The Adventures of Pod B...
(see captions on slideshow)
Conversations while Paint mixing...
Olivia: This is my daddy’s shirt.
Andy: And this is MY daddy’s shirt.
Olivia: Pinkish is the best color, right Andy?
Andy: Yeah. Look what I did.
Olivia: A little bit of yellow. It makes green!
Andy: Light black!
Olivia: How bout I mix pink? Mix, mix, mix. Mix it up. Pinkish… That’s so cool!
Olivia: Now I’ll use yellow. Mix it up into black. Daniel would love this color, he loves black.
Andy and Oliver experimented with weaving at the same time from opposite sides and had a traffic jam in the center! Then, they tried to backtrack, but it created a large unwieldy clump that made further weaving tough. They still prevailed! Later, Olivia and Fletcher had a similar traffic jam, which made us laugh.
Trial and error is a great way to learn about what does/doesn't work in any medium, and weaving is no exception. This is one example of why using materials is such an important part of our curriculum... it allows for a lot of child-driven problem solving!
Adventures in Pod A
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It was a busy and noisy morning in Tucker A! Each of the children worked with hammers, nails, and wood in the studio area. Children discovered how much effort was required to drive and nail into the wood. They also noted the differences in using a shorter nail with a wide head and a longer, thinner nail. Wolf shared his knowledge of tools with his classmates.
Wolf - (Looking at his nail in the wood) It's not exactly straight. (He removes the nail with the hammer.)
Lane - Is that what the back (of the hammer) is for? (A little later.....) Wolf was an expert at hammering.
As the morning progressed, Wolf shared this strategy with Maren and Nora as well.
The construction area is always a popular choice for our children. Yesterday, we added the new and unique materials pictured above. Children quickly proposed uses for these items. As they built today, children developed narratives involving animals and worked through concepts of stability and balance. The group wanted to build a structure that was taller than a teacher: mission accomplished. As always, the area supported collaboration and the formation of relationships.
The Tucker A Pod features a plant area to support children's understanding of the plants that are a part of the birthday gift this year. Nora examined leaves and flowers with the digital microscope today. The noticed the lines running through leaves in the enlarged image.
Jill - Why do you think those lines are there?
Nora - I don't know.
Dakota - Because they growed like that.
Wolf - (Coming over from the construction area) They hold the leaf to the stem. I see it connecting.
Nora - I see the lines. They grew like that.
(She examines a variety of leaves under the the microscope.)
Nora - That leaf has the same thing -- the line.
Jill - Are we noticing that all the leaves have lines?
Nora - Yes! All the leaves have lines. (Looking at another leaf) It has lines, too. This (digital microscope) is like an x-ray. Like an x-ray taking pictures of your tummy. (She looks at another leaf) I'm pointing out that this leaf has a line.
Lane - (Looking at the line) That's part of the stem.
Nora - I think this is a mystery. The mystery is that all leaves have the same lines.
Lane - (Pointing to the center of the enlarged image of a flower) See that part.... it's the necturn. Actually, it's the pollen. The bees get the pollen.
Cannon - (From the sink) Bees get pollen and nectar.
This is an early conversation about leaves and plants and there are certain to be several more. We are eager to hear children's theories and understandings. You'll notice that teachers don't correct children or rush in with our knowledge. Instead, we allow children to construct knowledge in a collaborative manner.
Outdoor Classroom Collaboration
The Tucker B Pod had an hour outside today, which proved to be the perfect environment for making connections and building relationships. At certain points, all five children in attendance were playing and working together. It all started as Fletcher noticed that the sand had been dug to resemble a moat. He asked children to help build a moat and Aida was the first to join in. Then a bridge was suspended over the moat....
Fletcher - I'm afraid it (the bridge) will not hold.....(Indeed, the bridge does hold! Fletcher admires the hole that has been dug.) This is going to be the biggest hole ever!!
Andy - Here's gonna be the river. We're making the biggest moat ever.
Aida brings over a boat.
Oliver - Let's make the stream nice and flat. We can get a tube and put it through there.
Fletcher - We're saved! It (the tube) is too short!
Aida - It looks like they're having fun!
Fletcher - Psssssh, psssssh, turn off the (imaginary) water!
Real water was eventually added as children worked together to create the moat. A good time was had by all!
Happy 4th Birthday, Nora!
Our new friend Nora turned four today! Olivia took the lead on creating a beautiful personalized pot, with assistance from Fletcher and Aida. The creation featured shiny beads attached to the painted plot with wire. We all had delicious cookies and read Aida's favorite story for a fun Friday celebration. Thanks to the committee from Pod B and thanks to Nora's family for making today so special!
Clay: “Score and Slip”
In the studio today, children worked to adhere different pieces of clay together using the “score and slip” technique. A teacher guided them to understand that by scratching up the surface and using watery clay as a ‘glue’, the pieces have a better chance of sticking together in the kiln.
Fletcher continued building up his rocket from yesterday by adding two triangular pieces to the top.
Aida made a house. She poked lots of holes in the surface and said, “Maybe we need more holes in it for it to stick together.” Then she laughed and said, “I’m just joking. I’m just being a jokester because it’s Hop Hop’s birthday.”
First Oliver built a rocket with wings and "boosters". He constructed it very carefully using score and slip. We put it away to dry, and then Oliver heard about Aida’s house and said, “I want to make a house for the mousies.”
