Victor, the nice man who cleans our school, has offered to help build our giant instrument. He of course needs the dimensions. Since children have decided that they want it to travel, it will need to fit through the school doors. Melanie invited small groups to measure doors, the elevator, and stairs.
For each measurement we took, we recorded the number on a clipboard.
We wrote to Victor after measuring the school and church.
Will you help us build the giant instrument? Will you help make the pegboard, and attach the wheels? We also need a brake for the wheels, or cones to stop the wheels. We need a handle so it doesn’t run away down the hill. Maybe we could have propellors and a sail. The instrument can’t be higher than 82 inches, and it can’t be wider than 3 feet.
The Tucker Room
Outside we played on the swing.... (Here is Lila in Slo-mo)
And of course played SOCCER!
In lieu of this conversation, Alex and Carl attached more pieces of the Giant Instrument to the pegboard. In this video, Carl shows Alex how to use the zip ties.
Today our mystery guest was Peppy the Gecko (Melanie's pet). Here's a slideshow of the highlights! Read the captions to find out about how we took care of Peppy today.
ENJOY THE SLIDESHOW BELOW! AND THANK YOU, ROSE, FOR THE DELICIOUS GEORGETOWN CUPCAKES!
JAY'S BIRTHDAY COMMITTEE, LUCY, ROSE, AND MAC, CONTINUED WORK ON HIS GIFT.
Children placed their laminated CDs they made yesterday into real CD cases today. They considered decorating the front of the case by drawing, but then realized that most album artwork shows a picture of the musical artist. Since they want the CD to contain their music, they thought to add their photos on the cover.
Alex said their plan was to throw the CDs from their jet plane to people down below! Prater said her CD had Lion King music.
Jay's birthday committee (Rose, Lucy, and Mac) got started on Jay's birthday present today. Jay excitedly told them he wanted a monster truck! They printed out pictures for reference.
We definitely did NOT break a laminator today.
...Okay, we did break the laminator. But before it broke, we made CD's with it! The CD's are inspired by a recent conversation we had at meeting. Two days ago, Jay made up a song called "Bud Bud Boogie"; throughout the day we added verses, a chorus, and a tune. At the end of the day we sang it together. It sounded so good, we were motivated to write more songs:
Alex: We could make our own CD.
Hadley: We could put music to it.
Mac: We could be a real band, with loud music.
Alex began drawing CD's yesterday. He brought them to the group of boys working at the "boat" in construction, where he began "selling" CD's. Everyone joined in. Bruno said, "The only ones we don't sell are the ones that go like that (have a spiral). Those we sell on holidays." Cassius said, "It's a holiday, we're selling stuff out!" Cassius then went to the multicolored drum set and explained, "How you choose the music is, you pick blue, red, yellow, or green. Boys, which kind of CD should we make?"
Today we laminated the CD's so they will not get crumpled as we continue to sell them!
And a hula hoop game where we STRIKE A POSE!
Amelia was an educator in the Reggio Emilia Municipal Preschools for 25 years, and worked closely with Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach. She has come to look at our school environment, see what kinds of projects we're involved in, and offer her reflections on the work being done at St. John's. This is a wonderful professional development opportunity for our whole staff. Because of this, there will be no journal today (and yesterday, as you probably saw). Thanks, and we hope you have a beautiful day thanks to this gorgeous weather!!
At morning meeting, we listened to the sound of a drum and discovered where we felt it in our bodies. Before the first drum beats sounded, Cassius said, "Only you can hear it when your eyes are open because the sound feels softer. When your eyes are closed the sound has to be louder. And you need to feel it louder in order to feel that."
(Joci bangs drum once)
Willa: I heard it loudly but I closed my eyes.
Cassius: It’s not about hearing, you have to try to feel it.
Rose: I felt it.
(Joci bangs drum several times)
(All): My tummy.
Grace: Me too but my ears kind of felt like plugged, and something was in it, going like this. (puts fingers in ears repetitively)
Jay: And something was inside my tummy, hitting it. And it was rumbling.
Cassius: Hey, Jay heard the same sound I was hearing, but Jay, your tummy was rumbling, but the sound was making your tummy rumble. Did you know that?
Jay: It was almost like a drum was banging in my tummy all by itself.
Cassius: Yeah and that made your tummy rumble.
Susan: I felt it right here (points to bottom of neck, between collar bones)
Cassius: Me too! I felt it right here also!!
Joci: In your neck? Someone said yesterday they feel sound in their neck. It was Jay!
