Small groups went down to Blake Hall to pursue a topic that the children discussed during snack recently: how to catch the rainbow. Digital landscape, collage and drawing were provided to provoke thinking and storytelling. As children contemplated ways of reaching the rainbow, they shared their strategies. Butterflies, cranes, cars, doors, helicopters and ladders are some of the ways they chose to reach the rainbow.
In the classroom, the main area of interest was dramatic play. The children took turns being patients, doctors and parents. There was also a lot of cooking and food preparation in the kitchen.
Later Fletcher informed the group he was "sick" and needed to "lie down and rest." That prompted Grace, Lane and Emilia to spring into action. They took VERY good care of him!
Today, outside, we gave baseball a try!
It was Gigi's school birthday today! Mama Lindsey, Papa Lou, and Bear were there to celebrate.
Then, we gave Gigi her birthday gift. Her birthday committee (Maren, Palmer, Ellie, and Wolf) worked so hard on it, putting feathers, fuzzy balls, stamps, and shells inside.
Gigi walked around the candle 3 times with Bear. She had help from Maren and Cannon when blowing it out!
Later in the day we had a super special snack (that we ate before we got a chance to take a picture... whoops!) We had raspberries, special cheese, milk, and delicious little treats from the bakery. Thank you Lindsey and Louis!
Happy Birthday Gigi!!
We had a great day in the Brown Room! The children worked on creating small, plaster ornaments for Victor as a thank you gift for all he does for the school. Each classroom is responsible for creating a thank you gift for someone and the Brown Room teachers chose Victor because the children know him. Though he usually works at school in the evening, sometimes he comes during the day. Not too long ago, Victor was fixing the platform outside while the children were playing. They watched him work and afterwards would often ask about him. They also know him from a video of when he installed a mirror one evening in the Brown Room. This was our first foray into adding color to the plaster and working on such a small scale. Hopefully some of the ornaments will turn out. We'll see Monday after they have had time to dry.
In addition to playing outside and inside, some children also did drawing in one or both locations. It seems that drawing is a new area of interest for many children. There is substantial research about mark-making and how it evolves into intentional drawing. Around this age, children begin to draw circles and represent their ideas more concretely. For example, today Oliver drew a circle and said, "I draw a hula hoop!" Your child might have brought a drawing home, so be sure and check the red school bag.
Unless it pours, we still plan to meet for a walk to some of the Georgetown Glows installations. So get your gear, grab a roadie and come join! Our meeting place is installation #4: 3276 M St at 5pm. We hope to see you there!
After the birthday committee was finished in the studio, a small group (Ada, Maren, Oliver, Ellie, and Wolf) decided to try out some watercolors. A teacher explained how we would need to share both the water cups and the painting trays. We talked about how to properly use the paint: first dip in the water, then the paint, and finally it goes on your paper. Not only did the children in the small group embrace this process, they seemed proud to share with their peers. In this same spirit of generosity, Oliver realized that Maren had finished up with her watercolor tray and decided to clean it up for her. Each person seemed keen to share what they had made with the teacher and each other.
As we get to know each other at school, we find out what kinds of special interests and abilities each child has. Evelyn lately shows us her hidden talent: She can draw a smiley face! First, she draws a large circle for the face, three small circles for the eyes and nose, and one mouth that consists of curved lines. She then fills it in.
Other work in the classroom...
Outside... We took a ride on the wooden alligator!
See you tomorrow!
As a school we are beginning to explore Family Traditions. Today Jennie and Palmer kicked it off for the Brown Room with baking. Jennie noted, "We love to bake and share our treats. Mommy loves treats and Palmer loves treats but daddy doesn't love treats so much." Today the class baked blueberry muffins. Each child went home with 3 muffins, which they were excited to taste and share with family at home.
The first group was: Palmer, Wolf, Oliver, Ellie and Ada
The second group was: Fletcher, Grace, Lane, Emilia, Alexandra. As we mixed ingredients, Emilia said, "I love blueberries!" Alexandra said to her, "I love blackberries and raspberries and strawberries. I love every fruit I like." As Jennie helped us mix the dry and wet ingredients she commented, "I'm going to be really gentle so it doesn't splash."
At snack we talked about baking and asked if the kids baked at home. Here are some excerpts:
Brooke: Who do you bake with?
Alexandra: Mommy and Daddy!
Wolf: I bake with my sister.
Lane: I bake with my brother.
Brooke: What do you bake?
Lane: Pancakes with blueberries in it.
Wolf: Apple muffins
Fletcher: I bake cookies.
While we played outside, Melanie put muffins into Ziploc bags and put them in the children's red bags. As they got their bags to leave for the day many were VERY excited to see that they had muffins to take home and share. Lane said to Melanie, "Can I have one, Will and Betina and me? And we can eat together at the circle table." She then approached Brooke and said, "I get to share them with Will and Betina and me!" And walking out the door Lane noted, "I'll show Betina my muffins, she'll be so excited."
Family traditions come in many shapes and sizes. It might be a book that you love to read, a song that you sing, an activity that you do, a language you speak and much much more. We welcome you to email teachers if there is something you or your child's caregiver would like to share with the class. It need not be elaborate or involve a product for children to make.
The second group (Fletcher, Alexandra, and Grace) also began with the gems. We studied how big the gems became on the wall.
In both small groups, people were inspired to draw on the papers available on the floor. As Cannon traced one of the gems, he made a circular shape, then commented, "I made a whale!"
Explorations in Wire
(Stories from Yesterday and Today)
Our first forays into wire have prompted the children to apply different techniques and strategies. Here, Gigi uses the wire to help Pink Flamingo, who has an injured leg. Lane uses a plastic tool to wrap the wire around in circles, making a spiral shape, which she then places down. Maren tests the strength of the wire, watching it bounce back numerous times.
Today's group was provided with styrofoam platforms that the wire could puncture, making a tall sculpture.
**Many thanks to Gigi for bringing her ukulele and leading us in a couple songs at the end of our classroom time!**
Thanks also to Lane for bringing in this monster book... we love looking at the pages.
Today the children continued with painting in the studio. It's a very popular activity!
During the teachers' weekly planning meeting this afternoon, one of the topics discussed was how to stretch the children by allowing them opportunities to add paint or other materials to initial pieces. We hope that extending opportunities will allow for the children to build stamina and push past, "I'm done." Both children and adults often feel "done" simply because they don't know what to do next. So stretching beyond that not only builds resilience, it also provides an opportunity to explore complex thinking. Creating a classroom atmosphere the values stamina, focus, and resilience is something that we want to do. It's these life skills that the children will carry forward as learners - and are very necessary given the fast pace of today's world.
The children also looked through their portfolios and chose work to be shared during the parent/teacher conferences.
We look forward to visiting with parents during your conference appointments tomorrow or Friday.
Yesterday we began some work with tempera paint and colorful paper in the studio. Many children were excited to participate, including Alexandra, who made a painting of an "elephant taking a bath". She decided to make another elephant today, along with many other animals. Grace, Evelyn, Lane, Emilia, and Olivia also did some work with painting as you'll see in the slideshow. As you read the conversation, keep in mind that it occurred over the course of an hour or so. Some work time is quieter because the children are focusing, while other times are more chatty.
Light and Color Exploration...
Our class has a new spotlight machine. It can shine all kinds of colors. See how we experimented with shining it on different surfaces today...
Meanwhile... in Dramatic Play...
In the Message center...