SHOW AND TELL
Bring a thing for our creative dramatics that could be magical.
Topic: Faerie Tales
It’s okay to be silly sometimes.
The value is joy. A way to be joyful is to notice sensations and goodness in our lives. Another way is to delight in the stories around us.
For cooking we’ll make pretzels in the shape of letters and numbers.
Outside we’ll play with bubbles.
The songs we’ll be singing are Puff the Magic Dragon, Ain’t It Great to Be Crazy? Zippity-do-dah, Where is Thumbkin? and Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Our art activities are snouts, Pinocchio, three pigs houses, Jack and the beanstalk, and the emperor’s new clothes.
Creative dramatics will be to create our imaginary friend and a magic object.
For motor development we’ll build stamina by being bubbles for 20 minutes. For body development, we’ll work on bilaterality with food chain, play golf, wishing well, and sack races.
As concerned citizens and advocating parents, we wrestle with questions of how we develop our children so all are contributing to their fullest potential. There are several qualities essential to a true democratic education:
- Engaged, relevant, socially responsible learning – A democratic education seeks to develop critical, empowered citizens who understand the complex issues in their world. When learning is made meaningful and relevant, powerful links – emotional, moral, and ethical as well as intellectual relationships – are forged between the child and the world. Learning is not abstract, distant, and dry but is engaged in the daily life and the real social and cultural problems of the larger community.
- Cooperation within a supportive and caring community – While all of us are concerned with personal excellence, democratic educators create a climate in which students help each other develop their unique strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Positive psychology is a new buzzword that is extremely powerful. Everyone can encourage everyone to question, to think, and to seek answers to our most trying problems.
- Accommodation of diverse learning styles – The assembly line model of schooling forces learning into too rigid a mold. Children whose styles of learning, energy levels, or preferred modes of intelligence do not fit this mold and are labeled “at risk”, “learning disabled”, “hyperactive”, or channeled into “slow” or “gifted” tracks with other misfits. A democratic community of learners, in contrast, welcomes the diverse experiences and perceptions that its members can contribute. Diversity is seen as enriching everyone’s learning experiences rather than a threat to an arbitrary standard of normalcy.
- Celebration of cultural diversity – Different cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and racial backgrounds represent authentic expressions of human experience, and hence are worthy of respect, understanding, and appreciation. A democratic education does not require total relativism in respect to moral and ethical issues, but it does caution against the opposite extreme – taking one’s own culture as an absolute standard by which to judge others.
As much as we might agree with lofty ideals, we must begin the road toward excellent education by taking the first step. We can begin by defining specific steps to incorporate these concepts into our classrooms and our homes. We can work with each other to inspire and encourage us all toward excellence. We can challenge each other to do the hard work that excellent is. Instead of asking whose fault it is, we can ask what should be done, what could be done, and move toward that goal together.
On the Calendar
Conferences – Soon we’ll be scheduling conferences, a time for the people who care deeply about our children to meet together for joys and concerns. Please be thinking about the things you particularly want to discuss, maybe even make a list so we can use our time together most effectively.
Crazy Clothes Day – On Monday, April 1, we’ll all come to school as silly as we can imagine. Think about what would be really fun for this April Fool’s Day. It’s on a Monday, so be careful to remember. It’s at the end of the one week we do imaginary things with Faerie Tales. Think crazy hats, socks, or t-shirts, to list a few.