Thanks to everyone who joined us for the End-of-Year Celebration this afternoon! We had such a great time remembering the wonderful year with you!!
Here's the video we shared during the celebration to enjoy again or in case you missed it:
We wish you an incredible Summer!!
Our Growing Community!
We had a lot of participation in our Zoom experiences this week! It was fantastic to see everyone and to observe the work you were doing. Some special friends also made appearances! On Tuesday, we meet Caroline David, who is already comfortable with the Zoom experience (or so it seems)! Although Alexandra is not new to our community, it was great to see her and Elena participate, all the way from Germany, both last week and this week! Who could forget Sally's per hamster, Nibbles, who is extra cute even if he fell and hurt his ear. Of course, we are all eagerly anticipating the arrival of Jessica's baby, an up coming event that was celebrated at today's Sing-along! Many thanks to all who contributed to and participated in this wonderful gathering!
Silhouettes and Shadow Puppets
Thursday's Zoom was all about weaving. As we got started, we noticed there were more ideas, object, and materials related to rainbows. Joslin had rainbow strips for her box weaving. This led Sam to share that we was working with a rainbow loom (a new technique for us!) and Evelyn brought out her rainbow piggy bank. When Ellie showed us her work, she told us it was a rainbow, and then added to it to make it a "real rainbow." Gigi also worked on a series of stripes that looked like it might be a rainbow.
Throughout the weaving process, children demonstrated their individuality and creativity. Almost everyone had uniques strips to weave with. Leigh and Prater cut theirs from old magazine pages. Alexandra showed her paper saying "I made it from my paintings from last week." Evelyn had worked created marble paper with food coloring, dish soap, and milk. She cut the resulting papers into strips for weaving. While her friends worked, Lane added tape decorations to a troll house she was making. Just creating while being together is very satisfying, or in the words of one parent, "almost therapeutic."
We hope you all enjoy your long weekend! We also hope that everyone can join us for next Friday's Zoom Call. This call will be our end-of-year celebration, featuring a slide show of many favorite memories!
We had a wonderful and full week in KW last week connecting to one another through Zoom, Seesaw, and messages. We started off with a Zoom dedicated to making messages for new children coming to school in the Fall. Having time together to share about the existing and coming relationships was meaningful as children shared about those they know, know of, and haven't yet become familiar with. Through the Zoom conversation and continued dialogue on Seesaw through the week, we saw children and families giving of themselves for these relationships. We observed the dedication to this important value and tradition of our school community: preparing for and welcoming new families into the school.
Here's some of what the children shared while working on messages and showing photos of the new children:
Grace M and Louise talked about Frances and Luke coming to Brown room next year.
Grace M: "I'm making a picture of Lukie...of me and him...going to Grandma's."
Louise: "Me and Grace we want Frances and Luke to get married so we can be sisters."
Grace nods in agreement and smiles.
Louise: "So about Frances is..." Louise tells about the games Frances and the family like to play at home. She even demonstrates one game enlisting Ali in the process!
Grace M: "Lukie likes phones. So Lukie might like to bring a toy phone to school, maybe."
Louise: "Frances likes to play with kitchen stuff and doctor stuff."
Grace D: "I'm starting one part all blue and this part all purple (because those are Lily's favorite colors.) When I show Lily pink and purple, Lily says, 'I want blue!' So I'm going to keep on going with the color blue because she really likes blue."
(Talking about Dakota coming to Tucker Room next year...)
Grace D: "I think I know who Dakota is already...Oliver's cousin. My mommy told me. But first I'm going to do Lily's card, then I think I might do her card."
(Continuing to look at and talk about the photos of the other children coming to school next year...)
Grace D: "I know Wilder! ...What's his doggy's name?" Grace shares that she has seen Wilder around the neighborhood walking his dog.
Grace M folds a piece of paper in half : "I'm cutting out a heart."
Grace D decides to also incorporate a heart: "I'm doing it dark red so Lily can see it, because she can't normally see yellow."
Likewise, when we are at school, conversations naturally flow while we work with materials. This was true on Tuesday when we used photos as inspiration for mark-making. Tuesday we talked about strategies we were using, materials, our sources of inspiration, and references to our chapter book. Jen was on the Zoom call had was working on the challenge of drawing a reflection of a dinosaur. When she had drawn the reflection, she asked the children for suggestions to make it look more like a reflection. Here's their great suggestions:
Lane - Get a blue pencil and draw under it. (To represent the water)
Joslin - You could get the clearer marker in your house and draw over it.
After completing several journal pages, Lane brought up the subject of fatigue, saying " I did one hundred arts. I feel like I'm tired of doing arts."
As we've settled into a rhythm in this new season, we're seeing increased connections between concepts and areas of focus in our learning. Families have reported the range of engagement children experience with the different modalities of "online" and "offline" learning, but also that some children are starting to shift into a deeper connection with the experiences being offered. We are seeing this too and, while it still varies and that is completely understandable given the circumstances, we also are noting many connections weaving throughout the various concept threads we are following.
Color (and the Rainbow)
Light and Shadow
Connections to nature
Relationships between each other, families, and materials
These also include some use of other languages such as photography, literature, and tools as we are always looking for ways to diversify our offerings and allow for new insights through multiple languages.
Making Connections Through Color-Mixing
Connecting Concepts to Rolling Paper Beads
During conferences we received a variety of feedback on how much each family and child is able to engage during this time. Many are really trying to juggle many roles and needs under one roof and we again hope to support you in the best way we can. Thank you for the feedback and always feel free to reach out with more!
