This was my dream. In the beginning there was a giant corrugated cardboard circle with the middle cut out. Then children began making orange and ochre paper rings like they do at Christmas for tree chain decorations. But they were gluing the paper rings onto the cardboard circle. When the whole cardboard circle was covered in rings, the children began thinking about initial sounds and prefixes, to make a wreath of October work for the school Open House.
Now in the musical, "Fiddler On the Roof," Tevye tells a dream like this:
All right, This was my dream. In the beginning, I dreamt we were having a celebration of some kind. All of our beloved departed were there. And the musicians...Even your great uncle Mordichai was there. And..and your cousin Rachel was there. In the middle of the dream in walks your Grandmother Tzietal, may she rest in peace.
Golde: Grandmother Tzietal? How did she look?
Tevye: Well for a woman who's dead 30 years she looked very good. Naturally, I went up to greet her.
Now in no way am I comparing meeting the families of my students at Open House Night with greeting Grandmother Tzietal, but the song did pop into my head. These things can't be helped. I'm not even thinking about Orack Borama.
But back to the October wreath, I dreamt that all the students made prints of an owl or an octopus, and each hung one print on the wreath. Then we could add some of our overwhelming okra harvest. We could take funny photos of the smallest students turning the lights or faucets ON or OFF, and let them trace those letters to add to the wreath.
Slightly older students could cut out red octagons and make STOP signs to hang on the wreath. Some of these students have been doing work about opposites. They could draw OPEN & SHUT, OVER & UNDER, INSIDE & OUTSIDE, and OLD & YOUNG, or do math work about ODD & EVEN numbers. Young observers might consider OPAQUE & TRANSPARENT. We could hang their drawings on the wreath, or weave them in and out of the paper rings.
We have been studying occupations since the semester's onset. Some students would be happy to draw opera singers, oceanographers, organists, Olympic athletes, opticians, astronauts in orbit in outer space, baseball outfielders, ornithologists, orthodontists, mommies and daddies working at "the office", and surgeons performing operations.
Montessori students love studying animals, so they would be glad to draw an okapi or ostrich, an otter or ocelot, an orangutan, oryx, or ox. A teacher might share her photos of Phil, the patio opossum.
The music teacher must surely have some ideas about ocarinas, octaves, opera singers, and orchestra conductors. The art teacher could contribute outline drawings and Georgia O'Keeffe orchids to the olio. The elementary teacher might offer students some opportunities for studying Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma, Oahu, Omaha, and Odessa, TX. Her assistant would contribute original recipes with oregano, olive oil, or onion.
I hope an octegenarian great-grandparent will attend Open House to observe our community of learners. "Our" is a very important word for the school. Students come from diverse backgrounds, but at school we are one community.
Parents at Open House could hang other "O" words on the wreath--oxygen, opals and obsidian, ovens or ogres, omelets at one o'clock a.m., Oman, ounces or orchards. Sure, someone might need to oversee and organize the project, but there are some outstanding options.
I've obviously gone overboard. I'll start my little outboard motor and putt-putt offshore.
© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder