What Makes us Unique?
I thought it would be pretty and it was. Especially this. - Lily
Is it time for pumpkins? The trees haven't changed. - Jade
Enjoying the fall colors by painting Marigolds on the light table
Warming up Our Minds and Bodies
What changed? - Jordan
Your hands and your legs - Bea
What do you mean? How did they change - Jill
His legs were together and now they're out - Wilder
After lunch, we had a group discussion about how we see people. This was both an exercise for the children and an opportunity for Jill and Jordan to better understand how KW children perceived the world around them. We used the same discerning eyes we used in the previous game to try and figure out similarities and differences there are between the KW teachers.
These are our family collages. What do you see that's similar our my and Jordan's family. - Jill
You have flowers on your dress and he has a blue dress. Wilder
They’re not dresses, their shirts. Bea
He has black pants and you have blue pants
Is that fabric the same? - jordan
No, this is shiny - Jade
Jordan has red shoes and Jill has white shoes.
This is too easy. Your hair is different. Finlay
Your hair is black and your hair is grey - Wilder
I have a difference. He is brown and you are white. Bea
You’re wearing glasses and you’re not - Wilder
You have a beard. A tiny, tiny beard - Bea
You’re a girl and Jordan is a boy - Bea
Jordan has whiskers and you don’t - Wilder
Oh that’s tricky - Finlay
You’re both wearing white socks. Wilder
You work different jobs but you still work. You teach kids in the school. Bea
Like our parents work, but not at school. Jade
Oh, do we both have parents? Jill
You both have a mom and a dad. Bea
Jordan’s body is brown and your body is white. Wilder.
I have another difference. Jordan has brown eyes and you have blue eyes. Finlay
What Makes a Family?
During our training with Debbie Lee Keenan, we discussed several activities and strategies to explore diversity through the eyes of the children. One activity, which the KW team was particularly excited about introducing, is the family card game. A number of pictures are laid out in front of the children. The cards have people of different gender, age, nationality, race and religion. The children used the cards to make families.
Bea lines up a third “family.” Skin color does not seem to limit her choices about who can be a family. She does pay attention to the ages portrayed.
Jade - (Coming to the table) What are you doing?
Bea - Let’s make a big family.
Jade - Yeah! This could be the mommy. Or this could be a king and a queen.
Bea - Yeah, we can have a queen.
Jade - And this could be the mom and this….. (holding another woman) there could be two mommies.
Bea - I’ll make a girl family.
Jade - Let’s make a big family of boys and girls.
Lily joins the next day
Lily: This is my dad. This is my mom. This is a queen. They all look nice.
Jordan: Why did you choose those people?
Lily: The other ones didn't look as chic.
Jordan: Who is that person?
Jordan points to Lil Nas X
Lily: That's a boy. He's wearing lots of gold jewels. He's in the family, too.
Cate makes a family next
How to Catch a Bug
No rainbows today. The clouds blocked out the sun. We were forced to come up with a new idea. KW decided to try and make bug/animal catchers. According to the children, we needed specific materials:
Cate: A fence
"There's a tunnel in there. It leads to a dead end." - Wilder
Our First Attempt at Animal Traps
The next day, Cate invite Wilder and other friends to come back at try to make new traps.
Cate: We need a lot of cages
Wilder: Maybe we can make a roof.
Cate: He'll never get out of this!
Bea and Lily disagree with the plan but Wilder has a solution
Wilder: You can make a house over here (Lily) and we can make a trap over there.
Lily: I'm making the floor.
Bea: I'm making the bed. I'm measuring it. The blocks measure her.
Lily: This is a bunny path. These are the stairs to the downstairs kitchen.
Photographs taken by Bea and Lily
Collaborating to Catch the Rainbow
Finlay has developed a system of 3 baskets to trap the rainbow. The other friends positively reflect on each other's work.
Cape: I really know how yours works, Jade. Does the rainbow go into that hole?
Jade: Yea. The air comes up and out and sends the rainbow away.
Cape: Can we amok shutter house?
Jade: I like your house!
Frannie: I like your house, too!
Cape makes some adjustments
Cape: I'm in the shutter house
Our Weekly Projection
This week, we will be following up on the interests that we began to explore last week. We are hoping for sunny, rainbow-filled afternoons so that Rainey Room can continue to devise rainbow catchers. Tucker children will continue with large, collaborative building as we bring even more blocks into our space. We will also begin conversations and experiences related to the concepts of same and different. We can't wait to get started!
Last week, Giacomo led his classmates in making a large, stable, and strong building in the middle room. We brought the blocks into the classroom on Thursday to see if we could make something equally strong in the bigger space. Here's some of what happened:
Giacomo begins builds with blocks horizontally, then adds a layer on top going vertically.
“This thing can already hold me. Even all my strength. Even my tummy.” - Giacomo
The group builds vertically with long, thin blocks. There is concern about structural stability.
