Outdoor Sing Along
Molly: Did you like sing along today?
Lily: It was outside!
Molly: So, did you like it?
Lily: It. Was. OUTSIDE!
I think that means that yes, sing along was extra fun today!
Because we started our day outside for backwards day, we brought our instruments and the tablet outside with us so that we could join the school sing along from the outdoor classroom. Even if we don't always know how to sing the words ourselves (we're still learning some school favorites), it's always fun to see our school community on the screen and listen to the songs being sung!
Where is the fire? - Cape
This is the silliest thing ever! - Hugh & Daniel
Earlier this week, Daniel and Hugh invented a game to play in the sandbox using our brand new dump truck. It turns out that it's actually large enough to use for dumping friends! Daniel and Hugh remembered how much fun they had together on Monday playing this game and decided to teach some other friends how to play today. As silly as it is, this game encourages turn taking, cooperation, practicing patience, and trusting your friends! Thanks for the lesson, Daniel and Hugh.
Happy Birthday to Cape!
Today we had our first yellow celebration for our friend, Cape.
Cape already knew weeks ago, during our first birthday celebrations at school, that his birthday message would be yellow when it was his turn to receive a gift!
Friends on Cape's birthday committee made him a beautiful water color message using shades of yellow and gold and laced it together to complete the gift. Cape's mom and dad (LouLou and Dave) both joined us for the celebration and helped us sing our special Brown Room birthday song. If you haven't had the chance to hear our birthday song yet, we sing for each birthday year starting from "0 years old" and parents help us sing about what the birthday child liked to do when they were different ages.
When it was time to sing about what Cape likes doing now that he's a three year old, he told all of us that he likes to... "Go to school!" We love it when you come to school too, Cape!
Sending a package to Saul
Today, we brought message making materials to the outdoor studio and reminded the children that we were almost ready to send our messages and owl drawings to our friend, Saul. Some children decided that they would take the opportunity to make Saul a final message before we send the envelope.
This week our friend Bea was thinking of Saul as well and brought a special owl light to "show him" even though he is not at school in person with us. It was such a thoughtful gesture. We hope that Saul is surprised and excited to receive our messages!
Ending the day with constructing a castle ...
That wraps up our 7th week at school!
Hoping you all have the best weekend!
Morning Mystery Reader
The Brown Room really likes to talk and share about pumpkins right now. A song which we love to sing during morning meetings is the "pumpkin song". Tucker Room thought us this song for Sing Along this week and we would like to share the lyrics with all of you at home as well:
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said: Oh my, it's getting late.
The second one said: There are witches in the air.
The third one said: But we don't care!
The fourth one said: Let's run and run and run.
The fifth one said:We're ready for some fun.
Then boo went the wind and out went the lights.
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.
If you would like you can also listen to the song here: Five Little Pumpkins Sitting On a Gate
Birthday Committee for Cape
In preparation for Cape's birthday celebration the birthday committee worked on creating his present today.
Earlier we had decided to create a yellow watercolor message for him. We started with three individual water color papers but in order to create one long message we had to connect them. Hugh, Bea and Frances used hole punchers and yarn to lace the three papers together. This required many kinds of fine motor skills, such as gripping, squeezing, and threading.
Hugh: Hey, they come to mine. They are connected. (while lacing "his" paper together with Bea's)
A few conversations during painting:
Hugh: Do you see what happens with my paper? It gets lighter and lighter. (moving the paint brush over the paper)
Bea: I make a lake.
Frannie: Can I paint with you Daniel?
Hugh: But how are you gonna fit it? (pointing out the length of the message) Fold it. But it's too big.
Bea: Lemon yellow. Yes, lemon. (naming the color she was painting with)
Frannie: A princess!
Daniel: I'm painting a big dragon for the princess. I'm painting a big big castle for Cape.
Hugh: A garden. There's another color inside the garden. A grayish color. (pointing out a golden shimmer)
Frannie: And it's a biiiig castle.
Hugh: It's kinda hard to get the water color out. I'm using it all.
