This morning at meeting, we sang our new traditional Friday song, “Aloha Friday.”
It’s Aloha Friday
No school ‘till Monday
Doo-pee Doo-pee doo-pee doo-pee doo-pee doo-pee doo
And then realized we wouldn’t be here Monday because of the holiday. Hank and Zadie, who were visiting today had just gone to the Lincoln Memorial yesterday to watch students recite the I have a dream speech. They explained a bit about who Martin Luther King Junior was and why we would have a holiday to honor him.
We also talked about the values Dr. King helped to teach: treating people with kindness and respect, treating everyone as an equal, and not judging people by their appearances. We explained that some people do community service or other kindnesses on MLK day, and we linked these values to our discussions about the homeless men and women who are taking shelter at the church.
Later, we read a story called Strictly No Elephants. The book beautifully illustrates the importance of inclusiveness, compassion, and friendship. Afterward we had a discussion about what it means to be a friend, and Sally explained,
“Friendship means you help and share, being kind, respecting everyone. You don’t leave anybody behind.”
Happy Friday, everyone. Enjoy the holiday weekend.
At morning meeting, we played a game to arrange the our magnetic letters in alphabetical order. Each time a new letter was added, we thought of a word that started with that letter, and built our words to make a silly story. The children thought their story was hilarious so after each new word, the asked to hear the updated story. Learning the alphabet can be pretty dry, or pretty ridiculous. We prefer the latter. By the end, we could all recite:
A Blue Cat Dances Every Friday. Goats Have Insect Jelly Kites. Lions Mash Nuts Over Popcorn Quickly. Raccoons Sneak Trash Under Viking Wagons. X-ray Yachts Zoom!
We also welcomed another Mystery Guest to our classroom. We couldn’t even get through all of clues before the children guessed. Louise’s fairy godmother!
“This is Pluto and these are steroids coming toward him and hitting him everywhere. This line is the path of the asteroid. They came from an asteroid belt. Asteroids and meteors are made of rock. They hit the Earth every day.” -Rowan
“The dots are all the asteroids going and hitting Pluto, then there’s fire on Pluto. Then there’s water spaying from earth. The asteroids are falling from the sun. He thought they were grapes so he ate them. He also ate gravity, and then he fell down and exploded. And he was dead.” -Elle
“Pluto’s burning up and the fireballs are surrounding him. The fireballs are coming from the red planet. His mouth and his eyes are burning up. Then the sun burned off his nose. Then he’s gone, but he can come back to life because he has super powers.” -Sam
Last week, Louise shared a story with the class, and it sparked a huge discussion. When walking with her Nana, they saw a “hopeless” person sitting on the ground, and they gave the person a chocolate croissant. The children all began to share stories about encounters they have had with people experiencing homelessness or being in need, and how they responded. Lou Lou remembered a time her mom gave something to a person outside of the grocery store but she wasn’t sure what it was. Margaret recalled passing a person on the sidewalk, but they didn’t have anything to give them so she just smiled at them.
This morning at sing a long, Blake Hall was filled with cots and for two weeks, the church’s outreach program will be sheltering individuals in our community who have no where to sleep at night. The children had many questions about the cots and at morning meeting we had a discussion about the people who were going to stay at the church, and what we might do to make them feel welcome.
Margaret: We can send them messages!
Grace: We can make things for them since they have dinners here. Like salad.
Kian: Sandwiches with salad, tomatoes, and cheese and cucumbers and Sunny D.
Rowan: And avocado.
Austin: We can give them beef.
Lou Lou: We can bake them a cake! And leave surprises next to their bed so it’s waiting for them in the morning.
Leigh: We can just make stuff out of collage and wrap it up like a Christmas present and put in in Blake hall next to their beds.
Grace: I have goodie bags from my birthday party at home and maybe they can carry stuff in my goody bags. But I might need to get them empty first cause they have more stuff inside.
Louise: We could get pretty fabric to make blanket for them in a big goody bag!
Leigh: We can make a house for them!
Austin: We can call a worker.
Elle: We can get them some money. Lots and lots of money and then they can buy a house with all that money.
We were so touched by the children’s empathy and generosity when sharing their ideas. The children had so many questions, so we reached out to Kurt from the church, and he will visit us to help answer some of our questions and let us know how we can help the people in the shelter. The most meaningful thing we can do is offer kindness, and that can look like some change, a little food or simply a smile.
This week, we continued our exploration of musical rhythm patterns, and began to extend into learning about sound and music more broadly. We began experimenting with Chrome Music Lab modules that allow the children to play with sound frequency. We’ll continue using Music Lab to play with and learn about music and sound concepts, and we encourage everyone to try it at home https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Experiments
After helping set up our new music exploration area (formerly the bug lab), children had a great time with the keyboards and percussion instruments. It’s been wonderful to see how many ways the children engage with the instruments, and how joyful this exploration has been.
In the studio, children began using Garage Band to record and loop sounds made by traditional music instruments as well as instruments they made from found objects in the atelier.
At the end of class today, we listened to the theme song from 2001: A Space Odyssey. We listened once while lying still with our eyes closed. Afterward, we asked the children for responses:
Louise: It felt like someone was coming to steal us and take keep us forever.
Margaret: The ending was a happy feeling, but at the beginning it was mixed in together. Like people were in a fight.
Jack: At the very end I felt like the drums were aliens walking.
Then we listened again and the children moved their bodies to the music. Afterward Jossie said,
“I was listening to how the music sounds, moving fast and then moving slow.”
And now for your moment of zen…
Today. we had a spectacular mystery guest here were our clues:
-I'm a black belt
-I teach people how to protect themselves
-I love to punch, kick and make loud noises sometimes
-I work at a dojo (Urban Kempo)
Charlie: I know who it is but I’m not telling. He’s kind of a teacher.
Austin: Kung fu?
Rowan and Sally: Karate?
Children: It’s Gery!
Charlie: It’s not Gery!
Rowan: Self defense protects yourself
Today we celebrated Jack’s birthday. His family read a hilarious book we now and love titled Stuck. We had a good laugh and wondered what would happen after the cliffhanger ending. In addition to the story, Jack’s family brought us delicious homemade muffins and frozen treats for a special birthday snack. Later, we enjoyed them together and sang to Jack, wishing him the happiest of birthdays.
Pieces of Rainey Room experiences.