"We all have jamas." -Jane
"A fish...in leaves." -Jack
"A unicorn." -Reed
We did see a woman in a unicorn costume!
A low light and sweet treat snack time: cereal and milk and Halloween gummies!
"I would like blue again. [...] I just wanted to take one part blue. Now I want yellow. [...] I want no more purple." - Jack
As we mentioned at Classroom Stories night, we have been introducing new languages. This week, we introduced tempera paints, and the children were instantly engaged and enthusiastic about the materials and process. Each language offers a new way for children to express themselves, explore materials, and engage with each other.
With the material, we also introduced a method where they choose one color at a time that they would like to use, from a tray/cart/table. This color goes to the easel with them, and when they feel that they are finished with that color, they return it and choose a new one. This method took very little explanation and seemed intuitive to many of the children. As they would return to the tray, their eyes and hands would move around the color palette until they had chosen one. At times they were verbal about their choices, while others chose silently.
Much of the conversation was focused on their use of colors or for whom they were painting. Jack observed that he was able to make green when he mixed blue and yellow, and later that morning, Lochie asked if we could mix the colors (we will mix colors with them very soon). Janie demonstrated a clear preference for yellow, while C.C. chose dark blue for her daddy.
"I wanna mix colors." - Lochie
Every child had an opportunity to paint over the past few days, and we have observed many different techniques and approaches. Cedar chose to hold her jar full of paint in her left hand while she made hard, fast strokes with her right hand. Most of the other children placed the jars in the tray of the easel. C.C. and Giacomo primarily made long strokes up and down the paper, while Maxon focused on circular motions. Sylvie showed particular interest in covering the bottom corner of her paper, which she chose to do by changing her body and hand position. Lochie, chose to concentrate his strokes in the center of his paper, while others worked to cover the majority of the blank space.
Today, while Jane and Reed were painting, they discussed the technique of wiping the extra paint from the edge of their brush onto the edge of the jar, and they were excited to share their paintings with Maxon, who was peeking through the pass through windows. Audrey seemed to be comfortable at the easel, and was excited to show us the orange paint that she even got in her hair (a sign of a good time), and Marley expressed a desire for clean hands as she painted.
We are really looking forward to watching how they use the paints to express new ideas, recall stories, create, and enjoy their time together.
Our first paintings
How can we connect the children's experiences to color, which we have primarily offered through paint at this point in the year, with another material and means of expression, or language?
Our idea was to use cellophane paper, in the primary colors, on the light table. Not only do the children interact with the familiar and well loved colors of red, yellow, and blue but it also allows for the happy accidents of color mixing. The children are able to extend their experiences with color by moving and arranging the colored shapes. This helps them to build upon their existing knowledge of color and expands that knowledge, as they further develop their relationship to the languages of color and light. As for the shapes, they added possibility for geometric design and of course they added an element of fun as well. Who says learning can't be fun? We learned about squares, right triangles, and equilateral triangles.
"We used triangles." -Janie
Giacomo works alongside Lochie:
"I'm going to make a path all the way around." -Lochie
Above: Lochie's completed path arrangement
Janie places many shapes, mostly triangles, beginning with yellow (a color she favors) on the light table.
"It's tea, and I mix it for you Jack." - Cedar
This morning, Cedar was serving tea and snacks for her friends. This inspired us to make some tea for our morning snack. We had to change out our large water bottle, collect our hot water in a pitcher, steep the tea, and serve (we added cold water to make "iced tea").
Marley: "It's stinky."
Cedar: "It's yellow!"
Jack: "Now it's brown."
We also took some time today to share the videos from classroom stories. As soon as they saw the opening slide, they yelled, "That's us!"
"I guess I like the way it tastes!"
What a fabulously fun day, and it's only just Tuesday!
With animals in mind, we worked with both clay and blocks, we ate a pear, peanut butter, and rice cake snack and sang a peanut butter song to go with it, we had a post snack, blue-screen dance party, and we learned about Tucker Rooms' vermiculture project that involves composting food scraps with their new red worms.
The worms are in the bucket...
We look forward to seeing you all at Classroom Stories Night tomorrow.
Dress to impress and get a bit of a mess...
Continuing Work for C.C.'s Birthday
"It's for C.C." -Cedar
Have a healthy and happy weekend!
With a new group dynamic and some children who had not yet had the experience, we followed up from yesterday's provocation of a shadow screen, projector, and photograph of the sky, which Jack and Lochie took not too long ago. The intention was to spark the children's interest and memories to reignite their imaginations about the earlier conversations we have been having about what we see in the sky e.g. leaves, clouds, planes, and animals.
Similar to the experience of looking into the mirror, placed on the front lawn last week, and the phenomenon of reflection, the novelty and interactive phenomenon of light and shadow captivated the children. The reflective conversation about the sky photograph and the animals in the sky was put on pause. Also, Blake Hall was just too bright today for effective to see the projection of the tree and sky.
At dismissal, we asked: What animals did you see in the sky?
Yesterday, we introduced a new collage palette. There are six different types of materials available and glue in jars with paintbrushes. While collaging is now a familiar language, the lack of glue sticks and glue bottles seems to have created the opportunity to explore different techniques for spreading the glue.
Today, Marley and Sylvie provided a beautiful example of two different techniques that the children are using for their collage work. Marley tended to use her brush to spread the glue directly on her small piece of paper before adhering it to her base. She used a variety of hand positions to hold the brush and brushed it both up and down the paper (adjusting her hand as needed). Once the paper was placed on her base, if she needed to add more glue, she removed it, brushed the glue on, and then returned it to it's previous spot.
One of the first questions the children asked about the outdoor classroom was, "Can you push me on the swing?" While we know that this would be exciting, and they would certainly love the experience, we want the children to be able to climb onto the swing by themselves (or with minimal support) before we will push them. This choice allows them to develop the strength, balance, and confidence it requires to reach the seat; this also adds a layer of safety to the experience. They have made a few attempts to climb onto it, and each time, we discuss how they feel (safe, etc.) about it. In the meantime, they have created a wonderful back and forth game that elicits so much joy and laughter, that it is infectious.
September 16, 2019
As children play, they typically set rules (unspoken or spoken) for the game, and because they do not want the game to end, they will often adjust the rules to include more people and their perspectives. There are times when there are only two children pushing the swing back and forth, while other moments include 2-5 children; occasionally, we even get to participate. They often negotiate where everyone should be standing, which way the swing should go, and whose turn it is to push/receive..
Their game requires so much strength, balance, and coordination, and we're seeing their skills grow and develop with each passing week.
Today, many of the children joined in. Some of them were observers, while others jumped right in to take a turn. Sylvie was smiling and laughing as she watched the rope go by once or twice, and then she ran over to take her turn to push it. They were discussing which way the rope should go "around the circle" and who should push it first.
The properties of clay compel sensory interaction, from fingers to toes.
So, we took a bag of red clay "dirt" outside onto the bricks for a no-shoes clay-play experience. The results were nothing short of a success. The clay was walked upon, jumped upon, stomped upon, tickled with toes and in return feet and hands were colored in a beautiful earthen red. After some time a hippo, some plastic people, and some seashells were integrated into the merriment of bare hands, bare feet, and bare clay.
With all the joy, what more could be asked for in the the beautiful morning light of a crisp autumn day?
"I'm upside down!" -several children