This message was created through beautiful collaboration by Hugh, Bea, Wilder, Frances and Daniel. We can not wait to share it with Cape tomorrow!
Where do toads live? What do they like to eat?
We expected they would live "on the water" (Cate) or "under ground" (Lucas) but they actually don't like to be in the water and prefer to hide under rocks and wood piles.
Wilder: Maybe they like to be under rocks hiding from people. They hide under this rock (picking up a small tile from the table). Maybe they hide under other frogs. Yeah, that's funny.
The conversation about different kind of hiding spaces for toads inspired Cate, Wilder, Michael and Lucas to create their own houses for toads.
Ohh, that smell - Michael (smelling flower petals)
How can we get the materials to stick onto the collage?
Cape: With collage (holding up the glue bottle)
Michael: Can I have the glue?
Michael: I get the rock (using small pebbles). It's covered in glue.
Frannie: I want to use these (shiny copper paper)
I put lots of things. Feathers! (finding beechnut covers)
Collages in progress:
What will we find outside?
We decided that it would be a great day to further explore St. John's and become more acquainted with another area of our school. We took a trip to the front lawn to go on a Nature Hunt! Last week, we introduced a "natural materials tray" to the children and decided to use it for collecting items found in the outdoor classroom space. We collected sand, mulch, moss, sticks, and dried leaves. Children have also started to bring in their own natural material findings from home (or found on the way to school) and we have enjoyed sharing those with each other as we arrive.
Today, we hoped that being in a different outdoor area would provide more opportunities for collecting a larger variety of natural materials.
That being said, we knew that before we began to explore freely we would have to discuss a new set of expectations for how to keep our bodies safe while outside of the school. We came up with some great thoughts together!
Stay on the sidewalk. And maybe hold hands. - Lily
Don't get hit by a car. - Finlay
Don't touch garbage. - Bea
What did we think we would find out in the front lawn? We had a discussion during morning meeting and these were some of our thoughts ...
A Dinosaur, A Book, A Tower, Leaves, Acorns, Phones, Trees, and Trucks.
What did we actually find? No phones or dinosaurs, but LOTS of other interesting things!
This includes some things on the property that we have never really noticed before.
We also took notice of some things that we did recognize.
One of those things being our friend, Cape, who was on a walk with his mom and brother while we were outside!
Responding to the message from Elyse
After receiving a message from Elyse last week, we knew that we would love to create a message of our own send to her in response! Yesterday, we were able to create a beautiful message using collage materials similar to the message that Elyse sent to us.
As we revisited our work from yesterday we wondered aloud, "how will she know who the message is from"?
Finlay: Use the symbols!
We also discussed what type of text / words we would like to include in the message response.
Cate has spent some really fun virtual learning days with Elyse and shared with us that she most recently worked on a project using paper.
"I crumble papers up with her on the computer." - Cate
We had some very interesting group discussions about Elyse's symbol both yesterday and today. We have now not only seen her symbol on the message we received, but also in other areas of the school including our school post office. What does Elyse call her symbol?
It's a swirl - Cate
No, a plate. - Jade
A whirlpool! - Finlay
A snake. - Daniel
A snail. - Hugh
What do snails look like? - Lily
Finlay made a suggestion that we ask her to write us another message back. It seems like we might be developing a penpal relationship with our friend, Elyse!
"Please can you write us a message back?" - Finlay
Before you can mail a letter you need to address the envelope and most importantly, choose a really nice postage stamp!
I want the hearts because it's my symbol. - Lily
Berries! - Finlay
(Finlay often brings "berries" to school that he finds on his walk here in the mornings)
We can't wait until we receive our next message from you, Elyse!
Mystery Reader - Katie!
We LOVE mystery readers! Today we read three really great stories.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything - by Linda Williams
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn - by Kenard Pak
Hair Love - by Matthew A. Cherry
Hair Love is a book that you can purchase through our own school book fair site!
Some children recognized it today and were excited to tell us that they also read it at home.
Thank you, Katie (Remy's wonderful mommy) for reading some really awesome books to us today!
