Today in Brown Room we only had 7 friends. With the low numbers we were able to ebb and flow between the classroom and studio easily. Below are some highlights:
Cannon was also busy. He announced, "I wanna make a blue cake."
Palmer was working to fill a container and Oliver offered to help him. Oliver added sand and then they got into a rhythm of Palmer adding sand and Oliver working with the bottom of his measuring cup to pat it down.
Evelyn was busy making ice cream, pancakes and many other treats. She used her scoop to level off her container.
Maren took initiative and got a piece of recent work from her portfolio drawer and hung it on our new display.
Maren and Palmer checked out the documentation we will be hanging on our walls:
Maren also took time to review documentation of Wolf's escapades in Kenya. Later, Cannon did as well. Woohoo!
Palmer saw that the excavator across the street was busy at work. He and Oliver watched it for a bit.
Melanie showed the friends some of her art work that she will be displaying at a gallery soon.
If we don't see you tonight at the potluck, have a great weekend!
This week, we introduced sand as a medium for children to make food. Sand is incredibly versatile and can be poured, mixed, scooped, and patted down to fit a child's imaginary play. As teachers, we focused in on the processes used by each child to move and manipulate the sand. Documenting these strategies is important moving forward. Some of these strategies will help inform the next time we cook "real" food in the church kitchen.
Fletcher used a variety of tools to manipulate the sand, include the ice cream scoop, the measuring cup, and a ceramic bowl. He, like Lane, made impressions in the sand using the bottom of the ceramic container. After filling the bowl and dumping it many times, he finally stuck a wooden chopstick in straight up and down. Oliver said, "It's a birthday cake!" and he added a second candle.
Lastly, please enjoy some pictures of our first experience painting on a light table:
As 'work wives,' Melanie and I value the blog. We use it as a form of documentation so that families have insight into our days. However, we are making a shift. Though we will continue to post the blog Tuesday - Friday, we are making a more concerted effort to change and expand the documentation in the Brown Room. As articulated (in the recently shared article) by Carlina Rinaldi in Malaguzzi and the Teachers (1996), documentation, "is a process of reciprocal learning. It makes possible for teachers to sustain the children's learning, while at the same time the teacher learns (learns to teach) from the knowledge building process with the children." This tool is important for children, "documentation supports the memory, offering the child the opportunity to re-read her own process, to find confirmations and denials, and especially to make comparisons with the processes of others." It also provides an opportunity for parents, "to know what not only what their child is doing, but also the how and why, the meaning the child gives to what he does, and the shared meanings with other children." So this afternoon, instead of spending 1-2 hours creating the blog, we have devoted our time to working with Jen and Molly to start some new documentation for the classroom. Reviewing content, printing and creating takes quite a long time!
But we also had a great day with the children!
There was a lot of kitchen/restaurant play in the classroom:
In the studio, the children used sand for baking. They made everything from pizza, ice cream, cake, zucchini, marshmallows and even some imaginary food: topiary grik rumbah seeds.
We celebrated Grace's 3rd birthday today! Grace's mommy and daddy came to share some pictures from her life thus far, including the very day she was born. There was a BIG snowstorm in New York so there were no cars to get to the hospital, so they asked the police officer for a ride. Sarah showed a picture of the police officer that drove her and Jim to the hospital.
After Grace's family shared with us, Grace and Evelyn took a walk around the candle, and our class gave Grace her birthday present!
Grace had requested "branches" to be in her present. If you look carefully below you'll see the sticks added by her birthday committee ( consisting of Alexandra, Emilia, Olivia, and Lane).
Backwards Day fun with animals, dinosaurs and more!
Glazing Our Fired Clay Work
A story from the dollhouse...
A story from the message center...
Have a great weekend everyone :)
Today we made "red sauce" to go with homemade pasta the children created yesterday.
At morning meeting Melanie showed the pasta and an onion and talked about the various steps of the process:
First, we chopped the onion (supervised closely by teachers)...
We found out chopping onions irritates the eyes...!
We opened the tomatoes and mashed them:
Ellie was a champion tomato squeezer....good thing too since Palmer wasn't interested and Cannon didn't love it.
Then it was time to head down to the church kitchen.
We sautéed the onion and some garlic in oil:
We added the tomato sauce and some spices:
We boiled the noodles and drained them:
We conducted a classic test to ensure the pasta was cooked properly:
And then we FINALLY got to eat it for snack:
Then we shared the leftovers with the Tucker Room:
IT WAS SUCH A FUN DAY!!!!!
Today was a really special day for our recent cooking and kitchen related explorations. Jen Azzariti's son Will brought a pasta making machine and helped us make our own homemade linguine pasta. In order to make the noodles, Grace, Fletcher, Lane and Palmer worked hard to knead eggs and flour into dough. Will had some pre-made dough that he put into the machine, then each child in the group had a chance to turn the crank. We were fascinated to see the the dough get flatter and flatter and then finally come out as pasta. Thank you, Will and Jen!
