Happy Friday! Even with snowflakes falling from the sky, Brown Room made the most of our backwards day! Today we had an option of painting at the outdoor easel or recording outdoor sounds for our sound work in addition to all the fun materials at the outdoor classroom. Some children chose to create beautiful paintings and others took to work, creating and capturing all kinds of elaborate sounds. The most popular of these was rolling and crashing the toy trucks and recording the resulting cacophony.
"I'm disappearing the white. It makes me happy!" Charlton
"Look, my sunset!" - Ellie
Thank you to everyone who joined us for interim phone calls this week! The blog will back to its regularly scheduled programming on Tuesday. Have a fantastic weekend! :)
While interim calls with families continue, so does the growing and learning in the Brown Room. Today children enjoyed working with Chrome Music Lab (CML) and exploring a variety of materials to see how sound can be heard and "seen." Working at the light table, children explored the "spectrograms" from CML and used a variety of drawing implements to draw sounds on tracing paper. Sewing, with the addition of materials for threading continued in the studio and the restaurant opened up for business in dramatic play.
Due to Interim Phone calls, blog posts this week will be a collection of highlight photos from our days in the Brown Room. You'll see a glimpse into a number of different classroom areas and experiences throughout the week. Today we re-introduced the Chrome Music Lab spectrogram for our W, TH, F, friends. We explored what sound looks like when it's quiet and when it's loud. We watched the image change as we played sounds from Emma's kitchen, Isabelle's elevator, and Charlton's bathroom. Next week we will post more in depth about the beginning of our sound work!
If you're interested in checking out all the features of the Chrome Music Lab you can follow the link below!
Emma and Fay watch the spectrogram waves change as they sing "Down By the Bay!". Fay also references the bird sounds which is a featured sound in the spectrogram program.
Louisa and Seon play a matching game together.
Below: Mimi and Louisa discuss Reed's and Lochie's (Tucker Room) portraits of the school.
Due to Interim Phone calls, blog posts this week will be a collection of highlight photos from our days in the Brown Room. You'll see a glimpse into a number of different classroom areas and experiences throughout the week. Enjoy! Some of the experiences this week include:
Small Group Exploration of Sound
To kick off our exploration of sound, we first worked in small groups to listen to and draw mystery sounds. The sounds we explored included those shared by families, sounds from Karen and Elena’s homes, and from the environment.
Here's a glimpse into our first exploration on Tuesday.
Group 1: Bailee, Charlton and Ramsey
Karen: This is our first mystery sound, so listen carefully. (Dog snoring). Does anyone have a guess what that sound is?
Karen: That one’s really tough. You wanna make a guess? Should we listen to it again? (Plays dog snoring again).
Charlton: Is that the Gruffalos?
Karen: Ramsey, do you have an idea what you think it might be?
Ramsey: Yes! It’s a…a…skeleton.
Bailee: Um, um. A tiger.
Karen: That was Cam (Karen's dog) snoring! Let's listen to another one. This one is from my house (squeaky door).
Ramsey: A door! It is a door.
Karen: Why do you think it’s a door?
Ramsey: Because I hear a sound.
Karen: What sound did you hear? Could you describe the sound that you heard?
Charlton: Like a dinosaur roaring at your house Karen!
Group 2: Cal, Fay and Rawls
Cal: I draw a monster. No, it’s making a police sound.
Karen: It’s not making a monster sound?
Cal: It’s making a police sound! Police officer sound.
Karen: What does a “police officer sound” sound like?
Cal: It says, “Stop, name of the law!”
Rawls: I’m drawing a people sound.
Karen: Tell me about the people sound.
Rawls: A bathroom, loop de loop.
Karen: A bathroom loop de loop. Hmmm. I don’t know what that is. Can you tell me more about that?
Rawls: It’s when you flush the toilet!
Karen: Oh, so that’s how you’re describing that sound you hear when you flush the toilet?
Rawls: Yes! (Pointing to his drawing).
Fay: I'm drawing a dinosaur sound.
Karen: Tell me what a dinosaur sound sounds like.
Fay: Roar! A really, really, really, big one!
On Wednesday, Ellie and Emma were the first pair of Brown Room children to work in small groups, followed by Fay and Isabelle.
Elena: We’re going to be listening to some sounds from Karen’s house, my house and Charlton’s house.
Isabelle: Charlton’s house?
Elena: Yes! Our first sound comes from Charlton’s house! (plays a harmonica sound) What does that sound like?
Isabelle: What’s that sound like?
Fay: Um, a telephone?
