Happy Birthday, Andy!
We celebrated Andy'a fifth birthday today! His Pod B friends made him a pink and purple pot that featured a panda bear, a koala, some dice, and chess pieces. His walk around the candle ended in a jog! His parents shared a great video of Andy'a life which started with adorable baby photos. Later, we had delicious cupcakes and wonderful books. Thank you so much, Nan and Pawel!
It's so hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of school. It's also hard to believe that Brooke, Melanie, and Rachel will not be a part of our regular staff next year. During snack, we presented these three super-teachers with gifts made by the children. Brooke received an adventure book written and illustrated by the children. Melanie loves and cares for plants and was given a clay pot. Rachel also received clay pieces which can be used as vases, or perhaps a coffee mug (as suggested by the children). Thankfully, Rachel will be with us for summer camp!
We look forward to seeing you all at 11:45 tomorrow for our end-of-year celebration!
Thank you and farewell to Jessica!
This morning the classes met outside on the playground to give Jessica some gifts. In addition to many messages made both at home and school (which Jessica will keep in an album that she was also gifted) many children worked on a clay pineapple vase (pineapple is Jessica's symbol). Jessica was very touched.
During snack Jessica popped by to show us her progress putting the messages in the album.
Jen works at St. John's Monday - Wednesday. So she also came by to say farewell and wish the children well.
Andy and Aida enjoyed lots of game playing today. They played Too Many Monkeys and Pesky Pirates.
Andy asked, "Should we play Pesky Pirates?"
Aida answered, "I don't really remember how to play."
Andy said, "I'll teach you."
Maren and Nora enjoyed playing with kinetic sand.
Making connections between experiences, Nora said to Maren, "This is like a mosaic. Look!"
Backwards Day was a blast! The children also enjoyed watercolor painting, message making, building and memory.
MOSAICS! And other things.
Wolf: (Has a sand timer). You missed the time. Quickly! Look at the time!
Oliver: Get everything to safety... This car is driving away.
Cannon: This is an underwater volcano... and it's active! If I drink this potion, I'll turn into a Goliath Frog. Ribbet!
Grace: How did this gem get made?
Fletcher: I know! In a mine shaft. That's where lots of glittery gems are. I wish I could go in a mine shaft. They keep digging and digging until they reach gold, or precious stones, or diamonds.
Grace: (With translucent paper) Putting this on this makes it gold! What color will this be?
Happy School Birthday, Wolf!
We celebrated Wolf's school birthday today, as his real birthday falls in August. After singing "Happy Birthday," Wolf was presented with his gift made by Pod B. The plant's pot featured a polar bear, a digger, and trains. Wolf's family shared a delightful video which featured Wolf with his St. John's friends through the years. There were delicious brownies for snack and we read books about Spiderman and Black Panther. Many thanks to Wolf's family for making our morning so special!
Leo was our mystery reader today! He shared three books, two of which he enjoyed when he was growing up. Today's selections were "Doctor DeSoto," "Nanette Baguette," and "The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room.." All three books were enjoyed by the children. Thank you, Leo, for joining us on this sunny day!
Laura left the books for us to read next week. We can't wait to learn more about geysers!
Thank you, Laura, It was amazing!
Today Olivia and Palmer organized their portfolios. Both children were impressed by the amount of work that they had.
We can't wait for the children to share their many creations with you as we begin portfolio conferences next week!
Palmer - I have a LOT of watercolors.
Olivia - (Noticing that Melanie was labeling her work) Good thing you wrote that, "Car." I will have this when I'm six, and I will be able to read it. Because I won't remember..... when I grow, grow, grow, I won't remember.
This and that.....
Nothing could top the excitement of our geysers today! However, throughout the morning, children worked on drawing cicadas, light table building, and construction. Enjoy these images and we will see you next week!
The children picked up where they left off yesterday and immediately began pretending the water in the sandbox was hot chocolate. Andy’s job was water delivery, while Maren, Aida and Nora were busy mixing and adding ingredients like sugar, marshmallows and magical sand.
As the girls mixed/dug Andy would happily go back and forth to the sink and bring buckets and other containers of water to add to the mix.
Andy would happily call en route, “MORE WATER!”
All the mixing made for dirty hands, so Nora suggested, “We gotta go wash our hands at the cleaning center.”
