March 12th, 2020
Updates on "The Golden Strawberry" Game
Today, new groups of children brought additional ideas to the game we are inventing. First, they added large golden knobs to be our "golden strawberries"! Then it was time to add to the complexity of the game, including new obstacles and rules.
Palmer: (examining the dreidel) If you get this symbol, you get burned. (picks up the sand timer) You get five seconds to play the game!
Grace: First, you eat the golden strawberry. Next... (she places a sticker down with the letter C printed several times) Travel to the C's. There's lava this whole way.
Palmer: You get five turns. This is the lava, right Grace?
(Together, they are arranging dominoes as the "lava")
Grace: They all have to be in the same spot...
Palmer: We have to put them in order.
(More game pieces are being attached, including orange and green collage materials)
Palmer: (examining dice) If you get 6, you go to the orange peach, and the tiger eats you up!
"We Love This Long, Long, Long Thing." -Olivia
In construction, we've still been using our chart to make sure that a larger variety of people are getting a turn in construction. Olivia and Evelyn worked together creating a long bridge that went from their small village ALL the way across to the wall.
Olivia: "We can do it all the way to that house, right? It's a bridge and a road. People can walk on it. Animals can walk on it."
DIY Rainbow Scratch Art! ...continued
With that friends, we'd like to wish you a very HAPPY spring break. We'll miss you, and we hope you stay healthy and safe during the next couple weeks.
For Parents: We had some ideas of ways to keep your children engaged if you're having a stay-cation. (Feel free to try these out, but they're not homework, so don't feel obligated)
March 11th, 2020
Just a few small stories from our time outside for Backwards Day:
Cannon and Lane played eagles. They built a nest, added eggs and then fed the babies as good parents do.
Olivia led friends in an Elsa (from Frozen!) game. There was dramatic singing, running and lots of fun! Many friends were involved and her excitement sparked enthusiasm from her peers.
The swing is always fun too!
Later in the classroom.... A Hopscotch How-To Guide
Ellie, Maren, Grace and Palmer went to the atelier to work on the instructions for the hopscotch game that is going to be gifted to the Hyde Addison children. In addition to adding details to how to play, they created instructional illustrations of hopping on the squares.
Here are the original instructions that the group was revising today:
Today's instructions had more detail:
"You have to throw the bean bag on one number on the board.
Then you jump to it: one foot, two foot, one foot, two foot.
You have to go to the finish line, turn around, then when it's your number you pick it (the bean bag) up.
If the bean bag lands somewhere that's not the finish line you still have to jump to the finish line."
Maren drew two illustrations: the first showed how to hop on one foot. First she drew the hopscotch but then she realized that the start of her hopscotch was at the end of the paper. She asked, "Where's there space?" To solve this problem she added a paper overlapping with her first and drew the person.
Grace drew a bird's eye view of how feet land on the squares. It was important to her that the feet were in shoes (because you play the game outside) and that she shoes were the same, or else "It would be mismatched and be confusing. And someone will forget if it's the same person". She used a thumb to help her draw. "I need someone's thumb. So I can make it look like a foot."
And finally, some info about a brand NEW area in the classroom... Creating a Board Game
March 10th, 2020
The Hopscotch Painting is Coming Along!
We are testing out different strategies to complete each square. There has been lots of progress, but some problems have appeared. Some squares are filled in with a solid color, while some have numbers. Some numbers face different directions, and some are very small. With each obstacle, we keep finding creative solutions. More to come later in the week.
Other great moments from our day,
including areas like the restaurant, the Wire/beads table, and a special "Rainbow Scratch Art" station...
March 05th, 2020
Crowns for the Royal Banquet
Children created these beautiful crowns for us to wear while we are pretending to be kings, queen, princesses, and knights at the restaurant area in dramatic play.
Day 1 of Painting the Hopscotch
Some quotes from today:
Emilia: On the squares outside they can be rainbow, and inside they can be striped rainbow.
Palmer: But we’ll have to paint straight lines. Do you wanna paint faces on the hopscotch?
(From a nearby shelf he gets out some googly eyes)
Emilia: YEAH! That’s a good idea Palmer.
(Delegating painting jobs)
Emilia: I’ll do on the outline.
Palmer: I’ll do the in-line.
(Delegating paint mixing jobs)
Emilia: I’ll be pink.
Palmer: I’ll be blue.
Gigi: I’ll be green.
Brooke: Let’s make sure not to fill up the jars with too much paint, because it might spill out.
Emilia: Yeah... If people were doing colors there, there, there, there (pointing all around the room)… And it was all the way up to the top, and then they were twirling, then putting it onto the ground, it would make a BIG MESS!
Brooke: What color should we start with?
Grace: Green. Because I think it looks beautiful.
Evelyn: Pink. Because it’s my favorite color.
Fletcher: Maybe white?
Fletcher: (looking at the thick paint texture) This looks like icing.
Ellie: Mine too.
(Evelyn begins with pink on square #1... the other three are watching)
Ellie: We can’t see it. Spread it a little more.
Brooke: Hmm, what do you guys think?
Grace: Bad. You can’t see it. Wipe it off.
(Brooke reassures them we can paint over it if there are any errors)
Brooke: If it's too small, what will we do next time?
Fletcher: Make it bigger.
Grace: I have a great, great idea. We can try to make that line, and then it can be a bigger number.
(Evelyn paints a horizontal line at the bottom of number 1. Then she slowly, carefully follows the pen line to make the surrounding square pink, too. The group watches.)
Fletcher: It looks FANTASTIC!
With the lovely weather, the Rainey Room couldn't help but enjoy a long backwards day! It started off with a discussion at morning meeting about taking a break from the magic wands and being careful about things we say and do during play. Following that, Granny J, Gigi's grandma, read a story entitled Vincent Comes Home. Thanks Granny J! Safe travels as you head back home to the west coast!
