Rainey A: Building for Friends
During a conversation on Monday, we watched a video of our Rainey Room B friends playing on one of the obstacle courses we created. As we watched the video, we discussed ways we could communicate with Rainey Room B about how to use the obstacle course. Jack suggested that we “give them extra materials, hard and soft” so Rainey Room B could add to the obstacle course and make it their own. In a similar fashion Lochie suggested “writing them a note” with instructions on how to use the materials.
Jack carefully selects and carries a variety of wooden materials from the shed to the bench to display as examples.
Brainstorming how we can add soft materials to the obstacle course to create a tent or tunnel
Lochie visiting to discuss some new Rainey Room Birthday traditions!
Rainey Room B
What began as empty, open floor space was transformed into a collaborative work as a connected track. The work emerged from Cedar, Jane, and Janie exploring the spaciousness of the area as they ran, one behind the other in a loop. The idea to, instead, construct a track for the animals was proposed and the three of them were quick to accept the idea and manifest it. The collective energy was channeled into the act of building, and soon others became curious and interested joined in, to participate and contribute to the shared project.
Exploring the Language of Sewing for Portfolio Drawers
Photography and the Camera
An interaction with Elena this morning led to a suggested idea to make and send messages to Rainey Room A. What kind of message? "We can build something for Rainey Room A," said Cedar. Janie replied, "But we can't take the blocks from our room." "We can take pictures of it," Cedar said in return. How will we get the pictures to them? "We could send them," Cedar answered. But wait... How do we get the photo(s) from the camera to send the picture to them? "Maybe we could cut them out. ... How could we cut the pictures out of the camera to get them? ... I know what we can do to cut them out. Use scissors," Sylvie said, offering a solution. Giacomo replied, "We can't cut them out. The pictures are on the camera."
Music from DC: Going Local with "Go Go"
Collecting Our Summer Memory Boxes (and Summer Journals)
Rainey Room A:
Violet concentrates on cutting the apples into tiny enough pieces for baking.
The delicious, finished product!
Rainey Room B
Thank you to all the families that collected new books for us! We loved them. The students were enthralled reading today's book, "A Girl Like you."
Cloudy weather did not dissuade us from going outside and enjoying another wonderful day at St Johns. Before we went outside, however, we learned about photography from Melanie. After a quick discussion about how cameras work, we took turns trying them out before going outside for outdoor photography and movement. Janie described it best:
"Press the little button and then we take pictures. (The lens) is like an eyeball"
Back inside, we continued our work with sewing, building and social emotional development. Maxon and Sylvie added dramatic play as they created a castle with a surround forest filled with animals.
"I have a great idea. Why don't we try building together?" - Sylvie
Today's building work was a great opportunity for building empathy through play. Students complimented each other's work and asked to join in. Sylvie and Maxon started with different ideas and after discussing their individual works, found a way to combine them into a new project. We are proud that our students are becoming stronger scholars and better people in Rainey Room B!
Rainey Room A
Today the children were interested in continuing their building from yesterday. We spent time constructing a “Zebra house” that soon turned into a whole animal neighborhood! In between the animal city planning, several children took the time to continue sewing projects with some even embracing the optional challenge of spelling names and common words using our collection of letter beads!
Outside we enjoyed collaborating on chalk projects, and when we returned, we found we had a myriad of messages from Rainey Room B waiting for us! Tomorrow we will continue our discussions about “What makes an obstacle course” and take the time to reply to our Rainey Room B friends via messages!
In addition to spending plenty of time on our favorite activity; building, Rainey Room A enjoyed branching out to a variety of fine motor activities. For some, sewing was the choice of the day with Lochie, Elle and Violet all using letter beads to spell their names on the fabric. For others, like Jack, building an “animal house” took up the majority of the morning. On the playground, we all enjoyed the popular obstacle course building, and today we added a new twist. With Jack and Lochie’s suggestions we spaced out some of our building materials so that in order to cross you have to jump from point A to point B. As Lochie repeatedly reminded his friends “we can’t jump on the lava!”.