Melanie: And someone else said they feel sound in their arm.
Rose: I felt it in my ears.
(Prater and Willa agree)
Grace: I felt it in my heart. Like it was going so fast, because THAT (the drum) was going so fast. Like…. (beats chest).
(Rose and Willa agree, also beat chests)
Joci: So your heart was beating louder because of the drum?
Lila: Mine was like that.
Willa: Mine was beating super loud. (beats chest) I can’t even do it as loud.
Grace: Yeah I can’t even do it as loud or as fast.
(Joci bangs drum several times, much louder)
Cassius: My head.
(Grace shows her eyes blinking over and over the way the drum was beating.)
Grace: I could not even stop.
Jay: My eyes were like this (stares straight ahead)
Prater: Mine were blinking so fast.
Grace: When you kept banging it, my drum started lifting up and banging on my ear.
Lila: Mine too.
Grace: Bang! Bang! Bang! That’s what it does every time.
Joci: When the sound goes in your ear, the ear drum actually drums?
Grace: Yeah. It goes drum, drum, drum.
Cassius: You could break your ear like that.
Rose: But it doesn’t move. It just makes sound.
Grace: No, it got lifted up and out of my ear.
Cassius: Guys this is actually true, the drum does not make sound in the ear… It’s not like a bongo drum. It’s not like a bell. It helps keep the sound in your ear and it helps you listen to the sound. So, that’s where all your sound comes that you hear into your body. It gets to choose where it wants to go.
Prater - Maybe Grace's ears are special.
After our conversation, we shared a new documentation binder called, "SOUND AND VIBRATION RESEARCH."
Joci: Does anyone know what “research” is?
Grace: Finding out. Finding out what something means.
On the cover of the binder is Bruno's drawing of vibration. He had referred to the ripples made by water when you throw a stone in.
Grace: What if you threw yourself in? If you throw yourself in, maybe you’ll make an angel vibration. ‘Cause your body’s like . . .
Melanie: Like a snow angel?
Grace: Like a snow angel.
Today our task was to begin work on Ellee's part of the humongous instrument. Previously, Ellee's friends chose to represent her design with a clear box filled with multi-colored objects like a chain, bottle caps, nails, and acorns. Today, Lucy, Prater, Alex, Willa, and Cassius used artists' palettes to mix beautiful colors for these objects.
Yamile (Yami), Willa's nanny, shared her love of bridges with us today since she heard we were interested in them.
Yami - Everywhere I look for the bridges and I take pictures. I found 43 bridges. Some bridges you can just walk, other ones are for trains and other ones are for cars - all of them are so big, right? Here I have some pictures to show you. This is a huge bridge in Sacramento, California.
Yami - Here I have one in Baltimore. It's kind of in the middle of the trees and it's beautiful.
Willa - It's a walking bridge.
Yami - I felt like a fairy walking on this bridge.
Yami - This is one is my favorite ones. The Key Bridge. It's very close to here.
Jay - Part of the Key Bridge is under construction.
Yami - We use this bridge to come to school.
Willa - Every single day.
Yami holds up a picture.
Jay and Cassius -The Golden Gate!
Cassius - I crossed that once in California.
Other bridges we saw were in Nevada, Mississippi, Colorado, on Roosevelt Island here in DC, the Brooklyn Bridge, and a small bridge over a tunnel in Central Park.
Yami likes bridges "because they connect something. You can go from here to there."
Joci - Why do think she likes that idea?
Alex - So she can visit new places.
Prater - To go to the other side.
Alex - Yeah and to see what's on the other side.
Ellee - To find more bridges.
Melanie - Has anyone been on a really tall bridge and you can look out across the water? I like that.
HAVE AN AMAZING, LONG WEEKEND!
OH, AND YOU MIGHT WANT TO WEAR YOUR PJ'S INSIDE OUT AND BACKWARDS TONIGHT SO THAT IT SNOWS TOMORROW!
We spent a large portion of our morning outside! Lucy and Grace pretended the toy cats could drink water by sticking their tails in the pool noodles, and that made them giggle. In the video below, the animals ring the doorbell ("ding dong!") to join their friends at the table. Plus, they found that the giraffe makes a sound like a "cork nut".
Mac had a different idea about how our ears work. He had heard his friends talk about an "ear drum", so in response, he drew a pair of bongos inside the ear!
What an incredible VALENTINE'S DAY FEAST we enjoyed today! Thank you so much, Nikki and Carola, for arranging the breakfast, providing the delicious food, and beautiful flowers!
