As a school we are beginning to explore Family Traditions. Today Jennie and Palmer kicked it off for the Brown Room with baking. Jennie noted, "We love to bake and share our treats. Mommy loves treats and Palmer loves treats but daddy doesn't love treats so much." Today the class baked blueberry muffins. Each child went home with 3 muffins, which they were excited to taste and share with family at home.
The first group was: Palmer, Wolf, Oliver, Ellie and Ada
The second group was: Fletcher, Grace, Lane, Emilia, Alexandra. As we mixed ingredients, Emilia said, "I love blueberries!" Alexandra said to her, "I love blackberries and raspberries and strawberries. I love every fruit I like." As Jennie helped us mix the dry and wet ingredients she commented, "I'm going to be really gentle so it doesn't splash."
At snack we talked about baking and asked if the kids baked at home. Here are some excerpts:
Brooke: Who do you bake with?
Alexandra: Mommy and Daddy!
Wolf: I bake with my sister.
Lane: I bake with my brother.
Brooke: What do you bake?
Lane: Pancakes with blueberries in it.
Wolf: Apple muffins
Fletcher: I bake cookies.
While we played outside, Melanie put muffins into Ziploc bags and put them in the children's red bags. As they got their bags to leave for the day many were VERY excited to see that they had muffins to take home and share. Lane said to Melanie, "Can I have one, Will and Betina and me? And we can eat together at the circle table." She then approached Brooke and said, "I get to share them with Will and Betina and me!" And walking out the door Lane noted, "I'll show Betina my muffins, she'll be so excited."
Family traditions come in many shapes and sizes. It might be a book that you love to read, a song that you sing, an activity that you do, a language you speak and much much more. We welcome you to email teachers if there is something you or your child's caregiver would like to share with the class. It need not be elaborate or involve a product for children to make.
The second group (Fletcher, Alexandra, and Grace) also began with the gems. We studied how big the gems became on the wall.
In both small groups, people were inspired to draw on the papers available on the floor. As Cannon traced one of the gems, he made a circular shape, then commented, "I made a whale!"
Explorations in Wire
(Stories from Yesterday and Today)
Our first forays into wire have prompted the children to apply different techniques and strategies. Here, Gigi uses the wire to help Pink Flamingo, who has an injured leg. Lane uses a plastic tool to wrap the wire around in circles, making a spiral shape, which she then places down. Maren tests the strength of the wire, watching it bounce back numerous times.
Today's group was provided with styrofoam platforms that the wire could puncture, making a tall sculpture.
**Many thanks to Gigi for bringing her ukulele and leading us in a couple songs at the end of our classroom time!**
Thanks also to Lane for bringing in this monster book... we love looking at the pages.
Today the children continued with painting in the studio. It's a very popular activity!
During the teachers' weekly planning meeting this afternoon, one of the topics discussed was how to stretch the children by allowing them opportunities to add paint or other materials to initial pieces. We hope that extending opportunities will allow for the children to build stamina and push past, "I'm done." Both children and adults often feel "done" simply because they don't know what to do next. So stretching beyond that not only builds resilience, it also provides an opportunity to explore complex thinking. Creating a classroom atmosphere the values stamina, focus, and resilience is something that we want to do. It's these life skills that the children will carry forward as learners - and are very necessary given the fast pace of today's world.
The children also looked through their portfolios and chose work to be shared during the parent/teacher conferences.
We look forward to visiting with parents during your conference appointments tomorrow or Friday.
Yesterday we began some work with tempera paint and colorful paper in the studio. Many children were excited to participate, including Alexandra, who made a painting of an "elephant taking a bath". She decided to make another elephant today, along with many other animals. Grace, Evelyn, Lane, Emilia, and Olivia also did some work with painting as you'll see in the slideshow. As you read the conversation, keep in mind that it occurred over the course of an hour or so. Some work time is quieter because the children are focusing, while other times are more chatty.
Light and Color Exploration...
Our class has a new spotlight machine. It can shine all kinds of colors. See how we experimented with shining it on different surfaces today...
Meanwhile... in Dramatic Play...
In the Message center...
Outside there was exciting imaginative play involving ships and tigers.
Not the scariest tigers ever:
The children also explored flashlights in the outdoor space.
Olivia diligently tested the flashlight on different surfaces.
A snack chat....
When four friends were finishing snack, they had an interesting chat amongst themselves:
Cannon: Wolfie, where's your house?
Wolf: It not far down the road.
Cannon: It's around the corner?
Wolf: It's close.
Maren: My house is really far away.
Ada: My house is just up the ally.
Maren: Cannon, it's really long with the car. (referring to getting to her house) Cannon, you went to my house. For a playdate!
Cannon: (to Brooke) I go to Maren's house for a playdate!
Ada: Cannon, do you want to come to my house someday?
The children's day is language rich. More and more they are chatting amongst themselves about specific topics. They are also using language more effectively to communicate their needs and wants.
And they are always listening! Even children who tend not to talk as much are engaging by looking at the speaker, listening and processing what they hear.
We also had a dance party!
WE HOPE YOUR FRIDAY WAS AS FANTASTIC AS OURS!
Projection and Shadow: Observations and Theories
Today's work with shadows reaffirmed the children's interest in size and the concept of cause and effect.
