Last Day Party!
We had such a wonderful time being with everyone at the end-of-the-year celebration! What a special time we had thanking one another for such a great year, remembering what we did and leaned, enjoying pizza and popsicles while doing our favorite thing: BEING TOGETHER! Thank you so much for the kind thoughts and the very thoughtful gift of our field trip totes. We look forward to all the adventures we'll have with those and will always remember this special year of exploring WORKSHOP together. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Enjoy the slideshow and going through the children's portfolio work! We'll be back early next week to share a link for the end-of-the-year video.
One More Day!
There were other preparations as well. Children continued their work with loading their portfolio bags with their work. This gave them the opportunity to reflect on the work individually and with friends. Some children were delighted to rediscover work from earlier in the year. There was also time for continued work on updating the official KW classroom photo. Children enjoyed playing with the child-teacher construction challenge from earlier this week. Finally, since end-of-the year excitement was running high, we took some time for guided meditation! Enjoy the slide show and we hope to see you tomorrow afternoon!
One More Field Trip!
Though it was a hot day we were able to squeeze in one more field trip! Thankfully we planned to go to the Georgetown University campus, walking the mostly shaded sidewalk to relax by the koi pond. Children drew in their art journals with most children drawing from observation of the pond, fish, waterfall, and rocks. Other children drew flowers or ideas from their imagination. We had a wonderful time together and the children did some great work with their drawings!! Here are a few peeks into their art journal pages:
It was also fun to see the teachers' response to the Construction Challenge started yesterday. Allison, Jessica, and Melanie added to the second half and the children were thrilled to find the surprise today.
Preparations for our celebration on Friday continue tomorrow. We cannot believe we have just one more regular day in KW before the Last Day Pizza Party!
All Together Now!
It's hard to believe that we have reached our last week of KW! These days are filled with finishing things up and preparing for the day children bring everything home. Awhile ago, Lily noticed that the official KW photo just included a small group of children. The photo was taken in the fall, and several children have joined our ranks since that time. We decided to add our our newer classmates to the photo through drawings and paintings. That work began today, complete with a child-generated checklist of who was to be included.
One More Construction Challenge!
On our final Tuesday, we had our final construction challenge. Last week, Tommy suggested that children could build half a building and the teachers could build the other half. We consulted with Melanie and Allison and they were up for the challenge. Several children worked on the building today, which included a house, a playground with a climbing wall, and a road. At the last minute, Caleb added a security system to the house. It will be fun to see what the classroom teachers have added to the structure tomorrow!
Children began to label and fill their portfolio bags today. Children enjoyed the opportunity to look through their work one more time! It was also a day to finish up previously started sewing experiences, and to work in our journals. Enjoy the slideshow!
Sally tries out KW!
Have a wonderful three-day weekend and enjoy the slideshow from today!
"I'm going to do no-touch wire on every one." Tommy
We are working on putting the finishing touches on a lot of work this week. Some children worked with wire to complete or add to their wire sculptures. Tommy was interested in making sure every nail had some "no-touch" wire attached to it. Children also revisited their previous sewing pieces and decided if it was portfolio-ready or needed more work. Lou Lou, Louise, and Tegan hit the middle room to finish up some pieces that were previously started. Finally, almost everyone began to work on their portfolio bag name tags. The children are getting excited about bringing their work home next week!
"I feel I'm kind of like an artist right now."
As our final schooldays wind down we have been working to finish various projects, explore a little more of our favorite materials and workshops, and as always, enjoy being together.
Today this included:
Many children chose to draw and paint self-portraits first and then create other paintings second, such as of flowers. Tegan created a portrait of her ladybug and James made a free-form or abstract watercolor painting.
We compared the two paint mediums offered today, noting watercolor paint is TRANSLUCENT while gouache is OPAQUE. As seen in the title of this blog post and in the conversation below, this experience gave the children an opportunity to reflect on the questions we have been considering this week: What is an artist? Are you and artist?
Tegan: "I think I like gouache better."
Elena: "Me too."
Joslin: "I'm experimenting with painting watercolors...how hard it was going to be to keep inside the lines."
Caleb: "I need something for the hair." (Finds a color similar to the color of his hair.)
Elena: "I feel I'm kind of like an artist right now."
Photos from our painting experience
Being together and other experiences
It's hard to believe but there's only seven days of Kids' Workshop left! This means we are spending our time reflecting on our work and putting the finishing touches on some of our creations. Caleb and Joslin took time to share their art journal work. They noticed that they both included pages with letters on them. Jossie was impressed that Caleb had done some sewing in his book.
Last week during Sam's journal conference, the idea of being an artist came up. We followed up on this question today, asking the children if their experience with materials means that they are artists. Here are some of their responses:
Maisie - I would say that I'm not an artist, but I am an illustrator of books.
Elena - I'm not an artist, but I like drawing pictures.
Question - What is an artist?
Elena - Someone who paints.
Several children - And draws.
Maisie - An artist is someone who really likes to paint and draw.
