We started our day with a fantastic morning meeting! Ellie shared some photos from her holiday: one of her in a lovely dress in front of a Christmas tree and one of a giraffe. (Which she later told me her mom was feeding lettuce). Ellie had lots of fun visiting her grandparents and great grandparents during the winter vacation! And though there were many other photos, she decided only to share 2 during meeting. Following that, Fletcher's family shared one of their family traditions: going to Ocean Grove beach each summer in August. First they read a book about Ocean Grove. It was a collaborative effort: Stephen held the book and Laura read the text. They also shared photos. Laura went to Ocean Grove as a child and showed photos from her childhood beach visits as well as recent photos of trips with Fletcher and Violet. Fletcher brought the bucket he uses at the beach when he plays in the sand.
Then we got started with our fun day!
One group of students went with Melanie and Jen to the kitchen. With all the dramatic play happening in the classroom kitchen, we decided to start with a simple cooking activity. The children are often making pasta, thus today the small group cooked mac & cheese. Apart from being fun, cooking opens the door to many potential educational concepts: measuring, absorption, temperature, boiling/steam, recipes, menus, health/nutrition, tools, ingredients etc. It will be interesting to follow this thread of learning and see if/how real cooking experiences influence the children's dramatic play.
Part of the experience was spent drawing the dry pasta, the bubbles (from the boiling water), the stove and other ideas that were inspired from the experience. The pasta shells reminded Lane of turtle shells which she drew, Emilia drew a big bowl and a small bowl, Wolf drew the pot of water, and Alexandra drew pasta and the stove.
Of course, the best part was eating it for snack! Grace declared that it was, "yummy!"
In the studio, a few children continued their work with making clay food. Grace made a banana and some banana slices, Palmer set out to make a watermelon but later decided it was actually a pepperoni pizza, and Ada made some watermelon slices with seeds. Once these pieces dry, we will fire them in the kiln.
Today, we were fortunate to have Jim (Grace's dad) spend a bit of time in the classroom. He and Grace collaborated in the studio to make a clay snowman (something that Grace has been wanting to make). Last week, when Grace had thought about making a Santa out of clay she did some brainstorming about what "parts" Santa needed. Grace thought of: his hat, beard, and belt. So today, she and Jim worked to ensure that those items were included. They had a great time working together! Grace was disappointed when Jim had leave. She asked, "But WHY do you have to go to work?!"