Treasures from Brown Room
By the end of the day we had found 27 of the 33 treasures! We know that we will keep looking for the missing 6...
We have also been working on creating gorgeous rainbow wire ginkgos, inspired by the St. John's logo, using different color wire, beads, wire cutters and bottle nose pliers.
Welcoming New Children to Our School
That means they're new kids that are gonna come to the school and have lots of messages. - Cate
And we will be in Tucker Room and the old Brown Room will go to Rainey Room. - Lily
Cullys very excited! He wants to come right now. - Capers
Recently, our children have started to discuss the end of the school year, what next year will look like for us as the Tucker Room class, and welcoming new children to our school. We have been busy making messages this week for all of the new children who will be joining us at St. John's next school year.
These messages will be gifted to the families at the New Parent Reception this Thursday evening!
Here are some of the beautiful examples we have made (so far) in an effort to welcome and share information with these new friends before they join our beloved school this upcoming Fall.
Although difficult to capture in a still image, you might notice that our messages can "move"!
We thought that this would make our messages extra special, interactive, and exciting for our new school friends.
This is Jack
What would we like to tell Jack about our classroom and about our school?
We should tell him about our book! - Cate
Tucker Room is really big and has lots of areas. - Bea
Like message center. - Bea
... For making messages. - Capers
And construction. - Remy
And the closet. That you keep stuff in. Stuff you need for backgrounds or stuff to play with at the light table and paper is in there. - Bea
And cozy area. - Bea
Do we have any questions for Jack? What would we like to know about him?
Is he a boy or a girl? - Luke
What is your favorite thing to do? - Bea
What is your favorite plan? - Cate
What does Jack's name start with and what letters are in his name? - Wilder
... We need a name card about him! - Wilder (referring to a name tag to include in our name book so that we all know how to write his name)
What's the favorite animal? - Wilder
Favorite color? - Remy
Favorite music? - Daniel
He still needs a symbol. - Cate
We look forward to you joining our classroom family in the Tucker Room next school year, Jack!
Thank you for joining us at last night's Classroom Stories gathering!
Observing the children collaborate to create The One Day There Was a Problem at the School has been such a rewarding and joyful experience. They are so proud of their work and so are we!
We look forward to presenting you with a final copy of their masterpiece in the future.
Happy Mother's Day
What is Mother's Day?
You give mothers a gift. - Cate
Because they're so great. - Bea
It's a special day for mommy's. - Daniel
And breakfast in bed. - Frances
(I give mom) books to read and a cup of coffee. - Finlay
Cully and me and Dada do something... but I forget what it is. - Capers
I'm also gonna give my mom a present. A stuffy. A panda because that's her favorite animal. - Jade
This week, children were excited about the idea of creating special messages for their wonderful moms!
When the message "gifts" were complete, some children showed off their impressive wrapping skills.
Because of Santa's presents I learned how to wrap it and I'm practicing and practicing. And the other thing is I am learning from Santa. - Lucas
I just saw what part to tape. I just knew how to fold the paper.
I just know how to fold pajamas so I just did it like that. - Capers
A special Mother's Day focused "Teacher Experience"
This afternoon, some of our friends stay at school a little longer to have a special lunch together and make beautiful gifts to take home to their moms.
We had a great time!
HAVE A VERY HAPPY WEEKEND, EVERYONE!
Projections for the week of May 2-6, 2022
We have an exciting and busy week ahead of us! We are especially looking forward to celebrating Saul's birthday on Wednesday, our Classroom Stories Night on Thursday, May 5 at 6:30pm and for some of you to join us for a special Teacher Experience after school on Friday, May 6, 12:30-2:30pm!
Right from the start of the birthday committee process for our friend Saul, we knew this birthday portrait would be different. Why, you may ask?
Because we have never taken a "night time portrait" before!
We're gonna make a special present for Saully! - Michael
Carefully considering the information we gathered during our interview with Saul, the birthday committee decided on creating a night time setting for his birthday portrait, which would incorporate Saul's love for owls and the night. Cape and Frannie explored the idea of Saul and Owly taking a nap together in the portrait and made the plan to sew two pillows, one for Saul and for for Owly, in Saul's favorite color RED. As we remembered from our time in the Brown Room how to use a sewing machine to create projects out of fabric, we began gathering the materials needed...
