Beautiful Backwards Day
There was plenty of sunshine for the Pod B backwards day. Right away, Nora and Lane noticed a flower growing. This led us to look to see if we saw any signs of the daffodils that we planted earlier in the winter. We found some that were just starting to poke through the soil. As a group, we are enthusiastically looking for signs of spring.
Cannon and Palmer focused on an elaborate animals environment. The structure included a front yard, a porch, a sloping roof for shelter, and a backyard with a climbing feature.
Earlier in the week, Pod B came up with individual pajama designs. Unfortunately, we know that there can’t be individual ideas represented on the school pajamas. Collaboration is not an easy process. How will we solve this problem?
Palmer - Do everyone’s idea.
Rachel - Well there’s about 44 children in the school, so that would be 44 designs.
Palmer - That would be amazing!
Lane - What if we could find something that all of the classes in our school…. all of the kids… like and put them on the pajamas.
Some children suggest Thunder Cats, Ninja Turtles, BatI like man, and cheetahs.
Gigi - I like Thunder Cats, but I don’t want them on my pajamas.
Lane - How about one thing that all of the boys like and one thing all of the girls like.
Palmer - We only need two classes. Tucker Pod A and Tucker Pod B.
Jill - That might work. Each pod could have an idea. Is there one idea that all of Pod B would like?
Cannon - Well, all of Pod B has soccer today.
Lane - You gave me an idea. I’m thinking that if we find something that both girls and boys like, then all the girls and boys would like the pajamas. Animals! Girls and boys like animals.
Gigi - I don’t like pictures of animals. I want to make myself look like an animal. I like cheetahs.
Lane - I like jaguars and leopards.
Palmer - I like jaguars, leopards, and gorillas.
Cannon - I like jaguars, leopards, and cheetahs. I like all animals.
Nora - I don’t like jaguars and leopards. I like cheetahs.
As the group realized there was some common ground., they began drawing. Some children drew the leopards and cheetahs, while others focused on invented mythological creatures.
Lane is right, everyone in Pod B likes animals. Children built individual animal homes, but then found ways to join the structures, visit each other, or live together. Today was also notable for being the first time Pod B used two ladders!
The Pajama Project
Earlier this week, the children saw some examples of LouLou Baker's designs for her pajama line. That day, each child individually created a design concept. The work included a wide range of ideas. Today, in an effort to think of design in a more collaborative setting, groups set out to create "St. John's pajamas" by drawing on large human figures. Though, they mostly drew individually, there were clear moments of collaboration.
The first group consisted of: Aida, Grace, Olivia and Dakota. Each had ideas and got started right away. After some initial drawing, Grace articulated a collaborative concept when she decided to draw an idea that she knew Maren liked. During meeting Maren had mentioned that she thought that rainbows, stars and moons would be a good design.
With that in mind, Grace drew a moon and said, "Like Maren asked for. Now I'll draw a rainbow."
Later Grace asked Olivia for her opinion about the rainbow she had drawn, "Is that the whole rainbow, Olivia?"
Olivia responded, "The rainbow starts with red."
Grace, "I have red, just not at the start."
Olivia, "I think so." (responding to the initial question)
Dakota then counted the colors and said, "That's only 1, 2, 3, 4 colors."
Grace, "Yeah, I think you're right Dakota."
Dakota, "What if you try some brown?"
Grace took the suggestion and added brown to her drawing.
At another point Aida was voicing uncertainty of what to draw next, "I can't really decide what to draw next."
Dakota then suggested, "You could draw a smiley face over there." (pointing to some open space on the paper)
The second group was Oliver, Fletcher, Andy and Maren. Like the first group, they worked mostly independently, but shared some ideas along way.
For example, at one point Oliver said, "Mine is just gonna to be blue blue. What is yours gonna to be?"
Andy replied, "Mine's gonna be blue, green, blue, pink, yellow, brown, red. Because that is all the rainbow."
Oliver, "Uh, that is not the rainbow."
Maren, "Want me to tell you the real rainbow colors?"
Maren, "It's is uh..."
Andy, "Red, orange, yellow, green..."
Maren, "Blue, purple."
Pod A will continue to work towards a collaborative design concept for our contribution to the school pajama project. Next week, we will probably share Pod B's conversation from today with the children to help steer them toward a collaborative concept.
