It has been a fantastic week here in Tucker. Everyone has been engaged in all areas of the classroom. Our night research has expanded and now includes: night, stars, planets, orbiting, the sun, aliens, and more. We have so much work around this to share with you, and we ask that you're patient as we transcribe and gather all of their drawings and quotes. It really is very exciting all of the amazing things that are happening!
We introduced digital drawing this week, and it was A HIT! The children are so enthusiastic about the process. There is a learning curve to using the technology and tools, but they've quickly moved on to teaching each other how to do it.
Getting started on a paper mache volcano (to scare the rats)
Here are our projections and a few sneak peeks into our week! The blog will be minimal this week as we have interim phone calls each afternoon.
It's a busy week full of birthday committees (Sylvie, Marley, and St. John's), expanding our ideas about night/the night sky/planets/orbiting, etc. We will update you later in the week with some photos and look forward to returning to our usual blogging schedule next week.
Our Chapel Candle Lighters
Building a trap and playing the "family / monster" game
Establishing the characters for the "family / monster" game and drawing them: kitty, doggy, mom, baby, monster
"I'm a cake!" -Reed ... Reed bakes in the oven, later Audrey also becomes a cake and Reed and Lucia add the icing!
Nora and Giacomo' continuing search for evidence of rats, and "they are this big ..."
Making pop-ups, drawing BIG at the easel, weaving at the light table, and pop-up shadow play
Happy Weekend Everyone!
A conversation about stars and the moon:
A small group conversation about constellations:
Happy Birthday, Elyse!
Here are our projections for the week and a few photos from today's work!
There will be more to come on Thursday and Friday of this week in terms of blogs!
St. John's Watercolors
Jack has been asking about Valentine's Day alllll week! He even asked if he could mark it on our calendar! The other children caught on, and they asked if we could make Valentine's messages. So, the studio table and message center table came together today for one big Valentine's fest!
Other things around the classroom
It has been a busy and fun filled week in Tucker. Brigitte brought in some osage oranges, which we found out can be boiled down to glue! The children also figured out that they could squish them to make glue. Maxon and Nora also did an observational watercolor of the osage orange. Marley did a beautiful flower painting at the easel earlier this week as well. We also experimented with drawing on graph paper which offers a variety of possibilities and challenges.
Surprises and Clay
There were a few surprises awaiting the children today!
Before the winter break, and especially in these few days after, we have been paying extra close attention to the work happening in the black and white areas. As teachers (plus a lot of observation from Jen this week), we have been questioning whether or not we needed to make adjustments to the space, materials, challenges being offered, additional provocation materials added to the space, etc. With all of our own observations and questions in mind, we decided to bring it to the children at morning meeting on Wednesday. We were wondering how they were feeling about the space and materials. Did they think there was anything that should be changed or adjusted.
I started by telling them a few of mine and Jen's observations:
1. Sometimes it feels like there isn't much room for you all to move around.
2. We've noticed that it can be difficult to get some of the materials to balance for building.
3. We've noticed that a lot of the structures are only made out of these [bed risers].
"I feel that it is big." - Nora, 5.3 years
"No, it's not big enough." - Lochie and Reed simultaneousy
"It's a little bit big, but a little bit small." - Lochie, 5.2 years
"It's too small." - Jack and CC
"It looks small..."- Lucia, 4.7 years
"But it's not." - Maxon, 4.10 years
"It's not the same because the white area is bigger, and the black area is small." - Elle, 5.0 years
"We need to spread it out." - Jack, 5.7 years
In order to achieve a larger space in the white area, we had to move the nugget and cozy corner. So, we switched it with the blue table. We will continue to observe and analyze the movement and flow of our classroom and collaborate with the children to work out any kinks we may find.
The all-school Birthday calendar
Another surprise for today was the "completion" of the all-school birthday calendar! A big thank you to Jen, Ines, and Elena for their hard work to make this happen! I promise to get you more dialogue around this from our visit, but it will be tomorrow or next week! We also added St. John's to our classroom birthday calendar!
Clay with Brigitte
Based on the children's work with wire, beads, and paper beads, we initially invited them to make clay beads that they could use for jewelry making. These children love clay, and there was so much meaningful work that happened beyond creating some beautiful clay beads.
"I made mine like I made the paper beads." - Lochie, 5.2 years
"I made a triangle bead." - Elle, 5.0 years
"I made mine like a cinnamon roll." - George, 4.6 years
"I love cinnamon rolls. I have them at my house. The icing is yummy!" - Elle
"It's a holy leaf." - Violet, 4.8 years
"It looked like a caterpillar ate through it." - George
I"m making a pepperoni pizza bread." - George
"I made a straight line with wings." - Lochie
"I made Brigitte." - Violet
"I made a snowman." - George
"I made a sea star and couch." - Elle
As we always do, we had to wait for the clay to dry before they could glaze it. But, on Wednesday George, Violet, Elle, and Lochie spent time glazing their clay creations.
On Thursday, Brigitte once again invited children to the studio for clay, but this time it was our white clay. They were very busy making baguettes and other bread creations.
"Baguette, I"m making a baguette. I"m cutting my baguette." - Reed
"We need more baguette. I'm making some baguette. Can we put all of our baguettes together. Who's going to bake my baguette?" - CC
"I'm making an oven." - Audrey
"I'm making an apple crisp." - Nora
"When I'm done making my baguette, I'm making a baguette cake." - Reed, 4.9 years
"I'm making a baguette cake with a birthday candle." - Audrey, 4.9 years
"I made a baguette cake." - Giacomo, 5.1 years
"During bread week on the Great baking show, they made a square break out of circles. That's what I'm doing." - Lochie, 5.2 years
"I want to make a design on my clay." - Marley, 4.11 years
Marley's idea led to quite a bit of print making on small clay slabs and other sculptures. Their work was thoughtful, intentional, and you can see the contamination of ideas (specifically with the baguettes).