“Is this wall strong?” - Jordan
“No, its wobbly.” - Giacomo
“If we keep building, it will fall.” - Lochie
The wall collapses and a new wall is made with blocks on the side to act as supports . Giacomo makes a T-shaped building.
“I used 2 blocks first and then 4 and then put one (heavier block) on top - Giacomo
“How did that help?” - Jordan
“The weight on the top made it sturdier” - Giacomo
“The weight on the sides makes it stronger.” - Lochie
Finding Common Ground in Creation
Lochie, Jack and Elle are building together but they have not vocalized their individual ideas. Elle wants to add slides to the structure but Lochie is more focused on building up the walls.
“I made this (slide) for the next floor.” - Elle
“But it doesn’t fit” - Lochie
The slide is not secure and falls off, along with part of the wall. Elle and Lochie both seem to feel mildly frustrated.
“I’m building a slide and place so they don’t get hurt” - Elle
“Lochie, did you tell Elle what your plan was before you started?” - Jordan
“I didn’t know” - Elle
“So, I want to make the walls bigger so it stands up.” - Lochie
“I have an in idea but you might not like it.” - Elle
Elle adds a block without support which falls off.
“Nope, not stable.” - Elle
Lochie shows Elle his idea and how she can add to the work
“We need to make these (supports) and then it will work” - Lochie
“Oh ok. I understand” -Elle
Creating A Bigger Structure
Jack, Lochie and Giacomo decide to connect their buildings.
“We could add to each other.” - Jack
“We could put our ideas together.” - Lochie
“What if we used Jack’s build to connect our buildings together and build on top to be the strongest?” - Giacomo
“Yes, I agree with you. I’ll move over.” - Jack
“Why don’t we knock down our buildings to make a bigger building?” - Giacomo
“Before you take them down, we need to take pictures in order to remember them.” - Lochie
Lochie uses a camera to take pictures of their work before disassembling it.
The group begins another building but there is a disagreement on how to build the base.
“They won’t listen to me.” - Giacomo
"Have you told them your idea?” - Jordan
“No.” - Giacomo
By the end of the afternoon, children understood the importance of collaboration and communication. We will have other afternoons to explore these important concepts.
Some of Lochie's photos...
It was a beautiful day for a walk! After lunch our Tucker crew headed to the Koi Pond on the Georgetown University campus. Children responded to the area in various ways. Children drew, painted, climbed trees, launched leaves and sticks down the waterfall, and generally enjoyed being together. It was a great end to a fantastic week. Thank you, Molly and Audrey for walking with us!
Enjoy these images and have a wonderful weekend!
A Look at Books
One of the ways that we can explore diversity, equity, and inclusion is through the books we choose to share with children. In KW, we are reading books that feature people of color, non-traditional families, and differently-abled people. These books sometimes elicit responses and conversations. Here's some of the things that we've heard from the children lately.
Bea - The sister is mean, but at the end she's nice. There's some mean boys that laugh at him (the title character).
Wilder - That might be bad and hurt his feelings.
Jade - Or he might not play with them.
Jack - I liked the book because of all the golden stuff.
Nora - I liked the book because of the sparkle nail polish.
C.C. - I liked the book because of the ending.
Lochie - Yeah, I liked the ending when the sister and brother were friends.
Audrey - I liked the ending, too.
Pink Is for Boys
Finlay - Pink is for boys and girls.
Elle - I love that one. Pink is for only girls.
Giacomo - Pink is for girls, but boys can use it.
C.C. - Pink is for girls and boys and green is for girls and boys and blue is for girls and boys.
Maiden and Princess
Finlay - I liked it when they kissed.
Bea - I liked it because they loved each other.
Sylvie - I like that one a lot.
Janie - I like the dark skin and the light skin.
Lochie - It's not okay that they're being mean to her about skin.
Janie - They need to change their attitude.
How to Build a Better Rainbow Catcher
Testing Our Hypotheses
Once we established our hypotheses, proposed explanations based on our limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation, we experimented with materials to see what might work for our goals. Since it was a cloudy day, there were no rainbows circulating in the Tucker Room. We took some light sources and prisms to see if we could create rainbows.
Finlay - (Pointing to a prism in the window) There’s a rainbow
Putting it all Together
Cate - This could be a cage but there's no top. (Encloses the cage) Now they'll never get out.
Adding the final touches to the Rainbow Catcher
Using the Rainbow's colors
Alongside our rainbow catcher research, we also worked with the colors to create new explorations. This week, we used colorful, rainbow like materials to collage and make works. We decided on two different strategies. Some friends had specific images in mind and then created them with materials. Other children let the materials inspire them and used what they thought was the strongest material to further their exploration.
Welcome to Week Three!
Here's a look at our plans for the week. Last week, the Rainey KW crew was able to travel to the Koi pond and work with watercolors. We're looking forward to giving the Tucker KW the same experience this Friday. Last week, the Tucker KW children worked on interesting Ginkgo transformations. Rainey will be doing similar work, but we will wait until the Ginkgo leaves outside our school are a little more dramatic.