Isabelle: Charlton’s house! A phone, a telephone. A Charlton’s house!
The Mystery Sound Game at Morning Meeting
At morning meeting on Thursday, we played the Mystery Sound game as a whole class. Here's a snippet:
Elena: Should we try another mystery sound? (plays sound of xylophone outside) What is that sound?
Ford: It could be a piano.
Karen: Oh, what makes you think it could be a piano, Ford?
Ford: Because it has ummm.
Charlton: It’s drums!
Ford: It could be a trumpet .
Elena: Ok, it could be a piano, drums or a trumpet.
Ragnar: I have a question.
Elena: Ok, let's listen to Ragnar’s question!
Ragnar: Why are we playing new songs?
Karen: Does anyone want to share with Ragnar about our winter research?
Ford: My mom says it's new songs.
Ragnar: I think its Top Wing (originally heard toppling in reference to the xylophone, but later found out Top Wing is a new song, Ragnar has been listening to at home).
We are just beginning to explore sounds in the Brown Room, so it's not too late to share some sounds from your home with us via email!
Using Technology to Record Sounds in Our Enviornment
The first two groups of children to collect sounds in our environment were Emma and Louisa, followed by Ford and Seon. More children will get a chance to collect sounds next week to add to our collection.
Emma and Louisa first headed down the hallway towards Rainey and Tucker Rooms, and then decided to explore outside of the school doors and ventured into the church and offices. They recorded the water cooler in the pantry, the school's alarm, the sounds of Karen's footsteps on squeaky floorboards in the balcony and their own footsteps while going down the steps.
Louisa: That's you (Karen)! (as we practiced recording our voices and playing them back)
Emma: Emma press the red button. Press the red button again.
Ford and Seon were also interested in the sound of the alarm. Then , at Ford's suggestion, they ventured out to explore how their footsteps sounded as they stepped on different types of flooring around the building: the wooden floorboards of the balcony, the stone of the steps and the mosaic tile of the sanctuary floor.
Seon: Push the red button.
Ford: Let's go down there! Let's listen to us walk.
Looking Ahead to Next Week
Exploring Textiles in Brown Room
Over the course of the past week and a half, Brown Room has begun exploring with textiles and fabric in our light table and studio explorations. At the light table we’ve been working on weaving with spider looms. Spider looms are called as such because the yarn is wrapped around in a way that mimics a spider web design. It's a first stage weaving loom that encourages folding and pushing materials under the many strands of yarn. For this first foray into weaving, we chose a variety of transparent textiles that would amplify the light table’s glow. The materials had varying rigidity so as to challenge Brown Room when it came to weaving them into the loom.
Today we also began sewing. Like clay, collage or wire, sewing is a prolific technique that Brown Room will use well into their Tucker year. As we continue to explore it, children will have the opportunity to add all kinds of materials to their creations, but today we began with just a simple stitch.
Ford chose a groovy blue fabric and green thread. As he stitched he began to add red thread and remarked: I’m making a rainbow. Is that beautiful? He took his time and ended up finishing a beautiful 5, stitch piece.
Ford: (feeling the fabric in the hoop): It’s like a bubble
Ellie: One for baby Max! I’m doing it
Ford: I’m making a big one (stitch)
Ellie: I’m sewing!
Similarly, Ellie was very interested in the color of her thread and chose pink thread on a cornflower blue backdrop. As she focused on the needle diving in and out of the hoop she sang to herself “sewing, sewing sewing, sewing”
Seon and Ragnar were next to try sewing. Seon started with a small hoop with white silk, but then decided she wanted to try and even smaller hoop with a yellow, textured fabric. Ragnar chose a medium frame with a red polyester with red thread.
Seon: I want to try the other (hoop)
Ragnar: What do we do? We just poke them in?
Elena: Yes, we’re going to start by poking it through the bottom.
Ragnar: Is this the bottom? Do I stick it there?
In addition to trying the textiles today, we also brought back our miniature paintings. Rawls, Louisa, Isabelle and Seon particularly enjoyed this provocation!
Seon: I would like that red please.
Louisa: Pink. Ellie likes pink too. And Ellie likes unicorns. Me too.
Seon: I add other color too.
Louisa: I want yellow. I;m going to cover this. It making different colors.
Seon: I mix other color.
Louisa dabbing yellow on top of pink. She then added white.: This is great! I mixing this. It's not mixing different colors. Me try yellow. Mixing different colors. I like it. Let me try red. I need red.
Seon painted the outline of a square and then filled it for her second painting.
Louisa: I'm making bubbles. I making circles.
