April 28th, 2022
Today's blog helpers were Saul, Frannie, Michael, Cape, Lucas and Jade!
They were excited to share about their work with friends in the outdoor classroom.
It's a very very very deep hole. We digged that. So first we decide to dig it there and then we digged it really deep and so well. I worked with Luke and Daniel. I liked that two friends helped me. They digged with me really deep. Because we wanted it to be a secret place in it. A secret place is like a place in a hole where people live in it. Me, Daniel and Luke live in it. And there's worms. Snakey is a worm but he has a snake face and he is very silly but his slime is yucky. - Saul
Daniel said he will marry me when we're older, like grown up. Lily said she wanted to marry me. They're my best friends and Remy is my best friend. And Luke is my best friend. Because they're both play with me. I like to play mermaids and we like to play king and queens and boby head. - Frannie
I pulling Lucas up because he thought it was fun. He said "I want you to pull me up the slide". I said "Alright Lucas, I'll pull you up the slide." I was Lucas and Lucas was me. Just Wilder knew. Because we thought it was funny. - Jade
We are playing nice pirates and I'm Jade and Jade's me. We changed our names. Well, I had to pretend and zap people that are baddies with the black thing. And also the black thing is where Jade had to hold on to to get me up from the slide. - Lucas
Me and Wilder just helped, we goed through. And then the ATV went through the tunnel. And then the ATV was stuck. Because the bridge collapsed way down. And then he got stuck. - Michael
We were working on the sand beach. There was a tunnel and some slides and Michael was working on a parking garage. Saul was working on everything. He was working with Michael. We tried to get Ryder through the tunnel. - Cape
With Classroom Stories Night in our near future, we will be dedicating a greater amount of our afternoon work time towards preparing this content.
We are so excited to share this with you all next week!
If you haven't already guessed it, we will be diving into the amazing "Rainey Room Storybook" project!
Classroom Stories Night is Thursday, May 5th, at 6:30pm.
We decided to ask some of our Rainey Room friends to be "blog helpers" this week in an effort to keep you informed about the happenings in the classroom while also supporting us in having the children take over responsibility for the blog.
Children were enthusiastic about this idea and readily volunteered to help. A true partnership!
Today's helpers were Lily, Lucas, and Jade.
They browsed through some photographs taken in different areas of the classroom so far this week and decided what to share on the blog and how to best give explanation to the photos so that parents know what is taking place throughout the classroom.
It's gonna be better than any blog in the whole world. - Lucas
That's Small World - Lily
Description of the work by Lily:
We were making a wedding in small world. There were houses and the little white blocks were the traps and the colorful things was the sidewalk.
The wedding was for Jade and Lukey.
So they walked on those carpets and one rug was the rug where they standed for the wedding.
There was water in middle. Everything in middle was water. So they walked on the rugs around the water and had the wedding.
Message Center - Lucas
Description by Lucas, Lily, and Jade:
We're making a message for Brigitte and having fun making it. Because it's her birthday. (Lucas)
It's her birthday soon, but not quite yet. (Lily)
Why is it important to make messages for someone on their birthday?
Because it's nice. (Jade)
And it makes them happy. (Lucas)
The Rainey Room Storybook - Lily
Description by Lily and Lucas:
That was me writing the words for the storybook. The words that the characters said. The scary messy ghosts. They said, "Ha Ha Ha" because they thought it was funny. (Lily)
And they're mean! They think they're sillies, but the rest of the characters think they're baddies (Lucas).
Yeah! They think the opposite right? Yeah! They're meanies. (Lily)
Because they put us in a cage and mess up the whole school and that's not nice . (Lucas)
Description by Jade and Lucas:
I was working on the treats for the dinosaurs and unicorn ghosts and I was making meat for the T.rexes and treats and gluing on the treats for the unicorn ghosts. The dinosaurs bring treats to each others and the unicorn ghosts bring treats to the T.rexes and Brontosaurus. They do it because they like each other. (Jade)
(In the story) They all get treats and all give treats to each other but only the ones that is nice. Because they save everyone and made everyone happy and they give treats to say thank you for helping. (Lucas)
The interview for Saul's school birthday at St. John's. That can be the title. - Lucas
Description by Lucas and Lily:
Why do we interview each birthday child?
