K-1 News

Meet the Teachers on Feb. 22!

If your child is rising into a new classroom next year, this evening is for you!

Parents of rising K-9th grade students are invited into your next year’s classroom to enjoy a presentation about classroom culture and what to expect in your new grade level. Because we are a close-knit community, you may often see your next grade level teachers around the halls, but we encourage you to take this opportunity to get to know them better! You can ask questions, see learning artifacts, and experience a deeper view into your new teacher’s philosophy and style.

Please RSVP, especially if you plan to use childcare! As always, we plan very carefully for the number of children we expect to be in our care to ensure they have a safe and fun experience. Thank you for letting us know your plans!

Pancake Breakfast!

RSVP with Jen for this fun family tradition!

Civil Rights Curriculum

We are grateful and awed by the incredible work of our Kindergarten and First Grade teachers as they engage our young learners in civil rights history and create a deep foundation of empathy, courage, and social justice.

Enjoy this clip from their student-created newspaper honoring Ruby Bridges.

Festival of Light

Join us for our annual holiday performance & pot luck: The Festival of Light!

Our classrooms prepare unique and thematic artistic expressions of how we celebrate inner, natural, and poetic light in times of shortened days and the cold of winter. Following performances, we will celebrate the light in our community with a potluck and social gathering. We hope to see you there!

Integral Night & Parent Potluck

Save the date for November 15th and remember to RSVP for child care!


Community Pool & Pizza Party!

We are excited to welcome you back to campus for pizza, swimming, and fun!

Our Annual Community Pool & Pizza Party is a great way for old friends to reunite, to meet new friends, to enjoy our swimming pool, and to get ready for the first day of school! Some time will be just for play, and we will also spend some time together in our classroom communities so you feel all ready for that first day back.

We provide the dough, and we all potluck toppings, so please RSVP if you’re able to join us!

Community Centering

Every Monday morning, our prekindergarten through fifth grade classrooms gather each week to ground and center together!

Together, we practice breath-work, visualization, music, singing of a diverse, global variety of devotional songs, including those in Hebrew and Sanskrit languages. During our centering practices, we aim to cultivate and develop a relationship with our interior world. Children feel inside their bodies through the aesthetics of sound and vibration to connect with their authentic self. When we are meditating together, we are creating an experience that is invisible and experiential!

Community Centering teaches children techniques to relax their bodies and mind. Students are able to connect to the present moment. This is an integral practice because the children are cultivating and developing a relationship within themselves, and at the same time having an experience together, integrating different perspectives while in the midst of growing and learning.

The Stress-Less Family Workshop at Odyssey

Does your child have difficulty getting out the door in the morning? Does your child resist “unpleasant” activities like brushing teeth, cleaning up, or doing schoolwork? Are you struggling to effectively address everyday family challenges in a calm and creative way? In this highly interactive and practical event, we will:

 Learn the three brain states and how to communicate with your children in each.

 Identify what leads to recurring “problem” behaviors in your children.

 Identify concrete strategies to use in effectively handling stressful situations.

 Discover ways to prevent problems by creating more calmness and connection

Screenshot 2016-01-27 at 8.42.53 AM

Register for The Stress-Less Family Workshop today!

Parents who register by February 6th will receive a digital copy of Shonnie’s “Mama’s Power Pack” which contains Taproots of Conscious Family Life, A New Take on Tantrums, and Instantly (Re)Connect with Your Child.

Childcare and light fare is provided!

Turning Learning Inside Out in Asheville

Director of Operations, Coranna Adams, spoke to a full house during one of Asheville’s quarterly PechaKucha events on October 9, 2015.

PechaKucha is a global movement, named for the Japanese word for “chit chat,” which encourages cities to organize events that create a platform for local voices. Coranna’s presentation has been shared worldwide and continues to spread the word about the unique, Integral Education offered at Odyssey.

View her presentation below, and please note that it is most suitable to be watched by adults as it was prepared for a Friday Night audience of adults!

