March 12th, 2023
A Hawaiian-inspired birthday week
The word HUKILAU comes from huki, meaning pull, and lau, meaning leaves and it describes a traditional way of fishing in a bay with small boats and nets. People gather for the event and celebrate the catch together. Uncle Brad also taught us a Hula Dance that is performed during the Hukilau celebration and Jack brought beautiful white shell necklaces (puka shell lei) for our classroom celebration.
Maybe you would like to learn the Hula Dance for the Hukilau Song as well?
Jade: What’s your favorite meal?
Jack: Mhh.. I’m thinking. Musubi.
Jade: What is it made out of? Well, I know it’s made out of food. But what type of food?
Jade: Oh I don’t like seaweed.
Jack: And it’s made out of meat you guys. You put it in and you use water to stick it together.
Jade: What kind of meat?
Saul: Yeah I don’t even know what type of meat he’s talking about. My sister is vegetarian so she doesn’t eat meat.
Jack: It’s chicken.
Saul: Jade, do you like chicken?
Jade: Yes I do.
Saul: I do too. It’s one of my favorite things.
Jack: You guys, why don’t you like seaweed?
Saul: It’s just because my sister eats these seaweed platforms and I don’t eat them. I tried it once and it really wasn’t yummy.
Ines: Did you have sushi before? Did you like it?
Saul: I did! I have to say I don’t like it as much as pasta. Pasta is my favorite thing. I can say sushi is my second favorite thing. I love sushi with avocado. I love avocado.
Jack: I tell you where you can pick avocados. They are green inside but you know what, I have a tree and I pick it on.
Jade: I think he said there’s a little bit of water in it.
Jack: To stick the seaweed together so nothing falls out.
Jade: What shape is it? Is it like a triangle?
Jack: It just has a puka and it has a triangle.
Jade: What’s a puka?
Ines: Puka is a Hawaiian word, right? What is a different word for puka?
Jack: Oh, a hole.
Saul: Is it like different color rice or it just like regular rice, white?
Jade: There’s brown rice and white rice.
Jack: White rice.
Saul: Okay, so just like plain white rice. I eat that a lot. Brown rice is a tiny bit spicy for me.
Jack: It starts to stick on your hands.
Saul: You can’t even take it off?
Jack: Yes you can.
After the cooking demonstration,
the children had many questions and observation to share:
I feel like it's kinda like sushi. - Finlay
A burrito means when you wrap up. - Michael
Yes, it's kinda like a seaweed burrito. - Vlad
Where does seaweed come from?
The sea. - Hugh
Is it salty? - Wilder
It's a plant that lives in the ocean. - Jade
It grows in a cactus shape. - Lucas
I saw it when I went swimming to find sand dollars in the Bahamas. And it waves in the water. - Wilder
How to make MUSUBI
Recipe by Jade, Saul and Cape
1. Cook the chicken with sauce. (Jade)
2. Cook the rice. (Jade)
3. We have to put the seaweed flat. (Saul)
4. Put the rice on top of the seaweed. Cooked and ssticky rice. (Cape)
5. Put the chicken. (Cape)
6. We need to roll it up. It's a burrito but it's more like sushi. (Jade)
7. We need to stick the water together with the seaweed. (Cape)
Before we started cooking, we created a list of ingredients we would need to cook the recipe:
1. Cook the chicken with sauce.
2. Cook the rice.
When we cooked the rice we used the RATIO 1:2 (for every 1 cup of rice, we added 2 cups of water).
For our recipe we used 2 cups of rice. So how many cups of water do we need to add?
Cape: We need 4 buckets of water. If we do 3 cups of rice we need 5 cups (water). Or maybe 6. It's 6.
Jade: 3 plus 3 is 6.
The time counts down on it's own? So we don't have to. - Cape, noticing the rice cooker has numbers on it.
After the rice was done Cape was wondering "Why did the rice get higher?"
Did you know rice expands when you cook it?
3. We have to put the seaweed flat.
4. Put the rice on top of the seaweed. Cooked and ssticky rice.
5. Put the chicken.
6. We need to roll it up. It's a burrito but it's more like sushi.
7. We need to stick the water together with the seaweed.
To begin the birthday committee work, Jade, Cape and Saul interviewed the birthday child about his favorite meal, colors and animals. The information they gathered during the interview gave them great ideas for possible celebration and table decorations...