Thank you to Randy and Carrie for being the Mystery Readers today! We appreciated their flexibility because in a crazy coincidence, we had already read one of the books they were planning to read during snack. Thankfully, they had some other great titles lined up. They hosted the call from Dakota's room. It was fun for her friends to see some of her toys in the background. (The Barbie dream house in particular.)
Randy read, "Goodnight Los Angeles." Since Dakota and her family used to live there, during the book, they made connections to Dakota's real life experiences. Dakota has been to the zoo, aquarium and Santa Monica pier, which are all featured in the book. Carrie read, "Little Elliot Big City." The story takes place in New York City where Dakota was born.
During snack the children watched a video of the work they did in pairs on Monday and Tuesday exploring compasses. Afterward they had a discussion about some of their ideas. Some of the big wonderings are: How does the compass know where to point? What makes it move? How does it tell you where you are going?
Today the children worked to finish the mobile. With teacher help, children saw the process through from idea conception to creation. Many of the original ideas incorporated rainbows, so that became the inspiration for the project. After materials were introduced and the children began creating, the rainbow idea morphed into rainbow planets. The finished product has a sun in the center and the rainbow planets around it.
The Unicorn Home
Today Cannon, Lane , and Palmer created unique mythological creatures. They made practice drawing on scratch paper before bringing their ideas to life with watercolor.
"This monster, for its hair it has spikes, It has itches all over it and three fingers and three toes. And on one foot has two toes. (Referring to her other creature) This is my cat. It can fly. It has a triangle.... it's big. Bigger than a tree.It doesn't have toes. I take back the triangle. Its body is bigger than a redwood tree. Its head is bigger than a planet. It has tow antennae and at the end are gumballs. It has one eye. It has a curly tail."
Mythological Mystery Reader!
Addison was our mystery reader. He read about Perseus and the Cyclops, which was perfect considering our earlier watercolor work. Thank you Addison!
Gigi's Portfolio Meeting
This and That....
Gigi -And more playful.
The Pajama Project: Patterns and Planning
Pod B started the day by thinking about the pajama project. We looked at the pajama and fabric samples that are on display in our hallway. This group has become pattern experts and soon recognized patterns in the fabric.
Palmer - I notice cement mixer, backhoe loader, crane truck, dump truck, cement mixer (repeats pattern).
Lane - I’m going to do a pattern of purple and blue.
Nora - I’m going to do pink, purple, blue, pink, purple, blue. Pink unicorn, purple unicorn, blue unicorn.
Palmer - I’m doing trucks, trains, blue, yellow, green.
Gigi - I’m sticking with cheetahs.
Children went on to draw their pajama ideas. Cannon’s pajamas were being worn by a Medusa with a tail. Currently the children are thinking of individual ideas. We will move on to more collaboration in the coming weeks.
Every now and then, Pod B will look into Pod A and declare, “No fair!” Sometimes it can be as simple as the fact that the snack looks better through the glass. About two weeks ago, Pod B was very intrigued by a light table monster environment that they saw through the glass doors. We decided to try it ourselves. The work began on Monday when Nora began to create “Dino-land” on two light tables. She connected the two areas with a bridge. One area was dedicated to eating and sleeping.
Nora - They love eating crystals. They’re their favorite. We need two water bottles. They love the leaves. They (the leaves) are their beds. If any animal comes, they can lie on the bed. There’s hot beds and light beds.
Cannon - (Joining Nora and bringing along his ninja turtle) Is there a bed for Ninja turtle?
Nora - Yes, of course. (Palmer joins with some larger dinosaurs.) We’ll need bigger beds for bigger dinos. (She gets one fabric for the beds.)
Palmer - (With a piece of blue fabric) That’s how I make a waterfall.
Nora - The red gems are the pizza gems.
Cannon - For my ninja turtle.
Palmer - And for my dinosaurs.
Cannon - Can I have some pizza gems?
Nora - Sure!
Palmer - This Dino-land is the coolest.
Nora - I just built it because you guys love dinosaurs.
Palmer - We’re using cool materials.
There was building throughout the classroom. Lane and Gigi worked on an oval mirror to create “Reflection Land.” This led Lane to observe, “Reflection has more color than shadow. Shadow is just black.” The Reflection Land later became “Happy Land.” Before joining Nora in Dino-land, Palmer and Cannon built tall to make “New York Skyscraper World." After snack today, children returned to their various construction projects.
Here Comes the Sun!
Pod B had a great time outside today. Animal enclosures were popular there as well. Some of the animals even went skating. We can’t wait for it to be 60 degrees tomorrow.