Isabelle: I like paint.
Rawls: It’s like orange. With yellow. I use red to make orange.
Isabelle: I’m making this for Mafe. She love it. She like this and this and this (pointing to the red, pink and orange jars of paint.
Early in our explorations, Fay made an observation about how the projector and the document camera were working,
"It’s showing the green carpet!"
On the first day of our exploration with our new tools, Charlton, Ramsey and Rawls spent a lot of time creating structures and objects to project on the screen:
Rawls referred to the marker tops, "I'm going to make a rainbow tower. These are all different colors."
Ramsey looked at the creation he had made using a wooden skewer and wooden knob and stated, "My lollipop is watermelon. A mix of strawberry and watermelon."
Rawls described his creation, "This is like lollipop. Yellow. Yellow. Pineapple. I mixed it up with a mango. I make a red on this time so it’s going to be strawberry."
Charlton: I got strawberry!
More children were excited by the prospect of new tools in the Brown Room and joined in the exploration on Wednesday.
Seon looked at all the materials commenting, "Whoah!"
Cal noticed his friends exploring and asked, "Hi guys, Can I try?"
Louisa worked with Seon to create a design using a variety of materials.
Isabelle noticed the marker caps on the table and asked "Paper, where are you?" before going to the message center to find paper and bringing it back to use with the document camera.
Seon looked at the screen,
"It’s blocks! Feathers! It’s a beautiful. Yum, yum, yum."
Other Happenings in the Brown Room
Elsewhere, children were busy building at the light table, creating with wire and various materials at the studio and working at the message center throughout the morning.
Exploring with Wire and Clay
For the past two days we, in Brown Room, have worked on combining a new medium with an old favorite: wire and clay. On Friday and again this morning, we presented the children with balls of clay and four different gauges of wire. Children could use as many or as few of the materials as they liked and spent most of the mornings experimenting. For some like Charlton and Ford, the primary interest was in cutting the clay with the wire. Our clay cutting tools are made from wire, so it was safe to assume that strips of wire could do the same. However, both Ford and Charlton found that the thin wire bent too easily on impact and eventually navigated to the thicker gauge wire to complete the task.
For others, the holes the wires left in the clay were particularly noteworthy. Both Rawls and Cal took time carefully threading the wire all the way through the pieces of clay, marveling at the empty space left behind.
Others still enjoyed bending the wire, and Ramsey, Fay and Emma all started by making shapes with the wire before adding it to the clay. Charlton joined in this technique after his attempts to cut the clay were not as successful as he’d hoped. Once Fay finished her first sculpture, she wanted to “make a necklace” and began stabbing the wire through smaller parts of clay to create beads. Despite some of the beads breaking in the process, she continued on, determined, and finished a matching necklace/ bracelet set.
Fay: I’m cutting it with wire .It’s too hard to open up. This won’t work. Maybe I need one of the thin ones. Let’s try again
Cal: I’m just putting these things on here.
Rawls: I’m making a monster. It’s looking prettier and prettier. Grandpa monster is thirsty for some water! (the clay was dry and needed a spritz or water)
Cal: I’m a policeman. This is me when I was a policeman
Fay: I want to put it on my necklace. Some of them broke (as she beaded her wire).
Charlton: We need a cutter. I’m trying really hard to cut it. I can’t cut it cuz I’m breaking it in half!
Ramsey: I made so much wire, I just turned them all around.
Seon decided that she wanted to use no wire in her creation. While she tried it and watched some of the other children manipulate it into shapes, she decided to divide the clay into smaller pieces and stack it into a tower.
Happy Birthday Karen!
Even though her birthday happened over break, we celebrated Karen’s birthday today complete with a chips and guac special snack! In anticipation of the celebration, we formed a birthday committee and created a handmade gift that reflected her favorite color ( purple) and her favorite friends (Brown Room!)
Day 1- Discussing the gift
Elena: We have Karen’s birthday coming up and we’re going to make a gift for Karen
Ford: What are we making?
Charlton: a gift!
Elena: I was thinking we could film a video for Karen’s birthday? Maybe tell her how much we love her?
Ford: But what are we making?
Elena: A video, you could film it (demonstrates how)
Ford: No, painting. We have to do painting.
Elena: Ok, we can do a painting, what kind of painting?
Ford: Just a painting. We can go right now and get the paints and go do it.
Elena: Charlton, what do you think about working on a painting for Karen?
Day 2 - Painting the Frames
The next day, Fay and Emma worked on a purple and blue watercolor for Karen.
Emma: What happens if you mix the colors? It’s like red, Elena.
