What a perfect day for a trip to Montrose Park! We rode the bus to the park, had a picnic lunch, and took a hike in the woods. At the start of our hike we saw a chipmunk next to a tree Lou Lou's sister calls Chippy's Home. After this we decided to be quiet as not to disturb the wild life. Louise kept reminding us, "Shhh...!" This turned out to be a good idea as we ended up seeing three separate deer during our time at the park! The path we hiked led to Rock Creek where the children made wishes as they threw wishing rocks into the stream. After our hike we played on the playground before heading home.
Here are a few things said during our time at the park:
Jill as we watched the first deer we found: Do you think we should name it? What would we name it?
Louise held her wishing rock tight: Please can I have a kitty and a baby puppy.
Grace threw her wishing rock with a great overhand motion: Yes, I did it!
Tegan sat quietly for a long time before throwing her wishing rock and did not divulge any hints at her wish.
While on the swings, Tegan and Jessica wondered about a man sitting at a picnic table across the way, whether he might be drawing or reading or writing. Tegan thought drawing. Tegan and Jessica talked about what they like to do in parks. Tegan began excitedly talking about reading and drawing.
Tegan: "...sometimes I draw and then when I draw I want to draw more...And also I'm a bit chatty...I used to not talk much at school and now I talk a lot."
Last week, Lou Lou started a drawing of her KW class. Today, Jessica brought in some watercolors that would work well for the faces. Lou Lou got right to work adding color to her portrait of the class. As she painted her own face, she added several colors. After all, Lou Lou is a colorful person! Tegan and Lily were inspired by the new pigments that were available and started drawing and painting people as well. Children also continued their work with watercolors and negative space which is a popular experience with this group. Why do they like watercolors so much?
Grace - Because they are our favorite. We can use our favorite colors.
Lily - We can make rainbows.
Tegan - Because they're fun.
We had a wonderful time outside today. We can't wait to get to Montrose Park tomorrow!
KW was split into two sections today. First, we worked in the Tucker room, choosing to make messages or draw. Lily worked for an extended period of time creating a message for Max. She placed tape on her work in crossing lines, explaining it was similar to the way we had marked off sections of the paper for our recent watercolor work. Hugh saw this and made his own design placing tape on paper saying, "Like Jill (had done) without the paint."
Tommy drew a picture, and then another, and another; three versions of "a teller." Tommy explained the teller, saying "It tells you everything." When further asked what the teller is, Tommy began with a description of an ad about a robot and the following conversation occurred.
Tommy: The robot is a teller...but not this kind of teller.
Jessica: So you're making a different kind of robot that's a teller?
Tommy: No...yes, yes! But not making it. We're not making it now we're just making the plans.
Jessica: But what does it tell you? You said everything, but what kind of things?
Tommy: Ev-er-ything that you don't know.
Jessica: Like what time it is?
Tommy: Yeah because the clock is here.
Tommy circles his hand over the top of the drawing.
Jessica: Can it tell you anything else?
Tommy: It can tell you the weather, it can tell anything. That's why it's called a teller.
The second part of KW happened in the Middle Room where our Curious Garden city had recently changed to some new small worlds. One of these is a pool Sam and Sally made during Early Birds for sea creatures. Inspired by this and all of the recent creating of small worlds, we set up the space with a water projection over the area where the children have been building these worlds. The projection was a video that includes sounds, so when we entered the room it was as if we were being immersed in the water. The children became calm and focused. Sam, Hugh, and Tommy worked with the worlds for some time, adding to an area that hadn't been built up yet and overall adjusting things. Hugh was surprised by the change from the city and wanted to add streets back in with vehicles. Tommy added more trees using the crane to move them. Sam helped with the animals and overall design, explaining what was there already such as a sign that says "no dinosaurs allowed in the street."
While the boys built, Lily completed her message for Max. She then decided to make a watercolor painting. Lily made several marks on the page, "These are little baby dinosaurs and this is water." (She gestured to the empty space around the baby dinosaurs.) Lily then made larger marks on the page, "...that means these are the (dinosaur) mom's prints." The children finished KW building all together with legos.
It was another mellow Thursday with Lou Lou and Tegan. After having a pleasant lunch together, the children decided to work on separate experiences that interested each of them.
Lou Lou and collage, weaving, sewing and drawing!
Tegan and sewing
The children continued previous work with watercolors and did so in almost a meditative state cutting tape, sticking it down, and painting in the space around the tape.
Grace and Louise chose to do some drawing. Grace moved her marker in circular motions over the page and spent time cutting out pieces of paper which she then added color to. Jessica showed Grace how she could create her own collage material by combining these two steps: adding marks to paper then cutting those out into interesting colorful shapes. Grace also 'wrote her name' and other letter-type shapes.
