich and wonderful door. I especially love that the story is so very like the worlds I created for myself in those pre-written-word days, yet carries with it the assurance that there are depths of goodness in the world and that searching for them is a worthy, yea, necessary thing to do. What could be a better way to introduce our written language to a child? This book is a beautiful creation and a gift to treasure.
Here’s a small sample, from the Prologue:
[The Wise Enchanter is on his magical island, and is troubled. He has called his daughter, Gadrun, to him.]
Gadrun ran to her father. A frown creased her brow. “Dear father,” she said, “I see that you are worried.”
“I am getting old,” he replied. “Without Wisdom, there can be no new Enchanters after I am gone. No children have come to my island for many years. It is happening just as I feared. Wisdom is fading in the world. Words are disappearing. The brightness in the sky is vanishing and the dark Cloud of Ignorance has grown suddenly dense. A new darkness is looming. Someone is being created in the deep. He is growing stronger every minute. If he is not stopped, he will grow immense. If he grows strong enough, he will rise up and devour every word and sound. The earth will become a cold, silent place, too terrible to imagine.”
“Who are you talking about?” Gadrun whispered.
“I do not like to utter his name,” her father whispered. “But I will say it for you. His name is the Master of Ignorance and Shadows. His name is Urckl!”
Gadrun grew pale and silent at the mention of Urckl. Once, some time ago, Urckl had found enough strength to send one of his messengers to the end of the world. Something terrible had happened then in the Enchanted Islands and Gadrun’s heart had been broken.
And thus, the adventure begins.
I should add that The Wise Enchanter is filled with soft black-and-white drawings that you can easily transform into main lesson drawings for the child(ren) you are teaching to recreate as each letter is rescued from darkness.
This is a wonderful, vibrant, masterful book — may your journey through it be rich and rewarding!
We also had several lessons covering important elements in “concepts about print.” I do not use the acronym CAP with the children, but that is what we have been working on in September and will continue to work on in October.
For a child to learn how to read they need to understand how print works; the items below must be understood to read successfully.
• Alphabetic System
• Each letter indicates a sound
• Sounds of speech are represented by letters going from left to right
• Understanding what an actual word is
• Learn relationships between speech and print
• Each word is composed of a limited number of sounds
• Words have a space between them and they go in sequence from left to right
We continued with our number talks by looking at the dot pattern cards. We made a list of the math strategies that we have been using to remember how many dots we see on the cards.
Here are some of their math strategies:
• counting on such as, 10 + 3 you start at 10 and count on to 13
• Counting with our fingers – we also had a discussion that this strategy will not work once we get to two digit numbers
• counting in your head
• counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s
• Counting by grouping the numbers
Social and Emotional Learning:
We continued to practice and model what we will be using when we have an upset with one of our friends. I also read them a few books on how to be a friend and make a friend.
- I feel…. (mad)
- When you… (took my book)
- Because… (I am not done reading it)
- I wish…. (you would ask me if you could read it after I am done instead of grabbing it away from me)
- I heard you say…. (that you feel mad when I grabbed your book)
- I will try…. (next time to ask you if I can read the book when you are done instead of taking it)
On Wednesday, SCCLC started new K-8 families. Each learner is in a small family with 9 to 10 learners from K to 8 grades. The learners will stay with these families throughout their time with Charter. As 8th graders graduate each year, we will add a new kindergartener to each family. This week, the older learners collected the younger learners and lead the family activity. They learned each other’s names and created a family cheer. It was wonderful to see the children having an opportunity to create new friendships and special bonds with children from across grade levels.
This week for garden time the learners had the opportunity to imagine what it would be like to start out as a seed in the garden and then grow into a plant. For this lesson each child found a special spot in the garden and laid down on the ground and closed their eyes. I read them a story to help them visualize what it would be like to start out as a seed and then grow into a plant. After this activity they each drew a picture in their garden journals of the plant and/or flower that they imagined they grew into.