Lunch at the Hottest Spot in Town!
Halloween Cooking: Pumpkin Bread
Almost everyone helped with our cooking project today. Children took turns adding ingredients and monitoring how fast the mixer would go. We never made it to "10." Austin suggested, "Maybe that's for harder things." Indeed, our bread batter was rather liquid-y and would have splattered at a fast seeing, while a "harder" dough may have been just fine at that speed. Lane noted that the batter turned colors as we added the pumpkin: "It's turning peach!" The dairy-free gluten-free treat will be served for snack in the Rainey and Tucker Classrooms, maybe tomorrow!
Louise - Let's sit down here and see if we see any light. (Sitting at the table in Brown Room.
Louise - I think there's light in the book. ((Hymnal in the church.)
As you can see, although Louise and Maren were making discoveries together, they each offer a different perspective and capture a unique image. Here's a just a small sample of the other photos they took.
During Chapel, Ginny read a book about light and Kurt demonstrated how the new lights in the church work. Before lunch, children shared some of their reflections about light:
Jill - I noticed that chapel was about light today. What did you notice?
Grace M. -The light was very cool. I like the light. Our friend (Kurt) can turn on the lights with his phone.
Lou Lou - I said the moon rises when you sleep. I noticed that chapel was fun. I liked lighting the candle snd putting it out.
Joslin - I noticed what's different about chapel was the lights on the ceiling. The new ones are there because it was dark and hard to read.
Jill - So, what is light? (The question we started our conversation with yesterday.)
Lou Lou - Light is what you can see, you can see what you're scared of. Light is so you can see what you're scared of.
Grace - Light is like a candle light and like a flashlight and like a sun and like car lights.
Joslin - Light is electricity and electricity helps lights shine on.
Leigh - The sun is light and the sun helps people see.
Maren - I have a nightlight . It's Paw Patrol. It helps with sleeping.
Louise - I had an Elsa and Anna nightlight but it doesn't work anymore.
Maren - The nightlight has a little light (indicating that the light is not so bright that it keeps you awake).
.........To be continued.............
Today Elyse and Melanie Olson had lunch with us! We talked about favorite colors, siblings and blue cheese.... among other things! Thank you, Elyse and Melanie!
Fall Watercolors and Spooky Building
Evelyn, Sam, Sally, and Jill were out today so we had a smaller group in KW. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EVELYN!) Children had a few choices including watercolor painting with Fall colors, "Spooky" building in construction, and cutting shapes in paper to prepare for an upcoming light exploration. While children were initially excited about the fold-and-cut activity during our meeting discussion, spooky building and watercolor painting captivated much of our time together this afternoon.
Problem-solving in Construction
Joslin and Lou Lou were the first to arrive for Spooky Building. Possibly inspired by the topic of light or our previous use of light and shadow in construction, Joslin immediately said, "We need light." The decision was made to add spooky twinkly lights. A problem arose quickly when the children attempted standing the long blocks vertically as they would not remain standing. Austin joined the children and worked with Joslin and Lou Lou to devise a plan: use double sticky tape on the blocks placed horizontally on the floor and then stand the long blocks vertically on top of the tape. This didn't seem to work, however. So Joslin and Lou Lou brought over masking tape. They decided to try taping the blocks together, first standing. This proved tricky so they decided to lie the blocks down on the floor while they thoroughly taped the blocks together. After taping the one side, they began to lift the blocks but Lou Lou noticed a problem; she showed Joslin how the individual blocks still wiggled from side to side a bit. She thought the other side would need to be taped, so the girls flipped the blocks over. another problem arose: the roll of tape ran out! Jessica suggested the children try what they had done so far and see if it worked. So Louise helped Lou Lou move the blocks and the blocks were stood up. The blocks were not as stable as the children wanted (in part because one block was not taped so the ends were lined up.) The children decided to lie the blocks down in the end and continue adding spooky details.
Painting and Messages
Water color painting was a big hit today, especially for Grace and Grace who explained to our substitute, Brigitte, that their names have the same letters. Children were free to paint what they wish and some chose to make messages including for Jill who was out today.