Brainstorming about Pajamas
Children looked at Lou Lou Baker's pajama designs on display in the hallway. Then they began to draw initial ideas of what could included on St. John's pajamas. We are still working with children to understand that the pajamas will be a school-wide collaboration.
Getting Familiar with Compasses
Children have been working in pairs to try and deduce the functions of a compass. Some have guessed that it works like a clock, while others have some familiarity of directions like "North" and "South". We're planning to delve deeper into this compass work in the coming days.
The teachers had an all-staff meeting today since we were off on Monday. Therefore, today's blog will be short and sweet!
Here's some highlights from our day:
Making our Classroom Beautiful: The New Mobile
At morning meeting, teachers revealed some supplies they ordered for our new mobile. Based on the drawings children made in our planning sessions, teachers deduced that children were most leaning towards an idea with rainbow colors and gold elements. Our new supplies include clear ornament bulbs and gold thread. Today, we began to gather materials of every color of the rainbow as preparation for decorating the bulbs. Children searched the Tucker Closet, sorted materials, tore tissue paper strips, and assigned each color to a bag for safe keeping.
Then, with help from a teacher, children put worked together to create a list of all the colors we have assembled for the decoration of the bulbs. Andy started us off by writing "Red" and "Orange" and placing a check mark next to it. Aida, Olivia, and Oliver followed by writing the rest of this list, sounding out each word carefully and assigning the sounds to letters. As children get more confident with literacy, they make important associations with letters and sounds. Today when Olivia wrote the letter R, she said, "It looks like a camera", presumably thinking about a camera set up on a tripod. When we were sounding out the second P in "Purple", Aida said, "It sounds like Burp!" Aida also noticed that W is like a "backwards M".
Map of the USA
Today, we had conversations with children about the places in the United States that are the most meaningful to them. We want to continue studying the map to research other countries, but decided it would be relevant to focus on our own country at first and find out some of the most personally special locations. As we talked, we put our symbols on the map with tape to indicate the important places.
Olivia: I used to go to Florida 'cause my grandpa and grandma used to live there. (What other places are important to you?) Where Aunt Deena lives.
(Aida wasn't sure at first, so we asked about important people in her life, such as her grandparents)
Aida: They live in Virginia.
Andy: I have two places: Texas and New Jersey. (Why is New Jersey important to you?) Because there my grandparents live. (Why is Texas important to you?) Because I want to go there.
Oliver: Washington DC. Virginia is where my swimming class is.
Fletcher: Ocean Grove.
Dakota: Washington DC, my dad took me skiing on mountains and that’s my favorite part. I like California because I used to live there and I have SO many friends there and I’ve been making friends here. We went to Pittsburgh a couple times because that’s where my mom’s mom and dad lives.
Maren: Texas, because my cousins live there. Florida. Jackson Hole because I’m gonna go to a super fun camp. (Where does your family go to the beach?) Bethany Beach.
Grace: Florida. My grandparents live there, my dad’s mom and daddy. (Where does your cousin Ford live?) I know where they live, Nashville.
Clay Numbers for the school birthday
Gigi and Nora returned to the number line representing the school birthday today. We’ve had two thorough discussions about what numbers need to be repaired and added. We’ve made a several new clay numbers, but we still were not sure if we had all the numbers needed. In our last conversation, Gigi suggested forming a line of numbers and using that to determine what we still needed to make. She returned to this idea today:
Gigi - Yeah, you write all the numbers and put checks if we have it and “x” if we don’t.
Nora began by writing the numbers in order. Working together, the two realized that there are only a few broken and missing numbers. After identifying that they had new clay numbers for those, they moved on to the new numbers needed to extend the number line to 24. By using the exiting number line, the new clay numbers, and the chart Gigi developed, the children determined that the only number they were missing was a four!
Meanwhile, in the classroom, Cannon, Lane, and Palmer were rolling clay coils in anticipation of needing to make more numerals. Gigi and Nora returned to the classroom and worked on creating the number four. We are thrilled to know that we can finish the required numbers before the school’s birthday on March 4th!
Pod B started our outside time with one of our favorite activities: races. Cannon and Palmer added to the experience by becoming Ninja Turtles and setting up a variety of traps to be avoided (or not) while racing. The traps were constructed from hollow blocks, wood, and hula hoops.
Palmer - If you get caught in a wooden trap, you get splinters.
