In the Brown Room ...
We were all feeling so excited about celebrating this special holiday together at school.
What better way to get our enthusiasm out then with a super fun dance party to start the day?!
Next we took a snuggle break ...
Then we prepared ourselves for Thanksgiving chapel. We used our battery operated candles and our new rattle bells to help us create some music and ambience while participating in chapel songs.
Did you know that we visited the kitchen to check on the thanksgiving soup during its preparation yesterday?
Happy Thanksgiving Brown Room Families!
We are thankful for all of you!
Another Brown Room Birthday Celebration!
When Wilder was 0 years old he liked to ... blow raspberries!
When Wilder was 1 year old he liked to ... eat avocado!
When Wilder was 2 years old he like to ... run with balloons!
Wilder is 3 years old and he likes to ... Ride His Bike!
After a round of delicious chocolate cupcakes for our special snack, we celebrated another friend turning 3 years old. Wilder's color choice to represent his birthday celebration and message from his friends? PURPLE!
Similar to Jade's birthday gift, children created their birthday message to Wilder using clay which Brown Room children show continued interest in working with and exploring further.
After we finish our classroom celebration, the birthday child is able to open his/her individual birthday box on our classroom calendar.
Inside each box is a small representation of the message/gift created by their peers.
This was our last Brown Room birthday in 2020!
Harvesting from the persimmon tree.
Did you know that there is a persimmon tree in the outdoor classroom? Children have taken notice of the trees beautiful changing leaves as well as the bright orange fruit that grows on the tree. Today, children inquired again if the fruit was "ready yet". We have had previous discussions about having to wait to pick the persimmon until it finishes growing and is ripe. Today's questioning led to further research and a discovery that yes, the fruit is probably ready now! We picked two of the ripest looking persimmons from the tree and will allow them to mature at room temperature over the weekend. Hopefully they will be ready to taste next week!
Next week - Thanksgiving!
Today after arriving at school, children were excited to share both their "thank you" and "place" cards for next weeks Thanksgiving feast.
If you haven't yet made your place card / thank you with your child at home,
please have fun creating these over the weekend!
That's all for today!
Since its our last Friday here at school for the month of November, the staff will be taking extra care of our environment for the rest of the afternoon.
If we won't be seeing you next week, we want to extend some early Thanksgiving gratitude to all of you!
We are so thankful for our wonderful and supportive Brown Room families.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Yesterday and today we continued our collage work for the Thank You Tree.
Thank you to Michael's family for sending in their family thank you note. We are also very excited to have received our first place card for Hugh. The Brown Room is getting excited for our celebration.
In preparation for our Thanksgiving Feast on Tuesday every classroom prepares different ingredients for the soup, which Molly and Jessica will cook for us on Monday. The Brown Room's responsibilities this year were cutting spinach and green beans. In order to get the vegetables into small pieces we used scissors or our hands to bend, snap and rip them.
Everyone did such a fantastic job using their fine motor skills. We can't wait for Monday to take trips down to the kitchen to visit Molly and Jessica. We will make sure to look out for our spinach and green beans in the soup.
Gallery Walks at St. John's
In the beginning of the week the Brown Room presented their work with wire in form of a "Gallery Walk" outside during drop off and pick up times. It was wonderful to finally be able to share some of our work with you and the St. John's community. It was especially great to see some Tucker Room families show interest in our work as well. Thank you to everyone for stopping by and sharing. This has been a new experience for us as well and we are excited for many more Gallery Walks to come in the future.
Today we celebrated our friend Jade's 3rd birthday!
Although we typically do not celebrate a birthday at school on a child's actual date of birth, it worked out that we were able to celebrate our friend Jade on the day she turned three!
Jade walked around our classroom birthday candle three times doing her signature "cowboy pose" strut.
Did you know that Jade is a HUGE fan of Toy Story?
Her favorite character is Woody and she loves dressing up in cowboy/cowgirl attire herself!
Here are some photos from Jade's past birthday celebrations that she shared with friends in the classroom as well as photos from this years "theme".
We hope you enjoy your very special clay birthday message, Jade.