Carl painted colored slip onto his six clay tiles and sponged it off for a "washed" effect, a process that makes the impressions in the clay more vivid and defined. With each tile he excitedly stopped to comment on
what he noticed.
“It’s magic! There’s fish and ants.”
“Woah! Look, it’s like a submarine.”
“It looks like a bridge.”
A conversation about SOUND
Melanie: What are some ways that your body feels a sound?
Alex: You can hear it. You can hear it in your ears. The sound goes through the ear drum, it moves through three little bones . . .
Rose: But there’s even like a little drum.
Alex: And then the last bone moves like a windshield or something, and it bumps a thing with lots of hairs inside, that makes you hear. And if you can’t hear so well, that means a little bit of a patch of hairs has come off. (The hairs) make you hear. If some of them are cut off, if some of them are missing, that means you can’t hear that well.
Rose: When you get older, you can’t hear really well anymore.
Melanie: Why do you think that might be?
Prater: Because when sounds get lower, grown ups can’t hear anything. Like, low. If grown ups can’t hear it, then children can.
Joci: Rose, did you say there is a drum inside the ear?
Rose: Not “a drum." I mean the thing that’s inside your ear.
Joci: Not a drum that you bang on.
Alex: The ear drum. It vibrates.
Jay: It vibrates because your whole body vibrates.
Cassius: That’s where your vibrating comes from.
Alex: No, the sounds hits off it. Off the drum. The drum is the outside of the ear.
Jay: It’s not like a ginormous drum.
Alex: It’s just like that big (holds up fingers to show how small). It’s a little farther in.
Joci: If someone beats a very loud drum, is there anywhere else you can feel it besides your ears?
Cassius: In my stomach.
Mac: My arm.
Jay: My neck.
Prater: How ‘bout we can make instruments out of people? (laughs)
Joci: Can your body be an instrument?
(Lila pats legs. We all experiment with making different noises with our voices. Mac shows us how to "beat box.")
After morning meeting, the drawing challenge was to show how sound enters your body.
Rose: These lines are the sounds, and this is the ear. And this is the drum that’s making the sound.
Alex: These are the hairs, that’s the bone, this is the ear wax, that’s more earwax. And this is the outside here.
Melanie: How does the music get from my phone to my ear?
Alex: You just hear it. From the speaker into here.
Ellee: It vibrates through the air into your ear.
Melanie: Does my ear put the sound into the rest of my body?
Alex: No, into your brain. So you can know what that sound is. They send the sound up to your brain, and then the brain figures out what the sound is.
Melanie: So, my brain learns what certain sounds are.
Alex: It knows this sound (taps pen).
Ellee: It bounces off from where it was made into my ear.
Melanie: After it gets to my brain, does it stay there forever?
Alex: If you forget about it, no.
Melanie: So it’s a memory.
Rose: Well I remember my favorite song. (Starts singing “The Cup Song”) “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone." But how do you hear it when you sing it?
Ellee: It bounces off your lips into your ear.
Ellee: (drawing) That’s the vibration. It’s bouncing up from the drum. That’s Lou Lou.
Rose: (drawing) This is the sound, and these are the three bones that are in the ear.
Melanie: If a sound was too loud, do you think the ear would get hurt?
Rose: Yeah. Like when the boys scream it goes into my ear. (My) ears hurt.
Ellee: (another drawing, the seashell looking one) I think that’s what it looks like close up.
It's Fat Tuesday, a.k.a MADRI GRAS! Special guests Siobhan, Geoff, and Yamile (Willa's mommy, daddy and nanny) came in to celebrate with us. And boy, was it a party. They all marched in wearing masks and costumes, and playing music. It felt like a real parade. We got chocolate coins and colorful necklaces. We even had our own parade where we went to Rainey Room and delivered some necklaces to their class. At snack time, we had a King Cake (brought by Siobhan and Geoff). Geoff explained that there is a little plastic baby inside, and whoever gets the baby in their piece of cake gets to throw the Mardi Gras party next year! Guess who got the baby..... Willa!!!
"Hockey" time outside...
Mac, Lucy and Prater added a "wash" to their clay pieces by painting with watered-down underglaze and sponging off the excess underglaze on the top. This technique emphasizes the crevices of our clay impressions.
Prater's turtle is missing! She made a sign to post around the school, letting others know to look for it. Luckily, we found the turtle's mommy outside. (Bottom left picture: Rose gathers materials to help make more signs.)