Because it's nice and it helps them know what they like. Whoever makes their birthday party come true. The birthday party committee persons. (Lucas)
So we know what they like and what to give on their birthday. (Lily)
Everyone gets a picture of them for your school birthday. A birthday portrait. Everyone is different because everyone likes different things. (Lucas)
Construction Area - Hugh
Because today's blog helpers (Lily, Lucas, and Jade) were not involved in the following construction work, they asked Wilder, Hugh, Saul, and Daniel to take a quick break and come share some information about their work to include in today's post.
Description by Hugh and Wilder:
It's us building a house. (Wilder)
For animals. (Hugh)
The houses are large and big. (Wilder)
It's buildings that we made. We built something that was destroyed, but we fixed it again. (Hugh)
Description by Daniel and Saul:
We worked to make a big big humongous structure. Under it there's a special compartment which is another building connected to the first one. Under where's the darkness. The animals can be protected from bad animals. (Saul)
And the animals are hiding in their own home because the crocodile wants to eat all of them. It ate the bunny already. (Daniel)
So the crocodile is full now. (Saul)
And the other animas are okay, but they're still in their hiding space. (Daniel)
April 22nd, 2022
Saul brought a special Friday snack for us today....
It's for a special holiday. It's Hebrew. It's called Pesach.
It's special bread, it's missing an ingredient. It's a herb!" - Saul
Is it purple basil? - Remy
Yeast is missing. It's matzo bread. It's still yummy without yeast. We cut it and then put it in milk. You know cornflakes? It's like cereal. - Saul
It's hollow inside - Remy
It's crunchy - Cate
I think it needs some salt - Finlay
It's a little spicy (about pepper jack cheese) - Cape
I love those crackers - Luke
Snack time is one of our favorite times in the Rainey Room, sharing food and great conversations and reading our favorite book together. This week we also practiced serving snack on our own using tongs, taking turns and counting pieces of cheese, peppers or crackers.
Pesach Sameach, Saul!
This week we have also been enjoying the weather finally getting warmer again. Summer is so close... we can feel it!
Take a photo for the blog! - Wilder
Welcome to Saul and Michael's Ice Cream Shop!
This is our ice cream shop. Our ice cream shop is big. Look at the ice creams are set on the ice cream scoopers. That's how you scoop them. - Saul
April 21st, 2022
Luke had wonderful and exciting news to share with his friends on Monday - he and his family welcomed his baby brother,
Luke was eager to receive lots of questions about his new brother during Morning Meeting! Many friends were interested in the baby's abilities to walk, crawl or talk and what his preferences are. And some excitedly drew connections between Luke's brother and members of their own family, that share the same name.
What does the baby play? Finlay
No not yet because he can’t not sit, he can just carry - Luke
Can your baby can control her arms yet? - Wilder
No, He puts them on his head and like this (puts arms by his side) - Luke
They just squiggle their arms around. - Wilder
Is she old enough climb ? - Jade
No you have to be like 6 years old. - Remy
No, 4 years old. - Wilder
I gave him a rubber ducky. It was mine when I was big and I decided to give it to him - Luke
Does the baby like the dog (referring to Luke's dog, Teddy)? - Cape
I don’t know I didn’t hear it because he can not talk. - Luke
Congratulations to Luke and his family, Alicia, Alex, Grace and James Vincent! We can not wait to meet him!
In the past couple weeks we have been busy creating illustrations to represent the plot for our Rainey Room Story book. Collaboratively we created...
... settings, speech bubbles, traps, ...
... and large mazes to and from school!