We ended the day in the outdoor classroom. Children pretended to cook together and worked diligently at tricks on the bar. Grace D. asked Joslin and Lou Lou how to jump up and catch the bar from a standing position. When hearing Lou Lou had "focused" and practiced repeatedly until she figured it out, Grace tried the same, "I need to focusing...I need to practice before I go home because I want to show Brookie and Melanie. They have never seen this one." Focus was indeed a strategy by many of the children as they often began in a pose, looked up at the bar, took deep breaths and then jumped or did a trick. (See sequence of Joslin below for one example.)
A special thank you to Brigitte for filling in today! The children enjoyed the story and silly French song.
Making messages, painting with our shades of grey paint, viewing the classroom stories movie, and making witches brew on the outdoor classroom.
While watching the Classroom Stories video, Lane observed the way two children's shadows combined into one in the video of the shadow dancing. She describes, "When two people are together they look like one big fat person."
Lou Lou and Leigh painted this afternoon. Here's some of what was said while they painted:
Lou Lou: "I'm making a person in a shadow show. Like we do."
Lou Lou (Painting a head shape with no features): "Shadows have no eyes."
Lou Lou: (Adds hair) "It's Sally."
Jill: "Because it has long hair?"
Lou Lou: "Yeah, and straight. The next one is going to be Leigh. She has a white sweater. There's her ponytail."
Lou Lou (working above the figures): "That's a spider web. Once I found one in my room and my mommy took it away so the spider wouldn't bother me."
Lou Lou: "I see the shadow of my steps every morning. Almost every morning. Anytime there is sun."
Lou Lou (continuing to paint): "Shadow show. That's Leigh jumping and that's Sally's bow."
Lou Lou (adding black paint to black paper): "It shows up."
Lou Lou (adding grey and white paint around the black): "I'm adding this so you can see where the black is. I'm making a flower. A shadow flower."
Leigh had joined the painting but said no one could look yet because it was to be a surprise. She worked quietly for some time.
Leigh (describing her work): "I did light, dark, dark, dark. The painting's for Halloween. It might not look like Halloween to other people but it looks like Halloween to me."
Lou Lou: "It does. It looks like Halloween to me. Because it is dark and spooky."
Leigh (painting more): "That's a monster."
Leigh (after she had finished working): "This is a ghost and this goes lighter and lighter." (Pointing to shades of paint) "The reason it's a ghost is this is a ghost's body. That part is when the ghost is turning 'round and 'round and 'round."
Have a happy weekend, everyone!
Back to Volta Park for Movement and Shadow
Teamwork and Communication
In addition to concepts of body movement and shadow exploration, children were actively engaged with social learning during our time at Volta Park today. We observed many joyful moments of relationship-building in enjoying one another's company and getting to know and work together. Evelyn called out reminders of "Teamwork!" to her friends as they worked together to spin Lane. As children spun one another in groups, children gave feedback to time their movements, adjust speed and body placement, and respect one another's sense of balance and safety.
Most spinning was was approached with speed but Maren took a different approach, spinning Evelyn slowly.
Places of Connection
The park and outdoor spaces provide children with places of connection. Here children play in peer-groups at the slide implementing fun social games and spooky dramatic play scenarios.
Other Body Exploration: "It feels good. It feels like I can do it."
When the children were asked how their bodies felt while climbing the nets, Lou Lou said, "It feels good. It feels like I can do it." Sally described an aspect of what the physical motion of pumping on the swing feels like or possibly how it works: "Our tummies have a pump."
Noticing Moving Shadows
Thanks for a great evening at Classroom Stories!
Click here to see the video we shared last night!
Cookies and Clay
Throughout the school, everyone is getting ready for Classroom Stories. Therefore, once again, our blog will be short.... and definitely sweet! The children worked in the language of baking as they prepared cookies for tonight's event. There was also time spent glazing clay.
A Quick Look at our Day!
Shadows Throughout the Classroom
Last week, there was a lot of interest in building with shadows. Today we repeated the experience with an added challenge. Once they finished building, they were asked to trace the projected shadow. Austin and Sam took to the challenge and successfully represented the building on large paper. We will use this in future provocations.
Also last week, we had presented a different type of shadow challenge: tracing the drawing figures on large white paper. Some of the shadows proved difficult to see and trace. Today we changed the experience up in three ways. We used a different light source, animals instead of the drawing figures, and worked with the grey paints that we mixed last Friday. Success!
