March 11th, 2021
Beautiful Backwards Day (slideshow below)
The children have been giving putting the plastic animals on the swing outside and giving them a ride. Based on this, we put out materials to give the animals some amusement park-like experiences. Before school, a “tent,” some spinners, and “balance beams” were set up in the outdoor classroom. This was the reaction as the children entered the outdoor classroom:
Gigi - Cool chameleons!
Cannon - This is amazing!
Lane - My thoughts exactly!
The children identified ways that they could improve upon the various set-ups. For example, perhaps the tent could be bigger. This process required a great deal of trial and error, negotiation, and problem solving.
Lane - We don’t fit. Let’s make the tent bigger.
Palmer - I can do it.
Cannon and Palmer initially try to dig a hole in which to prop up the shovels, which could then be used as supports for the tent.
Cannon - I can dig the hole.
Lane - If you work together, you can make it work better.
Unfortunately, it was hard to dig in the ground.
Lane - I think it would work better if you were digging in he sand.
Instead of digging a hole, we quickly decided to prop the shovels into hollow blocks. This worked well, and the children were able to fit inside.
The animals spent time on the spinners and the balance beam.
Lane - I want to do a circus. It will tyrannosauruses.
Gigi - And dogs?
Lane - Yes, how did you know what I was thinking. You’re so smart.
Changes to the Indoor environment
Our light table has been used in the construction area to create woodsy habitats for Baby Yoda and other creatures. Today, we had a new, larger light table added to the construction space. Animal adventures continued there. We also added magnetic building materials on our small side table. Nora was the first to explore this space with her two horses. Cannon soon joined her.
Cannon - Nora, can you share the horses?
Nora - Sure, you can have the mama horse.
Cannon - I’ll build a pen. It has to be a bigger pen. My horse has a cold. No one can find my horse in his invisible pen.
The horse’s head was taller than the initial building. Cannon solved this problem by building a turret for the head. He then patched any cracks in his structure with other magnetic blocks, so his horse wouldn’t be cold.
Each child spent some time with these magnetic building materials. Nora and Palmer built tall towers. Lane and Gig built smaller animal enclosures with removable roofs. One of Lanes structures was like a pyramid. As she lowered the triangle sides she said, “These bedrooms can open like a little flower blooming.”
Rachel is out of town for her brother’s wedding. We were thrilled to have Helen to work, play, and read with us today. Thanks, Helen!
Pajama Project Update
The group had a wonderful discussion about the pajama project this morning. The children were calm and thoughtful, even when they were disagreeing with each other. The tone was respectful and it was wonderful that the 2 children with dissenting opinions felt comfortable sharing their ideas and being heard. The conversation is long but worth reading.
First, we read back parts of our previous conversation about the children’s work. (Posted earlier this week). We reminded the children of how Olivia had said, “I think Aida’s is the smartest. That’s the only thing we made.” We also reminded them that both Andy and Oliver had liked her drawing because they both like space and want to go there.
Then we pulled out the children’s most recent work. In small groups we had discussed how to narrow down the choices and eventually each child chose one idea to represent. Of the 8 children in the group, 4 (Oliver, Grace, Olivia and Andy) had chosen to draw their own version Aida’s mobile/solar system idea. Seeing the 5 different interpretations of the same idea helped the children realize that it was probably the most popular with the group.
Brooke: Are we leaning towards one idea?
Grace: We’re leaning towards, I think, the planets because look (she counts the planet drawings) one two three four five.
(We narrow down the choices to the 5 representations of the mobile.)
Melanie: They’re all very special, but different they’re different, right?
Brooke: So how do we choose just one?
Grace: It doesn’t matter to me if it looks like my drawing. I just want like the planets on there.
Maren: It doesn’t matter, they’re all the same thing so if we just pick one then we can go with that one because they’re all the same thing. It doesn’t matter they’re all the same (idea).
Dakota: Let’s do Aida’s because everybody liked it.
Melanie: Do we all still like it?
Grace: I really like it.
Dakota: Me too.
Maren: Me too.
Brooke: So are we in agreement that this is the design we want to use for the pajamas.
(Some friends say yes)
Olivia: Well I think this one’s good. (gesturing to Andy’s)
Grace: I like Aida’s.
Maren: Me too, I like Aida’s.
Melanie: Well let’s hear from some other people because I don’t know if we’ve heard everybody’s input yet.
Brooke: So Olivia, why are you liking this one?
Olivia: Because I love to do circles and I like do something in the middle.
We then asked other children who we hadn’t heard from, which one they preferred.
Aida: I kinda like this one (Olivia’s) because I like to do stuff like that: circles and the smiley faces.
Oliver: Andy’s. I have a space book which has the galaxy.
Olivia: Why does everyone choose Aida’s?
Brooke: Well they gave their reasons. We all did. So that’s Fletcher, Maren, Andy, Dakota and Grace that choose Aida’s. 5 friends. Is 5 enough? Or does it need to be everybody?
Aida: It needs to be everybody.
Grace: Maybe 6 people?
Brooke: Aida,would you be ok with yours being on the pajamas?
Brooke: Oliver would you be ok with Aida’s being on the pajamas?
Oliver: Uh, no.
Brooke: Ok. Olivia, would you be ok with Aida’s being on the pajamas?
Melanie: How are we going to decide?
Dakota: I think we should shrink them all small and then they stay together and we could put all 3 of them.
Melanie: Is there a way to make all 3 drawings come together in some way?
Dakota: Like what if we put the faces (from Olivia’s) next to the sun (both Andy’s and Aida’s have suns)
Olivia: I think we could just use both of these (hers and Andy’s).
Grace: No, but what about Aida’s idea? I don’t agree with (just) those two.
Olivia: I think we could put this altogether.
Melanie: Which parts are the most important to keep from each drawing? On the computer there are ways to cut and paste and put them together.
Brooke: So then what we can do tomorrow is get these on the computer and do some experimenting to figure out how we want to put these 3 together.
Half of the class was able to have a turn trying out screen printing today. We decided to try it so that the children would have a better understanding of how the pajamas will eventually be made. This is a new technique for us but thankfully Melanie has had some experience with it. During Morning Meeting, Melanie showed a test run she had done yesterday afternoon. The children could choose to print on a piece of fabric (which later we can sew into pillows) or on a tote bag. We will continue to use the screen printing technique tomorrow and into next week as well.
Thanks to Laura for being the Mystery Reader today! We are excited to announce that beginning after Spring Break, the Mystery Reader will be able to read to us in person outside!
We couldn't go out to the playground at our scheduled time because a team was here delivering new mulch and sand. Instead, Grace taught us a game called Stick in the Mud and we played it on the front lawn.
At the very end of the day we went to check out the playground. The children were impressed:
Olivia: It's more fluffier! (the new sand)
Maren: This is like a new playground!
Fletcher: It's like magic!
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