Cannon - (While building with hollow blocks) This is a jail dungeon and lots of vampires are in there. But we’re Ninja Turtles and we have special shoes so we don’t get stuck in the traps.
While waiting for the traps to get set, Gigi, Lane, and Nora were making pancakes and other treats. They invited the Ninja Turtles to try some of their goodies.
Cannon -We just need pizzas.
Lane - Then that’s what they’ll get.
Cannon - (putting sand into a bucket) This is for pizza dough. I’m just making a pizza.
Palmer - (Joining Cannon) Yeah! A pizza dough trap!
This and That (slideshow)
More than anything else, it was great to be back together after the long weekend. Children explored pattern, counting, and measurement with cuisenaire rods. Children painted both at the easel and at the table today. The light table was also popular. Lane set up a valentine party design. Later in the morning, Cannon and Palmer made an “upside down cycle” and noticed how the light affected the color of the materials they were using.
Happy 5th Birthday, Cannon!
It was a great day to celebrate our friend Cannon, who will turn 5 on Valentine's Day! We started the day by having the school sing "Happy Birthday" at Sing-Along! Cannon's family provided a special snack and we read two chapters from "My Father's Dragon!" Pod A created an absolutely perfect gift that featured Ninja Turtles, Gorillas, and Cannon's name. Many thanks to Cannon's family for such a fun and delicious day!
Jill: "You can tell us in two more days how it really feels to be 5 years old."
Cannon: "I'll have even more energy!"
Today was Valentine's Day/Pajama Day!
💌 A Quick Look at Pod B 💌
Our day was filled with celebrations. We enjoyed sing-along, delivering valentines, and pajama day! We took some socially distant, maskless, pajama portraits, and noticed that Lane and Nora were both wearing pink and white stripes. Cannon finished his self-portrait while his friends worked on other watercolors. We looked at patterns and sequence in our cuisenaire rod work. Of course, there was also time for messages, construction, and running around outside.
💌 A Quick Look at Pod A 💌
Today in Pod A, we had a ton of fun delivering Valentines to all of our friends in both pods. All the children were so excited about what they had received in their bag. Andy said, "I cannot wait. This is a special Valentine's Day."
We also had an exciting experiment in the studio featuring some plaster and a collection of hundreds of little tiny beads! Some of the children remembered using this material back in the Brown Room when we made birthday presents for each other out of plaster. This time we used liquid watercolors to change the color of the plaster. We hope to make more again next week.
Outside, Aida and Olivia worked together making a house for Hop Hop. Olivia said, "Here's her lettuce. She guards her lettuce." Aida said, "It's almost wake up time for her, and it's almost her birthday. Should we wake her up? I think she likes it."
Wishing a very happy birthday to our friend Cannon! Have a nice long weekend, everyone!
It was a wonderful day! The children (especially Andy) were so thrilled to celebrate Chinese New Year. 🧧 Upon arrival everyone explored the 'goody bags.' Each child got a paper lantern, a red envelope with chocolate coins, a wall decoration and stickers.
In the studio, children added watercolor paint to decorate the fans that Nan provided.
Both Pods joined for a Zoom call with Nan. Her presentation about Chinese New Year was very engaging and the children loved it! Thank you Nan for helping us learn about this holiday.
Here is some of the information she touched on:
This is the Year of the Ox. In China there is an animal that symbolizes that year.
Upon hearing this Aida commented, "My dad was the Year of the Rabbit."
The children that are 4 years old are the Year of the Monkey. Traits of people born that year are: smart, skillful and charming. The children that are 5 years old are the Year of the Sheep. Traits of people born that year are: creative, friendly and compassionate.
Chinese New Year is an awesome holiday: there is no school or work for 15 days! There are decorations (like red lanterns) everywhere. There are also many parades and street celebrations. Each evening at dark there are firecrackers. Two weeks before the start of Chinese New Year families prepare by cleaning and decorating their homes. The cleaning is important because everyone wants a fresh, clean start in the new year. Nan said they, "sweep off old dirt and habits."
There is an important meal associated with the holiday: the Family Reunion Dinner. During this meal extended families get together and eat specific foods:
dumplings - are for wealth (sometimes they even put coins inside so you have to be careful when you bite!)
spring rolls - symbolize a fresh start
rice cakes - are for earning more money
rice dumplings - symbolize the importance of family
noodles - each bowl has 1 SUPER long noodle in it to represent living a long life
fish - is for abundance
Red is a very important color for Chinese New Year. Traditionally people wear new, red clothes to help bring good fortune. Nan was wearing red today for that very reason! We also learned that a traditional Chinese wedding dress is red. Adults give children red envelopes with money inside. Children save that money over the years and then use it to buy things they want. Instead of giving money, the red envelopes the children got today had chocolate money.
