Below are some other special moments from our day...
Have a great weekend!
Steve the Firefighter
The Rainey Room started off the day with a visit from firefighter Steve! Steve is a colleague of Addison's, a firefighter and father to a 4 year old. He was the perfect expert visitor for the Rainey Room! Steve answered the children's questions and listened to their comments/stories. "You put out fires," said Oliver.
We asked him if he's ever had to crawl through fire. He said he had, and commented, "I was pretty scared. It scary. But you gotta do your job right? You gotta protect people."
Steve showed us tons of equipment from being a firefighter, including his leather helmet, his first aid kit, a lifejacket for water rescues, flashlights, and more. He helped us understand his rescue equipment by naming the Paw Patrol characters that have similar rescue jobs. Wolf M said, "I have Marshall at my house."
A Fairy Village for the School
Work on the fairy village on the entryway light table continued today. Palmer, Wolf B., Olivia and Grace added to the beautiful start that Evelyn, Lane, Oliver and Alexandra worked on yesterday. Today's big focus was adding more Christmas trees, touches of snow, and milk for the fairies to drink. Afterward, the group embarked on drawing representations of the fairy village. Be sure to check it out tomorrow morning!
The balance scales we ordered arrived! Today was our first day exploring with them.
During morning meeting the children had a "light" introduction to the new equipment. We did tell them it's a scale but didn't give them name balance scale or discuss how it works. This intentional choice was made so that the children had the opportunity to explore and "mess about."
Educational Philosopher David Hawkins described this phase of learning:
"There is a time, much greater in amount than commonly allowed, which should be devoted to free and unguided exploratory work (call it play if you wish; I call it work). Children are given materials and equipment-things-and are allowed to construct, test, probe, and experiment without superimposed questions or instructions. I call this phase "Messing About...."
Wolf M noted, "But it looks like a seesaw."
Emilia put the plastic cow on one side and bricks on the other. She said, "The animal is lighter." Later she changed her mind and decided the cow was heavier.
As Fletcher was working to balance the sides he commented, "I need something to put it up." And later, "It's too heavy."
Fletcher and Maren took turns making their sides heavier and saying, "It went to my side"
When Evelyn played with Fletcher she added items to her side and said, "Mine is heavier." But then she began to empty items from her side and said, "I'm making Fletcher's heavier."
It was a great day of exploration and learning with our new resource that was purchased from the Wish Tree during the Fall Fundraiser!
TRAVEL PLAY - Travel play was hopping again today!
Fletcher: We're here at the train station.
Emilia: The train start moving!
Fletcher: There's a rock on the tracks! Hit the brakes!!!!
Oliver: I'mma stake those rocks with my safe bunny baby. (Oliver uses magic powers to fix the problem.)
Fletcher: We're stuck on a bridge with a broken track.
Emilia: We're gonna fall off the mountain.
Wolf M.: I put my stuff here. I need food for this journey.
Fletcher: Can anybody rescue the engine? The train is falling! I'm back with all the cargo. You saved me.
Emilia: We're right here. We're traveling all the way to Michigan. That's a long trip.
Fletcher: How do we get to this island? (Fletcher grabs a pillow) This is a boat. This pillow can be a boat. Who else wants to climb aboard.
Emilia: I don't have any money.
Alexandra: You can have this money. (she hands her $40!)
Sewing pillows continued today.
Based on observation, Melanie and I realized that the doctor play area was ready for a change. Yesterday Melanie had a fantastic idea for a new provocation: travel play. It connects well to our discussion about Alexandra moving.
With that in mind, new materials were added to the shelf: purses, wallets, money, cell phones, walkie-talkies, cases, bags, baby dolls, chairs and a map. Many children played with the new provocation today and their dramatic play incorporated interesting schema about travel/what you do on trips and maps/navigating.
The first group to play was Wolf M, Olivia, Fletcher and Evelyn.
The second group was Palmer, Oliver and Wolf B. For this group, the walkie-talkies were the catalyst that helped the travel narrative morph into police play. This has been an area of interest on the playground and connects with the ongoing theme of superhero play and the concept of good versus bad.
The third group was comprised of Cannon, Maren and Emilia. Towards the end, Lane joined as well.
As usual, travel play was one of just many things happening in the Rainey Room today. The children also began sewing projects, worked to glaze Kurt's Christmas gifts, painted at the easel, created Christmas messages, read books and much more!
Last but not least..... the children have been working in small groups to create a goodbye gift for Alexandra.
For now... It's top secret! Photos have been censored accordingly and only those with top secret clearance are "in the know." Eight children have participated already... (Maren, Wolf B, Grace, Ellie, Gigi, Cannon, Lane, and Emilia). We can't wait to reveal the finished product next week to our friend Alexandra... then we can share some of the photos from the process of making it.
Alexandra's actual birthday is in April, but we celebrated it early so that she could have her birthday gift to take with her to Germany. It was so fun to celebrate this friend that we are going to miss so much.
We started off by reading a book that Alexandra enjoys very much, Miss Rumphius.
Alexandra opened her gift (more details on that below), walked around the candle, tried to blow it out (got some help from her friends), we sang happy birthday and finally we watched a slide show of some events that have happened in the last year. For snack we enjoyed some homemade cookies as a treat.
