Today was our first day of school. We wrapped up Summer Camp with a big hurrah at Grateful Bread, launching our Summer Album (LAND: Summer All The Time) and bidding our graduates a final farewell before Kindergarten. Today we have been introducing a number of Eitim traditions to our new crew. One of those things is what we call Word of the Day. We sit down to lunch together, get settled, and someone notices that an Eitim teacher is walking to the whiteboard with a marker in hand. People start yelling out the names of the letters that appear on the board if they recognize them and we spend sometime sounding things out. Eventually we stumble upon the word that is written and then we ask: What’s that? What does that mean? And we work on it together: wondering about it, sharing ideas, stories, and more questions. This was our first Word of the Day discussion:
The Word of the Day is WELCOME!
Arthur: Welcome to Eitim!
Carly: Welcome to the classroom!
Maia: So Arthur and Carly just said sentences that have the word Welcome in them. What does Welcome mean, though?
Emiliana: You’re welcome here.
Maia: Wow. What does that mean, Emiliana?
Emiliana: I think that welcome means ‘you’re welcome here to have sometime here.’
Maia: Is that the same as saying ‘Oh, you’re here’ or is it different?
Emiliana: It’s different.
Emiliana: Cuz you say, ‘you can come here, but you can’t just mess up our class.’
Maia: Oh, so welcome means that you are not just in a place, but you know how to be in a place–that’s what makes you welcome and makes people glad you are here? Liat, what does welcome mean for you?
Liat: Um, like, you’re playing with your toys with your friends.
Maia: So it has to do with being with friends.
Miriam Wynne: I do have a TV show thing: Sister bear was wearing a green outfit and she changed into a pink one and mama bear said “welcome back!”
Maia: What did mama bear mean when she said “welcome back!”?
Wynne: Well, I don’t know.
Maia: Do you have a guess?
Wynne: Uh, huh. I think maybe she meant…
Maia: Like was it the same as saying ‘oh, you’re back’ or was it more like ‘I’m glad you’re back.’?
Wynne: Oh, you’re here! Mama bear thought sister bear would mess up the house. Just a little.