"It goes really fast. You have to mix it." -Maxon
What color is the mango?
What color do you think the mango is on the inside?
"Yellow." -Audrey "Pink." -C.C. "Yellow." Jane.
ALL FED AND READY TO FEND OFF "THE CROCODILES"
Photos of Cedar in Kenya
Conversation while viewing the photos:
"Penguins don’t live in Kenya. They live in A… (Antartica?) They live on ice… They don’t live on grass." -Giacomo
"They don’t live in Kenya." - Reed
"They come out in winter." -Jack
"We need something to get to Kenya." -Giacomo
Giacomo determined that a bridge needed to be built in order to get to Kenya and Cedar. Lochie and Giacomo shared this theory earlier on in our current investigation of "Cedar in Kenya," but many children are invested in it.
Tucker Room friends take interest: What are they doing?
To be continued...
"How will Cedar's package get to Kenya? Do you remember your theory? Your idea?"
Today, we wanted to offer the children an opportunity to draw their working theories about how our package of messages will get to Cedar, in Kenya. They have been discussing them quite a bit, but we wanted to gain some more insight into how they were thinking about these big ideas (e.g. Trains, bridges, owls, airplanes, the force, frozen water and magical powers, containers, phones, etc.). We made the choice to provide long, horizontal paper, to represent the connection between our home and Cedar's home in Kenya; we've been looking at the world map quite a bit, and they have been tracing their fingers along different, linear paths to Kenya. We also had maps, the copies of our messages to Cedar, and some photos of the package we sent.
"How would he [owl] get this package all the way across the water?" - Elyse
"Him gonna fly with wings. Like an airplane. The airplane has strong wings." - Audrey
"What does he use to hold the package?" - Elyse
"On his back; with his wings." - Audrey
"This owl. Owl in him nest with baby owls. The babies gonna fly, and the babies gonna carry the package too." - Audrey
"Now my owls are done." - Audrey
"How is Cedar's message going to get all the way to Kenya?" - Elyse
"We are all the way over here in Washington, D.C. It [package] could go to another house; mail it to other people." - Giacomo
"So, we need these...to Kenya...I can see the map. We have to go right here..and here. This is where the water is, and this is where we live over the water. This is a bridge. SO, this is like this because we blast off! Blast off! [moves pen across paper]." - Giacomo
"Is that how you connect D.C. to Kenya?" - Elyse
"Yeah. But if we have to go there, you have to get an airplane. And then you fly [pen moves all the way across the paper] to Kenya." - Giacomo
"Do you think that's how our package may get there?" - Elyse
Yeah. SO, we need to walk...got an iPad if we on the airplane and then we flyyyyyyy [pen moves across the paper and into the air] over the airplane to Kenya, where you can stop. Now you get to Kenya. But, you also have to know where you are with a map. We over here. Now, Cedar lives right here." - Giacomo
"I think so, I have an idea. I'm going to help you." - Janie
"What are you going to help me do?" - Elyse
"Send it to Cedar." - Janie
"I'm drawing over to Kenya." - Janie
A Joyful Jumping Kind of Day...
After chapel we sang several rounds of sleeping bunny, including: bunnies, owls, lions, baby pigs, unicorns, giraffes. The bunnies hopped, the owls flew and whoo-whoo'd, the baby pigs oinked, the unicorns neighed, and the giraffes bent their necks.
Later we took some time to intentionally focus our attention on each other by holding hands to make a circle, so that we could all see and hear each other and be present together in making our plan. Then the children initiated jumping up and down together. It was the first of more joyful jumping to come!
"No we aren't talking in spinach." -Reed
A conversation about smoothies:
"I like red smoothies." -Lucia
"I like red smoothies too." Jane
"I like green smoothie." -Violet
"What makes a red smoothie?" -Elyse
"I love strawberries." -C.C.
"I want to have smoothies." -Maxon
"I like yellow smoothies." -George
"What makes a green smoothie." -Melanie
"Remember the soup we made for our Thanksgiving feast and we chopped vegetables? We chopped spinach. I would put spinach in my smoothie to make it green." -Melanie
"No we aren't talking in spinach." -Reed
"Would you like to make smoothies?" -Elyse
"We could make smoothies for everyone." -Sylvie
We now hope to make smoothies next Wednesday!
"It goes across the water."
First, we had to prepare the envelope
Documenting our trip
As part of our work, we wanted the children to document their trip to the post office. Their perspective is so important, and can be so different from our own. We also intend to have them reflect and share with the whole group early next week. This also gave us a chance to try out our new digital cameras and the movi freefly (our new photography/videography tool),
"It's not so far away." - Jack
At the post office
On the way to the post office, we were thinking about a few things:
1. How will the package get to Kenya?
2. How much money will it cost to send our package?
3. How long will it take for the package to get to Kenya?
While we were at the post office, we had to find a box for the family letters, inspect the individual P.O. boxes, fill out our customs paperwork, weigh the package, wait in line, draw about the post office, take photos, pay for the package, buy stamps, put stamps on the letters, and more.