When they returned to the sand with freshly rinsed hands, Maren said, “Don’t tell me we’re digging again.”
Nora replied, “We’re digging again.”
After just a few seconds Nora announced, “Now we have to go wash our hands again at the cleaning center!”
At this point the play shifted to the sink. Washing hands led to washing the sink and eventually to some bubbles. Andy created songs about washing, and later bubbles, that everyone sang together.
Getting wet and having to change clothes was exciting. The best part was having to leave the shoes to dry in the sunshine and getting to be barefoot or just in socks all day!
Nora went through her work in preparation for the her upcoming portfolio conference. Of her sewing she commented, “Oh this is one of my favorites. You know why it’s so special? Because it has this heart collar.” (a heart charm.) Of her winter inspired collage she noted, “This is one of my favorites because it has sapphire on it.” (referring to the blue watercolor).
All the children have started a large scale weaving. It’s a process that takes concentration and patience. With a few more days work, they will be complete!
Sturdy Birdy Sewing
The pod really enjoys the game Sturdy Birdy, but unfortunately it only has 2 beanbags. So we have started to make our own so that when we play everyone has the added challenge of balancing the beanbag. Andy measured a beanbag to help us determine what size we needed to make. Next week we will fill the bags with sand, sew them closed and play the game with our new equipment.
Today we played Jenga for the first time. It was nerve-racking and super fun!
We began the day with Chapel; Aida and Andy did an excellent job lighting and snuffing the candles.
After Chapel Andy went to review the work in his portfolio drawer while Maren, Aida and Nora finished the clay work they started yesterday with Jen. Later Andy also finished his clay piece. Hopefully the clay will be dry enough to fire at the end of next week. Combining white and red clay has created interesting layers.
After snack, Andy taught us a game that he invented at home with his dad. Here's how he explains the rules:
The plan for next week is to create new games and play them with each other. Should be lots of fun!
The water feature of our outdoor classroom has been of great interest all week. Children have explored different systems of tubes, experimented with adding different amounts of water, made observations and formed theories. Today, there was also a water fountain that was constructed by stacking big buckets. Here’s some of their observations:
Lane - That’s genius. The water will go from here to there and come out there (Indicating the three tubes that the water is flowing through).
Oliver - I think we should raise this end, so it goes down like a slide. (Oliver is indicating that an incline may make the water move better)
Three children decide to add their water to the system all at once.
Palmer - It’s working! It came through the black tube!
Reflecting back inside the classroom:
Palmer - You need a pipe, to make it flow farther in the stream.
Grace - I noticed that if you make the pipes too long, the water won’t go through.
Cannon - The water has to go down to go quickly (he demonstrates by holding his hand at an angle).
Grace - I noticed if the water goes down hill, it works better.
Palmer - And if you add more water, it can go uphill and flatten the hill.
Grace - And I noticed that the current could move the gecko or the alligator.
Children headed to backwards day with the mourning dove home. We were thrilled to see a mama mourning bird that seemed to be nesting above the back door to the rectory. without disturbing the bird, we place the home near her.
Olivia - Maybe we should bring her a worm in the little house . The bird will fly with her baby chicks to the worm and say, “I want to stay here forever.”
We were delighted to have so many boxes come in to school today. Thanks to all the families who sent them. Cannon and Palmer wrapped up their clay today while Oliver, Wolf, and Gigi sorted their work. Here’s some of the remarks made by Oliver as he reviewed his work:
“Woah, this is really special. That’s my treasure”
“This looks beautiful.”
“This is the best bag I ever made!”
“This is a surprise that my mommy will love.”
All children are looking forward to their portfolio conferences next week!
Here’s a quick look at the rest of our morning!
Organizing our Portfolios
Every child takes a different approach. Grace said, "This will be the keep pile, and this will be the not-keep pile." A few minutes later she observed a painting which made her exclaim, "Gorgeous. That's definitely going in the keep pile!" Another piece of work prompted her to say, "Needs some more work." She made a third pile for work that needs to be refined. Eventually she concluded, "So far, I like my work. I only have one thing in the not-keep pile."
Making a "Creek" with Pipes
Grace - If you pour the water faster, the water runs better.
Gigi - Maybe it’s a tube system.
Lane: (Noticing the water flowing downhill instead of uphill) The water is not like a human. It can’t just walk up. It’s liquid.