I see some pink fabric that would look great but we need red! - Frannie
We need a square! - Frannie
A triangle? I have a hexagon pillow. We should ask Saul [about his favorite shape] - Cape
Saul excitedly shared with the committee that his favorite shape is a circle!
We can cut a circle. - Cape
In addition to his favorite shape, we wanted to incorporate another one of Saul's favorite things into our pillow design...
A truck design because he likes trucks. - Cape
We can put on wheels and a long thing on to the middle and that's how you can make a truck pillow. A circle like this just like my fire truck wheels. - Michael
We need the engine. It should be small and it goes right on the front. - Cape
After we took turns sewing the truck design onto the fabric, we sewed the two round pieces of fabric together by following along the edge of the fabric with the sewing machine. We left a small space open in order to fill the pillow with stuffing material. Once the pillow reached the children's desired plushness, we closed it up with another line of stitches along the opening.
We need to make it puffy. We need stuffings. - Frannie
Saul will love this pillow. - Cape
Because we're putting so much fluff in it. - Frannie
That's why I made it so big. - Cape, referring to drawing the outline of the circle onto the fabric
Can I test it if it's good and sleepy night? - Frannie, resting her head on the finished pillow
While creating the night sky for the portrait background, the committee shared their ideas and thoughts about night and day. Why is it dark at night and light during the day? Where happens to the sun at night? What objects can we find in the night sky?
They're different darks. That will be good because it's even darker. - Cape
Black and blue. - Michael
Purple. - Cape
Because it's night time because people need to go to sleep. - Michael
There's two different colors of blue. - Frannie
The sun make it lighter. - Cape (pointing to the light blue sky outside)
[The sun] is all around at day time. At night it disappears. - Frannie
You have to make a magic wand to disappear. - Michael
It goes up and then it goes down. - Cape
A moon! - Frannie
What's a moon mean? - Michael
They're different. (moon and sun) - Frannie
The sun makes the moon brighter. Because the stars are behind the moon and they shine on the moon. You guys know about shooting stars? They're stars that shoot. Like they're bumps together and then they go "boom". - Cape
My dad takes a picture of one! (a shooting star) They're yellow. - Frannie
And stars are white. - Cape
Creating yellow and white stars, shooting stars and storm clouds using various materials to complete the dark night sky.
Look at the sky, Michael! It's so beautiful. Look at the shiny stars. - Frannie
The children's idea on how to best create a moon for the portrait's background, was influenced by Tucker Room's recent interest and work about day and night. Jen introduced us to the new technique of creating a mold out of clay to create a unique and solid form out of plaster. Noticing, that Tucker Room had created two separate halves with the intention to join them to one large sphere, the children reflected on our own plan for the committee. Cape thought it would be best to create only one half as it can then be turned into a half moon or a full moon (by turning it sideways), depending on how we would like to later display it in the portrait.
I think astronauts could land on it. I have astronauts at my home. - Michael
Maybe we can trace one of yours and put it on the moon? - Frannie
I have three astronauts. But they can't stand on it. - Michael
I think it will be a lot of work! - Frannie
And indeed, creating a plaster moon includes multiple steps:
1. preparing a clay mold which resembles the surface of the moon by adding texture and depth to clay slabs, which then get attached to each other inside a spherical shape (we used a metal mixing bowl)
2. Mixing plaster powder and water with a 1:2 ratio (one cup of water and two cups of plaster) to create liquid plaster (**We wore masks to protect our bodies from the plaster dust**)
3. Pouring the plaster into the clay mold and swiveling it around inside until the clay surface is fully covered with plaster
4. Layering pre-wetted plaster gauze strips on top of the liquid plaster to increase stability and strength
5. Letting the plaster dry for multiple days before gently removing the clay mold to reveal the finished plaster moon
After the plaster dried for a few days, we removed the layer of clay to reveal our impressive moon!