The customs paperwork asked for the contents. When we asked the children, they quickly responded with, "Messages!" When I asked, "What are they made of? The paperwork wants to know." They each remembered pieces of their own messages: "Glue, paper, ribbon, tape, and pens."
"I can take the picture." - Lochie
Please enjoy some more images from their perspective.
When we left the post office, we received a message from Cedar on the telephone. She and her mommy sent us some photos that Cedar had taken of an animal (to be determined) and some landscape. We stopped to send Cedar the photo of the children outside of the post office so that she would know that her package was on the way.
In all of our busyness at the post office, we forgot to ask about the length of time it may take for Cedar to receive the package. Luckily, we spotted this postal worker, who was SO kind to answer a few questions for us.
1. How long will our package take to get to Kenya?
Answer: I don't know, but in the United States it takes about two days. So, more than two days.
2. Does the truck go on the airplane?
Answer: The truck doesn't go on the airplane. Just the package will go. There will be many forms of transportation to get it there.
3. Then how are you gonna get back here...to here?
Answer: The good thing is, I don't have to travel with the package.
4. Is there a container?
Answer: Yes, there is a container.
We had a wonderful, albeit cold, trip to the post office. All of the workers, and customers, were so kind and patient as we looked around, asked questions, and prepared our package. We are especially grateful to the postal worker who took time out of her busy day (she said it would take 8 hours to deliver all of the post-holiday packages) to answer a few of the children's questions; she was also impressed that they had their own cameras.
"But the other side of the world's not far!" -Giacomo
Yesterday, a few children were asked to consider, or reconsider, the so-called problem of how messages made for Cedar will go from our location, here, to Cedar, all the way in Kenya.
The pink tape was placed on the floor as a way to physically conceptualize being on two sides of one space. We played around with the idea of getting people from one point to the other by physically moving small wooden pieces, from one side to the other. Sometimes we were in America and sometimes we were on the Africa side.
Earlier in the week, ideas about how to get messages to Cedar, in Kenya, were discussed and recorded. Audrey, who loves owls, offered a new idea today about how we and/or the messages can get to the other side of the world:
"The owl could take us." -Audrey
"The owl could fly up... The owl could fly. To the sun, up..." -Audrey
"We should make wings on it." -Lucia
A Short Walk for Wood...
Elyse spotted some wood on her way to work. So we decided to spend our backwards day on a walk. Kim, Sarah, and Audrey's sister Tegan were still in our company. We gladly invited them along, and they gladly accepted. We first checked out the trucks of the tree removal company. Then we knocked on a neighbor's door, and Kim asked if the wood was available for us to have and use. It was. Thanks neighbor!
Happy Birthday, Elyse!
"I made this message for you." -Jack
Thank you all so very much for sending along a touching happy birthday song or message for Elyse! So sweet and beautiful they all were, and she felt the love from every child!
A Rodriguez Family Tradition
Last Friday we rolled up our sleeves! We also took off our shoes and covered ourselves in a trash bag and a smock. All this so that we could keep tidy while we painted a wooden box with acrylic paint. The paint we typically use at the easel is tempera paint. Tempera is a water based paint and washes out easily. Acrylic is not water-based; it does not wash out so easily. Working in groups of two, the children were polite and patient with working with each other and waiting their turn. They also were relatively successful in keeping tidy. Here's to small successes! And did they have fun? Of course they did! Just look through the slide show. And now we have a box painted by the Brown Room.
"How 'bout we go here and we jump over to Kenya." - Lochie
Monday, we began morning meeting by noticing who was missing from our group. Violet noticed that Cedar was not here, so we took the opportunity to remind the children that Cedar was with her family, on their way to Kenya. Knowing that this is a bit of an abstract concept (a foreign country that none of them have been to), we provided a map for them to see and touch. First, we identified our home, Washington, D.C., and Kenya.
Before Cedar left, we talked to her mom about the possibility of sending messages through the mail; we also started a What'sApp message group so that we could communicate with them while they are abroad. Our hope was that we could stay in touch with Cedar over the five weeks while she is in Kenya, and we felt that this presented an opportunity to build on the children's desire to create and send messages, but it became much more than that.
We then posed the questions: How could we talk to Cedar? How could we send her a message?
Jack: My force.
Sylvie: Get on a plane and go there.
