Yesterday the Rainey Room enjoyed learning about Wolf M's family tradition of going to Zaza's house. Zaza is Wolf's grandmother and she lives on a farm in Virginia. At her farm, Zaza has bees, horses, chickens, dogs and cows. Wolf has a few things that he particularly enjoys when he visits: collecting the fresh chicken eggs and feeding them leftovers (like pizza crust or the crust of bread), taking rides on the neighbor's pony, Annie, and after it rains Wolf loves in jump in the mud puddles around the farm. His favorite place to play indoors is the basement because there are lots of toys down there. Zaza's house sure looks like lots of fun!
This morning the children had tons of fun outside! They enjoyed seeing a postcard that Gigi had mailed to the class, playing in the sand, decorating the alligator with chalk and playing a few rounds of hide - and - seek.
In the classroom, a group of children worked on a train-based neighborhood construction that included both elements of reality and fantasy. Blocks with children's photos represented each child's home but there were also trains, people taking trips, and ornaments/ presents being delivered.
Wolf: I'm Thomas. You see? My train's going faster.
Oliver: The track is broken. Let me put something there so you can't fall. Okay? Let's have a bridge instead.
Wolf: CHOO CHOO!
Oliver: This is my house. It's a shape. I have these bricks for toys.
Lane: I have a long train. They're going on a trip to Texas. I need to get to Lane's house.
Cannon: CHOOOOOOO CHOOOOOOO.
Oliver: Chugga chug choo choo.
Wolf: S - T - O - P, stop.....Oh, I just passed my house.
Lane: We need to get to Emilia's house.
Olivia: Car wash. Car wash.
Lane: We're bringing these trees up the road.
Wolf: Get out of the way Tia.
(Lane gets out some collage materials like beads and tiles. She and others begin putting them in the cargo areas of their trains)
Lane: These are ornaments we're delivering during a big snow storm. This is the chimney.
Cannon: We're gonna deliver presents! Ho, ho ho!
Lane: To Wolf Baillie!
Oliver: To Wolf (M) and Pierce!
Lane: (singing) Happy New Year!
Meanwhile, the remaining children took a walk in the neighborhood to explore the idea of, "When we walk in the neighborhood, how do we know how to get back to school?"
Yesterday, some friends discussed this idea during snack:
Cannon: You just communicate.
Brooke: You just communicate?
Cannon: You just communicate with the bell. (Listen for the church's bell to ring.)
Grace: Because I live really close and my mom and dad walk me to school everyday....that's how I know.
Maren: 'Cause my house is very close to school.
Brooke: But if we're walking in the neighborhood but not near to your house, how would you know how to get back to school?
Maren: Listen for the bell.
Palmer: But how do you know if the bell is not the school bell? (What if another church bell is ringing?)
So on today's walk we explored the neighborhood and noted what places/landmarks resonated with the children. They definitely know many places around the neighborhood. Additionally, they seemed to have a grasp of how to get back to school, but articulating how/why they know was more challenging. Some of places that were familiar to the children were: & Pizza, 1310 Kitchen, Compass Coffee, the Capital Bikeshare rack, Wolf B's house and Evelyn's family's church.
A quick group chat before leaving on the walk:
Brooke: So today we're going to try and figure out, when we go out into the neighborhood, how do we know how to get back to school? Do you have any ideas?
Palmer: We need a map!
Fletcher: My head is a map. (I know the way.)
Maren: You listen to the bell.
Palmer: But if you're wrong... the bell... if you're wrong
Fletcher: We don't want to go too far away because then we will lose our school.
Maren: What if we don't know if it's the right bell?
On the walk:
Maren: I know that place with the numbers on it. (1310 Kitchen) I go over there. We go there to breakfast sometimes.
Maren: I went to that place.
Brooke: What is that place?
Maren: They make pizza.
Palmer: She said they make pizza.
Emilia: I think I went there.
We keep walking:
Maren: This way is my house.
Brooke: How do you know this way is your house?
Maren: Because that's my house. (pointing)
Brooke: Can you see your house from here?
