What a beautiful Friday! After lunch, we took a walk through Georgetown and along the canal. We expected that the canal would be dry, so we were surprised to see plants growing and eventually, water.
Ellee - It looks like a very poison ivy valley.
Hadley - That could be what 's sucking up the water, that big plop of grass.
Ellee - Maybe this was overflowed with grass.
At several points along the canal, children made a wish and throw a small rock into the canal. When we spotted a duck, children wished that the duck had cleaner water to swim in and that all rivers could be clean. We also saw turtles and fish while on our journey. There was some speculation that we might see other creatures:
Hadley - If we see any chompers, we know it's a swamp.
Prater - It's a swamp.
Hadley- Crocodiles also live in a marsh.
Prater - I see a crocodile blinking! (Perhaps just ripples in the water, but who knows!)
We had a great time, walking and talking. As we headed for the school, Hadley said, "I'm tuckered out!" Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the slide show!
The Perfect Day for a Picnic at Rose Park
After lunch, we made our way to the bigger park. One of the things we took away with us from our trips to Rose Park last year, was how the environment consistently lead to group dramatic play scripts. Keeping this in mind, we decided to bring along some dramatic play clothes to potentially enhance these episodes. And history proved correct! Today's group play scenario centered around a couple mean witches who wreaking havoc on a family of knights and princesses.
Ellee: I'm playing the game -- off to defeat the bad guys!
Kate: What kind of bad guys?
Ellee: It used to be Jay and Cassius, but now there's new bad guys.
(Kate takes a turn as the wicked witch)
Lila: Hide here! I'm a statue!
(Hugh, Teagan, Max and Caleb show up!)
Vivienne: I guess all my friends wanted to play with me.
Jay: I'm a knight and I have to fall in love with anyone named Rose.
Rose: There's a blizzard coming...and a new witch!
Prater: We put powers on the old witch so she would die.
Ellee: (using her powers on Kate)
Kate: What kind of powers do you have?
Ellee: Killing powers!
Kate: What about freezing powers?
Ellee: Come! Ellee takes Kate to the dungeon.
(Many deaths occur...and bringing back to life)
Cassius: They're dead! Mother and Father are dead! (Prater and Jay)
Ellee: Let's go! We're running out of time. I will use my crying powers on them to bring them back to life.
Lila: They're almost dead forever...we're running out of time!
Eventually the knights, princesses, mother and father were able to flee from the wicked witch onto a boat (with Jill as their captain) to lead them to safety.
Enjoy the slideshow from our eventful afternoon!
Food figured prominently in our Kids' Workshop experience today. In the construction area, children built a food truck. Here's a little more about it:
Jay - Tacos only.
Mac - And cookies.
Cassius - Load up, captains!
Jay - Candy truck, too. It's a pool life guard food truck.
Put this is the money dispenser. It flattens the bent money.
Cassius - The money dispenser tells us how much money we have.
Children also baked Carrot Muffins today. These muffins will be offered at our parent coffee next Friday morning. The recipe called for 2 cups of grated carrots. The children worked diligently to peel and grate the veggies.
Cassius had a chance to review the photos he took of natural materials last week. With these photos as a reference point, children "drew" on the computer with the Bamboo tablet. Much of our time today was spent exploring how it all worked. We will spend more this technology in the coming weeks.
Today in Kids' Workshop, we offered various tools for exploring some of our natural-found materials a little further. Children used magnifying glasses, a scale, tape measurers and the digital microscope to investigate some of the physical properties of our materials- properties like weight, size, and texture. We used the camera feature of the digital microscope to capture images of some of the materials close up. Cassius discovered there are tiny white dots on a pine leaf when held under the lens!
Rose: Look! Look at this! This is so awesome! Look at all of the lines (on the maple leaf).
Jay: (While using the microscope) Look, this is one pound.
Mac: (While looking at the rotting osage orange through the magnifying glass) I think this is poisonous chocolate.
Some other children worked with clay to explore the different imprints that our materials would make on the rolled out slabs. Max thought that the imprints from the conker (or osage orange) looked like tiny finger prints.
We enjoyed the last part of our day, of course, in the outdoor classroom. A group-wide script developed involving pirates, who morphed between good-sides and bad, and a family of mermaids.
