We were so excited to celebrate Elle's birthday today with her family! Friends presented her with her magnet made by the birthday committee and Elle walked around the candle five times! She chose a very appropriate book about a tree through changing seasons and we enjoyed a special birthday snack of cupcakes and persimmon bread baked by KW. Happy Birthday Elle, we love you!
And many thanks to the parent volunteers who helped chop vegetables today and who will be hard at work preparing our Thanksgiving Feast soup tonight and tomorrow. Our compost worms are already enjoying their thanksgiving feast. We'll have to wait a while longer.
Today is the last Friday of the month--school maintenance day--so today's blog is just a quick snapshot of vegetable chopping day one. Thanks to our volunteers and to everyone who sent in veggies for the feast. Have a wonderful weekend!
Some big ideas have been going around the Tucker Room and children have been sharing stories and asking questions about birth, life and death. We encourage you to listen and explore these concepts with your children at home to understand what your child may be thinking and feeling. Here is an article to help get you started, "Why Do 4 Year Olds Love Talking About Death?". This is part of the conversation that started while children were working on their Thanksgiving centerpieces Monday morning:
Sally: When grandma and grandpas are really old, they die. Did you know that?
Elle: Grandmas and grandpas die first. Right? Cause they are really really really really old. Cause they last a long time.
Louise: My nana’s really old but she didn’t die yet. When nana dies we won’t have any more sleepovers. That’s sad.
Leigh: Sam just said to stop talking about dying cause he’s getting scared.
Louise: But guess what? You’ll meet them up in heaven.
Elle: Yeah it makes me sad cause it makes me feel like I’m gonna die right now.
Austin: My nanny’s dad died before she even got born.
Louise: That’s really sad.
Elle: I wish nobody didn’t die before.
The children identified feeling sad or scared but kept asking questions and sharing stories and the conversation lasted another ten minutes. They wondered about children and parents dying, and debated if heaven has magic or not. Our primary focus was making sure the children felt safe and respected, this was not a conversation with questions directed at teachers, but demonstrates the advanced dialogue the children have amongst themselves. Thankfully, the next day came with a focus on life. The children were very curious where everyone was born.
Where were you born?
Sibley Hospital : Sam, Jack, Austin and Lou Lou
Georgetown Hospital: Joslin
Near her ballet house: Grace
DC Hospital: Margaret
Dad’s Hospital: Louise
California: Rachael & Lisa
New Jersey: Ali
Friends were running races, building seesaws, and inspecting the gigantic creature Lou Lou brought, but Charlie noticed a beautiful leaf and shared his treasure. This piqued Rowan’s interest who began gathering leaves also. The pile got so large we needed to get a bucket to put them in. Rowan was more attracted to dark leaves that were roughly the same size, “Theyre twins!” Charlie was collected leaves with several colors that blended together. They began to describe the leaves paying special attention to size and the way the colors changed. Austin and Jack began to collect brown leaves that were crumbling apart, Austin suggested we collect them for the compost.
It came from this tree but it must be from up high because it is the same shape as those leaves but it is much bigger. It’s a dinosaur leaf. Charlie
Inside, Charlie and Elle chose to work at the easel. They selected there favorite leaves and taped them to their paper. First they chose their palette, paints that most closely matched the color of their leaves. Fir Charlie it was pinks and oranges, while Elle selected browns, reds and yellows. Charlie traced the leaf with his finger to help understand the complex shape, before painting. He began with blocks of color and then created the outline of the leaf. Instead of painting in the shape, he decided to paint on the actual leaf. Elle recreated her leaves with the paint, noticing where the colors changed and used a smaller brush to create the details of the veining. After painting the leaves, the children reminded us to give the leaves to our composting worms, who are very well loved and cared for.
We also composed a letter that the children decorated and delivered today along with their drawings and paintings. Kurt seemed delighted by their visit and the children shared news of their school day as if they were seeing a dear old friend. It was wonderful to see the children’s gratitude, kindness, and sense of community come together in this event and it will be exciting to see how the relationship develops.
With baseball season ending in victory, the children have moved onto football. While this is a great opportunity to strengthen bodies, sharpen gross motor skills, and let out energy, but the sportsmanship has been the most rewarding to watch develop. Teams don’t seem to matter when it comes to encouraging a friend or checking on a fallen player. Some children seem to truly love all things about the sport, while others just like playing with their friends, and all are welcome.
If anyone has an old football lying around consider donating it to the St John’s training camp!
We had more Mystery Guests today, Kian’s grandparents from Florida! The children had many stories of their own about Florida and then his grandparents showed us pictures of all of their cows and we learned their names. We tried to guess which cow Kian named; it was Coconut. We also saw Chocolate, Molly and Candy to name a few. The children have gotten so comfortable with our Mystery Guests and could probably fill the whole time sharing stories and asking questions, but there was a silly book about farm animals going on strike that our guests brought to read.
On the subject of chickens demanding electric blankets:
by Lisa & Rachael
Pieces of Tucker Room experiences.