St. John's is turning 25
Back in September, as we began to discuss and revisit the idea of birthday committees and celebrations, the idea of St. John's having a birthday was brought up. The children had some initial thoughts, and we took a trip out to the clay number line to figure out just how old St. John's is.
"Every year somebody has to have a birthday." - Jack, 5.3 years
"Birthdays are only for growing, but buildings don't grow." - Giacomo, 4.9 years
"If you want a building to grow, then you'd have to build it." - Jack
"You don't really grow because when you get to old, you start to shrink." - Jack
"You start getting lower again." - Lochie, 4.11 years
Going to the number line answered a few questions for us:
How many numbers are there?
"24. There's 24." - CC, 4.11 year
So, how old is the school?
"24." - Maxon,
"That's not what I thinked. I thought it was more old than that." - Lochie
So, how old is it going to be?
"25." - George,
As we approach the school's birthday, all classes are beginning to explore the school's birthday: what does it mean?; how old will it be?; how will we celebrate?; what gift(s) will we give?; etc.
After reflecting on our previous conversations from September, we decided to start the conversation by revisiting the age of the school.
During morning meeting, a conversation was started about the school's birthday and age:
“Because it’s been here for lots and lots of years.” - Lochie, 5.2 years
Do you know how many years it’s been here?
“Nope.” - Lochie
“So it must be uh, 25.” - Lochie
How should we celebrate St. John’s birthday?
“I think we should make something for it. Like, make something for it like a present.” - Lochie, 5.2 years
“Like something yummy. Like a cake.” - Jack, 5.7 years
“Schools don’t eat cake.” - Lochie
Schools don’t eat cake, but could the people in the school eat cake?
“Yeah, I think.” - Lochie
“Well, if St. John’s is not alive, why does she have a birthday?” - Elle, 5.0 years
“Well, we already asked that, and because St. John’s has a birthday, is because it has been here for hundreds of years. Because it’s so old. Because it was built, and then it stayed there for that day, and this day, and then another day, and then another day, and then another day, and then another day, and then another day.” - Lochie, 5.2 years
How can St. John’s have a birthday if it’s not alive? Does anyone else have an idea?
“I kind of think the same thing as Lochie. It has been here for millions of years, but they put numbers up so that we don’t have to celebrate anything. They put numbers on the stairs; have you seen that? Why the numbers are there is so that we don’t have to celebrate the school’s birthday because it’s not living. Like I was saying, we just put numbers on the wall, clay numbers, so that everyone doesn’t have to celebrate St. John’s birthday because St. John’s is not a person.” - Jack, 5.7 years
Well, that brings me to another question. Can you celebrate birthdays for something that is not a person?
“Yes. Like animals. My dog has birthdays.” - Elle, 5.0 years
If we were going to celebrate St. John’s birthday, how would we do that?
“I don’t know.” - Jack, 5.7 years
“I don’t know, maybe giving it a present.” - Lochie, 5.2 years
“Like a toy.” - Janie, 4.11 years
“He does not play with toys.” - Elle, 5.0 years
“It’s a her.” - Lochie
Do you guys want to give St. John’s a gift? - Molly
“We can give it clothes.” - Elle
“It would have to be giant.” - Lochie
How big would they have to be?
“Like bigger than the school because it would have to fit onto the school, but we can’t do it that big.” - Lochie
Giacomo talking about St. John’s birthday with Elyse:
“You know how normal kids have birthdays with cakes or other sweets? Will the school have them too?” - Giacomo, 5.1 years
Well, we get to plan the celebration. Tucker, Brown, Rainey, and KW. So, do you think we should have something sweet? - Elyse
“Yes.” - Giacomo
Where are we going to get it from?
“I could buy one from Whole Foods, and I could bring it here, and that could be the treat.” - Giacomo, 5.1 years
What kind of sweet would you buy?
"There’s cakes, cupcakes, mini cupcakes, and a lot of other stuff. I can tell my mom if we can do that.” - Giacomo, 5.1 years
Well, we have to make a plan all together. So, we can take your ideas and share it with Tucker, Rainey, Brown Room, Molly and Audrey, and maybe we can all decide together.
The number line continues
After spending some time looking at the clay number line in the hallway, Giacomo, Maxon, and Lucia worked at the low table with our loose parts, block numbers, number stickers, etc. Giacomo quickly began the process of creating a number line using only the materials. Maxon then added the stickers to indicate the number of materials in each grouping. Lucia then pulled out the rulers to measure how long the new number line would be.
Every year, we have work from the children underneath their official school photos which hang above the mailboxes in our "post office". The work from each class is unique and a wonderful opportunity to work on something "mini".
Top [L to R]: Jane, Giacomo, Nora
2nd row: CC, Maxon, Audrey
3rd row: Violet, Jack, Elle
4th row: George, Lucia, Marley
The tallest structures
We've also had some incredibly tall structures happening in Tucker Room. The children love the opportunity to use the ladder, which they do with incredible confidence, ease, and attention to safety. These structure require a lot of focus on stability and carefully placing the pieces! We also had to rebuild them a few times, but there was a lot of joy in both watching them fall and building them back up.