Back in the Brown Room Kitchen...
Alexandra makes a menu using pictures of food. She selects the pictures carefully, only picking "small" ones. When she decides to add the big picture of pasta, she takes a lot of time cutting and ripping the picture until it becomes small enough to fit on the page.
Emilia gets busy in the kitchen right away, setting up a table with lots of available food for whoever is hungry. She makes a variety of food and drink - in particular, coffee, hot dogs, and pasta. "Okay, I'll do the cooking and you can pass out the menus, Ellie." She then hands a drink to Jessica. "This is your drink. It's coffee" she says. She excitedly invites others to join, and offers food to those nearby. "You can have this one Alexandra. Alexandra would you like to come to my menu? Why don't you guys come and sit at my table at my restaurant." She cleans up the table "so people can come".
When Emilia begins to make "coffee", Ellie says "I want to make it with you." Emilia suggests that she be the waiter. Ellie comes over to distribute some food into a bowl. Emilia says, "We're both making little tiny hot dogs."
Alexandra joins the food distribution; she carefully spoons gems from the jar onto the plate.
Today, Marguerite came to share a family tradition from the Clarkson household. Lane calls them, "peanut butter balls," and Marguerite calls them "peanut butter treats." Lane and her family enjoy making these yummy, no bake treats together at home. For today's experience the children were in two groups: one group did the measuring and mixing, while the second group shaped the final products. Lane participated in both groups to lend her expertise and experience, which was evident.
Measuring and Mixing: Lane, Emilia, Fletcher, Alexandra, and Grace
Shaping: Cannon, Gigi, Evelyn, Olivia, Maren and Lane
Some friends snuck a taste during the process!.... everyone enjoyed eating them during snack.
Thanks Marguerite for sharing this family tradition with us!
Hey Dads!.... do you have something you want to share with the class? A family tradition, a book you love to read with your child, or do you just want to spend a bit of extra time with your nugget? We'd love to have you in the Brown Room!
Fourth of July Fun...
We were lucky enough to have a Family Traditions day today with Michelle, Ada's mommy, as our guest. The Donohoe family made a big beautiful poster board full of memories of their past and current 4th of July celebrations. Ada was so proud to show us pictures of herself as a baby, her sisters, her cousins, fireworks, sparklers, swimming, the golf cart, and family art projects. Michelle explained that in Southern MD, the family gathers (14 children and 10 grown ups) to sing 4th of July songs like "Yankee Doodle" and eat a big giant feast. We discussed how loud fireworks can be. Maren said, "I saw fireworks at Cayman." Palmer said, "Sometimes Daniel (tiger) watches fireworks."
Ada and her sisters and her mommy all put together a special treat for us to eat at snack: Rice Krispies with red and blue sprinkles! "It's sticky and yummy" said Ada. Oliver said, "Cheers!" So we pretended to "cheers" our rice krispies.
Michelle and Ada brought "Snaps" (those little tiny firework-esque noisemakers) for us to "pop" inside for a bit. And last but not least, they gifted us a special tool (an adapted toilet paper roll) to make firework paintings... Amazing. Thank you Michelle and Ada for such a special Family Tradition!
Today, the Brown Room children spent time in two groups. Each group got to tour the church kitchen and also take advantage of playing in the classroom with only a few other children. The exploration of the church kitchen was a rich experience! The children thought about that kitchen compared to their own kitchens, explored tools, learned new vocabulary, enjoyed munching on ice and much more!
Group 1: Maren, Ada, Palmer and Olivia
Group 2: Oliver, Ellie, Cannon and Wolf
Tools explored: spatula, whisk, can opener, ice cream scoop, stove, colander, oven, ice maker.
Concepts explored: temperature, colanders/draining water, size and quantity.
(The church has many large kitchen items for preparing large quantities of food.)
In the classroom...
There was some play in the kitchen:
And some painting:
Painting conversations: Cannon, Oliver, Ellie and Wolf
Ellie: I have brown too.
Oliver: I'm putting tower! LOOK AT THE TOWER!
Ellie: I'm building a home, my home. Blue!
Wolf: I was a dinosaur at home. And then Cedar have a bee.
Cannon: Grrr, Rawr, I'm a dinosaur!
Ellie (laughs): Ahh!
Cannon: I hear the church bell.
Oliver: The bell's ringing outside.
Cannon: It's raining.
Oliver: It's snowing.
Wolf: I'm making a big rainbow. Look how big it's getting!
Oliver: The tower's gonna fall. Does the crane help it?
Wolf: My paint getting bigger.