At the end, Nan read a Peppa Pig book about Chinese New Year.
Our favorite part was seeing photos of Andy from previous years! Another important tradition in China is celebrating a baby's 100th day of life. It is done in hopes that the child will live for 100 years. Babies are usually dressed in red for this special day. Andy's outfit also had a monkey, to represent his year.
During snack, Pod A watched some videos of the dragon dance, firecrackers and fireworks.
Coincidentally we had goldfish crackers and red apples for snack.... fish being an important food for CNY and red, the lucky color.
Pod B reflected on Chinese New Year:
Lane - My favorite part of Chinese New year is the Dragon Dance.
Cannon - Me too!
Palmer - I really enjoyed the chocolate penny!
Cannon - This is the best day ever, right Palmer. It’s the goodest day because we got chocolate.
After snack Oliver and Fletcher used the digital projection to inspire their construction project. Eventually they tried to do their own version of the dance!
Pod B made their valentine bags today. As they worked, children incorporated many of the principles that they learned during collage. For example, Gigi arranged some of her pieces on the bag before gluing them down. Children also incorporated the technique of layering.
Palmer - I did some layering.
Lane - I’m doing layering when I don’t have enough room.
Gigi - I’m making me and my mom on hearts.
Lane - This is a mega heart. (A heart with stars drawn on it)
In the slideshow below, you will get a glimpse of the rest of the day:
- It was a little wet and dreary for our backwards day, but we made the best of it!
- Children used cuisenaire rods to explore patterns today. Lane created “a pattern with all kinds of patterns connected. Palmer thought about the elements of pattern and eventually came up with a “three triangle pyramid pattern.”
- Cannon drew his self-portrait today. He will add watercolors tomorrow!
- In honor of both Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, there was a red village in our construction area. It was visited by Nora’s dinosaurs, Lane’s ocelot, and Gigi’s fox and tiger.
Pod A Starts with Backwards Day!
Dakota, Oliver and Andy spent most of their time building an Audi SUV on the play structure. They added pool noodles (which they call van tudors) as seatbelts. Later, when Maren and Grace joined, Grace immediately got into character by asking her mom, Dakota, “How long until we get there?”
Fletcher independently made a volcano out of sand, and pretended it was erupting with chocolate. He got his classmates involved in the calamity that ensued!
Fletcher: All the lava will pour into here! Drink it! We just have to wait until more chocolate.
Aida: this is a cake for hop’s birthday. It’s chocolate and vanilla.
Fletcher: Aida saved the day. She poured all the chocolate into a hole. I saved the day. I smashed the volcano and all the chocolate. It’s a chocolate flood!!!!!! Get into the mushroom fort.
Aida: I ate up all the chocolate!
Fletcher: It’s 200,000 chocolate. How ‘bout we just eat it all?
Dakota: could we come to your chocolate store?
Fletcher: the factory’s out of control. There’s an off switch. I’ll turn it off. But we have to eat all the chocolate.
Andy: We can eat chocolate! Yum!
Dakota: there’s chocolate everywhere in the ground.
Aida: I already tried some. Nobody should eat it bc it’s hot. It’s as hot as blue fire.
Maren: Blue fire is even hotter than red fire.
Here is a snippet of conversation from the collaborative work in construction today.
Aida: We’re making Hop Hop’s new house.
Dakota: Hop Hop can come over here because there’s a car for me and him.
Aida: Look Dakota.
Aida: Thanks. Does your giraffe need a blanket for his bed?
Dakota: He has something fluffy in there. See?
Aida: My bun bun is sleeping. This is the sand box. There’s buried treasure.
Dakota: I’ll make some food now. I’m going to the kitchen.
Aida: What time is it?
Dakota: It’s time for dinner.
Aida: I’ll make the apple juice.
Dakota: I’m making two eggs.
Aida: My car has a flat tire. I found a old pumper.
Dakota: One of my wheels fell off.
Aida: Here’s a bed for giraffe. I’ll be the alarm clock. When I make the sound of an alarm clock, that means it’s time to wake up. Rrrrrriiiiiiiiiinnnnggg!