Children seemed very focused on art being painting and drawing. We asked Will to share what he thought about earlier, as he worked with watercolors outside:
Will - In my watercolor, there was a whole pile of colors and that looked like my wire sculpture. They're both art.
There was also time for journal work this afternoon. Will used stencils and Tommy worked with glue. Having been inspired by Caleb, Jossie took the time to sew in her journal. Maisie worked on a page that she titled "Joyful Bubbles."
We have been sewing on clay slabs for a couple of weeks now, and many children chose to finish theirs today! It was also great to look back over some early sewing work and see if there was more to do on this projects. Every child is looking forward to bringing his or her portfolio bag home next Friday!
After such a big day for the children and their movie premiere at the Tucker Film Festival, an afternoon of open-ended experiences felt right for the children. These experiences may feel to the children like they are simply playing and exploring with their friends, but learning continues through their work.
During clay explorations, a common theme of ducks and other animals appeared. This came after yesterday's field trip to see the duck family at the canal, a book we read before lunch about ducks, and after the recent work in the Tucker Room preparing the animal movies and exploring the topic of animal habitats. So some of their creations today seemed to stem off of these recent experiences. While working, children made choices about how to manipulate the clay to get the desired effect such as James rolling balls of clay between his hands and Abby pressing a chunk of clay flat using her entire upper-body strength to form a nest. Abby also chose to take out a clay duck made in KW last year, possibly as inspiration as well as to include in work with the clay. Here are a few things the children said and did during their exploration with clay:
Abby- (After making a nest with eggs,) "I made so many eggs, soon I'm going to make a duck."
James - "I'm making a duck's nest."
Abby - "You're doing the same as me."
James - "There's a brand new baby coming out of the egg." (With a larger duck,) "There's a mother duck."
James also worked on a dog with two tails and a turtle.
Abby- (Putting clay balls on a pointy clay tool,) "Lollipop!"
Will also made nest with eggs.
While building with blocks, children had to work collaboratively to make decisions about materials, design, and rules of dramatic play scenario they created together. One of the important learning concepts children explore through dramatic play is the ability to cognitively, socially, and emotionally work through real-life experiences and concepts they have encountered whether in their own experiences or 'overheard' in the world around them. Together they test out their theories and understanding about social constructs. Today's scenario was a wonderful example of such learning as children played out rules and laws in a city, especially pertaining to vehicles. Here's a portion of their dialogue while playing:
Hugh - "I have to decide how much wight I want on my bridge."
Tommy - "I made parking."
Cate: (Placing animals) "These are the polices."
James: "How about a speeding trap in case cars go too fast? Police can just pull them over and give them a ticket."
(Children discuss if accidents happen in different areas, which spot would be best for the police to be stationed.)
James: "How about a toll?"
Tommy: "What about a paying machine for the people to pay who park here."
Tommy: "Secret Service can park anywhere and they can break the law because they are the people who arrest people and if they don't break the law they can't catch bad guys."
James: "Yeah, like if the speed limit is 90 they might go 110."
Tommy: "If you park here you have to pay."
James: "A month...at the end of the month you pay a check."
Cate: "Here comes the taxi."
Hugh: "Maybe they are taxing them to the airport."
At one point, a dramatic scene in the children's play occurs. A car speeds and falls off the bridge. Emergency personnel rush to the scene. Secret Service and Fire rescue workers apprehend the car that fell off the bridge. Personnel argue back and forth between Secret Service (Tommy) and Fire Rescue (Hugh) about what the consequences should be for the speeder. Secret Service seems to be in favor of taking the offender to jail but Fire is concerned first with the offender's safety. After a few back and forth exchanges and the conclusion that the offender is physically safe:
Hugh: "The Fire have to decide. Don't take him to jail because he was speeding because he thought he was going to miss the flight. So he just missed the parking."
Tommy: "Well...we at least need to give him a ticket because he was speeding."
Will and His Art Journal
Also available for open-ended exploration today were the art journals. While children were working in the other two areas, Will chose to spend some time working in his journal. He added items from his journal pocket, going through the stack and placing items one by one on the page, pausing, and seeming to think what would look right in the space on the page. He may have been thinking about composition or color. He also stenciled, at one point adding a '?' and an '!'. Will said, "I like them because I think they're kind of like a mystery...like on the TV. It like pops up."
A scouting mission this morning revealed that there were baby ducks along the canal! Although there was no guarantee that we would see them again, KW set out in search of them. Along the way we saw other forms of wildlife: three turtles, minnows or tadpoles, a snakehead fish (Identified by James), butterflies, and other birds. Finally, we came upon one mother duck and her babies! The ducks and ducklings were happy to see us too, as we brought food for them.
After providing lunch for the ducks, we spent some time observing our surroundings and drawing in the art journals. James quickly drew that Snakehead fish he saw, while other children drew the bridge, the grasses and flowers, some wild strawberries, the turtles, and the occasional duck. Lou Lou and Tegan further discussed their pages that were stuck together and decided to call them "Tee Pee" pages because they can fold open like a tent or Tee Pee! Enjoy the photos!
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