Jessica invited Grace and Louise to work on larger paper to create a city or a story. Louise said, "Oh, I can make a thing for the frog. These are the lily pads." Louise also drew bugs in the water for the frogs to eat. Grace seemed to work off of Lousie's ideas, also adding bugs to her drawing. As the children went, some of their work had similar themes, including mermaids.
As Louise continued to draw, she described her work.
Louise: "And this is a person...because the frog likes to eat people."
Jessica: "Who is it?" (The person.)
Louise: "It's me."
Lousie drew another person and said it was the sister.
Louise: "I'm drawing Sammy...because Sammy is going to be my baby and I'm holding him like this."
Louise draws a smaller person horizontal over the center of the drawing of herself.
Louise: "And he's in my tummy because I'm going to have a baby and this is my wife, (pointing to the person previously described as the sister,) and this is our house."
Louise returns to the drawing of herself and her wife (sister?).
Louise: "And we're mermaids and these are our mermaid tails. And these are our legs inside our mermaid tails."
Louise gestures to the details in her drawing as she talks.
Louise: "And this is the daddy and him's making breakfast but him's sitting in his favorite chair...and he has to figure something out because he lost his phone."
Louise describes the daddy, his long legs, and "only one eye."
Louise: "And we're only one family and the baby is born right now. I will draw the baby and there's two brothers in the family."
Another busy Tuesday is in the books! We had visiting educators stop by KW last week and we continued to think about visitors today. In three weeks, St, John's will open its doors to a large group of educators. Children thought about messages that they could share with some of the visitors. After they came up with what they, wanted to say, children made more lovely watercolors to accompany there words. Here's what they want visitors to know during visiting day:
"Welcome! You should check out the bell tower,"
"This school is great. You should look at our job chart."
"Talk to my teachers in Rainey Room, please."
"Look at our portfolio drawers. You can open them."
"You can take a break. You don't have to see everything. My favorite thing is message center."
"Dear Visitors, welcome! Maybe you can talk to my parents."
After our walk last Friday, the children started to put together a story involving a lot of vehicles. Today children started drawings that could illustrate the story. Grace and Lou Lou worked on drawings of their families. As Hugh and Tommy drew detailed vehicles, they discussed their process:
Hugh- It's a six-page book. Okay, now I need green for Sam's car carrier. It's a good idea.
Tommy - (Drawing rounded lines) In Washington the roads are bumpy. I should draw a person walking on the sidewalk.
Hugh - That's a fire station. I'm doing city maintenance. Well, not city maintenance, but a city. I'm making a tall apartment building.
Tommy - Do you know every building needs a window. Otherwise it would be too dark in the night and people would be too scared.
The boys agreed to keep working on their illustrated story on Friday.
As always, children enjoyed the time they spent together outside and reading books. We can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!
Tommy joined KW today! Hugh introduced Tommy to our table setting tradition. Tommy, not unfamiliar with the task as it is also an important part of Tucker Room, went to work creating a beautiful symmetrical centerpiece.
Then we went on a field trip, back to the canal to see the ducks. The children asked if we could bring a snack for the ducks so Lily helped prepare bags of duck snacks for our walk. What a perfect day to arrive at the canal with bags full of duck snacks as we saw more ducks than KW has ever seen on previous visits to the canal! During this visit we were also able to walk under Key Bridge to where last year's KW friends left gifts for the ducks. The gifts were no longer there! The children theorized about where the gifts could be, one possibility being that the gifts were in the water where the ducks live.
"The sandwich was the best part of my day." Tegan
Today we only had three children in Kids' Workshop because Grace stayed home. We took advantage of this beautiful day and extended our outdoor time a bit. Louise, Sam, and Tegan collaborated to build a dungeon. There was food available, but only for the police, not the bad guys held in the dungeon. Their cooperative spirit last through clean-up time. Everyone worked to put all the pieces of this elaborate structure away in the right places.
"I like all of the paint in the world!" Sam
Today there were two types of painting experiences available: tempura paint and watercolors. We were wondering if the children had a preference or if they noticed the different properties of the two types of paints. In general, the children agreed with Sam.... all paint is good paint. We also took time for messages today. Louise sent a message to Grace. While the small message couldn't include all of these sentiments, the following is what she wanted to say. "I want to have a play date with you. I want you to come to my house and have a wedding. I want to have a sleepover with you. We can do butterflies or whatever you want. We can do make-up."
Children who attended Kids' Workshop on Friday had a great time exploring negative space with tape and watercolors. By popular demand, we brought the experience back today. This work gives children an opportunity to follow a multi-step plan to get the best results. Maybe the most fun part is drying the watercolors with a hair dryer. At the end of the day, Tegan came up with a new idea to extend this experience.... we will try that out tomorrow!
Our other indoor activity involved following directions in a multi-step process as well. We made cookies which we will package for the bake sale on Saturday! The children elected to include both chocolate chips and M & Ms , so they should be extra yummy!
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