In our talks of outer space, aliens keep coming up. We asked some children what they thought about aliens at morning meeting and asked a small group to share some more ideas and illustrate them.
Grace: They talk like this, "bebooopbeeboopbeee".
Lou Lou: Aliens can be green or other colors. Like blue or green or purple. But no pink. All the dark colors.
Leigh: What about black?
Grace: I think if they were black they could be camouflaged in outer space.
Margaret: It’s because outer space is black. If outer space is black they would be camouflaged cause they are black too.
Joslin: If they were all white and space was black they wouldn’t be camouflaged. But if they were black and space is black they camouflaged.
Austin: They can be purple blue, or pink.
Jack: They only live on Mars.
Elle: They can live on Saturn.
Lou Lou: And the moon.
Austin: It’s too cold; they would die on Saturn.
Kian: Aliens are hard to find and they might be hard to find cause they can maybe swim to other planets. But it might be funny if they jump all the way to Earth.
Austin: They can’t do that, cause of gravity.
Grace: If they swim to a different planet they might fell and go ahhhhhhhhhhh!
Austin: What if they scream in a crater and get stuck in it?
Elle: If they could get lost in the Milky Way cause its super big and goes all over the place and they could lost their way from their home.
Kian: They can have as many eyes as they want. And they can only have socks on.
Austin: They barely have hands.
Elle: An alien might have 8 eyes like a spider.
Rowan: This alien is from the moon. It needs four hands to pick up four foods at a time. They eat pasta.
Austin: Yeah, they get pasta from earth.
Rowan: They travel to the earth, grab people's pastas. Astronauts drove their rocket ships to the moon and they snuck on board and they were driving back to earth to get some pasta.
St John's hosted ECES today so we you will have to wait until tomorrow for an exciting journal entry. Spoiler alert, it involves aliens.
After Austin walked six times around the candle—because he’s past 5-and-a-half—the birthday committee presented him with the wildest gift yet. We had fun listening to the story of Austin’s birthday interview and committee and all the sports teams on his lists of most and least favorite things. Later in the morning, we enjoyed a delicious treat of Italian ices provided by Austin’s family. It was a wonderful day and a fun way to kick off the week. Happy school birthday, Austin! We love you!
Today we also got an update on our guests downstairs. Not only did they receive our message and bag lunches yesterday, they also wrote their names for us. Since we had made extra lunches, Rachael took a few around to folks in the neighborhood, including the gentleman we’ve seen on Wisconsin. She learned yesterday that his name is Chad and his dog’s name is Scooby.
The children loved this and began to talk about things they could do for Scooby. They suggested we give him food, a bone, or a dog toy. Some had ideas about things we could do to help Chad, like give him a flashlight for the dark. There was a lot of interest in building him a house, but even if we had the materials and the know-how, we don’t know that he would have a place to put it. The children thought a bit about the problem of having no land to place your home—or even your tent. Austin wondered if Chad and Scooby could live on a beach. We explained that that even at the beach it could be cold this time of year and they may not be allowed in any case. Lou Lou suggested we give him money to travel someplace warm. Jossie added that later, someone there could give them money to come back here.
So many ideas and observations, so much compassion and generosity. Every day we are more amazed at the Tucker Room children’s interest in and concern for the world and the people around them. Though we never met our guests, we will always feel a connection and we are grateful to St. John’s Church for giving us the opportunity. We have been moved by the children’s openness, awareness, and sensitivity toward these members of our community—and by the strength of their desire to help. Have a wonderful weekend, and Happy New Year!
Happy Birthday Sam! Your friends worked so hard to create you the most spectacular birthday magnet! To quote Lou Lou, “A dinosaur? Aren’t you smart! Everyone knows Sam loves dinosaurs!” Thank ou so much for celebrating your special day with your family and us. We love you so!
After Kurt’s visit yesterday, we gathered our supplies to make lunch for the people downstairs in the church’s shelter program. After decorating lunchbags, the children assembled turkey and cheese sandwiches and included chips, trail mix, water, and some fruit. The children were all excited to provide art and food to the visitors downstairs.
Today we also celebrate Chinese New Year with Kian’s mom. We read Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim and Grace Zong. Then we learned what all of our Chinese zodiac symbols are. Austin, Louise, Joslin, Elle, Leigh, Grace, Jack and Sam are the Year of the Wooden Horse. Charlie, Lou Lou, Rowan, Sally and Margaret are Year of the Wooden Sheep. Diana also brought all the children a piece of candy and a red envelope, a traditional New Year gift. Then she showed us how to write her name in Chinese, and gave us special paper so we can practice writing Chinese characters.
Today, Kurt visited from the church to help the children learn more about the homeless guests who have been sleeping in Blake Hall since last Monday. Their first questions were Why are they here? and What are their names?
Kurt explained that they are our guests because they’re homeless. He doesn’t know their names because they leave early in the morning and return late at night, so he hasn't met them. The children decided we should leave them messages asking their names along with writing materials so they can write back. The children asked lots of other questions:
Do they like to watch movies?
