We are going to miss all of you so much over these next few weeks, but we appreciate everyone's cooperation and understanding. We hope that we can send you some inspiration for the coming days; ideas for provocations, ways to extend our work in the classroom, things to think about while we're apart, etc.
For now, here are some photos from our work today (and a few from this week):
What is documentation?
"You could look at that [photo] while you're drawing it." - Jack
We've been focusing on drawing quite a bit in the past few weeks. We've been employing new techniques to really get the children to stop, observe, and think about their work. Jen suggested using your first two fingers (pointer and middle) to trace around the shape of an object/illustration before drawing. We've been drawing their attention to colors, shapes they see, how things might move, what are the individual components of the thing they are drawing (e.g. Where do you sit on the boat? How does the tiger smell?). While it can be tempting to "do it for them" or "show them how to do it" or even "model it", we take a step back and encourage them to observe and try, always reminding them that they can do more than one drawing.
Light and Shadow
"Spring breeeeeeak!!!!" - Brown Room
Now, for some ideas for spring break:
**This is not homework! Just some suggestions for avoiding cabin fever.**
1. Draw pictures of your friends (St. John's or otherwise). The children that attended on Thursday received a hard copy of the contact sheet. The photo is below for all others.
2. Still life drawings are an excellent way to stop and observe the details of an object.
Some ideas: plants, flowers, trees, toys, animals, houses, siblings, parents, your neighbors house, etc.
"I'm going to draw a lion, zebra, crocodile, and elephant." - Reed (at snack)
3. "If we drew a map, what would we draw? What do we need on our map?"
Mapping your house, or path through the neighborhood is a fun and interesting way to get the children to think about how and why we use maps.
4. Mapping your house/path to the store can also be done with other materials: string, twine, yarn, paper strips, rulers, etc.
5. Like drawing, painting can be done outside, on the ground/floor, at the table, or an easel if it's available.
6. Have them document their play/work or their siblings work/play.
They love to take photos of their work at school, and the work of their friends. Have them revisit the photos/videos and engage in conversation about what they were thinking about in that moment, or what they were doing in the photograph.
7. How can they/we keep in contact with our friends, grandparents, family members while we're at home? Can we send messages, make phone calls, FaceTime, etc.?
Messages can be made with collage materials, drawing materials, natural materials from outside, etc. A little glue, markers, colored pencils, crayons, pens, etc. can go a long way!
8. Get outside as much as possible!
Fresh air, grass, sticks, rocks, and dirt are all wonderful open ended materials! Well, I suppose air isn't a material we can use to create...or is it? You can use sticks to draw in the dirt, or leaves, rocks, grass, and dirt to make a collage (no glue necessary).
9. Continue reading the blog with your child. Revisit the work we've been doing as a class, and take note of any thoughts, memories, theories, or new ideas they have about the work.
10. Document any experiences you have during this time: people that visit, places you go, things you do at home, things you might eat, books you read, etc.
Again, drawing, painting, photography, videography, etc. can all be great tools for documenting your spring break!
A Birthday Celebration for Reed!
Lochie joined morning meeting to present Reed her flamingo inspired birthday gift that he worked so hard to help make.
Opening the Gift: The anticipation...!
Walking Around and Blowing Out the Candle: Wait for it...
The Birthday Calendar: Who else still has a birthday to celebrate?
Supporting and Developing the Language of Drawing
Inspiring each other with our ideas:
"Do you want some cookies?" -Maxon
Maxon decided to play pretend that there was a party. In his dramatic play scenario he prepared waffles and blueberry cookies. Eventually Marley joined him. Together they were exhibiting thoughtfulness and hospitality to their friends who were drawing as they offered and served them cookies.
After we finished looking closely at the animals in the book, Maxon walked around the candle three times for his three years, before he blew it out! He smiled sweetly as Lochie lead the group in "Happy Birthday"!
Elaborate, shadow structures
George, Giacomo, and Jack worked for quite some time on this elaborate structure. The overhead projector added the elements of light and shadow.
"Can you see me?" - Giacomo
Animals from Jecca's Childhood
Jecca and her mom (from afar) worked to put together a slideshow featuring
the wild variety of animals that Jecca knew and loved while growing up in Kenya.
Thank you, Jecca!
Lion in the Swahili language is simba.
"Smell it!" -Maxon
Today, we wanted to take a moment to gauge what the children have been thinking about with all of the maps we've been exploring, making, pinning, and using. Sylvie observed yesterday, "There are so many maps." But what does this mean? What does a map mean to them? How do they think about them? What do they notice when they look at it? What can we do with it? What would we put on a map?
Sylvie and her mom brought in a wonderful book that really sparked conversation about this at morning meeting. We also took a minute to pin some more of their houses on our current maps, and revisited our conversation (specifically from yesterday) about how we need different maps to see different things.
The children have been drawing maps, unprompted by us, and they mention bridges, Cedar in Kenya, and other related concepts/ideas. We really want to take some time to gather information from them (and eventually, but always, you guys) about where we are in this journey.
A quick look at yesterday
Back to our regularly scheduled program (Today)
We asked them to take some time to notice this map. What colors do you see? Lines? What might the colors represent? etc. There was a corresponding color palette, and we offered them the opportunity to paint with the map.
"The blue is water. No, not water. Only pretend water." - Jack
"Yeah, because look [points to map], it's not these water." - Giacomo
"It's not coming down. And do you notice those orange dots? And orange is my favorite color." - Jack
Sylvie and Cedar also asked to paint with the map
"What do you notice?" "What do you see?" "What shapes/colors do you see?"
"What are you thinking about [while observing]?" "What is the tallest/shortest/widest thing you see?"
"How could you draw [insert thing they noticed] "Which tool [pencil, pen, marker, etc.] do you need to draw it?"