There was TONS of fun play outside this morning: building, animals, swinging, taking care of an orangutan, and much more.
During one play sequence Palmer, Oliver and Wolf B pretended to be firefighters:
Palmer: The fence fell down and the bricks fell down and the fire came out of the hole.
Oliver: The fire was in the tree and all the way up to the bell tower.
Wolf B: There was A LOT of fire.
Palmer: See that house there?....it was on fire too.
Oliver: There's fire! Get on the hoses!
Palmer: There's a fire at the warehouse.
There was also hopscotch work! The original hopscotch idea formed outside one day when the children were drawing with sidewalk chalk. Today the work continued outside. Melanie and Jen worked with various children to trace the carpet hopscotch squares onto the canvas. It was a BIG project and took about an hour.
Wolf M: "Everyone can do it, even the dinosaurs."
Grace: "It's a tricky game... you can try to hop over without stepping in the hot lava."
Hammer and Nails
This week the children are having their first experiences working with hammers and nails. It's been fantastic to try something new! They are learning about techniques: holding the nail until it's firm in the wood, gripping the hammer higher up as a way to have more control, and also concepts about force. Teachers have noticed that despite using lighter weight hammers, the children get physically tired doing this work. While some children seem to have a clearly established dominant hand, others use the hammer in both.
Earlier in the week Ellie noted: When I see someone building outside of my house they use hammers and they use nails."
As Gigi tested her nail she commented: I'm checking if it wiggles.
Later she shared: It's ok if you miss. (don't hit the nail)
As different groups of children tried this experience we talked about how, like most things, using a hammer is something that improves with practice and time. At first it might seem challenging but it's important to keep trying.
Today Wolf M said to Emilia: My hammer makes a different noise than yours.
Emilia replied: Let me hear. (She walked to his end of the table to get a good listen.) Then she said: Mine makes the same noise. Listen.
March 03rd, 2020
Next Phase of Hopscotch: Transposing it onto Canvas
The teachers have been doing some tinkering behind-the-scenes of the hopscotch project! We have realized that in order to realistically give this gift, it has to be easily portable. At meeting today, we proposed a solution to the children: a large canvas onto which we can re-create the hopscotch game with paint.
When we used the word "neighbors" in discussing Hyde-Addison, Grace was confused, insisting that they're not our actual neighbor since they're not next door (to our left or right). Gigi gave her perspective: "Some neighbors are next to our house, and some are across the street."
In the studio, we took Palmer's suggestion from last week: "Un-tape it." Then we moved every single number onto the canvas. It took one hour and six minutes to get every single number in the right order and correct pattern! But we DID IT!
Melanie: How are we going to remember where the numbers go?
Palmer: We'll go in order! One, two, three...
Olivia: We have numbers here to protect us. And we could draw it on there.
Melanie: It’s starting to get confusing, isn’t it? Lots of numbers over there.
Palmer: And they’re not putting it in the right order. They’re putting three on one??
(He looks at the jumbled numbers)
Palmer: One, two... twelve, four, seven?? HAH!!
Grace: (revisiting morning meeting) Now I understand why. Gigi's plan is my plan.
Melanie: That they're our neighbors?
Grace: (nodding) But we don't know them.
Melanie: Right, we have to introduce ourselves.
Maren: They are still our neighbors but we do not know them.
Grace: (looking down at the numbers, still jumbled) That's not how hopscotch goes.
Grace and Maren repeatedly jump on the hopscotch game while counting 1,2,3, etc. It becomes apparent putting numbers 11 through 19 is way harder than the single digit numbers. This is completely age-appropriate, but it does put an obstacle in our way. We'll have to get resourceful in order to complete sequence - we begin using a number line.
Melanie: Does 13 really come after 8?
Gigi: I think it comes after 14.
Grace: Eleven comes after nine.
Maren: But we have no more room! (She independently shifts all numbers down to create more room) What about this?
Melanie: (Reading it) One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve ... fourteen?
Lane: ..... THIRTEEN.
Maren: Thirteen is a 2 and a 3.
Lane: It's a 1 and a 2.
Emilia: It's this one. (She picks up number 15)
Ellie: It's a one and a five.
(We look at the number line)
Melanie: (pointing at phone screen while reading) Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen.
Emilia: The 3 and 1?
(They leap into action)
Maren: FOUND IT.
(We move onto 14, looking carefully at the number line)
Lane: FOUR AND A ONE, I FOUND IT.
(As we progress, new group members are continually joining while others leave for a new plan. Fletcher and Evelyn arrive and help diagnose the problems in our numbers)
Fletcher: One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen.... SIXTEEN!
(He's able to put the numbers in order without any problem, but forgets the pattern of two squares, one square. Gigi notices the problem as she hops across three squares in a single column.)
Gigi: There's one, one, one. I hopped for one, one, one. One foot.
(Fletcher notices a similar problem as he hops)
Fletcher: WAIT A MINUTE! It's supposed to do 1, 2, 1, 2.
Evelyn: WAIT A SECOND! Uh ohhhhh. Where is that silly number?
(Evelyn tries putting 13, 14, and 15 in a horizontal row.)
Gigi: There's one in the middle.
Evelyn: I see the problem. We need more numbers.
(We rearrange the pattern so that it's back to normal, but 15 still winds up in the wrong spot)
Fletcher: No, that's not supposed to be it.
He quickly rearranges the numbers into the correct order, maintaining the pattern! It's finally finished.
ALSO: We have officially let Hyde-Addison know we want to meet up with them. Children helped write the email! (Ellie also helped but isn't pictured here!)
Hammers and Nails!
More on this to come soon.