Here are some of the possible portraits we took during the photo shoot:
In the end, the birthday committee decided on the following image:
That's my favorite because I can see Owly's face. - Cape
It's a silly face and it's funny. - Frannie
So that's Owly saying "Saully's eyes are open." - Michael
We noticed, that even though we had turned off all the lights in the classroom and had closed the blinds, the image still seemed to be too bright. In order to enhance the feeling of "night time", the children digitally altered the image on the computer by adjusting the contrast.
"When it's dark, Saul is turning red!" - Cape
Creating this meaningful and unique portrait for our dear friend Saul has been at times challenging, always fun and the most rewarding process! We can't wait to celebrate together on Wednesday!
Today's blog helpers were Saul, Frannie, Michael, Cape, Lucas and Jade!
They were excited to share about their work with friends in the outdoor classroom.
It's a very very very deep hole. We digged that. So first we decide to dig it there and then we digged it really deep and so well. I worked with Luke and Daniel. I liked that two friends helped me. They digged with me really deep. Because we wanted it to be a secret place in it. A secret place is like a place in a hole where people live in it. Me, Daniel and Luke live in it. And there's worms. Snakey is a worm but he has a snake face and he is very silly but his slime is yucky. - Saul
Daniel said he will marry me when we're older, like grown up. Lily said she wanted to marry me. They're my best friends and Remy is my best friend. And Luke is my best friend. Because they're both play with me. I like to play mermaids and we like to play king and queens and boby head. - Frannie
I pulling Lucas up because he thought it was fun. He said "I want you to pull me up the slide". I said "Alright Lucas, I'll pull you up the slide." I was Lucas and Lucas was me. Just Wilder knew. Because we thought it was funny. - Jade
We are playing nice pirates and I'm Jade and Jade's me. We changed our names. Well, I had to pretend and zap people that are baddies with the black thing. And also the black thing is where Jade had to hold on to to get me up from the slide. - Lucas
Me and Wilder just helped, we goed through. And then the ATV went through the tunnel. And then the ATV was stuck. Because the bridge collapsed way down. And then he got stuck. - Michael
We were working on the sand beach. There was a tunnel and some slides and Michael was working on a parking garage. Saul was working on everything. He was working with Michael. We tried to get Ryder through the tunnel. - Cape
With Classroom Stories Night in our near future, we will be dedicating a greater amount of our afternoon work time towards preparing this content.
We are so excited to share this with you all next week!
If you haven't already guessed it, we will be diving into the amazing "Rainey Room Storybook" project!
Classroom Stories Night is Thursday, May 5th, at 6:30pm.
We decided to ask some of our Rainey Room friends to be "blog helpers" this week in an effort to keep you informed about the happenings in the classroom while also supporting us in having the children take over responsibility for the blog.
Children were enthusiastic about this idea and readily volunteered to help. A true partnership!
Today's helpers were Lily, Lucas, and Jade.
They browsed through some photographs taken in different areas of the classroom so far this week and decided what to share on the blog and how to best give explanation to the photos so that parents know what is taking place throughout the classroom.
It's gonna be better than any blog in the whole world. - Lucas
That's Small World - Lily
Description of the work by Lily:
We were making a wedding in small world. There were houses and the little white blocks were the traps and the colorful things was the sidewalk.
The wedding was for Jade and Lukey.
So they walked on those carpets and one rug was the rug where they standed for the wedding.
There was water in middle. Everything in middle was water. So they walked on the rugs around the water and had the wedding.
Message Center - Lucas
Description by Lucas, Lily, and Jade:
We're making a message for Brigitte and having fun making it. Because it's her birthday. (Lucas)
It's her birthday soon, but not quite yet. (Lily)
Why is it important to make messages for someone on their birthday?
Because it's nice. (Jade)
And it makes them happy. (Lucas)
The Rainey Room Storybook - Lily
Description by Lily and Lucas:
That was me writing the words for the storybook. The words that the characters said. The scary messy ghosts. They said, "Ha Ha Ha" because they thought it was funny. (Lily)
And they're mean! They think they're sillies, but the rest of the characters think they're baddies (Lucas).
