Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Washing the Mat/Carnival Tomorrow

Your children are very near to the end of the kindergarten year. Tomorrow morning we will gather one more time to sing the songs we know and to talk about the year just past. It's been a good year.

It will, of course, be hard to say goodbye to Mrs. Everson as she leaves her service to our school as she embarks on her training to become a respiration therapist. We will miss her. And we wish her well in her new career.

Today was Wyatt's day and he wanted to read his sharing book to the class. He did a very good job indeed.

He read each page and then....

showed the pictures to the class

We had our final "Tribes" gathering today. It was the occasion to say goodbye to the departing sixth grader in our Tribe. We celebrated (as Dunham school tends to celebrate) with plenty of sweets, in our case, vanilla ice cream, cookies, and root beer.

Mrs. Everson serves up her tribe

While Rachael served up my tribe.

I had been hoping that we could wash the mats in warm sunshine, but thick morning overcast from the coast was unusually persistent today, lasting late into the morning. At 11:00 I decided that we would go ahead under gray skies anyway.

Before going outside, I asked the kindergartners to find the quiet place and imagine a sunny blue sky. Maybe, if we visualized the sunshine we hoped for, it might come. Well, we did that, but the skies stayed cold and steely gray.

"Mr. Gurney, we should all hold hands in a circle and then wish for blue skies," Austin suggested. I could think of no reason not to try Austin's suggestion, so we did. It couldn't hurt—the skies were still gray. It took a while to circle up because one child didn't want to join us. Since everyone is important to the class, we persisted in inviting him until he finally allowed himself to join the effort. His resistance and the delay it caused helped the magic was just about to happen.

Hands linked, we closed our eyes and wished harder for blue skies. Our visualization went on for maybe three minutes. And lo, like the real magic it was—when we opened our eyes there were shadows under the trees and sun shone brightly down on earth. You can't make this stuff up.

Excitement filled our room as we lined up at the door to put our sponges and buckets to good use cleaning the mats.

The kindergarten kids each washed off their own green square, and then turned to help those who needed some help. It took quite a bit of elbow grease to scrub off their names, which although written in washable marker, seemed to want to hang on to kindergarten as long as possible.

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