September 30th, 2021
"Today we give Remy her present.
Later, outside." - Bea
For her special birthday snack, Remy didn't only bring watermelon to share with everyone but also mermaid themed paper plates and napkins, that she passed out before snack. Remy said she chose watermelon as her birthday snack because "I thought they (her friends) liked them." (Remy)
"So thoughtful! Juicy juicy juicy." - Luke
"It's the best in the world." - Saul
More wonderful presents that have been created for Remy this week...
A little conversation about Halloween and the perception of time...
"I wore my fuzzy jacket this morning at home (...) When it's winter and it's cold outside I wear my fuzzy jacket." - Cate
"Is it winter right now?" - Ines
"No, it's Halloween!" - Cate
"Halloween is in October." - Lily
"Do you know that the month of October starts tomorrow?" - Ines
"Tomorrow is Halloween?" - Cate
"No, the month of October has 31 days and Halloween is on the 31. day, at the end of October. So there are 32 days left until Halloween." - Ines
"32 days? That's long!" - Cate
"For children it is. For grown-ups it isn't." - Lily
We have made some more discoveries in the
outdoor classroom related to the seasons changing....
Some of the children's thoughts and ideas about their findings:
(They are) Vegetables or Pears - Wilder
Apples - Hugh
My apples look like this and they're ready - Daniel (referring to the pale green, yellowish color)
When apples are green it means they're sour. - Hugh
I think they're apples and apples need to change blue. That's the kind of apple that change to blue. Bright blue. - Daniel
The fruits on our persimmon tree are growing and ripening!
Just over the course of this week we have noticed significant changes.
"That one is more orangy!"
- Daniel, on Thursday, comparing the color of the persimmon to his observations from earlier this week
We will keep observing their color change in the upcoming days and weeks. If you have a favorite recipe that includes persimmons, please share it with us. We would love to try it out!
Thursday, September 30th
A Birthday Committee for Remy
This week, Bea, Cate, and Luke have been working together to prepare a birthday portrait for their friend Remy.
As a part of our Rainey Room birthday preparation process, we dedicate a morning meeting conversation to begin discussing what we as a class know about the birthday child. Our friend Remy also shared some ideas with us about her favorite things.
What types of things does Remy like?
A slinky! For the stairs. And rainbows. All sparkly things and all rainbow things too. - Remy
And she loves going in photo booth. - Wilder
Yeah. Dancing. - Remy
You love to dance in photo booth? - Bea
Yeah and we pretend we’re getting married (in photo booth). - Remy
Small Group Committee Work
Bea, Cate, and Luke
To begin the birthday committee process, we reflect on the information discussed as a class and shared by the birthday child. Our reflections and continued dialogue help the committee determine how to proceed with the first steps to begin portraiture work.
What do we recall Remy telling us about things she likes?
A toy. - Bea
Oh right, she mentioned she had a slinky at home. - Sam
I don’t have one. - Bea
I don’t have one either. - Luke
Me either. - Cate
Well I think she mentioned she likes other things. - Sam
Sparkles! And rainbows. She likes sand!- Bea
That’s right, she told Bea when we were outside that she likes playing in the sand. - Sam
We could take sand and we could do like how you guys did those like kind of like how you did for my birthday when I was turning three here in Brown Room and there was some sand on it (her birthday present). - Bea
That’s right, you did have sand on your birthday present. - Sam
*Bea’s 3yo present was a clay camel placed on a sandy base*
If we are taking a portrait photo of Remy, how do you think we could get sand in the photo? - Sam
Yeah! See, that’s the question! Hmm, we could bring a box of sand? - Bea
So maybe we could bring sand inside? What if we brought the photo outside? Do you think we could take the photo outside? - Sam
Yeah! - Bea
Outside in the sandbox. - Cate
Maybe that could be our setting. Do you know what a setting is? - Sam
Like setting up a present. - Bea
Like we can set up the area where we will have the photo shoot. - Sam
We could draw the rainbows. We could do anything like drawing or painting. - Bea
We could make it like this (“drawing” a rainbow arch shape on the table with her finger). So it will fit in the box. The birthday box. - Cate (pointing to the picture frame for the birthday portrait)
Remember when we talked about foreground and background when we learned about Finlay’s birthday portrait?