Today, for the first time, we arranged all of our work on a large bulletin board next to our morning meeting area. Together we discussed pages we have created so far, sequenced the pages to mirror the plot line and identified pages we still need to create. The children were thinking critically about their reasoning for certain plot twists and collaboratively reviewed the pages.
What is happening in the story?
What happens first? What happens next?
What characters should appear at what time and why?
Are the characters represented on the page interacting with each other?
We still have to make page three and four! - Bea
We are excited to continue our work on the Rainey Room story and to fill in the missing pages for our book. We invite you to check out the displayed pages in our room together with your child in the upcoming days!
Tuesday, April 19th
Clay Sculpture Work
Recently for Frances's birthday committee, her friends decided to create clay dinosaur sculptures to include in her birthday portrait setting.
Observing that a number of children showed interest in participating in this work, we decided to expand on the general idea and asked,
If you could sculpt anything out of clay, what would you want to create?
Remy: My duckling (her lovie)
Cate: My key (toy) or Iris (her dog)
Bea: A maze or Knox (her dog)
Saul: A truck
Cape: The Paw Patrol (starting with Ryder)
Michael: Elephant and Turtle (his lovies)
Finlay: Gormiti (characters from a show)
Wilder: Circe (his pet snake)
Hugh: Zuzu (his dog)
Frannie: Lucie (her dog)
Daniel: Vision (a superhero) or a monster truck
Lucas: Puppy (his lovie)
Jade: A monster
Beginning Thursday of last week, small groups of children worked with Brigitte to make their ideas come to life in the form of three-dimensional representations using clay.
Lucie, by Frances
We have primarily observed that children are inclined to work with clay in an almost two-dimensional flat form. Perhaps this is because squishing, pounding, pressing, and flattening is less challenging than rolling, pulling, coiling, wedging, and modeling clay into three-dimensional shapes. We encouraged and challenged the children to utilize their existing skill set as well as learn new techniques to "build" with clay and manipulate the material in ways that best achieve their representational goal.
Adding Color to our Sculptures
Today, we used underglaze to give our sculptures more detail through the addition of color. Children considered which colors best suited the intention behind their work.
For example, Wilder sought out the colors of his pet snack, Circe, to accurately represent her natural body pattern.
I need red and black and yellow to make Circe and her head is all black. And two dots and she has black eyes. I can’t see the tail… (referring to the photo of Circe)
*thinking* ... The tail is all black!
And then Circe’s side is actually all red. - Wilder
When he didn't find the colors he desired for his T.rex sculpture, Hugh thought that maybe he could make his own. Recalling previous color mixing techniques that he has used in other project work he decided make his own shade of "darkish greenish" for his dinosaur.
I need a lot of yellow because it makes it really shiny, but people can’t see the shine.
It’s not so shiny. It reminds me of T.rex skin.
It needs to make like a darkish greenish color. T.rex skin is very darkish greenish. - Hugh
Friday, April 15th
Moments from the Outdoor Classroom this week
A Mystery Reader Visits the Rainey Room
It's Ines's mom visiting from Germany!
Good Morning Yoga
Playing Board Games
Today, Brigitte kindly brought us eggs to decorate!
She had blown out each egg using a special tool to make them all hollow for us.
Children compared the differences they noticed between the full and empty eggs.
We were fascinated by this interesting process of making the egg hollow...
That’s why it was heavy! Because it was full of yolk! - Cate
Have you ever decorated eggs at home?
Why do you decorate them?
Because it’s Easter. - Bea
So the Easter bunny will come. - Luke
I dyed eggs last Easter - Frannie
We discussed that although many of us are familiar with people decorating eggs when celebrating the Easter holiday, in others cultures people decorate eggs for many symbolic reasons.
Some people decorate eggs to be displayed as beautiful symbols of protection!
I know. Because bad guys hate beautiful! - Finlay
Please look for your child's beautifully decorated egg in his/her cubby bag. (wrapped in tissue in a brown paper bag)
Enjoy the extended weekend. We hope it's a happy one!
