Thank you, Lauren and Yaya (and so many parents) for sharing the morning with us!
Jane opens her gift
The "elephant" gift! What does it make you think of? "An elephant." -Hillary
Thank you Grandmommy
"There was an elephant at sing-a-long today!" - Lochie
Wait, what? Did you see it? Did you see the elephant at sing-a-long today? If you are like the other grown-ups, you might have missed it, but he was certainly there; the children reassured of us this fact. They all agreed, there was an elephant in Blake Hall, and then he followed us up to the classroom.
"I think it might be a baby elephant." -Lochie
Pretend play as elephants presented a problem of not enough elephant trunks. There were only two "trunks" and we needed more. What can we use to make elephant trunks? More rubber tubing was found in the school and brought back to the Brown Room for more trunks. Then questions emerged: Can we make the elephant sound? What sound do elephants make? We realized that we didn't know how or why elephants make the sound(s) that they do. We paused at this pondering and decided to listen to elephants vocalizing their sound. (Possible questions for later: What are they saying? What are they communicating?)
Painting: Standing at the easel. Sitting on the floor.
Our Birthday Calendar and Birthday Committee Work
Look below at the number three and four. What do you see? On the number three is Jane's symbol and on the number four is Giacomo's symbol. (Happy birthday Jane and Giacomo! Their school celebrations will take place in the next two weeks!) "Where's mine?" Reed asked. The children will learn to know who is having a birthday relative to each month and day in relationship to the symbol hanging on that number.
Below the literal, monthly calendar are photos of the children. Cedar points to an image next to her photograph. What is it? Next to every child's photograph, an image of their birthday gift will be placed next to it as the birthday celebrations happen. This will allow the children to witness and track the passing of time. There is picture next to Cedar, C.C., Lochie... So who comes next? Jane! Then who? Giacomo! And so on and so forth.
As you know, animals have been a conversation among the children in the Brown Room lately (all year?). Elephants, zebras, giraffes, and lions have been a focus. With this in mind, we have been asking ourselves, what is it they know about these animals; what do they want to know?; how can we experience these animals?; what are they thinking about when they are talking about them?; and more. These questions led us to wonder about how we could bring these animals into the classroom, beyond our wooden/plastic animals, and since inviting an actual elephant/giraffe/lion/zebra into the classroom is not possible (or is it?), we chose projection.
We've invited the children into experiences with the projection before, and to be honest, the large images did not seem to hold their attention. Each instance (as noted in their conversation below) had exciting, rich, engaging moments, but the focus always seemed to be on other materials involved (e.g. wooden animals, blocks, etc.). Our conversation at today's morning meeting made it very clear that they were engaging with the projection, and they formulated clear memories about it. It was a great reminder to never underestimate what children are experiencing, hearing, internalizing, and processing.
"Do you remember anything we've shown on this white screen?" - Elyse and Melanie
"A deer." - Maxon
"An elephant." - Janie
"Pictures from outside." - Lochie **the first experience when we projected the photos he had taken of the sky**
"Oh, a book. That book." - Giacomo **we projected two or three images from Head to Toe**
"Oh, Head to Toe?" - Melanie
"A bear." - Maxon **during the first experience, Mason compared his bear to the bear's shadow**
"A lion." - Cedar
"My lion." - Janie
Yesterday, the children interacted both with the projection and other materials. The projection sparked many comments about what the elephants were doing, the body parts, and other animals that make appearances. There was dramatic play with elephant skin, trunks, and quite a few lions. Some of the children also built more animal houses to the side. **more to come about this later**
"Could we use the light table materials for an elephant?" - Elyse
"Maybe, we can try." - Audrey
"What could it be?" - Elyse
"Ear." - Audrey
"I have two ears." - Audrey
"But maybe him have big ear." - Audrey
"I need a long trunk. I'm gonna make a really long trunk." - Audrey
"I make an elephant in the water." - Audrey
"I'm snipping it." -Lucia
Cut, cut, snip... Thank you to Carola and Kim!
Here we go dancing into the weekend!
"What is this? I can't cut it." - Cedar
A few weeks ago, while working on Lochie's birthday gift, Cedar discovered a piece of wire that had been removed from some ribbon that she was attempting to cut into smaller pieces. This led to a brief introduction of wire, what it feels like, how it bends, and the special tool (wire cutters) that is required to cut it. Cedar and Sylvie both found that placing the wire between the small teeth of the wire cutters required precision and concentration.
"I pull it, twist it, and it goes." - Sylvie
Over the course of the two days, we observed a few consistent interactions among the children as they worked, and their direct interaction with the wire.
Many children began to bend the wire so that the tips were touching, and they had created a circle in a way that we had not anticipated. Additionally, they attempted to stand their creations up on the tips of the wire (e.g. Sylvie created a loop and placed the tips on the carpet and proclaimed, "It's a mountain."). As they twisted, turned, and wrapped the wire (around their fingers, animals, etc.), we could see a relationship developing between the children and the wire.
Working in close proximity offered a beautiful opportunity to observe and engage with the ideas and actions of the other children. Their words, movements, reactions, and enthusiasm flowed among them. (Contamination of knowledge)
Day 2: Audrey, Jane, and Marley make their collages
(In accordance with the Reggio Emilia pedagogy, the environment is valued as a third teacher, and so changing up the space can help to facilitate an experience. In order to accommodate the continuation of place card collages, we switched the message center with the blue table.)
"What's that smell?" -Marley
An annual autumn phenomenon occurs on several streets lined with Ginkgo Trees.
As the autumn season begins, the Ginkgoes become more noticeable as their berries ripen and their leaves begin transforming from green to gold. Then, almost all at once, and in tandem with a temperature drop, the leaves of the Ginkgo trees drop in abundance.
One after the next, the Ginkgo leaves drift from the branches and lightly land upon the ground, until the the sidewalk and street are filled with the chartreuse and golden leaves.
Today we got the pleasure of going outside to Potomac St. and embracing this natural phenomenon by playing in the autumn collage of brightly colored Ginkgo leaves.