Finlay had legos. And Michael had trains. - Bea
Right. What should Remy have? - Sam
A rainbow! - Bea
At this point in the conversation, both foreground and background terms were revisited. The committee referred to Finlay's birthday portrait to use as a reference point for observing how foreground and background items are placed in the portrait setting. Ideas about the proportion and size of the materials needed to create potential foreground and background objects were shared. It was agreed that the background is larger than the birthday child so that "you can see it behind them" (Cate).
We could do it like this so Remy can be in the middle. The rainbow could go around her - Bea
(after observing that Finlay sat in the middle of his portrait background)
Bea then suggests an idea to draw rainbows. The committee can then begin to generate ideas for the rainbow background by using their drawings as inspiration.
Let's go find some shiny stuff now! - Bea
The committee decided to use the atelier (an area of the school that we are becoming more familiar with) to search for materials that Remy would like. The focus was to collect items that fit into a category of "shiny, sparkly, and sand".
Next, the committee asked to visit the sewing table in our hallway where we gather and store many types of fabric in hopes of finding rainbow colors. Bea, Cate, and Luke began selecting different fabrics that "fit" a rainbow palette. After some disagreement on which shades of color fit the rainbow vision best, it was decided that the fabric should be "shiny" because that's what Remy would like most.
Painting a Rainbow Background
I’m gonna make this color. - Luke (adding white to his blue jar)
Oh, what will happen if you add white? - Sam
It’s gonna turn light. - Cate
I’m starting with red because purple has red and then blue. - Bea
We need orange. - Cate
How do we make orange? - Sam
I don’t know. - Cate
Would you like to check the color chart? - Sam
We need yellow and red. - Cate
I need to make light purple. I need red and blue and red and blue and red and blue. - Bea
We need green! That’s it. There’s different kinds of green. - Bea
Blue and yellow make green. - Cate
Luke, could you make green for us please? - Sam
Blue and… (grabs yellow bottle) - Luke
I need more yellow. - Cate (adjusting shade of orange)
If we want a color to be lighter, what could we use? I remember Cate said that a certain color makes “light” - Sam
White! - Cate
That’s what I actually needed. That’s what I did last time. - Bea
I did! Make green! - Luke (mixing colors)
It looks like a heart. - Cate
I kind of made it like a heart because I wanted to shape like a heart because I love her (Remy). - Bea
Wearing a Rainbow
When are we gonna sew the rainbow? - Cate
Did we decide what type of rainbow we’re going to sew. Yesterday you mentioned a dress. - Sam
A rainbow dress and a unicorn horn. - Bea
And unicorn hair. - Cate
Looking through the fabric collected during the committee's search for materials, a discussion began about what the rainbow dress should look like. If all of the fabric was sewn together in it's found shape and size, what would that look like? Did any of the fabric need to be altered to better fit the costume design?
We need it to be smaller. At the end of this (base piece). - Bea (indicating that the selected fabric needs to be cut to size to match the size of the body of the dress)
And how wide should each piece be? - Sam
I don’t know… - Bea
As big as the base. - Cate
It’s too big. - Luke
If it’s as wide as the base, I don’t think we will be able to fit all of the colors you’ve chosen. - Sam
I think this long. - Bea (spreading fingers out to show width)
We can get a ruler out to measure that. - Sam
*Measure width ~ 3inches*
If we want each piece to be the same size, we can measure each to be 3 inches. - Sam
Yeah. All the colors. - Bea
Once all of the colors were cut to size (width and length) to create rainbow strips, then it was time to sew the rainbow onto the body of the dress!
Once the body of the dress was assembled, it was time to create the unicorn "crown" complete with hair and a horn.
How did the children decide to incorporate a unicorn into Remy's portrait attire?