Fay: I want to try to this purple
Emma: Mixing colors, mixing colors.
Fay: This is like very purple. See the blue? Like blue purple
Emma: Emma is mixing all the colors together. Drip, drip. Like rain!
Day 3- Collaging the Frame
Once the watercolor had been completed, we cut and backed the pieces to create two frames.
Inside the frames we included our Brown Room class pictures for Karen! After looking at the watercolors, Fay suggested that “do a collage” because we have previously worked on collages as birthday gifts. On Thursday, Ford, Ellie, Seon and Charlton had a chance to collage the frames using a variety of purple materials.
Ford: Maybe I’ll use this (purple button)
Charlton: Are these (ribbons) sticky? How do they stick?
Ford: Just glue, look! (demonstrates how to paint on the tacky glue. This for Karen, Happy birthday Karen!
Charlton: (starts singing) Happy birthday to Karen, Happy birthday to Karen….
Ellie: Karen wants presents and a birthday cake. I need more glue spots. Karen’s birthday surprise, hurry!!
Seon: Purple, it’s purple. This is beautiful.
We presented Karen with her gifts today, and she told us she would take them home to share with her husband and her puppy dog Cam. Happy Birthday Karen!
During our backward day we explored clay and wire at the outdoor studio and built collaboratively in the sandbox. We will post the clay/ wire photos as part of a larger wire blog next week. Have a wonderful three-day weekend, and we look forward to seeing Brown Room back on Tuesday!
Construction + Building = Cooperative Play and Problem Solving
A new building material was introduced today much to everyone’s delight: translucent color blocks. Exploring how the new blocks clicked together provided lots of opportunities for cooperative play and creative problem solving. The dialogue and photographs speak for themselves:
Rawls: It’s getting taller and taller. It’s a hotel where I live. It keeps falling.
Ellie handed Rawls a brick: Here Rawls.
Rawls: It can go in my building. Look, it’s a hotel. It's getting taller and taller.
Ford: I’m making a hotel, too. But a tiny one.
Charlton: And I’m making Darth Vader’s ship.
Ramsey to Charlton: Could I build with you?
Charlton: Sure. Darth Vader flies here.
Ford to Charlton: Maybe these could go somewhere.
Charlton: Maybe right here. We also need these.
Seon and Emma both enjoyed creating intricate designs on the brick. Emma chose to create a multi-colored design and showed it off to her friends saying, "I did it!" Meanwhile, Seon showed a preference for yellow bricks for her design.
Ellie carried on her work with Magna-tiles begun yesterday with Emma. Today, she invited Ramsey to help. Ramsay added "window blocks" to the creation.
Ellie: Need help building house for Aunties. Need help.
Karen: I wonder who could help you.
Ellie held the magna-tiles up to the light: Wonder. Rainbow colors. Help me Ramsey.
Later the morning, some of the children moved onto building with the train tracks. Ramsey began the work. Soon after, he was joined by several friends who were curious about what he was working on so intently.
Ramsey: I’m building a long train track. I build this track here and this track here and this track here. This track not staying in, Karen.
Karen: I wonder how you could fix that.
Ramsey: Maybe I can get this track (Ramsey picked up another piece of track and switched it out for the one that would not stay). Now it staying in! (Ramsey looked thoughtfully at the box of track pieces for a bit of time). I can build another track.
Charlton approached Ramsey: What are you building?
Ramsey: I’m making a big train track.
Charlton examined Ramsey’s train track: It’s not connected.
Ramsey: It’s going to be okay.
Charlton: Ramsey, if you use this we can put on the police car. Vroom and it goes over the bridge.
Ramsey: And the train is going backwards. I build trains with my momma.
Rawls joined Ramsey and Charlton in the construction area and suggested: You need a big, dark tunnel.
Charlton handed Rawls an arch-shaped block: You can build a new one if you want. You can use this one, Rawls.
Ford entered the block area and began looking at what his friends were creating.
Ford: I’m looking at Charlton.
Karen: Would you like to play with him?
Ford: No, I just watching him.
Charlton: Ford maybe could play with trains. Where’s the red train?
Rawls handed the red train to Charlton: There it is. You can have it.
Ford: Can I have it, Rawls?
Rawls: I was having it first.
Ford: I have it when you done?
Rawls: Here you go.
The spirit of cooperation, teamwork and problem-solving carried on as we cleaned up the classroom to prepare for snack.
Charlton: I need help.
Karen: That basket looks heavy. Could you ask a friend?
Charlton looked around and saw Seon nearby, “Seon, you help me?”