Olivia: I am big. Big, big, big.
Back in the classroom... We decided to use the colorful fabric we have decorated as a landscape for the trains to drive through.
Today we mixed a LOT of new paint to add to our supply of easel paints. Ada, Ellie, and Maren were very helpful in carefully selecting and mixing colors in jars.
Maren: (mixing with stick) It’s kind of hard. I just really need more of white. Maybe probably… some of blue. Ooh, purple! Purple! …. (squeezing more paint) It’s coming out quickly.
(At this point, Maren notices how the white paint seems to disappear as it squirts from the bottle, into the paint jar, through the existing paint and down to the bottom of the jar)
Maren: Why’s it making it smaller?
Jessica: The white paint, where did it go?
Maren: It’s gone. (starts mixing) Now it’s not stuck ‘cause a got a lot. Look at that! Now I done.
In the photo below, Ellie has noticed the mirrors made by parents at Classroom Stories Night. She swings it back and forth to watch the lights dance across the fence.
It's hump day but the Brown Room children were not 'dragging their wagons' at all! They accomplished a lot in both the classroom and Blake Hall. A fire drill at 10 didn't slow them down one bit! All the children got to experience both areas, and below are some of the highlights.
In the Brown Room....
Explorations using droppers to manipulate liquid watercolors. Mostly the color was added to a large piece of fabric, but as can be seen in the photo above (right), Palmer tested it on paper as well. The paint reacts differently on the two surfaces.
Emilia explores if pressing paper on top of the painted fabric causes change to either surface (the paper or the fabric).
The children shared what they were noticing and also named what they were creating:
Lane, "I'm gonna make a bottle. It's a sippy cup."
Palmer, "Look what I'm making Melanie. A truck."
Lane, "It's a milk sink." She then mixed green and purple together and reflected, "It's red."
When she painted blue on red Emilia noticed, "It's getting darker."
Lane, "I made a smurf. He went in a smurf house."
Palmer, "I made a truck Melanie. A mixer."
After snack the second group had a similar experience. However, this time, the table was back in the studio so that fabric was draped over the table.
Here are some of the comments from the second group:
Wolf, "I'm making a bus."
Alexandra, "I'm making a snow flower."
Ada, "I'm making a tin."
Grace, "I'm making an engine drive. It's a car."
Ada, "I'm squeezing it to get more."
Alexandra, "I'm making a house."
In Blake Hall....
Ellie immediately begins to run around in the light! She is drawn to that specific area within the large room.
The children started noticing shadows and how they move/change size. In the photos above Grace and Ada observe how Grace's shadow moves/changes as she walks away from the wall and then back towards it.
Later, Grace noticed a problem: she couldn't get her shadow to "stop moving." She elicited Jen's help and Jen suggested that they ask other Brown Room friends how to solve this problem. Here are so excerpts of the start of the conversation:
Jen "Grace can't get her shadow to stop moving. Can you help her? How can we do that?"
Jen (to Grace), "Do you have ideas?"
Ada, "I have an idea!
Grace, "We could, um, we could put something on it."
Jen, "Let's see, what could we put?"
Grace, "We could put tape."
Jen, "That's a great idea!"
Thus, tape was provided enabling the children to continue to try and solve this 'problem' through exploration.
By the end we had a lot of tape on the wall:
The second group explored light and shadow in a different way! They imagined what the shadows were:
But questions about how shadows occur were still on their minds.
Oliver approached the wall to touch the shadow and then asked, "How'd it get up here? How'd it get up here?"
Lane moved towards the wall. She said, "I'm getting closer!" She then looked at her shadow and declared, "I'm little!"
Brooke asked her, "How can you make your shadow bigger?"
Then Lane ran away from the wall and turned to look at her shadow noting, "I made it bigger!"
As part of our exploration of new materials in the Brown Room, we have been trying a new watercolor method this week: Eye droppers! We have found that it is a great way to mix different colors together. On the fabric surface, the paint reacted differently than on paper. The process of using eye droppers sparked conversation and instilled pride in children as the paint was successfully pulled into the dropper and then squeezed back out.
Because our classroom was arranged differently today, we decided to have a picnic for snacktime!
This morning we celebrated Olivia's school birthday. (Her actual birthday was yesterday.) Her parents, Mandy and Dan, joined us. We enjoyed looking at photos of Olivia at the beach, in her Halloween costumes and celebrating her birthday with her family.
We saw photos of Olivia at the beach. She said, "I'm at the beach!" We also saw photos of Olivia's dog, Geo. Geo loves Olivia. Olivia loves Halloween! We saw photos of her dressed as a lion, an 80's workout instructor and Ariel, the little mermaid. This year Olivia celebrated with a princess cake and brought the decorations to show the class. It was Cinderella, Aurora and Belle.
Olivia opened her gift. It was made by Maren, Ellie, Ada and Evelyn.
Later she walked around the candle and, with the help of some classmates, blew it out!
HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY OLIVIA!!!!
Last Friday we began making centerpieces for Thanksgiving and today we continued that work, along with prepping vegetables for the soup. Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving Feast, families are invited to attend chapel at 11, or meet us in Blake Hall at 11:30 for the feast. Thank you for all the vegetable donations and a special thanks for Nicole and Lindsey for helping with the "cutting."