"Because she has a unicorn on her shirt. She likes unicorns." - Cate
Modeling the Finished Costume
Finishing the Background - Adding Embellishments
Maybe we can fill in all the white space with shiny stuff and sand. She (Remy) likes shiny rainbows. - Bea
*after looking through collection of shiny paper*
Or… match the color on the rainbow. The red can go here. To fill in the red space by the red (places red piece of paper next to the red painted arch in the rainbow). - Bea
I think she’s gonna love it! She’s gonna be so proud of us. - Bea
The Photo Shoot!
It's good! I just love sparkles, you know?! - Remy
Remy seemed more than pleased with the work that the committee had collaborated on to put together an incredible birthday photo shoot for her.
You could feel (and hear) the excitement, energy, and love between Remy and her committee friends throughout the process. Happiness abound!
You look so pretty! - Bea
The Final Committee Work
Process of Elimination and Editing the Birthday Portrait
Observations made by the committee as to why we should not choose certain photos:
She’s looking sidewards. - Bea
She’s looking down. - Cate
Not good because her closing her eyes. - Luke
No… too blurry. - Cate
We can’t see her body! - Cate
How to select a "good" portrait:
It’s good. She’s not covering the rainbow and her eyes are open. - Bea
She's smiling so pretty! - Bea
Happy! - Cate
I think it's perfect. - Bea
Rainey Room Sing Along
Sharing Family Favorites
As part of our ongoing work to develop and foster children's unique identity in the classroom, we asked families to record and share songs they enjoy together at home. A large part of children's identities are their families and the traditions and experiences they share with them. The family environment is the context in which authentic identity begins to develop. Learning about family backgrounds provides meaningful ways for children to both learn about themselves and to consider their similarities and differences with others.
In the past few days, children have shared recordings of them and family members, such as siblings, parents and grandparents, singing and dancing to their "family favorite" with the classroom. Teaching their songs to the class brought the children great joy and a strong sense of pride and ownership.
Thank you to everyone who has shared their recordings with us so far! If you haven't had a chance to send your family favorite yet, there's still time! We will continue to share and learn new songs from each other in the upcoming weeks. We'd love to eventually combine and share with you everyone's favorite song in a classroom playlist.
Finlay's Family Favorite
Finlay and his mom, Camille, have a great time dressing up and moving to "This song is gonna get stuck in your head" at home. After sharing this video with everyone during snack, Finlay observed his friend's reactions and concluded "I think they really like it" as they wiggled and giggled in their chairs. Together, we decided that this would be a great song to add to our classroom dance party playlist.
Remy's Family Favorite
The song Remy shared with us is part of a family tradition that has been passed down from her grandmother to her mother and now to her. The song originated from making cinnamon toast together.
The needed steps are: mix "cimanon and sugar" in a bowl, "put the bread in" the toaster, "spread the butter" and then you "sprinkle it on, sprinkle it off, sprinkle it on again". And then don't forget to eat it ;)
Saul's Family Favorite
"The Forklift Song" is one of Saul's favorite songs. Saul's interest in construction vehicles also shows at school, as they are one of his preferred choices in the outdoor classroom. Him and his sister, Riva, sang and performed "The Forklift Song" for us, including an amazing guitar solo from Saul. The catching melody and movement aspect quickly turned this song into a new classroom favorite as well.
Today it was our turn to lead our first Sing Along of the year!
In addition to some of our old favorites like Baa Baa Black Sheep, Rags, and The Firetruck Song (which was also taught to us by our friend Bea and her family at the beginning of Brown Room) we included the new songs we learned this week from our friends Remy and Saul in our Sing Along.
It was so much fun seeing our families on the screen and singing and moving together!
Snack with Lucas
We have been missing our dear friends Lucas a lot! That is why we were excited to have a snack date with him on Monday. As special guests, his sister Zoe, mom Megan and dad Dan joined us as well. His dad was also our Mystery Reader! Thank you for reading, Ada Twist Scientist to us! It was wonderful to chat about the different foods we're having for snack and exchanging our plans for the day.