Jay: I am the King of mermaid Rose. I am King Titan! We're mermaids.
Ellee: I am princess Ariel of the sea!
Cassius: We are good pirates to the mermaids, but bad pirates to the adults.
Last Friday, Ellee indicated that there was a secret spot at Volta Park where we could find nature. Today we set out to do just that. Along the way, there was a discussion that illustrates the importance of perspective.
Ellee - We have to go past my house to go to Volta. That's the quickest way.
After walking awhile....
Prater - Actually, Ellee, there's another way. We just go one more street and we're there.
Hadley - It's one more street.... and we're right here. We do not have to go to Ellee's house.
Max - I have soccer at Volta.
Ellee told us more about the place as we ate lunch....
Ellee - There's not that much nature. Actually, there's no nature. It's just a big hill that's fun to run down. Well, it's all nature. Dirt is nature. Grass is nature.
After lunch, we had Ellee lead us to this special place. It was a hill, and it was a lot of fun to run down. We also discovered a lot of osage oranges or conkers. While at the park, we saw Carl and Eleanor Rooney! We ended the afternoon at the playground, where some children worked with watercolors. Enjoy the slide show and have a great weekend!
We were thrilled to welcome Lucy to her first day of KW this afternoon! Grace was happy to teach her how to make her place card for the lunch table.
Collage and drawing materials were on offer after lunch. Some friends used natural materials to fill in certain shapes they saw in the mandalas.
As most of you know, cooking in KW has become somewhat of a tradition over the past few years. We love to incorporate it as much as we can into our afternoons! This afternoon children made ants on a log (unintentionally related to our nature focus!)
We headed to the outdoor classroom for the last part of our day. Children joined together in a large group play script involving pirates, a pirate ship, sharks and some stranded passengers that needed to be rescued!
Our two walks around the neighborhood have resulted in our first collections of natural elements. Careful observation is a part of our nature exploration and today we focused on tools for observation. Children were offered the opportunity to use a variety of magnifying tools to examine the objects they've found.
Cassius - These are all kinds of magnifying glasses. (Using the stand magnifying glass) Hey, this has inches on it. You can measure. It's (a leaf) up to the nine. I can measure it up to the nine.
Cassius next looked at the materials with a camera and used the zoom function to get a close-up view.
Cassius - I'll take a picture and see.
Rose - (With a small magnifying glass) Everything is so teeny with this. (With a larger magnifying glass) Hey, everything is so big! Let's measure.
Prater - We need tools to measure.
The group gets some measuring tools.
Rose - (Using a magnifying glass with an acorn cap) I can see what's in here. It's like a big circle and I can see lines inside.
Prater - (Measuring a leaf) It's one pound. (Measuring Ellee) Two pounds.
Hadley - (Holding up a magnifying glass) I'm solving a mystery.
Ellee and Max also worked on leaf rubbings. The rest of our day was spent with other favorite activities. Mandalas, puzzles, games, and time in the outdoor classroom.
Some conversation developed in regard to experiences and knowledge about nature before lunch today:
Ellee: Stones aren't part of nature, because they don't grow. Smells are part of nature because some smells come from stinky plants. Stinky plants are all over Montrose. When you get to Montrose there are little balls.
Cassius: There's also stinky balls all around the school on the ground. Sticks are nature because they grow.
After lunch, some friends worked with natural materials and collage. We noticed something in our collection of materials that looked like coral.
Kate: Is this piece of coral part of nature, Ellee?
Ellee: That's ocean nature. Shells are nature. Ocean nature can sometimes wash onto the beach.
We also visited the new shelf area (next to the adult bathroom) where we'll be storing some of the natural items we find on our outings. We were curious if these items needed pictures or some form of label in order to identify where they came from. When we asked Ellee and Cassius, they responded:
Ellee: These are from our walk.
Cassius: You can collect lots of these (rocks) and put them here. We can make a copy of this picture (posted from the blog on the clipboard above) and put it here (next to the natural item). That is a good idea.
We headed out on another walk today to Georgetown. Children noticed and collected a variety of things on our way:
Rose: My yard is totally different. All the leaves have fallen down.
Max: (with bag) I have 100 leaves.
(we approach holly tree)
Kate: What seems different about these leaves?
All: They're spiky!
