This afternoon we tested 5 water samples for "freshness" (with strips similar to those you use to test your swimming pool). We tested water from the canal, the waterfront, the koi pond, purified water and tap water from school. Children predicted that the canal and waterfront water would be the dirtiest.
Our test strips ranged from a level of 0 to 180 (light green to dark blue), 0 being very fresh and 180 not at all. We discovered that the Georgetown Canal and the Waterfront were the least fresh of our samples, both coming in at 180. The Koi pond, purified water and tap water were all in the 0-10 range in freshness.
We also worked with clay to represent one of our light table canal water drawings. Children used a plexiglass contraption (thank you, Jen!) that lay atop one of their light table drawings. Their challenge was to recreate the drawing using clay.
The rest of our day was spent playing dramatic games outside, including circus animals, Mia, and the Lion King.
It has been a long time since we worked on our water investigation. We gathered a water sample from the Koi Pond at Georgetown University before our Thanksgiving break. At lunch, we made predictions about the water from the Koi Pond. Hadley firmly believed that it would be the dirtiest water we have collected so far. Max thought we might see mud when we checked it out under the microscope.
The children were not disappointed. We found plenty of impurities in this sample.
Carl - It looks like sand.
Hadley - There's a stick.
Rose - There's little balls of dirt.
In another area of the room, children drew enlarged versions of the microorganisms found in the canal water using the overhead projector. These images will be further represented using the languages of paint and clay in the coming days and weeks.
Children also spent time sewing and coloring mandalas. Everyone was happy to start the day outside in the beautiful sunshine. How long can this wonderful weather last?
Picnic at Rose Park
Today's sunshine and warmer temperatures made for the perfect walk, picnic and play at Rose Park. Children immediately joined together after lunch in a large group dramatic play script. There were Queens, unicorns, guards, babies and evil witches. It wouldn't be our usual play in Rose Park if it didn't involve some deathly scenarios and re-births (rebirths provided by various potions and powers).
Enjoy the slideshow from our fun Tuesday!
Water Collection Continues
Today's mission involved a trip to collect water from the Koi Pond at Georgetown University. Before we left, Max took time to label the bottles we collected from the waterfront and the canal. As we walked, there was time for leaf collection and enthusiastic singing. After collecting the water, we took time to sample the muffins we made yesterday and hot cocoa. Hadley thinks the water collected today is the dirtiest yet, and we can't wait to examine it under the digital microscope. Have a great weekend, and enjoy the slide show.
Prep for the Thanksgiving Feast Continues...
This afternoon, friends pitched in to grate carrots and apples that were then used in a morning glory muffin recipe to be served at the Thanksgiving feast.
After last night's DCREA meeting, we were inspired by new ideas for leaf compilations. Today, we used the light table to compile leaf arrangements, and then we transferred them to sleeves that would be sent through the laminator. Children LOVED creating various designs and arrangements, and then watching them "freeze" as they were laminated.
As always, we enjoyed our play time in the outdoor classroom. Today children played an elf game (inspired by Ellee), complete with colorful potions and magical cauldrons!
What a beautiful day! Our outside time featured a lot of group play, swinging, and mandala coloring. The climbing structure became a mermaid ship and the mermaids had several adventures under the sea.
After lunch, Hadley, Max, Ellee, Mac and Vivienne worked with clay to create the microorganisms that they had observed with the digital microscope. Max gave his worm eyelashes, and Mac declared that his worm was a "trumpet worm." Now have a family of squirmy wormies.
Our interest in stories continued as well. Max completed the title page for his story while Prater wrote a new duck story. As luck would have it, we found a game that also involved storytelling. Everyone took a turn and invented charming tales from the props they were given. Max and Willa also played our "Stone Soup" game.
KW Prepares for the Thanksgiving Feast
This afternoon, children helped begin preparations for the Thanksgiving Feast. It's hard to believe that we're only one week away! Kids' Workshop has traditionally been asked to fold napkins for the feast. Today, Cassius, Jay, Max and Vivienne folded (we estimated) around 100 napkins. They proudly delivered their folded napkins to Marley at the end of the day.