Maren: No, but I know it's my house because this is the path that I go to school.
Palmer: My house is straight.
Brooke: And can you get to your house walking, Palmer?
Maren: I can get to my house walking.
Brooke: What about you Emilia, can you get to your house walking?
Evelyn: I can go to my house walking.
Fletcher: Here's the coffee shop.
Brooke: Does anyone ever go here besides Fletcher?
Evelyn: I do with my dad!
Maren: I do.
Palmer: I don't.
Fletcher: The sign says Georgetown.
Near the bike share rack:
Evelyn: See those bikes, that way (pointing) is my house!
We walk towards Evelyn's house
Palmer: My church is this way. We're close to Wolf Baillie's house.
Brooke: How do you know?
Palmer: Just cause.
Evelyn: I have a girl named Bailey that gets my haircut. She fixes my hair.
Brooke: Palmer, do you think if you saw Wolf Baillie's house you would know which one it is?
Brooke: But you feel sure we're near his house?
Evelyn: That's my church! Right there next to the white house. That means we're going to (towards) my house cause it's right this way.
Palmer: And this church is close to Wolfie's house.
Brooke: We can see Wolfie's house from where we're standing. Do you know which one it is? Do you remember that when we went to Wolfie's house we went into a gate so that we could go into the backyard? Look across the street.
Maren: (spots Wolf's house) Over there.
We continue walking.
Palmer: We're lost.
Evelyn: No we're not. We're not lost.
Brooke: If we wanted to get back to school, where do we go?
Palmer: This way! (pointing)
Fletcher: I think we're lost.
Maren: No we're not lost.
Jen: What can help us find our way back?
Fletcher: My map.
Jen: A map could help us find our way back. We don't have a map with us.
Fletcher: My map up here. (pointing to his head)
Jen: Oh, you're map in your brain? So what does your mind map tell you?
Fletcher: We go this way.
Jen: What made you think that?
Fletcher: Because St. John's is this way.
Jen: How do you know?
Palmer: You used to see Ronnie's crane over there.
Brooke: So you also think St. John's is this way?
We walk towards Wisconsin:
Maren: Wait! WAIT! That's what we saw when we came.
Brooke: What is that place?
Maren: The pizza place. That's what we saw when we came.
Fletcher: I see the coffee shop!
Palmer: Oh, that's the way back. (pointing)
Fletcher: We go that way. That way, that way, that way! (pointing)
Maren: I found the school.
Brooke: Can you see it?
Maren: No. It's over there. (pointing)
Fletcher: School is across the street. See those green bars? (bars on Hyde Addison playground) That's where our school is. It's right next to St. John's, except it's across the street. We're almost there! I told you this was the right way.
We ended the day with Joe as the Mystery Reader! Thanks Joe!
Since our school hosted visitors during and after school for an ECES presentation/workshop (Early Childhood Educator Series) we will not be having a journal today. See you tomorrow!
We enjoyed celebrating Grace's birthday today! Sarah, Jim and Lily were able to join us for the festivities. They brought some photos from milestones throughout Grace's life: her first time eating solid food, first trip to the beach, not wanting to go to sleep and instead rocking on her rocking horse in the middle of the night, and Halloween. The children loved passing around the photos. Then Jim read How the Sun Got to Coco's House. And Grace opened her gift and walked around the candle! Later we enjoyed treats at snack.
Happy 4th Birthday Grace!
(Morning Meeting conversation)
Melanie: Do you recognize this street? (Map shows O street and St. John's)
Lane: There’s a park there. (Looking at Hyde-Addison)
Palmer: No it’s for the other school that they built. Ronnie, the crane driver.
Oliver: That hand is the mouse.
Melanie: We can use the mouse to walk down the street.
Lane: I see the kitties!! (We point map toward cat café)
Palmer: That’s when we go home. (Sees Wisconsin Ave)
Oliver: If you wanna go towards my house, you need to go all the way towards that hill right there. It’s cross toward the road.
Maren: My house is closer to the ice cream store.