It was great to see so many of our families represented on the PTC zoom call this morning. As a reminder, every parent is already a member of the PTC and we love having participation from as many parents as possible. Katherine Nix made the awesome suggestion to share the digital collages that the families created. As soon as we have all the collages from KW families, we will share them on the blog!
Note: Due to the wet conditions, we postponed our neighborhood walk to the Koi Pond. We hope to reschedule for next week.
Inspired by the school's new logo, children have been working on their own ginkgo transformations. Both today and yesterday, children used drawing, collage, and painting for their creations. The work was engaging and even a little whimsical, at times. We will continue working with ginkgo leaves next week.
Middle Room Adventures
Today's middle room work began with children noticing the work from yesterday and thinking again for the home for the dolphin. As is often the case with construction, there were more opportunities for collaboration. They also incorporated the dollhouse into their play.
Jack - (Noticing the building) It's so strong because I'm sitting on it with my knees.
Lochie - If we put these side on now, we can't get the bottom. it will fall through.
Jack - Lochie, do you need more?
Lochie - Look, we made a house for Blowhole.
Elle - I added slides, waterslides. (Later...) Here's a diving board and another diving board.
Reed - (Building nearby). It's a castle.
Jack - This is a backyard with all the trees. This is stove. The stove goes downstairs. Can you help me get all this stuff out and we can organize it?
Elle - You can all play, but first we are all organizing it.
Have you noticed that this group loves to build? There was smaller scale building for animals taking place in the classroom both days!
There has been a lot of enthusiasm for table setting. Each child is eagerly waiting for his or her turn to design an interesting arrangement. Today we were excited to add to the experience by using our place cards.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Game of the Week: Clean your Room
A Deeper Dive into the Game
This game encourages communication, awareness, strategy, fine motor and eye coordination. Throwing requires proprioception, being able to know where your body is, and fine motor, moving small objects with control. As we practice these skills in Drop that Cookie, we are practicing our pre literacy skills. Because of the inseparable connection between reading and writing, fine motor skills prepare young children for writing, and learning letter and numbers.
What strategies or plans did you use to help you win?
Lochie - Because I picked up 6 balls at the same time.
George - I threw 4 at a time
Reed - I threw one at a time
Elle - My strategy was only picking up the orange thing (gator balls.)
Audrey - I just threw one at a time.
C.C. - Sometimes, I threw one thing at a time and sometimes I threw 2.
Jack - When I was playing the game, I threw 2 balls at once.
Our first attempt at transformation
How to Catch a Rainbow
KW was transfixed by the rainbows in Tucker Room last week. Unfortunately, we were unable to create a system to 'catch' said rainbows. Jill and a small group of friends left to discuss the rainbow catchers and how they worked. From there, the children sketched and planned out how to create their machines.
Jill - Here's what I was confused about. It seemed like we had different idea about the rainbow catchers.
Lily - Well, I didn't really do it. I tried to, but I couldn't.
Lucas - The rainbows went in the rainbow catcher and flew around. And when it was dark, you can't see them
Jill - So darkness has something to do with it?
Finlay - Yea it does. So the light is making the rainbow. The light was coming from the sun.
Cate - Well maybe the rainbows come when it's sunny out and the sun goes behind the clouds when it's dark out.
Lucas - (My rainbow catcher) worked forever.
Finlay - My rainbow catcher worked like 16 times.
Lucas - (starts drawing large square). I need a big area in here. (adds large lines through box) this is how (the rainbows) move.
Lily also starts with a large square shape. Finally starts with a series of dots.
Finlay - These are the rainbows in light. There's the rainbow that my rainbow catcher caught. And there's a dot
Jill - What does the dot do?
Finlay - Catches rainbows
Lucas - (adding green in his box) This is where the rainbows go. The rainbow catcher gets it here and then it flies into (the green area.)
Lily - I'm not really making a rainbow catcher. I was thinking it could be steps. Colored steps.
Cate - There's lots of ways to get in (describing the tubes in her catcher.)
Finlay looks at Cates drawing and audibly gasps.
Finlay - I'm doing light, light, light (with colored pencils.)These are the older ones of my rainbow.
Lucas has been watching Finlay's work
Lucas - I'm going to do a ball of energy.
Finlay - And here's where the rainbows go in.
After taking time to carefully plan out our ideas, we returned to Tucker Room to build our ideas.
Our Field Trip: The Koi Pond
Today, we took a lovely walk to the GW campus to see the Koi Pond. This was an opportunity for us to bond as a group and explore our neighborhood more. It was great for the children to experience more of the Georgetown community we all share. Once we arrived, we used pens and water colors to capture what makes the Koi Pond so unique.
"That's Georgetown!" - Cate
"People didn't used to be here until the fish. The fish came and look! There are more people and we have more friends." - Jade
The Koi Pond Experience:
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