Jade: He likes palm trees probably because he used to live in Hawaii.
Cape: He might want the Hawaiian flag like I had the Egyptian flag.
Jade: Well we don’t know what it looks like.
Ines: How could we find out?
Jade: We can ask him what color it is.
Cape: No, we can look it up. On your phone.
Jade: He likes volcanoes. We could try to make like paper volcanoes or something.
We could try to shape volcanoes out of clay or something.
Jade: What’s your favorite color?
Jade: Because when we were doing facetime with him he said blue and I just remembered.
The committee decided to create paper mache volcanoes to represent the Hawaiian islands as part of Jack's table decorations.
Cape: Can I make these crumpled up paper balls that look like rocks.
Saul: We need to tape it. There is a rusty old volcano in the coast of Japan.
Saul: We need a base.
Jade: Then put the cup on it (to resemble the main vent)
Cape: I crumble the paper.
Saul: It needs to connect to the crater (rim of the cup) because you don’t see the lava in the real volcano. (suggesting you need to cover the main vent)
While working with the ripped pieces of newspaper, Saul thought about a very funny joke!
Saul: Can I tell you a joke about paper?
Ines: Yes, please!
Saul: No, it’s actually tear-ible! You know, because you rip it?
Once the paper mache volcanoes had dried, the committee mixed paint colors and painted the volcanoes:
Jade: They’re sometimes gray. They’re not only black, unless they have ash on them and then they’re black.
Saul: The big volcano needs ash on it.
Jade: Yes, because it erupts.
Cape: I think mix black and white to make mine look like it’s about to erupt.
Saul: It’s very steamy and ashy.
Jade: (When it erupts) The floor makes a sound and when it kinda moves.
Saul: For the volcanic cracks. They have dark reddish with strips of yellow in it. They’re on the sides.
Cape: I put some polka dots on to make it look like fire drops.
Jade: Jack likes volcanoes because he used to live in Hawaii and there are volcanoes in Hawaii.
Cape: (we need) Blue napkins (to imitate water around the volcanoes)
Jade: Table cloths. We could put on blue table cloths or red table cloths. Maybe blue napkins and a red table cloth because blue is his favorite color and red for the lava.
Cape: I added blue on the side like a wave washing up.
Saul: The different color rocks make different color lava. I went to Fuji and saw the volcano erupting. I was very far away. I used a telescope to get a closer look. I went there last summer on summer break. I saw an orange rock before.
Jade: I have seen a green rock that had red on it. I’ve seen a huge rock rock before in a park.
Cape: I’ve never seen a green rock before. I saw orange and blue at the beach.
Saul: My favorite (volcano) is the big one. I like that it will have vinegar and baking soda. It bubbles it up.
Saul: If we connect the two triangle volcanoes we have a square volcano.
On Monday we celebrated Jack's 5th birthday together at school!
Am I eating real seaweed from the ocean right now? - Remy
The water provides really good food. - Finlay
The chicken is really nice and sweet. - Wilder
We put sauce on it! - Jade
This is the best birthday snack ever. - Finlay
I can give you the recipe if you want. - Cape
Thursday, March 9th
With an intention in mind to use a variety of materials to translate our two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional work, we have continued to build off of our recent interest in sculpture.
After working with clay, we introduced paper as an additional material that can be used to construct three-dimensionally!
Building Paper Houses
Before beginning their house construction, children were asked to take their time looking through the material options before selecting choices that they felt would best represent the vision they had for their house.
Children made intentional choices based on different properties of the papers.
This included thinking about colors, textures, shapes, and stiffness when selecting a material to use.
Some materials were chosen based on personal preferences to create a visual aesthetic, other choices were made based on which paper types would best serve as strong supports while constructing.
Throughout this process, we observed that children enjoyed using their creative imaginations to include aspects of their home that transformed the space into something that felt fun, playful, and almost fantastical. We have repeatedly observed this interest come to life throughout so much of our CONNECTED HOUSE work!
You can read more about each child's thoughts about their finished paper house below:
You can now find these finished paper houses and our collection of clay houses in the former "Shelly Area" which has now been renamed...