Yeah! They think the opposite right? Yeah! They're meanies. (Lily)
Because they put us in a cage and mess up the whole school and that's not nice . (Lucas)
Description by Jade and Lucas:
I was working on the treats for the dinosaurs and unicorn ghosts and I was making meat for the T.rexes and treats and gluing on the treats for the unicorn ghosts. The dinosaurs bring treats to each others and the unicorn ghosts bring treats to the T.rexes and Brontosaurus. They do it because they like each other. (Jade)
(In the story) They all get treats and all give treats to each other but only the ones that is nice. Because they save everyone and made everyone happy and they give treats to say thank you for helping. (Lucas)
The interview for Saul's school birthday at St. John's. That can be the title. - Lucas
Description by Lucas and Lily:
Why do we interview each birthday child?
Because it's nice and it helps them know what they like. Whoever makes their birthday party come true. The birthday party committee persons. (Lucas)
So we know what they like and what to give on their birthday. (Lily)
Everyone gets a picture of them for your school birthday. A birthday portrait. Everyone is different because everyone likes different things. (Lucas)
Construction Area - Hugh
Because today's blog helpers (Lily, Lucas, and Jade) were not involved in the following construction work, they asked Wilder, Hugh, Saul, and Daniel to take a quick break and come share some information about their work to include in today's post.
Description by Hugh and Wilder:
It's us building a house. (Wilder)
For animals. (Hugh)
The houses are large and big. (Wilder)
It's buildings that we made. We built something that was destroyed, but we fixed it again. (Hugh)
Description by Daniel and Saul:
We worked to make a big big humongous structure. Under it there's a special compartment which is another building connected to the first one. Under where's the darkness. The animals can be protected from bad animals. (Saul)
And the animals are hiding in their own home because the crocodile wants to eat all of them. It ate the bunny already. (Daniel)
So the crocodile is full now. (Saul)
And the other animas are okay, but they're still in their hiding space. (Daniel)
Saul brought a special Friday snack for us today....
It's for a special holiday. It's Hebrew. It's called Pesach.
It's special bread, it's missing an ingredient. It's a herb!" - Saul
Is it purple basil? - Remy
Yeast is missing. It's matzo bread. It's still yummy without yeast. We cut it and then put it in milk. You know cornflakes? It's like cereal. - Saul
It's hollow inside - Remy
It's crunchy - Cate
I think it needs some salt - Finlay
It's a little spicy (about pepper jack cheese) - Cape
I love those crackers - Luke
Snack time is one of our favorite times in the Rainey Room, sharing food and great conversations and reading our favorite book together. This week we also practiced serving snack on our own using tongs, taking turns and counting pieces of cheese, peppers or crackers.
Pesach Sameach, Saul!
This week we have also been enjoying the weather finally getting warmer again. Summer is so close... we can feel it!
Take a photo for the blog! - Wilder
Welcome to Saul and Michael's Ice Cream Shop!
This is our ice cream shop. Our ice cream shop is big. Look at the ice creams are set on the ice cream scoopers. That's how you scoop them. - Saul
Luke had wonderful and exciting news to share with his friends on Monday - he and his family welcomed his baby brother,
Luke was eager to receive lots of questions about his new brother during Morning Meeting! Many friends were interested in the baby's abilities to walk, crawl or talk and what his preferences are. And some excitedly drew connections between Luke's brother and members of their own family, that share the same name.
What does the baby play? Finlay
No not yet because he can’t not sit, he can just carry - Luke
Can your baby can control her arms yet? - Wilder
No, He puts them on his head and like this (puts arms by his side) - Luke
They just squiggle their arms around. - Wilder
Is she old enough climb ? - Jade
No you have to be like 6 years old. - Remy
No, 4 years old. - Wilder
I gave him a rubber ducky. It was mine when I was big and I decided to give it to him - Luke
Does the baby like the dog (referring to Luke's dog, Teddy)? - Cape
I don’t know I didn’t hear it because he can not talk. - Luke
Congratulations to Luke and his family, Alicia, Alex, Grace and James Vincent! We can not wait to meet him!