We received one request for more ideas to extend the learning, possibly into a long-term project to be explored at home. If you are wanting the same, we'd like to offer an *optional* invitation: to hold a team meeting with you (Jill, Jessica, and parent(s)) where we discuss ideas and plan a possible project to follow at home. Please reach out if you are interested in this!
Thanks so much for reading and reflecting with us!
Perhaps our favorite stories from the week came from casual conversations among the children. One important part of KW is having lunch together. As we eat, children talk about almost anything: fun weekend experiences, favorite movies, interesting events from Rainey and Tucker Room., etc. These exchanges can also occur while working or walking. For example, as we ventured to Volta parking afternoon last fall, Austin asked Leigh to tell some stories. She happily launched into a series of rather ordinary yet amusing tales about birthday parties, family trips, and the like. It was an authentic moment of friendship.
As they chatted this week, children exchanged stories about daily life. Austin mentioned that he was the first in his family to get up in the morning. Sally responded by saying that she went upstairs, got dressed, and brushed her teeth all by herself. Relationships emerged as well. Sally said that she didn't know Betina (Lane's nanny) but would love to meet her. Siblings and other relatives were also topics of conversation.
These genuine interactions and connection take place everyday when we're in the classroom. While being on Zoom, is not quite the same, we were delighted to witness these conversations. We look forward to sharing more stories. These connections will be among the best memories of this historic time. We will never again take for granted the power and magic of sitting, working, and talking with children.
On Thursday, we made marks to sound and music. There was also some movement! Luke McColough and Ellee Sale were dancing. Grace M. was snapping. Louise had some fancy footwork, and Lou Lou's head was bobbing. To keep this going, next Friday's Zoom will feature a dance party!
We observed the children making connections to their shared relationships and one another across the miles that separate us:
When Joslin got on a Zoom one day she told us she had just been on a Zoom with just Lisa. She then asked Lou Lou if she came right from her Zoom with Lisa because she knew Lou Lou was next to meet with Lisa. Lou Lou confirmed this and the two connected over their separate but shared experiences and relationships.
Lane asked Evelyn on a Zoom: "Are you in Montana?"
On Zoom and Seesaw, children shared messages they had made and were actively making for peers, family members, and theirselves.
Children asked one another questions and commented on one another's work.
We observed connections being made by children across concepts, mediums, and experiences offered:
Children used what they had discovered in the mark-making experience to later express emotions. They took an exploratory concept about mediums and materials and translated that into a meaningful expression of another concept; emotion.
Jossie made connections from books read at home and through read-alouds with concepts being explored in KW experiences, such as finding a spiral or "curly-Q" in a book read at home to reinforce the concept of a spiral found 'in nature.'
Lou Lou and her sister Ellee used mark-making on their messages and Maren and Evelyn added to messages they had received from Jill...adding color to negative space.
We hoped that families would have access to paper and natural materials. We didn't expect to see the wide range of materials that we saw this week. Children worked with puff paint, glitter, gems, popsicle sticks, google eyes, wash tape, and flowers. Children used a variety of adhesives. An impressive array of tools came into play: hole punches, staplers, needles, thumb tacks, and glue guns.
Children encountered problems and challenges as they decorated headbands and bound books. We repeatedly saw them try new strategies to overcome their obstacles. One common problem difficulty this week was using the appropriate adhesive. After all, it's not easy to make delicate flowers stay on an egg. Children patiently made different choices and met with success in the process.
Siblings often joined in the fun. As we explored materials and processes together, we learned of connections. Will Clarkson has a loose tooth and Sam's sister Claire recently lost a tooth. We heard stories of things children had built with their family members and games they had played together. Although we are not physically together, children were still asking questions of each other and incorporating the ideas of others in their work. Parents were important partners as well. While making her crown, Ellie commented, "Me and mama are making holes."
In these ways, our work continues together, even when distance separates us. Thank you for making this week a success. We're already looking forward to coming back together next week! In preparation for the coming weeks, Tucker Room and KW made journals over a Zoom call. As the call ended, Gigi said, "I love my journal book."
Another discovery happened over Seesaw this week. Joslin shared a story of something she discovered over Spring Break:
Ellie responded with a personal audio comment back to Joslin. This new tool of recording one's voice in the privacy of home, perhaps, amplifies some children's voices! Ellie clearly articulated her thoughts and feelings, making and showing connection between her experience and that of Jossie.
Maren began by showing her unicorn horn to the group.
Grace M: "I like the colors on your unicorn horn."
Ellie: "I like the tape that you used."
Maren: "It's not tape. The rest is stripes and glue."
Jessica: "What are the stripes made out of?"
Maren: "Ribbon" and "paint."
Grace D: "Some of it ripped."
Maren: "It isn't ripped, it's just that way. That's not broken, that's how the ribbon got behind it."
Grace D: "The pink part (ribbon) is sticking up."
Leigh: "You could snip it with scissors."
Maren: "I want to keep it like that."
Sally: (Holds up her sculpted wire) "Butterfly...and it's gonna have these shiny things (beads) and this thing (striped piece of jewelry) that looks like a unicorn's hair, like unicorn's hair that is blowing. I'm gonna put a thinner one. This is my starting."
Grace M: "I like the things what you put on."
Austin: "I like that golden shiny thing."
Sally: "Thanks. It's supposed to make the finishing touch. I'm gonna put this right here."
Grace D: "Yours and Grace M's will be the same."
Sally: "Not really because I looked in the book and there was a big picture of a butterfly..." (Sally explains how she and Grace M developed different shapes for their butterflies,)
Grace M: "I did not look in a book. I followed my drawing."
Jessica: "How many butterflies will there be?"
Sally: "Four. Actually, five."
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