While considering the new additions to “Shelly Area”, the whole class discussed ideas about renaming this classroom space and came up with some great ideas:
Cate: Connected town
Wilder: Connected neighborhood
Hugh: Shelly’s neighborhood
Saul: Shelly’s world
Wilder: Mini world
Cate: Mini town
The group unanimously voted to choose MINI TOWN as the new name for this exciting space.
It’s kind of like small world. - Wilder
Shelly area is kind of like a neighborhood now! - Lily
Neighborhoods are a mini town. - Hugh
It’s a town, that’s mini. - Cate
We're very excited to expand on this growing interest in NEIGHBORHOODS, including learning more about our own school neighborhood in Georgetown.
March 07th, 2023
It can be like a dream house! - Remy
The children's strong interest in house construction inside the classroom initially focused on smaller scale buildings in our construction area. In order to promote large scale building in a collaborative way, one morning during a Backwards Day back in January the children were presented with the challenge to construct one large house in the outdoor classroom. Before beginning the challenge they critically thought about the steps they needed to take and in which order.
I think we need a foundation. A foundation is what you start building a house with. - Cate
We need a blueprint - Hugh (unsure of how to start building, suggests planning)
Now we have to work on the inside - Finlay
additions to the interior ...
You need lots of wood so that fire won’t go out with the wind. - Jack
A microphone. - Jack
Mail slot for messages. - Wilder
For receiving and letting out mail. - Capers
This looks like a bigger version of the food on our conveyor belt that we have in our cafe. - Hugh, complimenting Finlay and Michael's kitchen set-up
We are decorating the house. - Remy
They are very pretty. - Frannie
Because spring is coming up. I decorate my room. Like there’s these Easter bunnies. They are in my room. - Remy
Places for REST ...
the children worked together to dig out tree trunks to use as chairs:
March 02nd, 2023
After multiple 3D construction explorations (e.g. with clay or paper), this week we began to shift the focus to the interior of our finished house projects:
What do we want the interior to look like?
What do we want to feel like when we're in our house?
What kind of furniture/wallpaper/accessories would we like in our house?
To further support the children in this process, we introduced the concept of design or mood boards. The children's first reactions to examples we provided focused on identifying the creator's preferences or even personality by analyzing the colors and item choices. In the slide show below you can find some of their initial reactions and thoughts around the mood board examples:
Together we discussed which term we would prefer for our collages, DESIGN board or MOOD board.
Design means make something you really like. - Cate
Like a blue print. - Hugh
Design is not really like a pattern. Colors that look really good together. - Remy
Like designing your own thing without help. - Wilder
... like what are you acting like. - Remy
... angry or sad. - Wilder
... happy, joyful. - Michael
After a large group discussion and a group vote, we decided we will call our collages MOOD BOARDS!
When everyone hears it (the word mood board) they understand the feelings. When you look at your collage, you remember what you were thinking about and what you were feeling when you made it. - Finlay
We began creating our own mood boards this week!
If you happen to have any design or architecture magazines at home and would like to donate them to support the children and their work, feel free to bring them in any time. Thank you :)
When searching for, collecting and deciding on pieces for their mood board, the children considered their personal preferences, such as their favorite color, favorite animals, or environments they enjoy spending time in. Many of them shared how certain textures or colors influence their mood or how they feel. Being in a cozy, yet organized and neat environment tended to make them, and especially Saul, Hugh and Frannie, feel warm and happy. We invite you to come in the classroom and check out the children's very detailed and thoughtful mood boards, which will be displayed above the studio tables.
Cape's Mood Board
“I want to see the weather so I know when it’s good to walk outside. I need windows. And I can spy on other people’s buildings. I want a backyard (view of the backyard behind the pool).
I want this chair so I can lay down. And a lion is laying on it. ( included his favorite animal)
This is Egypt (brown hills and palm trees). My house is in Egypt because it’s my favorite country and I can go to the valley of the kings and I can see if I can find more pharaohs.
I need stairs. I want it to be a big house. I really like having big houses so I can run around inside it. I like to climb onto the shelves. The chain is for swinging. (interest in physical movement and open space).
And I love having doggies in my house. They run, run, run and I love to pet their fur. They love me. I wanted them to be like Sweety (his lovie). I love furry things.