Thursday, April 14th
Yesterdays walking trip to Volta Park!
Cate, Bea, and Remy sketched "maps" representing our walking path from school to the park.
Recalling our favorite moments from the day:
Cape: playing paw patrol with my friends
Saul: playing with Daniel hide and seek
Lucas: playing the game where I was trying to stay on the black stones or on the track
Bea: swinging on the swings
Wilder: swing with Hugh on the swings
Remy: swinging with Cate
Frannie: swinging on the swings
Daniel: collecting rocks with Lukey
Michael: climbing on the monkey bar
Jade: (no comment)
Hugh: swinging and on the spinny thing with Wilder
Luke: swinging with nobody
Cate: drawing a unicorn and a map
Book Making and Binding Techniques
If you were present during our Morning Meeting on Monday, you may remember that we discussed introducing a new technique for creating your own book or notebook.
Using a three hole pamphlet stitch, children began creating their own books this week.
Has anyone made their own book before?
If you did make your own book (or notebook), what would you use it for?
Notes - Saul
Like your notebook. - Finlay (referring to the teachers notebooks)
Drawing. Drawing shoes. - Remy
A journal. - Hugh
Something you do homework in. - Bea
For pictures. - Bea (photographs or drawings)
One of the first to attempt the pamphlet stitch sewing technique, Hugh then demonstrated the steps he took in order to successfully make his book.
I collected paper and that’s the cover. The cover is blue and the pages are white. All books that you normally read with only words have white pages. And this is a book (his notebook) to put pictures in or words so you need white pages. - Hugh
You take a big piece of paper and fold it into a book. - Remy
And I put a needle in the center. - Hugh
Throughout this process, it was evident that many of our collaborative "Rainey Room Storybook" ideas were then reflected in the work that went into the creation of individual children's personal books.
Book by Daniel
"The Book of Ghosts"
There's a mean ghost. All three mean ghosts. Those little dots are sticks floating in the sky. They're messing up St. Johns.
Book by Cate
"The Terrifying Unicorn Mess Up Ghost"
(created at home with her mom, Melissa)
And then the terrible ghosts came and messed up St. Johns.
Book by Jade
"Dragons and Ghosts"
That's a dragon. A mean dragon.
Book by Finlay
"The Book of Monsters"
Illustrations in Finlay's story
Supporting our storybook work moving forward, this week we have also been exploring mazes and have begun to create representations of these ideas in various form.
Maze work by Finlay and Daniel
Maze work by Lucas
Isn't it exciting to see so many original ideas being brought to life using an abundance of materials in beautiful forms?!
Wednesday, April 13th
A Walking Trip to Volta Park!
We had SUCH a fun morning together enjoying the warm spring weather while at the park.
Thank you to our family members who joined us on our walk there.
In tomorrow's blog post, we will include lots of joyful content recapping today's adventure!
Stay tuned for more...
April 12th, 2022
During our first Morning Meeting with our grownups on Monday morning, the children shared some of their ideas about the "Rainey Room Story" with you. Over the past few weeks, we have been working on creating a unique story book together, that includes different characters and takes place in various settings in and around the Rainey Room.
What do you know about stories?
Sometimes words describe what's happening in the picture. Like if all of us kids was walking to school then it would say like "All the kids are walking to school and talking about what it's like outside". - Bea
What would your story look like?
A unicorn comes to school. - Cate
A ghost comes to St. John's and scare all the children. - Frannie
It would be like a haunted house. - Daniel
When it was snack time, the ghost skeleton comes in and steals all the snack and made a big mess and then we were like "What?" And then the skeletons come back the next day. - Bea
If the ghosts are white and the white paper how can you even draw the ghost? - Wilder
Characters are people that do stuff in the story. They can be [people and] dinosaurs and ghosts. - Bea
Characters created by children in the Rainey Room, including, ghosts (unicorn ghosts, skeleton ghosts and moth ghosts), Rainey Room children and dinosaurs:
Every story needs a setting...