The School's Birthday Celebration!
Many thanks to the families who attended our birthday celebration for the school! We had a great time singing and walking around the candle!
Once again, we will work on our two big ideas: enhancing the small world environments with materials work and the KW name change. We've also begun to write and illustrate small books of small world stories... we'll keep you posted as this work develops. We can't wait to get started on these experiences!
Fun in the Sun
We took advantage of the amazing temperatures on Thursday and spent a lot of time outside. We brought painting and weaving to the outdoor studio and invented some new games with balls and hoops.
Thinking about Diversity
We would like to thank the families who joined us last night to think together about approaches to challenging questions. Erica Thompson shared some strategies for listening and responding when children bring their questions regarding diversity to adults.
2. Repeat back/ ask the question again
3. Think together
4. Share facts
If you're not sure how to respond, it's fine to say "I don't know." Take time to think about what sparked their curiosity and circle back with your carefully considered answer.
We noticed that the children didn't focus on skin color as they formed these families. We asked them to talk about how they made their decisions.
Remy - I took people that looked the right age. This girl is cute and she even has earrings.
Lucas - I just scrambled through the pictures and thought, "This one looks like a dad," or, "This one looks like a mom."
Seon - There's three daddies and two mommies and one grandfather and one grandmother. I just picked people that looked nice.
Cape - I picked children who looked good and the mom and dad looked nice.
It was another beautiful day outside. We continued our ball and
hoop game with great success!
Stickers and Small World
The children spend a good portion of each day making messages for teachers, family members, and friends. They love to include stickers in their messages. Based on this interest, we combined stickers with drawing in a studio experience. Mimi worked diligently to complete the whole process!
Of course, children spent time developing their small world scenarios!
Have a Wonderful Weekend!
There seems to be no end to the ways that we can connect work with materials to small world. This week, children made watercolors that could represent tile floors in the tiny environments. Some children continued weaving for the small world floor coverings.
Looking ahead, we will also share the stories that emerge in small world in illustrated books. Cape has started to think about his story featuring the lion family. The lion is the king of small world (in this story). There's also a queen and a lion cub. We'll keep you posted as the stories develop.
The KW Name Change... A Work in Progress
This and that....
Children have enjoyed bringing their work with materials to small world and that will continue this week. We'll start with watercolors, weaving and sewing, but who know where we will go from there! The weather will be warm on Thursday, so we will spend a lot of time in the outdoor classroom
with materials and games.
Small World Reflections
“Is there something we can do that connects with the child? Is there something the child likes to do that would allow us to reciprocate with the child? Is there something that the child would like to do with other children?
….Just to find a door into that relationship…once you are in that room, once you’re in through another window, you can open the door from the inside.”
Dr. Junlie Li
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Reading this quotation made us think of small world. It is clearly "something the child likes to do that would allow us to reciprocate with the child." Spending time with the children as they develop their environments and scenarios gives us a "door into that relationship." Teachers support the children's ideas by adding materials and by encouraging them to create new materials for themselves.
We also find opportunities to address cooperation, collaboration, and problem solving. How do they share and distribute materials? This week, one child asked another child for something that child was using. The child said ,"no." This allowed to discuss appropriate responses to being disappointed or having to wait for treasured items.
We also challenge their thinking by introducing new materials to small world. This week the Pikachus and the "bubble gums" (small colorful manipulative that snap together) were not available, so the children had to switch gears from their usual way of constructing their small world. The Tucker room children have been working on ways to connect the different rooms for their dream house, so in KW we asked them if they could find new ways to connect their buildings and rooms. It was challenging to build a structure with very small blocks that "don't stick together" (Luke) to create shelters and houses. Seon built a house with four rooms, (a playroom, a bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen) that were connected. Hugh and Finlay made a house together that had different rooms. Michael made a house for his dinosaur. Luke built an outdoor park for his panda. Cape made a lion enclosure out of bamboo sticks. The children met the challenge by cooperating together on how to built a structure that will stand and be functional. They helped each others figure out how to stack those tiny blocks.
Adding our Materials Work
Sewing is always one of children's favorite activity. We have been interested in making blankets and accessories to add to our small world materials.
"I don't know what's gong to happen!"
That's what Bailee said as she used watercolors to paint over some water-resistant materials such as crayons and paint sticks. Here's some of the other things that children said as they worked.
Lily - You can paint on top of anything on this table (referring to using the crayons or paint sticks first).
Bailee - This is my mommy's face. I'm painting the whole paper.
Mimi - Rainbow stripes! I put yellow in the middle.
Bailee - These (the paint sticks) feel kind of squishy.
Pink and Red Everywhere!
Message center also featured an explosion of pink and red materials.
This and that...
Happy Valentine's Day!
There's a lot of valentine enthusiasm in the school today. The KW crew will pick up on the excitement with extra-special table setting materials and valentine-y messages. We will also work with clay, weaving, and watercolors throughout the week.
This Week in Small World
As Frances and Ford are playing, they mention Halloween and Christmas. Will Valentine's Day be celebrated in small world?
Cate - Yes, I will. I'm putting out Valentine's Day presents.
Cape - Today it's Valentine's Day (in small world) because there's no Santa. (Cape frequently takes on a Santa role, delivering tiny presents to the inhabitants of small world.)
Finlay - It's a great idea, but Pikachu doesn't have a love.
Cate - But Pikachu will like getting these presents.
In the coming weeks, we will connect more materials and experiences to our small world scenarios. Here's some possibilities:
Playing or practicing soccer was very popular during this week of beautiful weather!
Messages and materials rounded out our week.
Have a great weekend!
The Name Change Process
" I love KW because I get to eat my lunch at school instead of at
home and I get to play with different friends. Because I like different friends and laughing together." Zari
We found that in returning to the experience with small groups, children understood that we were giving their ideas importance. The process communicates that we recognize and value their intelligence and thinking. Family members can demonstrate this as well by contributing ideas and revisiting the name suggestions posed by the children. We discussed our process with Amelia Gambetti (our collaborator in Reggio Emilia) today over Zoom. She encouraged us to keep going and support even more participation from families. Pease continue to share your ideas by email or in the greeting hallway. We will set up additional invitations and opportunities for collaboration in the coming weeks. We appreciate your willingness to think together with us!
The weather was amazing and we decided to spend much of our day outside. Cal is a fan of frequent costume changes so we brought our dress up clothes to the outdoor classroom!
Materials: Inside and Outside
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we worked with clay, collage, and message materials.
A Look at our WeeK
It's just a week until Valentine's Day! The message center reflects this fun holiday! Materials work this week includes clay, collage, and sewing. Of course, there will be Small World!
We are very grateful for the families who have taken the time to make KW name change suggestions, either through email or the greeting hallway experience. Six children visited the greeting hallway today and came up with even more ideas. We are looking forward to sharing our process with Amelia Gambetti (our collaborator in Reggio Emilia) in a zoom call tomorrow morning!
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