Lucas, we can't wait to see you again soon! We love you!
Monday, September 27th
Projections for the Week
While collecting trains in the classroom we observed differences between the pieces (train wagons and engines) and defined closer what we are looking for.
Hugh: This is an engine.
Jade: This is a kind of engine he really likes I think.
Ines: How can we tell that it's an engine?
Hugh: Because of this. It has the steam thing and the back (small knob pointing up) and the wheels.
Ines: This wagon has wheels, too. How are they different?
Hugh: It doesn’t have the steam part.
Cape: Is this the part where the steam comes out? (pointing to a circle on top of a wagon piece)
Hugh: No, because it has coal in it. And engines don’t have any coal in it except when it burns.
On Wednesday the committee began creating the photo shoot setting. Jade decided to work on the background by arranging green materials and blocks on the shelf. She decided the crane should be on top of stacked blocks.
"It should be up there because cranes need to be tall." - Jade
Hugh and Cape constructed a landscape including a valley (long blocks arranged vertically around the left side of the chair), a silo, a train station for animals and train tracks.
"The trains can ride from the silo to the chair." - Hugh
"Let's test of they can work." - Cape, testing if train engines can find underneath the bridge
Discussing landscape/portrait orientation
While preparing for the photo shoot, we discovered that our tripod is adjustable in many ways. We can change the height of the tripod and the orientation of the camera itself (horizontal or vertical / landscape or portrait) To help us decide which way the camera should be attached for this project we compared the orientation of the camera to the picture frames on the birthday calendar.
Hugh: They’re up sideways! (comparing camera and picture frame orientation)
(It should be "upright") because the picture frames are like this. (holding the camera vertical next to the picture frame)
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Today, Hugh, Jade and Cape discussed the photos they took on Wednesday and offered their opinion and reasons for preferring certain photos for the birthday present. Jade was focused on lighting and exposure in each photo ("The lights are on." - "This part isn't too bright." - "It's too bright." - "I don't like the bright lights on the wall."). While it was important to Hugh that the materials in the background can be seen properly ("You can see the green on the shelf.")
I like blue (pointing to the necklace placed around her hair).
And I just wanted those eyes.
Because I liked it like that.
Because it’s good because I switched it.
I mixed it up.
(changed his image)
The feather because Molly put it on and I
liked it like that. Some kind of long things and buttons
because they looked spikey. And they’re cool.
The blue ones (gems) is my favorite color. And
the red gems. And those pink ones. I like all those colors.
And a floating dot. (laughing)
I added buttons because I have buttons on my dress
and I want to change it. I added earrings and sparkly
gems on my bow. I have a unicorn horn because it’s
part of my bow. I really like unicorns. It’s because
they can do magic.
Look! I have earrings. I wear clippy earrings (at home).
I have seven eyes. And a seed in the middle of my mouth.
I did like purple feathers at the bottom and I’m full of jewelry.
Sometimes I wear shirts with jewelry on it.
I thought it would look funny with jewelry in my hair.
I want the blue stuff around my hair because I liked it.
I made two glasses. It looks like glasses.
I got some buttons and some hooks
(pointing to his shirt in the photo).
Those are sunglasses (pointing back to his eyes).
Googly eyes. Look, isn’t it funny? I have wings and sunglasses.
I’m pretending that I’m flying.
I found a hat.
See my eyes? Three more. And more glasses.
Look, now I’m bigger than you (Jordan).
I have beautiful diamonds on me.
Look at my spikey hair! And I changed the mouth (giggling).
I’m just being silly. I gave myself a feather like I’m a duck.
I choose it to make me look funny. I choose all the ring to
make it look fun. Take a picture of it for the blog.
It’s a space helmet (wooden rings). I need to stack it. This little
button is for candy in space. Candy in space! And this is a
wood-pecking nose. (giggles)
Those are lightning bolts and I put a microphone.
And some eyeballs on my head. I thought it would be cool!
I am making a wolf mask. And these are wolves for the wolf
mask. Those are black eyes susan. It’s a type of flowers.