Lily as Mystery Reader
Mare’s sister, Lily, is already a great reader in 1st grade. On her call with us today, Lily was kind enough to describe her experience in kindergarten. She said there was, “A lot of writing and learning how to read. In science we learned about plants and dinosaurs.”
Miscellaneous and Marvelous
In the slideshow below, you can find:
Clay and Conversation
Children added clear glaze to their personal clay pieces and the clay numbers that they have made. While working, the children talked about the upcoming pajama day:
Which are your favorite pajamas?
Nora - You know what my pajamas ? Pink and white stripes. You're going to love my pajamas when Lane sees them. she has the same ones.
Why do you love your pajamas?
Gigi - 'Cause they're cozy.
Nora - I love wearing my pajamas everyday because they're so beautiful.
Cannon - I'm getting minotaur pajamas for my birthday.
What kind of pajamas can you imagine?
Nora - I can imagine unicorn pajamas!
Cannon - I can imagine minotaur pajamas! With horns!
Gigi - Cheetah pajamas, because they're my favorite animal.
Lane - Cat pajamas. A cat nightgown. And it has to be cozy.
What would "St, John's" pajamas look like? What kind of designs would they have?
Lane - It could have the same symbol as on our St. John's bags, and the same writing. Or it could have a picture of the school.
Nora - The symbol is stars. That's what my dad told me. That stars are the symbol of Georgetown.
Lane went through the items in her portfolio drawer this morning. As a veteran to this process, she quickly categorized her work. One of her first categories was "watercolors." She then came across a multi-media pieces that included watercolors. Carefully considering it, she said, "These are my favorites. I'm going to put them in a different pile." Other extra-special creations also made it into the "favorite" category. This pile became the first pocket in her Tucker portfolio.
Lane also recalled the influence of her classroom community in her work. As she viewed a ballerina drawing she said, "These are my ballerinas -- Gigi inspired me."
As the children gathered for mystery reader today, there was great speculation about which parent might show up. They were surprised and delighted when M. came on the screen! She read the very timely "Little Blue Truck's Valentines," which was thoroughly enjoyed by our Pod. Thanks so much, M!
Clay Numeral Work
Last week Lane and Palmer visited the number line representing the school’s twentieth birthday and helped identify what numbers were needed to repair and extend it. The children then made several numbers from the notes they took at the time. However, how could we be sure that there were enough new clay numbers? On Monday Cannon, Gigi, and Nora returned to the existing clay Number line. What strategy would they implement to determine if we had the correct numbers? After some trial and error, the trio focused on lining up new numbers where they saw numbers that should be replaced. Along the way, they discovered that it was also important to make clay numerals that could be read by other people. For example, Nora and Cannon thought that one clay number could either be a one or a seven. Gigi added, “Some people make stick ‘ones.’ Just straight up and down." Before returning to the classroom children began to write lists of numbers. Nora commented, “We only have to write down the ones that we still have to make."
Once in the classroom, Cannon declared, “The plan is to go straight to math. Go straight to making numbers." Gigi continued with her list of numbers while Nora started making a series of clay “twos.” Lane came over to assist with numeral production. As she worked to form a 3, Lane said, “I had to pull them apart to make the “Cs” and then I put them together to make a 3."
More Mathematical Thinking....
Both today and yesterday, children have worked with cuisenaire rods to explore math concepts. The rods are a good tool for thinking about equivalence, as Lane and Palmer demonstrated yesterday:
Lane - The red and the wood color (pieces) are the size of the green.,
Palmer - Dark green and wood (pieces) are the same as red and yellow.
Children also made sets, did simple addition, and developed patterns with this material.
Our recent work with watercolors inspired us to start more challenging work with this medium. Today four children worked on their self-portrait. It started with careful looking and careful drawing. While some children worked silently, others made observations while working.
Lane - (While looking in the mirror) It’s a copy of me. I always look at myself every morning to check my hair. Because my hair is my favorite part of my body.
Palmer - I made my eye look a whale.
Nora - (While painting) We forgot the most important part. My earrings. (She took a break from painting to draw her earrings before finishing her painting.) My hair is a mix of my mom’s hair and my dad’s hair, and my brother’s hair.
Pod B had an hour outside on this beautiful day. Children played several familiar and invented games together, including hide-and-seek, sardines, animal tag, as well as games with balls and bean bags.