Given that we’ve spent a fair amount of time planning, designing and constructing obstacle courses, the remainder of this week and next will focus on responses to questions such as “What is an obstacle?” “Where have you seen obstacle courses before?” and “ How does it make us feel when other friends use our obstacle course?”. The hope is our class dialogue around these topics will guide as a class in our future ventures.
Today we continued our exploration of stability in our construction corner. The children practiced building structures together with various types of materials. Our goal today was to see how high we could build our towers with limited space and resources. We realized that heavier pieces made stronger bases and that being patient made it easier to balance smaller pieces as the worked progressed.
In the afternoon we continued our exploration of music by listening to traditional Kenyan music Cedar wanted to share with the group.
We have also been studying light as it reflects into the classroom and creates rainbows throughout our space. With that in mind, our students used water colors to create their versions of the rainbow and explore color. Equally important, we discussed the importance of respecting other people's art and came up with a classroom expectation:
"We don't touch other people's work because it is special"
Rainey Room A
What a wonderful start to our third week of school! Today we welcomed a new friend, Elle, into Rainey Room A! We showed her all our favorite spots in the classroom and took some time to teach her our songs for the Rainey Room Singalong on Friday, September 25. Continuing with the same threads of construction and measurement, we scaled down our obstacle course planning and building by using Legos as opposed to the blocks and tree stumps of last week.
These are the ways you can go if you want, but these are to go a different way... that lets you run down in it and hop down in here"
Exploring colors by mixing tempura paint and layering watercolor.
Rainey Room B
Where does the time go!
"It goes all the way around." -Maxon
The camera(s) were in action today and the lighting was picture perfect!
Sunlight and Rainbows
"It came from the sun." -Maxon
"The sun moves everywhere." -Giacomo
"Where did it come from?" -Jordan
"It didn't come from anywhere. When the sun reflects it's really sunny it turns into a rainbow on the wall." -Giacomo
"It came from the sun. It's a reflection on the wall." -Maxon
"That shines big! That light shines on there." -Giacomo
"That reflection on wall." -Maxon
"Reflection on the wall because, because the sun is doing it.
"Oh yeah." -Maxon
"The sun moves everywhere." -Giacomo
"It can go to a different... You know that?" -Maxon
"I do. It can travel everywhere." -Giacomo
Rainey Room B had a wonderful second week. We reconnected with Cedar, prepared for a visit from Audrey, practices songs for sing along and more!
Today we further explored the classroom and little by little are acclimating to our new school environment and routines. We introduced sewing today and we had an interesting snack conversation once the didgeridoo music started to play.
Always looking to build connections, Rainey Room A enjoyed a morning full of constructing train tracks. Like all building projects, obstacle courses and otherwise, the question of “how to fasten A to B” immediately arose. Through several iterations of problem solving, Rainey A created quite an expansive track that filled the better half of our green, construction rug!
Using blocks, string and tape measurer to measure the length of some of our favorite classroom objects!
"I Want to Build a Castle for Audrey." - Janie
Today was all about connecting to our friend Audrey, who came to visit the classroom today, after the other children had left. After several discussions, Rainey Room B decided to work on two group projects to show our appreciation for Audrey. We decided to use our building materials as a group to create a gift for Audrey. In addition, they also created a poster for her.
As we built our structure, it was a great opportunity to practice using kind words and work with each other towards a common goal. We learned about each other's strengths and interests.
"Maxon is a great builder. He fit his whole building into that tube." - Giacomo
(To Jane) "Your tower is almost as big as me!" - Maxon
Over the in studio, we created a poster of Audrey based on her personality and what we thought she liked. Lucia added words like 'needed,' 'safe' and 'spicy' to describe our missing friend. Jane and Cedar scoured the room to find things like pom poms and googly eyes which they decided Audrey would enjoy.
Meanwhile, in Rainey A...
Our day started with new exploration at the light table where Brigitte has added a clear tub full of water beads and seashells. Yesterday we spoke about welch shells as a home for sea snails and today we had the opportunity to examine several of them noticing their weight, shape and light absorption as compared to the Orbeez.