Lochie: Get a plane. We could go on a plane like Cedar.
Revisiting our conversation
Elyse: We talked yesterday about how to talk to Cedar while she's in Kenya. Giacomo suggested that we make a message for her, but we never decided how to get it to her. Jack suggested that we send it with his "force", and Lochie and Sylvie suggested "a plane". Do we have any other ideas?
Lochie and Sylvie: On an airplane.
Lochie: Send a message on the airplane.
Brigitte: [Pointing to the map] Do you know what this part of the planet is?
Brigitte: So, can we walk across it and bring it all the way to Kenya?
Sylvie: I think we go on an airplane.
Lochie: No, No, I don't walk to walk in water.
Brigitte: Is there a way we an walk across?
Lochie: How 'bout we go here [moving his finger from the western United States, down through South America] and we jump over to Kenya?
Sylvie: But maybe we have to take an airplane.
Giacomo: To get to an airplane port, it's a little bit far.
Lochie: How 'bout if we jump a little bit [pointing at South America] closer and then jump [moved finger to Kenya].
Elyse: So, how will we send [the messages] to Cedar?
Lochie: Umm...How do you put a message in the phone and send it to Kenya?
Elyse: We have two questions we have to answer.
Lochie: Maybe we can get a big container and a big phone attached to it the container. Then it will send.
Sylvie: But maybe we have to take the airplane all the way to it.
Elyse: How does the container get to Cedar?
Lochie: How 'bout we put a lot of things and attach it to it and Kenya, and then we can send a message and then we can drop it on Kenya. And we can also go back to here.
Elyse: You guys are really thinking about this.
Sylvie: Maybe we have to bring it on the airplane.
Lochie: Drop all the things on Kenya, and then send a message goes on to Kenya and then back to here.
"What could we put on the map as a reminder of where we are, and where Cedar is?" - Elyse
Sylvie spent some time working on the idea of using all of the Brown Room symbols on one piece of paper. She referenced our school directory so that we could ensure that all 14 children were represented. She also chose a piece of paper to stamp Cedar's symbol on, so that it could be placed near Kenya. Once she finished, we took the large paper over to the map. Sylvie found Washington, D.C. and we held the page of symbols up to the map.
Sylvie: It's too big.
Elyse: Why is it too big?
Sylvie: We cannot see Washington because it's too big.
Elyse: So, what can we do?
Sylvie: Maybe it can be small.
Elyse: Do you have any ideas about how to make it smaller?
Sylvie: I don't know.
I shared with Sylvie that we have a big printer at school that might be able to make it small enough to fit on our map, but we would have to walk over to where Molly and Jessica work. Sylvie agreed that we should walk over there to try and make the symbols smaller, and George decided to join us too!
Once we shared our ideas about the symbols and size of the paper with Molly and Jessica, they said that they could help us figure it out. Using the copier, Jessica showed us how we could push a few buttons to change the size (scale) of the image. First, we printed one at 25%, but Sylvie seemed unsure about whether or not it would be small enough. George suggested that we needed it to be bigger, so we printed one at 50%. Sylvie still seemed dubious that these would fit on the map, so Molly suggested that we use the 25% copy to make an even smaller version. It worked! We now had four options for our map; so, we thanked Molly and Jessica, and went to test them.
Once in the classroom, we held each copy up to the map, and Sylvie decided that the smallest one was the best because it did not cover up Washington, D.C.
During second meeting, before snack, Sylvie and George shared the story of their trip to the copier and how the copier made the image smaller and smaller. Now, we can find Cedar on the map and know where we are too. The children then discovered that we had not included our (Elyse and Melanie) symbols, so this is one of our next problems to solve.
Our questions or information so far:
Sylvie: What does she does in Kenya?
C.C.: Ballie is a baby and she does not have hair so long like mine.
Elyse: What is your favorite thing to eat in Kenya?
We had a wonderful Monday in the Brown Room! We missed Melanie, Janie, and Cedar, but we are so grateful that Caroline came to spend time with us! Caroline mixed paints in the studio and shared some of her favorite books with us!
Outdoor construction was in full swing, and the children were using a variety of materials. We heard a lot of grunting and communicating as they figured out ways to lift the heavy materials. We also acquired some elephants in the outdoor classroom yesterday, and they found their way back on Tuesday as well.
A Tea and Sandwich "Picnic"
BIG group HUG for Cedar "Bug" (the Baille's are away for 5 weeks)
"What are you going to do when you first get to Kenya?" -Elyse
"Lie on a lion. ... Lie on a grumpy lion." -Cedar
Hugs, kisses on the cheek, smiles, laughter, love... Hurry back, Cedar!
We love you, Cedar, and we will miss you so very much!