"Brainstorming" the Mobile
There's a mobile that's been hanging in our classroom that we created last February, and teachers noticed it's a good time to update it. Children met in small groups to disassemble the old mobile, and discuss ideas for what materials and themes we could consider for this new version of our mobile.
Dakota: We could paint these sticks, and then we could use them like this. (Taps them together) And then when you pull it, and then it make noises. Sticks make good wood sounds.
Andy: I will just draw a drum, like an instrument. We need to build it. One small drum.
Dakota: Could we hang a giraffe up there?
Andy: Now I got another plan. A Chinese decoration.
Melanie: What do you think your friends would like to see on this mobile?
Andy: Oliver likes dinosaurs....
Dakota: And he likes blue, so we can put some blue on it too.
Andy: It can be a blue dinosaur ......Aida loves bunnies.
Dakota: That gives me an idea. I can draw a bunny for her.
Aida: How about a rainbow? And a bunny?
Olivia: We could bend out a heart with wire. And we could make a heart so we could hang it up.
Aida: We could do a spaceship. I need all the colors of the rainbow.
Olivia: Some buttons for the nose. This heart nose. And buttons for the eyes, and wire for the nose. Some little buttons again for the chin. There! It kinda looks like Aida's stamp.
Melanie: How will we hang these things?
Aida: I think string will be the best. Regular string, like the string I used for my memory box.
Melanie: Maybe the light could hit the rainbow and make it glow.
Aida: Remember that thingy in our classroom when there's rainbows all on the ceiling? (referring to rainbow generator)
Valentine's Day Bags
We excitedly prepared some paper bags to collect our Valentines this Friday! Each child wrote their name somewhere on their bag, and added their picture.
Cannon's Birthday Committee
Maren and Grace asked Cannon what he wanted on his plant pot, and he responded with "Ninja Turtles". They suggested gorillas and he said "yes". The girls did some research on the computer and first tried to draw the turtles. However, they were unsatisfied with their work and compromised by tracing the outline and drawing the details to the best of their ability. Later Olivia and Aida also worked on drawings.
During Morning Meeting we investigated a new world map. The children spent time noticing similarities and differences from the world map we talked about yesterday and the new one we presented today. Some children came to the studio to explore different maps and draw their own. This new learning thread is VERY exciting and emerged because of our conversation yesterday about Chinese New Year. Most children were unfamiliar with the holiday and though they often hear Andy talk about China, Melanie brought out a map to help deepen their understanding. Melanie's fast thinking coupled with the children's interest has potentially opened up a new learning thread for the pod.
Olivia, "We were making the whole city. We were drawing the places where people live. I looked at some maps when I was drawing."
Yesterday Andy talked to the class about the Chinese New Year decorations. Today he worked with Oliver and Melanie to hang some. Later, Grace and Aida also had a turn helping decorate the classroom. Andy is VERY excited about the holiday and his enthusiasm is sparking interest amongst the group. Nan will join us on Zoom to explain more next week.
Olivia, "We were putting on New Year's decorations. Andy brought us the decorations. His family celebrates Chinese New Year. The decorations are really pretty. I like that they have little tags on them and fluffy bits and sparkly."
Special Mystery Reader!
Olivia,"We're eating snack. We had Melanie's mom and she was the Mystery Reader. She showed us some books." (She showed us some pictures of Melanie in preschool) "She was on the playground and the teacher was holding her."
Last week, after we had a long conversation about the sun, we decided to write Rainey Room A, since they are doing a lot of work about the sun and the moon. Today we got a letter back from them and it was very exciting. We'll write them back next week.
Olivia, "We found a card from Rainey A. The card was about the about the Earth and the Moon. We're gonna send another one back."
Lane, “Jill teaches us a trick and so you put water on your piece of paper and then you can put whatever color and then you just put a drop of paint on it and it spreads. I liked it. And you know what the best color that spreaded the most?... the green, the dark green. Gigi stayed at the watercolor for the most longest time.”
Lane, "Me and Cannon and Nora were in the light table and we were planning to make a Valentine’s Day party."
Lane, "And then we went to construction and Cannon built some secret passageways."
Lane, "During snack we had Mystery Reader, Melanie’s mom. The computer was a little too high for me to see so Jill put it lower down. I liked how important the stone was in the one of the books."
Lane, "Gigi did some glazing. She used green for her pinch pot and black for her kitten."
Lane, "We didn’t have an hour but we went outside at the very end of the day. Me and Gigi made up a little song, a new song, about Valentine’s Day."