Today as we walked outside to the outdoor classroom to begin our day,
Wilder exclaimed, "This is my favorite day!"
We knew that the weather wouldn't be a burden on our creativity or prevent our enjoyment of a fantastic Friday!
Hmm... yellow and red... orange! - Lily
Outside at the easel in the outdoor studio space, we continue our exploration of color mixing! There were so many wonderful observations made throughout this process. Each child took a slightly different approach to painting on his/her own while also taking notice of how peers utilized their brushes and paints and learned new techniques from these observations. Watching each child learn from his/her own independent decision making, experiences, and consequential results is such a joy on it's own, but watching a child learn from observing a friend is its own special kind of magic!
Lily & Bea
It's a little wobbly. - Lily
Another highlight of our morning outside (besides from the rain stopping right when we walked out) were the new toys we found in the outdoor classroom. Everyone loved using the new shovels, trucks and brooms. The functions of a new excavator sparked interest and a few children collaborated to find out how to manipulate it in different ways.
Brooke is in Tucker Room
... and today was her birthday! Yesterday, when we waited for our turn to go potty, we saw Grace and Olivia with their teacher (Rachel) in the hallway. They told us that they were on their way to deliver a birthday message to Brooke's mailbox because it would be her birthday on Friday. Brooke's co-teacher, Jill, told us that Brooke's favorite color is orange and every single child wanted to be part of creating a birthday message collage for Brooke today! We each took turns adding pieces to the birthday message and then delivered it all together.
This was also the first time Frannie got to add her symbol! Yesterday, she started to show interest in symbols when her friends used them to sign their messages and collages. She studied the symbol organizer and tried a few out. Some that stuck out to her were a tea kettle, dog bone, bear paw, and a school of fish. But she wasn't ready to make a decision just yet. During morning meeting when everyone "checked in" by hanging up their symbol next to their picture, she said "I want to add my symbol." Ines explained to her that she had not chosen one yet and asked her which one she would like to have as her symbol.
Frannie: The foot.
Ines: Do you mean the bear paw?
Thank you for a great week and we hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
We got mail from Elyse
Finlay expected mail from his mom and was surprised to find even more mail in his mailbox. He had received messages from Grace, Lily's sister, and Aida who are both in the Tucker Room. He especially loved the feather that was attached to one of the messages Lily had created for him.
Finlay: The feather! Look at this. The feather coming out. (when he opened and closed the message)
It is so wonderful to witness these personal and thoughtful relationships growing every day. Having a stronger awareness of and connection with their room and the school as a whole, children in the Brown Room are starting to more and more make messages for friends in the Brown Room and outside of it.
This is Lucy. - Frances
On her second day at St. John's, Frannie deepened her explorations of the Brown Room and especially the message center and some of our art materials. She noticed Daniel making a message and joined him. She started using a glue stick and added different pieces of blue cellophane paper. Once her piece was covered she decided against it and started to peel the sticky pieces back off the paper. She had found a golden paper and kept it next to her collage until all the blue pieces were removed. She then added it, got up and brought over gems from the light table. She proceeded to glue those on one by one and finished with a strip of orange tape. While she added the round gems she said "This is Lucy." What a beautiful first collage!
Our first Mystery Reader
For snack we had Almond Nut-Thins and cantaloupe, which is one of our Brown Room favorites. After we learned that Frannie didn't know what it tastes like, Daniel encouraged her to try it.
They are sweet. You will like it. - Daniel
Hugh found a seed on his cantaloupe piece....
Sam: What are you going to do with it?
Bea: Grow it! In your back yard.
Hugh: Yeah, because seeds grow watermelon trees.
I liked it. I liked it because it was silly. - Lucas
Wilder's mom read this. - Daniel,
picking out a book about animals to read while waiting in from of the bathroom.
When you sign up to be one of our Mystery readers in the future please make sure to sign up on a day that is still available. Please keep in mind that we can only accommodate one Mystery Reader per day. But we are already looking forward to you joining us soon!