I moved it to make it a nest for the wolf.
(changes from mask to nest)
They like it so they can eat it (the flowers).
I use it (the feathers) for the baby wolf.
I’m trying to make the wolf nest all the way on the
top of my head.
I made it look like a ghost. The ghost of a mountain.
Because I asked mommy and her favorite color is yellow
so I put on yellow (yellow pipe cleaner).
I want it to look normal. I don’t want it to look silly. Maybe we can
cut out fabric that looks like Zuzu, like my doggy and put it on.
That kind of reminds me of Zuzu (beige fabric). His nose
(brown button) we could put his nose here.His eyes are green so
I will take this green button and it kind of is the green like a dog.
We need the same green to match it. We need to cut this fabric
into small pieces. This could be the inside of his ear. Now he needs
to get his little body. And in this picture (comparing to a photo of Zuzu)
he’s wearing a blue collar. No, a red collar and a button. Slide it on
top (of his photo). So Zuzu is in front of me.
Today we got to celebrate our friend Finlay!
Four the special birthday snack in the classroom we enjoyed Finlay's favorite snacks: Pirate Booties, Cheerios and CheezIts.
During the celebration outside, Hugh mentioned "We are missing a screen", remembering birthday celebrations in Brown Room, for which families joined the celebration via zoom. We are excited to announce that for this year's celebration family members will be able to join us outside or in Blake Hall! It was a wonderful surprise to see Finlay's mom, Camille, waiting for us outside on the front lawn.
We are thankful for the opportunity to include families in the child(ren)'s special moments at school!
That counts. - Wilder (finding a darker green piece that’s different than other shades)
Does Finlay like brown? - Lucas
I remember Finlay saying that he likes red, green, and golden. - Sam
That’s kind of golden? - Wilder
No, that’s pink. - Lucas
Oh this one! - Lucas (finds spider web)
That will scare him… - Wilder
Maybe we could save some pieces that we think Finlay might like and we can ask him about them. - Sam
Ooooo this is special! - Lucas (finding pieces to show Finlay)
We can ask him (Finlay) if he thinks its so special. - Wilder
Whoa. This is so cool. Want to ask him about this?- Wilder (seeks validation from Lily and Lucas about his findings)
We HAVE to ask him him about that. - Lucas
Yeah. We HAVE TO! - Lily
When the committee finished choosing their lego selection, there was continued discussion about background. It was agreed that Finlay's favorite things (colors and lego) should be included in the portrait, potentially as a background, but there was uncertainty about how to effectively display the lego pieces in the background of the photo. Sam suggested that some backdrops are made of fabric.
Where could we find a selection of fabric at school? The committee made a trip to our sewing table where there is a large collection of fabric pieces. They began to find items that they agreed were both "beautiful" and fit Finlay's color palette.
The "birthday hat"
It has two of his favorite colors!
We should definitely use this! - Lily
I like all the colors. - Finlay
This spiderweb? - Lucas
I like any pieces. - Finlay
Do you like this lego boat? - Wilder
Um. Yeah. Anything. Everything. - Finlay
If we included legos in your birthday photo, how would you feel about that? - Sam
Good! - Finlay
Fabric/ Attire/ Backdrop
Finlay, do you like this birthday hat? - Wilder
No thanks. - Finlay
Your friends chose this because it has green and golden colors, so they thought you might like it. - Sam
But it has to have red too… - Finlay
I had to tell Finlay something. Sam thought that we could make the purple on the back of your head so you don’t see the purple side (in the photo). - Lucas
(demonstrates how to wear it to hide the purple)
I can still see it... no thanks. - Finlay
When providing feedback and his own personal input about the selection of materials, Finlay had two requests for the committee.
1. He wanted the legos to be in front of him so that you could see them in the photo.
2. He wanted the background to look like he was inside of a tent.
(he chose the red and gold fabric to be the fabric for constructing the tent.)
We wanted a fort. - Wilder
Like a tent. - Finlay
And legos. He (Finlay) wanted them in front of him.
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