What kind of movies?
Do they have any way to watch them?
Do they watch Star Wars?
Why do they leave during the day?
Do they have money to travel?
Jack speculated that maybe they need fresh air. Margaret observed they don’t have money to buy a TV or a house. The children wondered if they could go to an orphanage, or live in a tent? Could we make them a tent?
We learned that a few of the guests have jobs, and many are working hard to get out of their situation. Margaret told the group that she and her sisters had found sheets and blankets in their rooms and had the idea they could give them to homeless people. Austin wondered how they would transport all their blankets? Kurt explained that their belongings are kept safe at St. John’s during the day, taking with them only what they need to stay warm during the day.
That led us to wonder where they go after their two-week stay at St. John’s. Kurt explained that there is a group of Georgetown churches that each host the guests for two weeks. We talked about our observations of homeless individuals in the city: sometimes they ask people for money or food, sometimes they hold up signs, sometimes they have pets. Many of the children were familiar with a homeless neighbor in Georgetown who has a dog and whom we see often on Wisconsin. Rachael shared that she had bought food for his dog before. The children had lots of ideas about animals who may be owned by a homeless person, or who may be strays, and may need help getting food and shelter.
We reviewed our proposed menu with Kurt. He really liked the children’s ideas, but suggested that we minimize sugary foods and drinks since many of our guests have diabetes. We narrowed the menu down to sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, nuts, chips, and water.
We can’t wait to prepare the bag lunches tomorrow, and we were so happy to have Kurt visit and answer our questions. Thanks, Kurt!
"They use the fire to see better, to hunt the animals in the water like dolphins and sharks. They found a whole trunk it in the water and brought it out. They used the crane to pull it out. All the Legos were inside. These are sushi that turns the water into ice. They drive the boat on the ice, but when they slip it turns back to water. Actually, it’s sushi you eat. I tricked you! These are spying eyeballs. They spy on other pirates. I tricked you again! There are no spies."
Charlie had already built most of his structure by the time I sat down, but as he added pieces, unprompted, he explained the meaning behind his choices and the development of his structure. His ideas were fluid and his play was about process and story, versus a final product. Components shifted on the structure, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes to advance his story. Some changes were final, while others were only changed momentarily for the narrative he created. Sitting beside Charlie offered insight to his work, appearing to be more focused on storytelling than direct construction.
This morning at meeting, we sang our new traditional Friday song, “Aloha Friday.”
It’s Aloha Friday
No school ‘till Monday
Doo-pee Doo-pee doo-pee doo-pee doo-pee doo-pee doo
And then realized we wouldn’t be here Monday because of the holiday. Hank and Zadie, who were visiting today had just gone to the Lincoln Memorial yesterday to watch students recite the I have a dream speech. They explained a bit about who Martin Luther King Junior was and why we would have a holiday to honor him.
We also talked about the values Dr. King helped to teach: treating people with kindness and respect, treating everyone as an equal, and not judging people by their appearances. We explained that some people do community service or other kindnesses on MLK day, and we linked these values to our discussions about the homeless men and women who are taking shelter at the church.
Later, we read a story called Strictly No Elephants. The book beautifully illustrates the importance of inclusiveness, compassion, and friendship. Afterward we had a discussion about what it means to be a friend, and Sally explained,
“Friendship means you help and share, being kind, respecting everyone. You don’t leave anybody behind.”
Happy Friday, everyone. Enjoy the holiday weekend.
At morning meeting, we played a game to arrange the our magnetic letters in alphabetical order. Each time a new letter was added, we thought of a word that started with that letter, and built our words to make a silly story. The children thought their story was hilarious so after each new word, the asked to hear the updated story. Learning the alphabet can be pretty dry, or pretty ridiculous. We prefer the latter. By the end, we could all recite:
A Blue Cat Dances Every Friday. Goats Have Insect Jelly Kites. Lions Mash Nuts Over Popcorn Quickly. Raccoons Sneak Trash Under Viking Wagons. X-ray Yachts Zoom!
We also welcomed another Mystery Guest to our classroom. We couldn’t even get through all of clues before the children guessed. Louise’s fairy godmother!
“This is Pluto and these are steroids coming toward him and hitting him everywhere. This line is the path of the asteroid. They came from an asteroid belt. Asteroids and meteors are made of rock. They hit the Earth every day.” -Rowan
“The dots are all the asteroids going and hitting Pluto, then there’s fire on Pluto. Then there’s water spraying from earth. The asteroids are falling from the sun. He thought they were grapes so he ate them. He also ate gravity, and then he fell down and exploded. And he was dead.” -Elle
“Pluto’s burning up and the fireballs are surrounding him. The fireballs are coming from the red planet. His mouth and his eyes are burning up. Then the sun burned off his nose. Then he’s gone, but he can come back to life because he has super powers.” -Sam
by Lisa & Rachael
Pieces of Tucker Room experiences.