You can also view it on PechaKucha’s global website here.

Soccer in our Physical Education Program!

Eli Brasch is teaching soccer classes to our elementary students: an opportunity which deepens Odyssey’s engagement with the physical strand!

Eli experiences soccer as a metaphor for life.  As students learn to play within the structure of the game, they build personal strength within the strength of the integrated system of their team.  In order to experience the beauty of the game, like experiencing the beauty of life, players must see what they can do on their own as well as what they can accomplish with others.  Students encounter abstract space, structure, and form; individual will is set next to self sacrifice for the common good; perseverance and sportsmanship are paramount.

Physically, soccer develops hand foot coordination, which automatically develops hand eye coordination, so soccer players are often able to excel in multiple sports.  Meanwhile, students learn about physical conditioning as players must run long distances and sprints, be able to jump, turn and pivot, hold players off with their upper body and achieve a high level of agility and balance.  There is a reason soccer is named, “The Beautiful Game.”  Eli incorporates these different skills in a developmentally appropriate way, supporting students of all ages and skill levels to advance in their exploration of the sport.

Born in Charlotte a long time ago, but not a really long time ago, Eli has been playing soccer for over thirty years at a very high level.  He has coached for five years. Currently, Eli plays for two adult teams, will be a licensed national youth coach this summer, and is working on his second novel.  Eli has lived in Asheville for sixteen years and has been a member of ABASA for eight years.


The Emerging Identity of a K1 Student

Back in the 1950’s, Selma Fraiberg introduced the concept of Magical Thinking in childhood. Since then, several developmentalists, (including Berry T. Brazelton/Joshua Sparrow in Touchpoints 3-6) have explored the concept as it relates to early childhood education. Magical Thinking is actually a very practical tool for parents to have in understanding the emerging identity of the K-1 child. Magical Thinking in young children is a necessary developmental stage and it is very different than Magical Thinking in adults within the mental health field. On its most basic level Magical Thinking with young children often involves an intuitive sense in which the child perceives that there is some sort of correlation between their interior world (be it imagination, a thought, or even a spoken word) and an exterior outcome. This perception can be given or received by a young child in a way that may feel like a magical spell has been cast.

Although Magical Thinking can be exemplified in creative imagination, symbolic play play frames, fairy tale imagery, artistic creativity, and perceptive insights, or an imaginary playmate; Magical Thinking can also be exemplified in developmental tasks related to less positive aspects such as name calling, blaming someone else for their own actions, and taking things that may not belong to them.  Magical Thinking can often be experienced by a young child in ways in which he or she takes words or actions very literally or even very personally. There is a strong developmental component to both the positive and less positive facets of this important concept. A child who imagines her blocks have become castles and kingdoms is engaging in his/her Magical Thinking. A child who tells his mother that his little brother drew on the wall with a marker is “magically” creating a cognitive reality for himself where it was his brother’s artistic actions that painted a green wall black; rather than his own actions. When a little girl calls her younger sister a “turkey” and the little sister begins to cry, it might be, because the younger sister is afraid that her older sister has somehow “magically” used her words to shape a perception that has literally turned her into a turkey.

In K-1, we respect the full power of Magical Thinking and we support our students in communicating what they perceive in any given situation. While we are also supporting imagination/creativity, we are also coaching children to resolve conflicts and to find solutions for the social emotional, cognitive, or disciplinary misperceptions that can arise out of their developmental stage of
Magical Thinking. By using tools such as social coaching, mediation/Fussbusting, Cubhouse, and Witness Circles, we give students the opportunity to articulate their interior reality, to respect the interior reality/perception of others, and to find solutions when the developmentally appropriate “magical” world of their interior desires seems to collide with the exterior world or classroom reality.

By Mary Virginia Bunker


K-1 Newsletter 12.5.14

Preparing students, families, and educators to lead the 21st century with an authentic sense of self.

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