Alexandra's birthday gift involved many steps.
The committee: Grace, Wolf, Wolf and Ellie, worked very hard on it.
Step: 1: Decide to cover the white canvas in fabric or paint. (The vote was split so we decided to do both.)
Since the fabric swatches were mostly pink-based, the group decided to mix their own pink paints to use on the canvas.
Step 2: Pull the feathers off the feather boa, paint glue on the letter A and stick the feathers down.
The next day (once the paint was dry)...
Step 3: The children painted glue onto their fabric swatches and glued them on top of the painted canvas.
Step 4: Glue the letter A onto the canvas.
Step 5: Add red gems and embellishments as per the birthday girl's request.
Happy early 4th birthday Alexandra!!!!
The "Trash Receiver"
Fun in Kinetic Sand Making "Cakes"!
Exciting Updates on the Fairy Village 2.0
Children added even more materials to the top level of the fairy village today, using clips and wire. Lane added a black netting to the top, like a tent. She said, "It will make the fairies go to sleep and then they will get more shade so no one gets the fairy’s house. Because it’s more black and black is a color of shade."
She then began using colorful beads as "eggs" and leaves as "burls". She said, "These are the burls where the baby fairies get born - out of these little burls. The mommy fairies drop their eggs inside these burls and then in the nighttime they hatch from the burls."
Fletcher said, "That’s not easy! They’re supposed to keep the eggs warm until they hatch."
Lane: (pointing to white mesh netting on top) "That is what this is going to be. It’s going to keep it cozy. And this purple burl (showing a leaf) is for the girl babies. And these orange ones are for the boy fairies. (She picks up a spotlight) I’m using this light. You know why? These little eggs grew SUPER tiny. And I put them on the burls so they’ll hatch. I’m using this light because I need to find the eggs, they’re somewhere in this fairy house."
It occurred to Fletcher that spiders could help them build the roof, but then he realized they might pose a threat to the fairies. He became engrossed with the idea of building a trap using a small basket, cardboard, and clips. "He's gonna fall in, and when I pull this over, he can't get back out. He's coming, hurry, hide!! What do we do?" Soon after, he updated us, saying, "There's a spider in the trap. The studio is safe."
Thank you to Oliver and Alexandra for setting up our plates and placemats today!
It was chilly this morning during Backwards Day but the children had fun playing superheroes, soccer, digging, building and playing the YES/NO game together as a class. In the YES/NO game, the players gather in the middle. One side is designated for yes answers and the opposite side for no answers. After hearing the question, the children race to their answer side. Here are some of the questions asked during the game:
Do you like broccoli?
Do you have a big brother?
Do you like the beach? (everyone said yes!)
Do you like pineapple pizza? (a very evenly split response)
Did you walk to school today?
Back in class, the children continued working on the Fairy Village 2.0. Today's work was around Lane's idea of shade. The children used leaves and pine branches to add shade to the village. They also incorporated their shrinky dink fairies.
Lane: We should use this to hold the shade up.
Olivia: I might tie it.
Palmer: They'll get sunburned!
Lane: We need to get them some sunscreen!
Melanie: Do fairies like to be hidden? Do they like to be cozy at nighttime?
Grace: Yes! I have an idea. We have to run everywhere, we have to look look look for the fairies. Let's go look now!
Cannon: They don't want to be sunburned or lost.
Palmer: They want to be hidden to escape big people like us.
Other happenings are the room: Emilia and Evelyn worked as vets taking care of sick animals, lego building, tracing fairies on the light table, construction and puzzles.
FAIRY VILLAGE 2.0
With our clay fairy houses and new shrinky dink fairies, we were ready to make our second fairy village this morning. We used our fairy books as a resource to gather ideas. Nearby we had inspiring materials like pinecones, moss, rocks, and gems.
Emilia: Wooden pine cones. How do we find pine cones? We need this wood. Wood is the best! Stones are next. We need more than that! (We fetch small pebbles from the Tucker Closet)
Palmer: That's a lot of rocks!!
Emilia: We definitely need this rock because it's a wish rock. When a special day comes you get to wish on this rock, and it will come true, and if it t doesn't come true, then you just have to wait until another holiday.
Alexandra: I need the shrinky dink to live inside. (Tries to fit her fairy shrinky dink into her clay fairy house)
Maren: I put some water in the bathtub. (pours small pebbles into the clay bathtub Grace made)
Palmer: I'm making a fairy castle. That's the canons. (he places all the shrinky dink fairies onto a tall tower) They're queens and kings and knights.
Lane: (looking at fairy book) We should get shade. We need leaves... and sticks.
Emilia: Okay everyone let's get busy!
Some other great moments from our day:
Olivia turned 4!!! To celebrate Dan and Mandy came in to share some photos from the past year. They included photos from her 3rd birthday, Christmas, the Easter Egg roll at the White House, her cousin's first communion, a beach trip with the extended family, and Halloween.
Olivia opened her birthday gift made by Palmer, Evelyn, Maren and Emilia.
Olivia walked 4 times around the candle, blew it out and then we sang Happy Birthday.
HAPPY 4th BIRTHDAY OLIVIA!!!
Thank you to Danica, Less Bieligk, and Lizanne for coming to help chop veggies!!!