Oliver: My house is next to that church right there! It’s next by my house.
(We continue up Wisconsin and turn left on Volta. Soon we reach Oliver’s house)
Brooke: Is it the blue door or the red door?
Oliver: That’s Marian’s house.
Fletcher: That’s not my house.
Brooke: Whose house is it?
Cannon: Joci’s. Because Joci has the blue door.
Oliver: Mine has a trench and I don’t have a basement.
Melanie: Let’s keep going down Volta…
Oliver: That’s towards the park!
Melanie: Which way do I go, left or right?
Oliver: It’s cross there, next to that house.
Grace: That way, that way, that way!
Palmer: The baseball field!!
(Later, after meeting)
Olivia: I never seen your house. Can I see what the color looks like?
Evelyn: It’s grey. Do you know what color my house is? It’s grey. Do you know what color my door is? Black.
Melanie: What color is your door, Olivia?
Olivia: Red. ‘Cause momma loves red. And it has a little door knocker.
Evelyn: (On 34th St) See that red door, is that your house?
Olivia: Mmm… This one isn’t. I’ll show you. Can I please show you?
Melanie: Which direction should we go?
Olivia: Oh oh oh, this one, this one! Evelyn went past my house. (smiles)
Evelyn: Which one is your house?
Olivia: It’s all the way over there. Keep going, that way, that way, yes! You’re gonna find my house. And then, straight over there. Go past. Go through there. Yes! Yes! Almost close! Turn there - Up the stairs - THAT’S MY HOUSE!
(Evelyn claps happily. Eventually we find her house on the map too.)
Fletcher: "That's where we had the costume party."
Emilia: I just saw where I lived when I was a baby. The grey house. And then somebody else lived there, Alex’s friend, his name is Eli.
(Lane dispatches officers to Sedgewick St.)
Grace: We’re going to get there soon!
(She drives FAST)
Maren: Calm down
Emilia: Grace, you just ran past a bad guy. Go get ‘em.
(Grace drives FAST again.)
Lane: You went passed another one. And another one and another one.
Grace: No I didn’t. Now I’m gonna have to take a picture of them.
Lane: I have to take a picture of one too.
Evelyn: Let’s make a… UNICORN CASTLE!
Olivia: Yes yeah yeah let’s make it! How can we make it?
Evelyn: We’ll make it has… (she dumps out the previous “cake” they made)
Evelyn: It’s the perfect shape. Let’s put lots of sticks in there. It’s gonna be a castle. Let’s just squirt it all broken. It’s the castle… (singing) It’s the caaaastleeee…. (She pushes hands deeply into sand, kneading it)
Olivia: This is not how making a castle. Let’s make a birthday cake. Let’s get a roller. (she gets wooden tool)
Evelyn: It’s not ready yet.
Olivia: How about I’m a baby and it’s my birthday. Can we please do it? Please? My birthday castle cake?
Evelyn: Maybe I have to make this.
Olivia: Okay. I’m gonna wait. …Let’s get little pieces and roll them into a ball. (They spend a few minutes rolling small balls and compiling them into the cake)
Evelyn: Let’s eat all of it!
Olivia: I feel like we need to do the castle. First let’s put out the candles. Here’s the candles.
Evelyn: Here’s the candles. (she joins in pushing sticks in as candles; they work together)
Olivia: Here’s the candles.
Evelyn: Here’s the candles.
Olivia: Now that’s it, that’s it, that’s it. 1, 2, 3…
(They both blow)
Olivia: (sings) Happy birthday to us!
Continuing our use of the Sewing Machine
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A Police Chat
On Thursday, we'll be getting a visit from a real police officer (a good friend of Gigi's). We decided to discuss this with the children, and ask questions about some things they have been mentioning lately in their dramatic play on the playground. For instance, sometimes the children pretend to use magic wands to defeat bad guys, and other times they take the teachers to jail. Scroll down to read highlights of the conversation.
(Photo on the right: Wolf B and his sister Cedar found a special police officer guarding Buckingham Palace!)