Sevikas: Mamtha and Jacqueline
• OM Saha naavavatu (click here for text)
• Vakratunda Mahakaya (click here for text)
• Sarasvati Namastubhyam (click here for text)
Quiet Time: One minute of silence followed by our focus game (see comments below)
Story: Ganesha Goes to a Party
Craft/Activity: Made a small Lord Ganesha out of modeling clay. (click here to view sample and directions on how to make.)
Comments: Parents, we've gotta say that these children are more 1st graders than kindergartners! Everyone did so well on their first day ... not one tear ... and lots of enthusiasm!
We started our class with the morning prayers listed above. Afterwards we spent a few minutes and talked about what each "Shanti" means at the end of the prayer. The first Shanti is asking for peace of the universal elements (like thunder, heavy winds, monsoons, etc.) The second Shanti is for environmental disturbances around us (like dogs barking, kids arguing, car horns beeping, etc.) And the third Shanti is for ourselves ... which is why we say it softer. We are asking for peace on the inside.
We then did our "quiet time." For the parents not familiar with this segment: The children sit quietly for one minute with their eyes closed. At the end of one minute they hear a stone drop into a bowl. Then another ... and another ... and another. The children are instructed to count the stones (in their head) as they drop. When aunty says "Okay, open your eyes," we go around the room and ask each child how many stones they counted. As you can imagine, our numbers vary quite a bit in the beginning. However, by the end of the year our young friends will be able to sit absolutely still for two whole minutes with very focused attention and counting — we guarantee it!! :-) This is an activity that we will be doing in every class.
Next week will be a full class — no auditorium. Just bring your child directly to our classroom (C-106). We must warn you that the aunties are "sticklers for time" — and we will be starting precisely at 10:00. Please make sure that your child arrives a few minutes early so they don't miss out on any of the learning fun. And we will always have some set-up chores for them to help with if you decide to come 10 or 15 minutes earlier :-) If, however, you must come late, please PLEASE respect our "Do Not Enter" sign on the door. This sign will be placed outside when we are doing our "Quiet Segment." You won't have to wait any more than 2 minutes ... we promise.
The kids don't need to bring anything to class — just their smiles and enthusiasm. The aunties will take care of all the crayons, scissors, glue sticks, etc, so no need to send in a back pack. The less number of things the kids have to keep track of in class, the better.
We're really looking forward to a fun year of learning with your child. Just so you know, we like to think of our Sunday get togethers as a "Party with God!"
Enjoy this fabulous weather ... this aunty is now going out for her bike ride.