Our Swooper Citizens theme of the week is Understanding. We defined Understanding as being empathetic and tolerant. To drive the theme of understanding home, I introduced the kindergarteners to one of my favorite children in the world….my friend Andrew.  I started by displaying a picture of Andrew and asking the children what they would do if they met Andrew in a park.

The children offered many conversation starters like, “What is your name? How old are you? Would you like to play with me? Do you like to swing?” It was that last question that caught some students’ attention. “Mrs. Delwiche, Andrew is missing a hand! Can he swing?” one student asked. “Oh yes,” I answered. “In fact, Andrew can do just about anything you can do,” I continued on.

I went on to share a little more information about Andrew. He loves to swing and play basketball. He is an artist, like his mother. Andrew is in first grade at a local school, and his smile lights up a room!

The students began to understand that though Andrew is missing a hand, he plays the same games and loves the same activities that the kindergarteners do. Next, I played a short video from a few years ago when Andrew’s mom visited our class.

We then discussed how showing understanding also means being empathetic. Two big ideas! Here is a video we showed to help clarify the meanig of empathy:


Our Swooper Citizens theme of the month is enthusiasm, the perfect character trait to learn about as we work together as a team to put together our musical play. Ms. Atkinson and I also have planned a very special field trip for our classes where students will have the chance to demonstrate enthusiasm. At the end of the month, the Special Olympics will come to La Playa Stadium. The kindergarten and first grade students will be official “fans in the stands,” where they will cheer on the athletes. In preparation for this, students will paint banners that will offer encouragement and show enthusiasm.

I was delighted to hear that my friend Amber’s son, Andrew, will be participating in the Special Olympics this year.

Amber paid a special visit to our classroom last year when we were learning about the character trait of understanding. Here is the post I made about that visit:


I was even more delighted when Amber accepted my invitation to bring Andrew to Lower School for a visit. It will be a wonderful opportunity for the students to get to know Andrew before cheering for him and the other athletes!