Grace: We need to make it a little higher on this side, the side that I’m on. Because I just feel like it’s a hill. It just rolls down here. And it just rolls into the sand.
Fletcher: We need more water!
Grace: We need a big bucket as big as the school, and Clifford could pull it. It would be like a pool in here.
Oliver: (brings new pipe) We could use this!
Palmer: When you pour the water in, it makes the sand wetter, so it’s easier for shovels to dig.
Cannon: (introducing Gecko) We have to make sure he gets air.
Wolf: (patting sand) I’m trying to make it strong so the water won’t get through.
(See Also: Wolf's solar powered vehicle!!)
Wire Sculptures Inspired by Spring Flowers
Quotes From Monday:
Lane - I’m making a flower.
Olivia - I’m making a flower, too. I’m gonna try.
Grace - Me, too. ( I’m making a swing.) I just need one more chain.
Olivia - I can’t do a flower.
Lane - Don’t worry. Just put your mind to it. The think wire is easier to twist.
Grace - This needs to be small (the seat of the swing), but it’s too short to twist. (She tries a longer piece of wire and other materials.) I’m a little frustrated.
Lane - You can do it! Start thinking about what Grace would do.
Grace - What I would do is panic.
Lane - What Grace would do is think and try again.
Cannon - This (thick wire) is easy to bend. I’m kind of copying Wolf, but not really.
Gigi - I’m finishing the top.
Olivia - I like to twist lots because it helps to make it tight.
Light Table Insects
Oliver - We’re trapping the cicadas because they want to win.
Fletcher - I found a lot of gems.
Oliver - Now the gems are protected. The cicadas want to get in the treasure chest.
Wolf - Luckily, this (the treasure chest) is strong. And the cicadas are just paper.
Oliver - They would need a key for the treasure chest.
[a bit later…..]
Lane - We’re ling up all the bugs in Beetle Town for the mayor. The mayor is the scorpion.
Oliver - We trapped the cicadas with all these bricks because he wants to get all the treasure.
Lane - If he gets out, I’ll lock up all the treasure. All hands on deck!
Yesterday, the children put the finishing touches on Kurt’s gift, wrapped it and delivered it to him. Kurt LOVED it! The children explained the process by showing the story board they drew as a plan, the first draft with photos where they dictated the text and the finished book. They also showed Kurt the mini cubby bag they made for Yoda, with the message he (Yoda) created inside, as well as his mask. Kurt has the book on display next to Yoda and Yoda is wearing his mask and cubby bag (which hangs from his ear!). The children saw it at dismissal. Kurt wrote the group a lovely thank you note and we read it this morning during Morning Meeting.
Yesterday Maren taught us a dominoes game called Mexican Train that she learned from her grandparents. We played our first round yesterday in Blake hall where there was plenty of space to set out the tile trains.
Today Nora brought in Snail’s Pace and she played a round with Maren. We look forward to learning more games and hopefully designing some of our own.
Each day one child is reviewing and organizing all the work from her/his portfolio draw. Maren did it yesterday and Aida went today. It’s a lot of fun to review the work and discover pieces from ‘long ago.’ The children are looking forward to sharing their work with you in the upcoming weeks. Here are few quotes from Aida today:
Looking at her plaster work she said “I remember this! This is SO long ago.”
Finding a booklet of drawings she paused, “I’m just gonna look at this for a second.”
Of her large pile of drawings she noted, “I can’t believe I drew all of this.”
Of the process, “I’m having so many things….I love it.”
Yesterday, Pod A told us about a trench they dug outside and suggested we use it too. It turned out to be A LOT of fun! Today the children played with it for the entire hour they were outside. Today they imagined that the trench was hot chocolate river instead of just water.
Last week, when we went outside, Jen was cleaning up from a clay experience she was having with the Rainey Room and showed Maren a clay technique that she has been using in her own practice where she layers slabs of different colors. Today Jen shared this technique with our pod and the children started their own pieces. Jen rolled some slabs and the children also rolled some, then they stacked them, cut pieces and made designs with them. Tomorrow each child will arrange and attach her/his creations to a slab.
HAPPY SCHOOL BIRTHDAY, FLETCHER!!