This is the roof (top left). You can see the rest of Egypt. That is Africa. This is Egypt (marks Egypt's location on the photo of the earth).” - Cape
Saul's Mood Board
(Version 1 and 2)
“I have the exact same pole at my house. It’s holding things up. (wooden board)
(the rainbow colors) It makes me feel like I’m outside in the rainbow. I like being outside.
I chose this as a kitchen. I like that it’s organized and clean. I like clean stuff. It makes me feel that I don’t have to work and I don’t like to work.
This is a house for 10 people. It’s all cozy and warm. I need a fire! I like to be cozy at home. It has a couch and another couch for kids and pillows and a cup and food on the table and a cat and a blanket and another couch for kids.
Mine is in the mountains, too (like Jack’s mood board), where it’s cold so I put lots of cozy things in.” - Saul
“It makes me feel cozy. I like cozy things. I like wood. My home is full made out of wood. It makes me feel warm. I like it just brown. Brown makes me feel warm. And blue and red are my favorite colors. I have pretty browns.
I really like birds. My favorite bird is an owl but my second favorite is blue jays.
I want a pool because it’s warm. Warm water. It’s all cozy and warm. I like having warm stuff around me. It makes me feel good. And I like having fun (swimming in the pool). When I’m cold I don’t feel good.
These pictures remind me of the universe and I like the universe (frames photos).
I like bagels. Don’t you like bagels? I love them. One of my favorite things, especially with cream cheese on it. I like eating. This is making me hungry. Will we have snack soon?” - Saul
Frannie's Mood Board
I like pink and I like to get my nails painted (chooses pink couch and wine bottles as nail polish bottles). I would love it. It makes me happy. Louise would love it,too because we both love pink.
It reminds me of the ocean in Martha’s Vineyard (blue designs). I’m there with my cousins, Betty and Alice. Louise is the same age as Betty and I’m the same age as Alice. My house is gonna be on the beach.
I like how decorated it is (light fixture).
I like to dress up. It’s gonna be a bedroom (adds shelving with clothes on it).
It’s a folded blanket (folds a cut out blanket in half before gluing it on top of the bed). Because it’s nice and neat. I don’t like stuff that is messy.
I like this castle. I like the fancy decorations. I like gold and shiny. - Frannie
Wilder: Now I can see it. I think it looks pretty good. How do I draw the eyebrow? I want to add freckles inside the eye.
*Wilder adds more detail inside the eye.*
Remy - My eyes are blue.
Wilder - My eyes are blue.
Remy - I want the eyelashes to sparkle. I want to make them rainbow.
Remy (choosing color to add) - This looks like skin color. No one has the same eye color. No one has the same skin color. We (she and Wilder) found the same color! I’m having so much fun. If something’s fun then it’s easier.
Joci - Wilder, you made some of the eyelashes thick and some not. I guess that’s like our own eyelashes.
Remy - I have some thick ones. Down here (pointing to lower lashes) is skinny and up here is thick.
A recent focus on facial features, like eyes and mouths, connected to preparations for St. John's birthday celebration next week, inspired us to take a closer look at our faces. With the use of mirrors, the children created self-portraits using markers and water color. In the process we noticed the children's strong attention to detail and impressive observation skills (e.g. the difference in length of their lower and upper eyelashes, position of eyelids or the length and orientation of eyebrow hairs).
The mirror helped me looking at my face. It was hard trying to make it perfect. We made them to show grown-ups the hard work we've done. I like my bow the best because I always wear a big bow. - Remy
We can make mini figures so we can go in it! - Finlay, wondering how we can best engage with the rooms we created for our Connected House Project
You can take pictures of us and cut them out. - Hugh
I'm making squares to make the steps, steps, steps. It's kinda like a chocolate bar. - Hugh, using a fettling knife to cut smaller clay pieces
It's curved because so it's not hard to get to the stairs. Because it would bump you (into the wall they connect to). You would have to do a huge step. - Hugh, adding an additional step on the side of the original last step of his staircase.
Like when they go on the level where Blake Hall is (comparison to staircases at school). They are more squiggly than curved. Squiggly stairs has many curves. And curved stairs only has one (direction change). - Lily
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Hugh considered a new concept around connection.
What if the tiny stuffy friends wanted to call each other? Phones are an excellent source for communication and connecting with others!