Other friends worked on drawings of the ingredients that we'll be chopping and cooking for the soup in the upcoming days in our classrooms. We're hoping to compile the various drawings into a semblance of a recipe for KW's contribution to the centerpieces.
Knowing how much Max enjoys making books and the research we've done around Grace's wish for the ducks living in the canal to have cleaner water, a story-making provocation will be on offer a couple days this week. Using various images of the ducks and ourselves from field trips, children can create fantastical or more realistic plots to fill their books. Today Max crafted a story about the ducks and a monster - a monster ate one of the ducks but the rest of the ducks were rescued and lived happily ever after!
Make sure to check out KW's "documentation in progress" across from the Tucker Room cubbies!
Quesadillas for lunch!
This afternoon children assembled their own lunch!
On the menu:
Rice and Beans
We were surprised (and impressed) with the variations children were willing to try!
"THIS IS THE BEST QUESADILLA EVER!"
After lunch, Autumn-insired collage materials, hand-sewing, and revisiting the ducks created a few weeks back to include greater background detail were all on offer.
Of course, it wouldn't be a KW meal if we didn't make some deliveries to teachers with our leftovers...
We think the secret to the best quesadilla ever is baking it in the oven for about 10 minutes (at 375) to get crispy on the outside and melty on the inside. Have a wonderful long weekend!
After yesterday's rain, it was great to get outside today. There was tree climbing, taking care of babies, and games of freeze tag in addition to sewing and racetrack creation. Once inside, our attention turned to dueling light tables. Children drew microscopic images from the canal water and the Potomac water. The consensus was that the Potomac water was cleaner (at least in our samples!). At another table, children worked on leaf collages.
Of course, we also had builders! The Construction area is always very popular and today everyone spent some time there. Carl started by building a castle. As more friends joined the area, they began to build boats and create dramatic play scenarios. Here's a plot summary:
Jay - It was a Coast Guard boat.
Prater - Carl was the brother, I was the mom, Jay was the brother, Cassius was the dad. Mac was the brother.
Jay - Rose and Lila were my sisters. (LATER) Lila and Rose were sharks!
Max - Our boat was littler, because they used the hollow blocks and we used smaller blocks. Don't you know, every boat has a floor, so people don't sink.
Jay - The carpet was our floor. Our boat could transform into a helicopter.
Carl - And transform into a submarine.
We started our time in KW today by playing some games in Blake Hall. The "Yes-No" game, "What Time is it Mr. Fox?" and "Doggy, Doggy Where's Your Bone?" have become some of our favorites.
After lunch, several provocations were on offer.
The first included an experience using a new light table and arrangements of different colored fall leaves.
Rose: (Red Leaves) These are really beautiful. Actually, these (ginkos) are my favorite because they are Marley's symbol.
Vivienne: (Making a pattern on the light table) Red- yellow-red-yellow-red
Ellee: You know what, we have some of the primary colors. Red and yellow.
Rose: Yes, yellow, red and blue are the primary colors.
Rose: (looking at the leaf on the light table) No way! Do you see those...lines? Like this, you can't see the lines (holding from far away). (Back to light table) Now you can!
Friends were also offered painting and drawing materials to use alongside the leaf arrangements.
We've noticed that some of our natural materials on our shelf have been changing a bit as they decay. We brought those materials into the classroom today and allowed children to explore and draw any of the materials that spoke to them.
Friends were also able to investigate our water sample from the Georgetown Waterfront (collected on Friday) under the digital microscope. Mac drew an enlarged picture of one of the specimens he found - "It moves like a fish but looks like a rock".
Lastly, our construction challenge of the day was to build a map that would represent the path we took to retrieve water from the Georgetown Waterfront on Friday. Friends built bridges and arranged tracks to mimic the path we took to reach the waterfront.
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