Fletcher's 6th birthday is August 1st, so we celebrated his school birthday today. Pod B created a lovely pot with all the items he said he wanted: green, buzzing bees, snakes and trains. Laura and Stephen joined via Zoom and showed a video of highlights from the past year. They also read, Ada Twist Scientist.
The children have been hard at work preparing little gifts for Mother's Day. We hope all the Tucker Room moms have an amazing Mother's Day this Sunday. Here are quotes from the children about their moms:
Aida, "I like that my mom plays with me a lot. She plays Legos with me but doesn't know how to follow the instructions."
Andy, "She always gives me food for lunch. When I have drawing class she always prepares me paper and crayons.
Cannon, "I'm going with mom to see alligators in Florida."
Fletcher, "I like when my mom plays with me after work."
Gigi, "My mom is SO fun to play with."
Grace, "Stories...she makes them up really well. She made up one with magical earrings."
Lane, "Mom, I love how you snuggle."
Maren, "I love my mommy because she sings me to sleep every night and I love my mommy because I can do snuggle with her."
Nora, "I like that snuggles she with me. Sometimes she puts me to bed and she tells me stories from when she was little and she sings me bedtime songs."
Oliver, "Mommy, I love your hugs. I love you Jennifer."
Olivia, "She does make the best eggs ever."
Palmer, "I like reading chapter books with my mom. She makes the best chocolate chip pancakes."
Wolf, "I love going to the farm with you. I love you."
Volta Park Fun!
Invented Games, Continued
Enthusiasm for invented games continued today! Olivia and Fletcher started developing games while Grace, Gigi, and Lane enhanced their games from yesterday. Here's some of their thoughts:
Olivia - They hop on space like this: 1, 2, 3.....Put all these numbers...... Now, it's blue's turn and blue is going to win. Woooo, blue is the winner!
Grace - This is the pretend timer. They have forty seconds.
Lane - There's three teams. Team red, team blue, and team white. You know what? You roll the dice..... whatever it lands on , you go to, and whoever gets to the finish line wins.
Olivia - I'm going play it and see if it works. I'm going to put them on the white, and they roll. Okay red wins.
Grace- (Adding orange paper) It's a lava pit! If your dice falls on here, that's okay, it's a bridge. I'm gonna make a little boat.
Fletcher - There's three starts and three ends. And whoever gets a dead end, has to go back to the start. I always win the game.
Lane - These are the racing stables. Gigi and I are doing teamwork for this game.
Gigi - I love being blue (using the blue dice).
Another Way to Print
As we went through the pajama planning process, we explored screen printing and gelatin printing. Today we used printer's ink between two sheets of glass to create dendritic mono prints. To apply pressure to the glass, some children stood on the top piece of glass. After separating the glass pieces, children used a brayer to make their print on paper. Here's some of their thoughts as they went through the process:
Wolf - It looks like veins.
Olivia - (Using the brayer) Yeah, this is fun.
Lane - Red, copper, purple, red, copper, purple. Now, I'm just going to do dots like Grace did. And it's going to be a pattern, too.
Gigi - I thought standing on it was the fun part.
It was a beautiful day for mystery reader! Lindsey read two wonderful books: "Lucky, The Golden Goose," and "Finding Winnie." "Finding Winnie" told the origin story of Winnie the Pooh. The children loved it! Thank you, Lindsey!
We started our day outside this morning and it was beautiful. The children enjoyed creating an obstacle course and attempting to hop on two feet from stump to stump. We also made “ice cream sandwiches” on the slide and played in the sandbox. Here’s a bit of dialogue from Andy and Aida’s play in the sandbox:
Andy: The dog is sick again. He’ll be sick forever.
Nora: Never-ending Corona virus.
Aida: I got a mask for you so you don’t get sick again.
Andy: Thank you! AAACHOOO! AAACHOOO! AAACHOOO!
Aida: Is it the dust?
Aida: Let’s wash the dog.
Andy and Aida in unison: Scruba dub dub, scruba dub dub, scruba dub dub
Aida: How about we scrub dub dub on the other side? No more Corona virus. My wolf needs a bath too. AAACHOOO! AAACHOOO!
Andy: Scruba dub dub, scruba dub dub.
Aida: Can I borrow your scrub brush?
Andy: I’ll put soap on, you scrub.