Grace’s rocket transformed into a house. She made a window which turned into a door. She wanted to carve it out so the inside would be accessible. “It’s just like carving pumpkins”, she said. Then she saw how dark the inside was and said, “I have an idea - we need a light in there."
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Olivia: We’re going to that mountain! (Sings) We’re riding to the mountain, we’re riding to the mountain.
Fletcher: That’s not a mountain! We’re going to crash! We’re all going to die!!
Olivia: We’re not going to crash - we can stop! Fletcher, we’re going into a tunnel now. You’ll like it. But it’s dark, and you can’t see anything.
Andy: I wonder what’s on the other side?
Olivia: There’s flowers and the train will stop. And there’s flowers. And it will beautiful and there will be a breeze. A beautiful breeze.
Fletcher: We have been in this canyon for hours!
Olivia: Yeah. Is anyone hungry?
Andy: I’m hungry!
Olivia: Okay. Would anyone like a drink or foodie? …Who’s driving the train? No one is driving!
Andy: But you’re the conductor.
Olivia: I’m just teasing. I’m driving.
Fletcher: (sits in conductor chair) My job is to drive the train.
Andy: Oh my gosh! We’re going faster faster faster!
Olivia: I’m going to make some home spaghetti so you calm down. Fletcher can you drive a little bit faster?
Fletcher: I can’t. Too bad I can’t drive faster.
Olivia: There’s no brakes? I see brakes.
Fletcher: We’re going to crash!
Olivia: I know, I know, everyone crashes. We’re in the tunnel. Everyone loves tunnels. They’re so quiet and peaceful. You can hear the music. The ducks quacking in the water.
Lane's Memory Box
(outside of box)
I have a box that has a platypus on it and dogs on it. The platypus has a stinger on its back leg. I has flippers to swim and legs to go on an island where it lays eggs.
Basically everything is attached. I have stars because last night was a full moon. I have tape of things I like: fizzy water, cheesy popcorn is literally my favorite popcorn. I have donuts, strawberry donuts are my favorite. And there’s pizza and a hotdog. The person is me.
Nora's Birthday Committee
In addition to some cool moves on the dance floor, Tucker B also started working on Nora's birthday gift! Classmates generated ideas that would make the personalized pot perfect for Nora. They thought about the colors pink and purple, fancy beads, unicorns and rainbows, and sparkly tape. We're looking forward to the celebration on Friday!
Working with Wire
Both yesterday and today, our group explored wire. Children used tools and thrown strength to cut and bend this material. Children twisted it, wrapped it and made loops, like the lasso shape fashioned by Nora. Children discussed things that they already knew about wire and things they noticed today.
Palmer - It's pointy.
Cannon - It's springy.
Wolf - It shines in the light.
Maren - Does it sparkle in the light?
Wolf - Yes..
Nora - I notice that I could make a snake.
Lane - This wire is SO thin. Me and mom have to get wire. We don't have any.
We also noticed the way children shared ideas as they worked. Cannon and Palmer had previously been playing with animals in construction. They brought some animals over to the wire table.
Palmer - (While twisting) I'm making a gorilla fortress.
Cannon - I'm going to make a lion fortress.
When school closed suddenly last spring, the children were in the process of making a Rainbow Hopscotch game for the Hyde Addison School. Today we revisited this big project by watching a video taken yesterday of Maren and Lane creating hopscotch out of carpet squares. There was enthusiasm both for the work already done and for the possibility of completing the process. Here's the conversation:
Dakota: I saw that they’re helping to make hopscotch. I can see that the carpets are light but they don’t have numbers.
Wolf: They’re not together. (meaning squares aren’t touching)
Lane: You can do them (hopscotch) in different ways. There’s so much ways. When there’s one space (square) we went on one leg and two squares went out (our legs went out).
Nora: Why don’t they have letters?
Palmer: Because hopscotch only has numbers.
(looking at documentation)
Palmer: I see when Wolfie and me and the 1 and the 9 and we were printing out the numbers. Below, that’s Melanie and me playing hopscotch.
Wolf: We used tape to put it together.
Palmer: We used lots and lots of tape.
Brooke: And why were we doing hopscotch?
Cannon: We did it Rainey Room.
Lane: Because we were making one for the school across the street.
Brooke: Do you remember why we started thinking about making a gift for the kids at Hyde Addison? (children are unsure…. Long pause no responses) I’m going to point you to the first picture up there. What are the girls doing?
Brooke: Do you remember how the hopscotch project started?
Lane: Oh yeah, we did chalk.
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Two Baby Birds
On the playground today, Tucker Pod B saw two little baby birds hopping around near the back gate of the neighboring Rectory house. We were so curious about them. We really wanted to feed them, so we looked for worms underground. We also saw a mommy bird nearby. Later (below) Grace drew a picture of the birds and named them.
Grace: I want to sit right here in the control center.
Andy: This is the map where we're going. (he holds up printed photo of the above comet)
Grace: Lifting off now!!
Oliver: Let's blast off. Uh oh, we have to pump the gas.
Grace: Bring us down to normal space!
(As Oliver pumps the gas, Grace loads supplies into the spaceship)
Grace: We have to be prepared for dinner.
Andy: The plane crashed in a rainbow.
Grace: There's a fire on top of it, it's shooting too high. (She puts it out with "fire powers")
Olivia: Would anyone want some tea or no?
Andy: I'm calling UPS. Thirty seconds!
Melanie: Until what?
Olivia: We blast off!
Andy: We're landing!
Oliver: There's a volcano burning down. We're on Saturn.