Natural Material Collection
We noticed that some children are bringing in natural materials, such as berries, apples, pine cones, and sticks, to school in the morning and love to look for them when we are outside. We wanted to expand on this interest and started our natural materials collection tray. We are excited to see where it takes us and the interesting items we will find. If you are finding special natural materials on your way to school, in the park or in your backyard, feel free to bring them in.
We have a new friend that started school today. When asked whether she preferred to be called Frances or Frannie when friends were speaking to her, she said, "Frannie". We're so happy to have you here at school, Frannie, and we hope you enjoyed your first day in the Brown Room as much as we enjoyed your bright and curious personality!
Let's Check In Today!
You may have read in one of our previous blog posts that we have recently observed children beginning to notice when their peers are not present at school. When children arrive to school it has become a more common occurrence for them to ask "Will _______ come to school today?" as they continue to develop stronger friendships and a more concrete awareness of who exactly makes up the Brown Room classroom family in its entirety! Some friends may be here on one day, but not the next. Why is that? Brown Room friends have different school day schedules, so we have now officially introduced our classroom "Check In Board" to aid in the process of figuring out who will be at school on a daily and weekly basis. Not only does the new check in board assist in independent problem solving as the children are now able to visually see who is "supposed to be" at school each day, but it is also a wonderful introduction to the days of the week, counting and 1:1 correspondence skills, and symbol recognition!
What friend do we know who really likes owls?
When Melanie, Lucia, Giacomo, and Audrey from the Rainey Room came to drop off Toad they also handed us another message from them with concerns and questions they had about his visit:
We discussed ways to keep Toad safe in our classroom, such as keeping him off the floor so no-one can accidentally step on him, touching him gently, or keeping the doors closed so he can not jump out.
After we introduced ourselves and each other to Toad, Finlay gave him a tour of our Brown Room. He got to see the message center, the studio, the light table, and the building area.
Toad got to play, make messages, build in the construction area, read books, go to the bathroom, wash hands and even have snack with us. Fun fact: Toad likes to eat popcorn.
It was such a fantastic day!
We wrote a thank you note and brought him back to Rainey Room B before we went outside. Thank you Rainey Room !
A tour of Brown Room for Toad:
Sam reading "Jabari Jumps" by Gaia Cornwall
We LOVE to read books together in the Brown Room. Today we read "Jabari Jumps" by Gaia Cornwall and "How to read a book" by Kwame Alexander. Did you know that you can also find these books at the St. John's Book Fair? Our book fair started yesterday and will be online until October 25th. This year's book fair focuses on integration and diversity. You can find amazing books for all age groups and adults as well. Check it out!
Click on the link below to open up St. John's Virtual Book Fair in cooperation with the wonderful Busboys and Poets bookstore.
Lily and Hugh begin painting together.
Lily: The red is really colorful! I'm making a house.
Hugh: I'm making a red house.
Lily: He's working on the neighbor and I'm working on a friend.
Lily: It got on the red. Now it's red blue.
Hugh: I'm making a house that's really close together to this one.
Lily: Mine has a door. Many doors. See, I made really 100 doors.
Hugh: Whoa! Yours is a very colorful house.
Their paints meet.
Finlay: Happy birthday?
Sam: It's not Saul's birthday tomorrow. Should we still sing it?
Finlay: Make something for him?
Hugh: Something for Saul?
Sam: How could we send him something out of the school?
Finlay: Mail it!
Daniel: And we can buy him a dinosaur at the store.
Hugh: I can make a message for him. Is Saul a girl or a boy?
For our Sing Along we also decided on the "Sea Turtle Song" (Hugh) or also called "Tiny Tim" (Finlay), "Baby Shark" (Bea), "Dinosaur Song" (Hugh) and "The Jack and Jill Song" (Daniel) to which Hugh responded: "Yeah the one with the birds."
Lily: ohh, why is it yellow? It's not yellow. It's red. Why did it turn yellow?
Ines: Sometimes it looks different in the jar than on paper.
Lily: Can I please have a different color? Orange now. I use orange now. Orange, watch. Oh! Why is it yellow? It's not yellow, it's orange!
Finlay also had the same question two days later...