In the past couple weeks we have been busy creating illustrations to represent the plot for our Rainey Room Story book. Collaboratively we created...
... settings, speech bubbles, traps, ...
... and large mazes to and from school!
Today, for the first time, we arranged all of our work on a large bulletin board next to our morning meeting area. Together we discussed pages we have created so far, sequenced the pages to mirror the plot line and identified pages we still need to create. The children were thinking critically about their reasoning for certain plot twists and collaboratively reviewed the pages.
What is happening in the story?
What happens first? What happens next?
What characters should appear at what time and why?
Are the characters represented on the page interacting with each other?
We still have to make page three and four! - Bea
We are excited to continue our work on the Rainey Room story and to fill in the missing pages for our book. We invite you to check out the displayed pages in our room together with your child in the upcoming days!
Clay Sculpture Work
Recently for Frances's birthday committee, her friends decided to create clay dinosaur sculptures to include in her birthday portrait setting.
Observing that a number of children showed interest in participating in this work, we decided to expand on the general idea and asked,
If you could sculpt anything out of clay, what would you want to create?
Remy: My duckling (her lovie)
Cate: My key (toy) or Iris (her dog)
Bea: A maze or Knox (her dog)
Saul: A truck
Cape: The Paw Patrol (starting with Ryder)
Michael: Elephant and Turtle (his lovies)
Finlay: Gormiti (characters from a show)
Wilder: Circe (his pet snake)
Hugh: Zuzu (his dog)
Frannie: Lucie (her dog)
Daniel: Vision (a superhero) or a monster truck
Lucas: Puppy (his lovie)
Jade: A monster
Beginning Thursday of last week, small groups of children worked with Brigitte to make their ideas come to life in the form of three-dimensional representations using clay.
Lucie, by Frances
We have primarily observed that children are inclined to work with clay in an almost two-dimensional flat form. Perhaps this is because squishing, pounding, pressing, and flattening is less challenging than rolling, pulling, coiling, wedging, and modeling clay into three-dimensional shapes. We encouraged and challenged the children to utilize their existing skill set as well as learn new techniques to "build" with clay and manipulate the material in ways that best achieve their representational goal.
Adding Color to our Sculptures
Today, we used underglaze to give our sculptures more detail through the addition of color. Children considered which colors best suited the intention behind their work.
For example, Wilder sought out the colors of his pet snack, Circe, to accurately represent her natural body pattern.
I need red and black and yellow to make Circe and her head is all black. And two dots and she has black eyes. I can’t see the tail… (referring to the photo of Circe)
*thinking* ... The tail is all black!
And then Circe’s side is actually all red. - Wilder
When he didn't find the colors he desired for his T.rex sculpture, Hugh thought that maybe he could make his own. Recalling previous color mixing techniques that he has used in other project work he decided make his own shade of "darkish greenish" for his dinosaur.
I need a lot of yellow because it makes it really shiny, but people can’t see the shine.
It’s not so shiny. It reminds me of T.rex skin.
It needs to make like a darkish greenish color. T.rex skin is very darkish greenish. - Hugh
Moments from the Outdoor Classroom this week
A Mystery Reader Visits the Rainey Room
It's Ines's mom visiting from Germany!
Good Morning Yoga
Playing Board Games
Today, Brigitte kindly brought us eggs to decorate!
She had blown out each egg using a special tool to make them all hollow for us.
Children compared the differences they noticed between the full and empty eggs.
We were fascinated by this interesting process of making the egg hollow...
That’s why it was heavy! Because it was full of yolk! - Cate
Have you ever decorated eggs at home?
Why do you decorate them?
Because it’s Easter. - Bea
So the Easter bunny will come. - Luke
I dyed eggs last Easter - Frannie
We discussed that although many of us are familiar with people decorating eggs when celebrating the Easter holiday, in others cultures people decorate eggs for many symbolic reasons.
Some people decorate eggs to be displayed as beautiful symbols of protection!
I know. Because bad guys hate beautiful! - Finlay
Please look for your child's beautifully decorated egg in his/her cubby bag. (wrapped in tissue in a brown paper bag)
Enjoy the extended weekend. We hope it's a happy one!