Dear Families,
This has been a very busy weekend preparing for H4AC next weekend in Yosemite.  Next Sunday at this time I should hopefully be more than half way back down the mountain from Clouds Rest in Yosemite.  If you are curious about our hike or the foundation that Ron and I help to create please feel free to visit our websites at:  www.histiocure.org or http://www.hikeforacure.com.

 
I will be leave for Yosemite early on Friday morning 9/27.  Ron and I will return on Tuesday, October 1.  The learners will be with Katie on Friday 9/27 and Tuesday 10/1.  They will have a sub named Kim Holtz on Monday, September 30.  Kim has subbed for me many times over the past several years, so she is very familiar with our classroom and our routines. I know the children will be very loving and caring hands in my absence.  
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Reminders:

  • Center Time with volunteer parents will begin on Monday, October 7.
  • SAVE THE DATE   –  Parent Social with Colleen and Katie will be on Sunday evening, October 6 from 4:30 to 6:30pm.  The social will be at my home n Belmont.  Irina Tulman sent out the evite last week.
  • Sharing topic for the week:  picture of your family and/or a family collage.
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Language Arts:
We read our first letter of the week story from the book titled “The Wise Enchanter,” a wonderful book about a journey through the alphabet.  The book was written by Shelley David. Each week we will read one story from this very special book.  Here is a wonderful review of the book that I found on the Waldorf Book website.  This review gives you a brief insight into the book and storyline.  I read the prologue and first chapter on Wednesday and Thursday.  I wish you could have seen the learners eyes as I read them this most wonderful book.  They were very eager to make their first letter of the week picture about Sipho after we learned all about the letter A.  I invite you to ask your child about the book each week as we move through the alphabet.  I love to read to children and this is by far one of my favorite books to read. Here is the review in italics:

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!
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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
 

Math:
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)

Receiver says:

  • 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)
 
Families:
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. 
 

Garden Time:

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.