Kate: I wonder why they're spiky?
Cassius: To protect them.
Rose: To protect it from animals.
Jay: So it can live.
We walk a little further and stumble upon some moss:
Cassius: Moss feels like a back yard, and it's just comfy.
Jay: It makes you dirty.
Ellee: It's grass that grows on the bricks.
Cassius: And it grows on sand.
Below are some pictures from our walk this afternoon. We're excited about the enthusiasm that's been generated on our nature-focused outings so far!
The KW crew is already thinking about nature and the possibility of trips to area parks. Even before lunch today, children were talking about Volta Park.
Prater - The shortest way is my house to Volta.
Elle - It's just a few corners to Volta from my house.
Right after lunch, we went to the front steps. We asked the children where we might find nature. Elle mentioned a secret spot in Volta Park. A few children thought their backyards were good places to encounter nature. Prater mentioned Montrose.
Kate - What is nature?
Elle - Discovering new stuff outside. It has to be outside because that's where there are bushes, squirrels, and all kinds of creatures.
Prater - Yeah, because God made all animals and people.
Elle - And people are chimpanzees. They came from chimpanzees.
As we walked, children made numerous observations, asked relevant questions, and formed theories. Here's what we talked about as we walked:
Elle - My sister smelled a really bad stink and I told her that's just nature and nature is part of the world.
A little further along, we walked past a man using a leaf blower.
Max - It smells dusty.
And then we found ACORNS!
Kate - Where do acorns come from?
Elle - An oak tree.
Prater - Ellee, I found chipmunky's food!
Vivienne - I'm finding a lot.
Kate - Do you think nature is different here than in Montrose Park?
Elle - It is, the acorns are smaller here.
Max - Acorns still work when they're in water.
Grace - I put an acorn back together.
We collected acorns and also some rocks....
Grace - (Holding a rock) This is a special one. It might be a tooth.
Along the way, we saw flowers and leaves.
Vivienne - I see nature..... leaves,
Max - Maybe when they're (the leaves) are dead, they change color.
Elle - Leaves turn brown on the bottom and the leaves fall off and the tree crumples apart.
Prater - (Holding a "spiky" leaf) Guys, do you want to talk about this leaf?
Max - How many leaves are in nature?
Jill - I don't know, what do you think?
Max - Five million.
These conversations and observations give us so much to think about. We look forward to all the discoveries that lie ahead. Enjoy the slide show and have a great weekend!
We started KW today by revisiting last year's guidebook. We were wondering what they knew about the guidebook -
Jill: Who remembers what this is?
Cassius: It's the field trip book.
Jill: Did some of you use this over the summer?
Rose: I didn't look at all of it because it's too much to look at all in one day.
Vivienne: Can we do that again? Go to those places again?
Rose: Like Rose Park! Because it's my name.
Cassius: Because they have all those fun things there and they have two parks there.
Ellee: I think we should start to take the bus there.
Cassius: We did that for one field trip.
Rose: I took a long trip....to Finale.
Kate: How long do you think it takes to get to Montrose Park?
Some Children: 1 hour.
Grace: 2 hours!
Hopefully we can use our guidebook as a launching point into this year's focus on exploring areas in Georgetown with a connection to the natural world.
After lunch, some friends worked with collage and natural materials and others worked in the construction area.
Grace: We're making a plane
Cassius: A sneaky plane.
Grace: And garages.
Vivienne: Look at how many I have!
Jay and Cassius: Look! (carefully balanced upright structure)
Cassius: Balancing act! This is where the pilot can drive. This is for the passengers.
(Prater creates an arch-rectangle-arch-rectangle pattern)
Grace adds some animals
Cassius: It's a crazy zoo plane.
Grace: Next stop, the rain forest!
Jay: Look, these are the rugs.
Jill: Where does this plane go?
Cassius: I think it goes to the Redwood Forest.
Jay: And to San Francisco to see my uncle.
Grace: (Working with some animals and Lila and Rose off to the side) Everybody, this is called Rainforest Home School.
Ellee: (Building with smaller materials) I'm making it smaller so it will be more stable.
It's so wonderful to see the group together again and the detailed, exciting scripts they're producing!
We headed outside for the last part of our day. Children planned a birthday party for Jay in the cob house -
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