Andy and Aida in unison: Scruba dub dub, scruba dub dub, scruba dub dub
Aida: Now it’s time for magical sand to dry.
Maren and Nora were also playing with animals in the sand and Maren discovered that you can use the animal’s paw to draw/write.
Maren: Nora, look! (uses wolf to draw in the sand)
Nora: A box!
Maren: You can draw something with your (wolf’s) foot.
Nora: I wrote my name.
Fletcher’s Birthday Committee
Andy put the finishing touches on Fletcher’s birthday gift by adding soil and a plant.
Today the children worked on pop-up cards. They were very focused and intentional with their process. More on this tomorrow….
Pod B continues to love board games and plays them almost daily. Today Andy and Aida played Too Many Monkeys while Nora and Maren played Snap and Hoot Owl Hoot. It's fun to play cooperative games and also fun to learn how to congratulate winners during a competitive game. We are planning to dive deeper into games next week.
This morning we were delighted to welcome Melanie into our classroom to help us with binding Kurt's book. Melanie explained the technique at meeting. First, the children used a hammer and a nail to poke small holes through the paper. Next they used a needle and thread to bind the pages together. Unlike hand sewing, the children did go around the edge and went back through holes more than one time. Tomorrow the children will decide how to illustrate the front cover and then the present will finally be complete. The plan is to give it to Kurt on Friday. We think he is going to love it.
Each child is getting a copy of the book as well. The children added Yoda photos and drawings on the cover.
The other big project today was adding the next parts of Fletcher's birthday gift. The children drew the items he said he would like on his pot. Aida worked diligently at the copier to shrink them. ( Apologies, Brooke forgot her device so she didn't take any photos of Aida on a stool at the copier. But she got very good at placing the paper, closing the lid and pressing start and assessing the size/deciding if it needed to be shrunk more.) Maren and Andy worked to modpodge the images onto the pot. Tomorrow we will add a plant.
The rain drastically reduced our time outside for Backwards Day. However, something else was backwards! Pod A had a chance to work with Rachel while Melanie helped Pod B with some book binding. The children were so happy to see her and work with her on their pop-up messages.
Yesterday, some children sorted materials with Jen. When they saw the enormous amount of dice available, they started to invent games. We brought that idea back today and children were enthusiastic about getting started. It was important to organize the game in such a fashion that it could be easy for another person to understand the way to play the game. Here’s a quick look:
These (small figures) are the racers. Pink racer, a red racer, and a blue racer. And this is the finish line. Actually, two racers. (Putting down squares of paper) And these are an invisible race path and when you get to the pink (square), you finish.
You roll this blue dice and if you get 1, 2, 3, or 5, you have to start over. And if it’s at a white space, you basically have to go back. The light green square on the end is the finish. You are trying to get rid of the whiie dice and the red dice by knocking them off with the dice you are using. It’s not hard to win and it’s not hard to lose.
You roll the dice and if you get the wrong thing, you have to start all over. If you land on the blue dice, you have to hop, hop, hop (from dice to dice). If you get to these dice (in a row) you win. But if you get to this blue dice, you have to start over.
Lane and Gigi’s Game
Lane - It’s like soccer. We start here and do some warm-ups with some flips. When I say go, you send the dice (soccer ball) all the way through the path. Whoever jumps in the nest first wins.
Jill - How do you know how to move down the path?
Lane - Give us a second to figure that out.
The girls decide to roll the dice to move.
Gigi - And you land on whatever space.
Later, Grace and Olivia successful played Grace’s game. Palmer and Cannon tried to play Palmers game, but found it “a little confusing,” according to Palmer.
Pod B has been exploring spray bottle painting. Naturally, Pod A was eager to join in. The children painted with newly mixed colors and then used the spray bottles on top. Here’s their reflections on the experience:
Palmer - Me and Olivia were painting the solar system. I made Earth.
Grace - It looks perfectly perfect!
Cannon - I am the orange forehead zombie (reflecting that some of the orange spray landed on his forehead).
Oliver - I sprayed a dot with orange.
Wolf - I sprayed with different colors.
Palmer - Spraying was the most fun. It got all over my hands.
Melanie - What happened when the spray went onto the paper?
Palmer - It dripped.
Melanie - Why do you think that happened?
Lane -Because its’ very liquid.
Gigi - I like that me and Cannon worked together.