We are Brown Room. - Lily
It's so exciting! - Michael
On both Monday and Wednesday this week, children took "tours" of the school. Now that the children have a better understanding of the Brown Room daily routine and a stronger comfort level in the classroom environment itself, we knew that the next phase of exploration within our school community should be to better acquaint ourselves with the building itself.
How many classrooms are there at St. John's?
When we arrive at school, what room do we enter while we wait to go upstairs?
What are other areas of the school called and how do we get there?
These are all questions that we asked the children both before and during our tours as we adventured around the building.
On Monday, Lily, Daniel, Remy, and Bea took their school tour.
Both days of exploring spaces in the school have been child led and directed based on the interests and curiosities of the small groups. If you look through the photo gallery from Monday's "tour" above, it tells a story of what the children wanted to see, do, and learn more about within the school.
Here are some conversations the children had together during their initial tour on Monday:
Lily: we are Brown Room.
Bea: Toad lives on a chair.
Daniel: what your classroom? (asking his sister Olivia in the Tucker B Room)
Sam: So what classroom are your sisters in? (To Lily and Daniel)
Lily: Tucker Room!
Daniel: (speaking to his sister) We can go everywhere. My class wants to see everything.
We found many "secret doors" throughout our tour of St. John's and realized some of them can open, but some remained locked. Lily and Remy discovered a secret door that leads to ... an elevator!
Lily: I found something! (Checking the locked door out to elevator)
Daniel: it’s the elevator!
Bea: I’ve been in one of these! Where’s it take us?
Lily: not the Brown Room.
Daniel: (walking into Blake Hall). This is where we build legos! (Magnatiles) it’s my airplane!
(Looking at what he made that morning at arrival)
Monday's small group was extremely interested in the light table that you can find in our greeting hallway. We spent a long time looking at and experimenting with the different materials and containers that you can find displayed on the table and surrounding shelves. This open ended exploration opportunity was a spontaneous decision that we hadn't intended to build into our day, but ultimately a fantastic way for this group of children to freely explore an unfamiliar area of our school without any time restrictions as they continue to familiarize themselves with their new school.
Skills observed while working at the light table included:
⁃ Exploring size of materials and spatial awareness (how different sized objects fit in different sized containers)
⁃ Problem solving skills (What happens if an object gets stuck or will not fit into a container)
⁃ Shape recognition/identification
⁃ Color recognition/identification
⁃ Communication & feeling expression (sharing materials, asking peers to share)
- Turn Taking
- Self-control and patience
Today, on Wednesday, Michael, Cape, and Wilder went on a tour.
Some areas of the school visited today were the same as areas explored on Monday, but some were different.
We were able to see the pantry, elevator, and Molly's office, and we were also able to visit inside of the church!
All of the areas explored evoked different feelings in the children and some areas were approached with some hesitancy, but all areas were left with a greater sense of confidence and independence as the children can now take even more ownership over their environment here at school.
Conversations that took place during Wednesday's tour group:
Sam: Would you like to go see Molly’s office? We could go check it out.
Cape: Let’s go check it out!
Wilder: And Sam, mommy told me her office. And Mimi too. And Sam, Daddy works at home.
Cape: My mommy has a office at home. That’s where you work.
We stop and meet Jackson and introduce ourselves.
Molly shows the children her office and explains that the church bell is above her. You can take the small staircase inside of her office to get there.
Molly: It’s a little bit scary because it’s dark and dusty up there, but it’s not really scary because I know there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Wilder: Even not any bears?
Molly: No bears. Just dust and kind of dirty and dark.
We spend some time exploring the contents of the cabinet in Molly’s desk. We hear the bell ringing at 10:00am.
Cape: Does the bell mean it’s time to go home?
Molly: Not this one. This one was 10 bongs.
Sam: That means its 10 o’clock.
Molly: When there’s 12, then you go home.
Sam: We usually hear it again when we eat snack.
Jessica: Next time it will be 11.
Sam: We can try to count them next time we hear it.
The unknown can be exciting,