We look forward to seeing you for Classroom Stories tomorrow night!
Invitation to be Together
As we often say, being together for extended time is one of our favorite things about KW. The slower afternoons, smaller groups, mixed-age group, and quieter overall school space give many opportunities for moments of connection. One of these special times is during lunch. At times Molly and Jessica will join us for lunch and the children began thinking about who else they would like to eat lunch with. This list has grown to include all of the teachers at school! So we've prompted the children to consider invitations for the people on their list of hopeful lunch guests and today the children began working on these invitations.
Previously the children had listed their primary teachers: Brooke, Melanie O, Lisa, and Rachael. They've also said they'd like Jen to visit again. When asked today if there is anyone else they'd like to invite they said:
Lou Lou: "I know, the other Melanie."
Leigh: "Melanie and Elyse!"
Lane: "Remember the other teacher, Allison?"
Lou Lou: "Maybe someone who works downstairs...at dismissal."
Leigh: "I was thinking of the girl who came as a mystery guest...Aletha."
Some concepts we observed the children work with during this process included literacy concepts such as letter sounds and printing letters to form the guest's name and elements of collage. Children also explored aspects of relationships as they selected whose invitation they would make, specific materials and colors for individuals, shared information of what they know about the person, etc.
The children excitedly delivered the invitations:
Another opportunity provided for the children today was mixing and painting with paints inspired by the shadows we have been studying: shades of grey. Sam was the first to arrive to face the challenge of mixing the shades. He was presented with a jar of black paint, a jar of white paint, and four empty jars in between. The challenge was to mix the paints so that it would result in a range of tones from light to dark (white to black).
Sam's approach was to put white paint in the two jars closest to the white with more paint in the one closest to white and less in the jar closer to the black, He then put black paint in the two jars closest to the black paint with more black paint in the closest jar to black and less black in the jar closer to the white. He then added a very small amount of black into the middle white jar and a little more black into the next white jar closest to black. He repeated the concept on the black paints adding less white to the jar closest to the straight black paint and a little more white paint in the black paint closest to white. Sam showed his knowledge that there needed to be a range of more or less white/black to receive darker and lighter tones of grey. After mixing, Sam saw his approach resulted in some colors being similar in tone and some shades not as light or dark as he wished. So he continued mixing more white or black paint until achieving the desired shades.
Lane and Leigh also joined part-way and helped mix the paints. Then Lane and Leigh set out painting with the newly mixed shades.
When reflecting on where we are in our exploration of body movement through the language of shadow, we wondered how to further prompt children's thinking about the way the size and shape of shadows can change. We thought about distance and angle between the light source and the object. We also wondered about multiple light sources and what children know about how this can effect shadows. These thoughts directed today's provocations.
Shadow Building with Multiple Light Sources
We introduced the idea of multiple light sources during meeting:
Q: What if we had two or three lights?
Austin: "Two would be like...one there and one there."
Leigh: "We could do candles."
Austin: "If you mostly go that side" (gestures to the right) "it shows over there" (gestures left.)
Leigh has an idea for ways to obtain multiple light sources. Austin demonstrates the way multiple light sources create multiple shadows. He also gestures to the right and left indicating where you may shine the light and where the shadow would be as a result.
After lunch the children set work with blocks, an overhead projector, projection materials, two other light sources, and animals. It turns out the second and third light sources didn't compete very well with the light from the overhead projector but the children had meaningful work with the materials exploring projection, layers of transparency, opacity, shadow placement and "blocking", design, and construction concepts.
Here are some images from their experimentation:
Maren: "I'm building a dungeon."
Lou Lou: "I wanted to make a cage for this little lion."
Evelyn: "Here's a cage, Lou Lou."
Maren: "Yeah, let's make one."
Evelyn: "It's looking great."
Austin: "Sam, this one is not showing" (pointing out an animal behind a block which is blocking the animal's shadow) "so let's move it."
At the projector
Evelyn: (Adding red cellophane to the projector light) "This makes it too dark." (Noting too many pieces are layered) "Let's take something away." (Evelyn removes some layers.)
Maren: (Checking out the projection over the building) "It works! It works!"
Shadow Tracing with Moveable Lightsource
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