Clay + Wire
An introduction to using these two materials together.
Yesterday, our Tuesday children were introduced to the concept of combining both clay and wire in their work.
Today, (while a continuation for some) the majority of our Wednesday class was also introduced to using these two materials simultaneously.
As we observed children working with the materials today, we asked ourselves to think about and document the similarities and differences in how both groups of children approached the combination of two "languages".
Interestingly, today's group of children were not as drawn to including the wire in their work with clay pieces, but they were very observant of their peers and modeled many difference techniques for one another. There was obvious collaboration occurring in the form of observing, demonstrating, attempting, and mirroring each others approach to the clay as a way to manipulate its form.
While working, Luke's clay also "broke" as he bent his flat piece causing it to crack. Wilder was there to offer assistance if needed!
Oh no! Broken! - Luke
Can I help you get it together? - Wilder
(Wilder then showed Luke how he attaches clay pieces together using his fingers to "smush" the clay together)
Yay! Fixed! That my friend! Wilder help me! - Luke
Luke and Wilder also used similar found objects to "smash" and flatten the clay as they observed each others techniques and results!
Using tools to create imprints in the clay did not go unnoticed by others! Soon, many children were using a variety of tools to create their own markings in their clay pieces.
Later, Luke demonstrated his learned technique to his friend Frannie so that they could create similar circle imprints together.
Look! I got circles in mine. - Frances
Hard, hard! Circles! - Luke
I LOVE it! - Frances
(while looking at Luke's circle prints)
Even though sometimes our provocations do not play out in the direction that we assume they might (such as offering a beautiful variety of wire pieces to use in combination with clay), there are still so many amazing examples of learning to be observed and appreciated while experiencing something together in a shared space!
Jade's birthday traditions
Jade shared photos of her birthdays at home with us during morning meeting on Monday. The children were especially interested in the balloons they found in the pictures and the beautiful cakes she had over the years. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos with us, Jade! We can't wait to celebrate your 3. birthday with you tomorrow.
Hugh: Hey, there is is many pictures of balloons. I had a fire truck one at my birthday.
Daniel: I had a lion one at mine.
Jade: It's not a balloon. It's a bear.
Lily: Two cakes!
Jade: I have a Woody one! (remembering her Toy Story birthday cake)
Watercolor paint? I would be so happy if we do that!
During our morning meetings we are discussing our plans for the day. The children get to choose what they would like to start working on.
On Monday Daniel was especially excited about the option to paint with watercolors in the light table. A few children started their day with that and another group went into the studio to work on our Thankful Tree. Since we have been exploring the language of collage in the beginning of the year in different ways (with paper, small loose parts or natural materials), we wanted to include this interest in our Thanksgiving Feast center piece. Another interest of the Brown Room is COLOR. We explored and studied colors during birthday committees, painting with different kinds of paint and the children are looking forward to finding rainbows in front of their cubby every day (and are missing it deeply on cloudy days). The children used a wide ribbon as their collage base and added string, cellophane paper, tissue paper, ribbons or small pieces of fabric in different colors onto it with glue. These collages got wrapped around our Thankful Tree.
Cate: I choose string. That! I found purple. Purple is my favorite color. I sticked them on.
Finlay: Mine is awesome. I put leaves. I out this on it. It's gold (pointing to a piece of silver ribbon).
Cate: It's for the giving tree. A rainbow (glueing cellophane paper in the colors yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and pink in a rownexbt to each other)
Bea: Do you know what I'm making? I'm making a thank you tree. I put all the glue on. This is a rainbow.
Daniel: I'm done now. Wow, that's so many stuff on it. I have to put it on the thank you tree. Now I'm gonna do water colors now.
On the light table we worked on creating the thank you notes for our tree. During their work the children noticed a change in the shade of colors depending the amount of water they used and explored intensities of colors on their paper. The more water they used the lighter the color got.
Bea: I'm gonna paint a nice nice monster that gives kisses and hugs.
Jade: I'm making a scary monster.
Hugh: I'm making a colorful rainbow.
Lily: I'm making a machine.
Jade: I'm making a rocket ship.
Bea: It's a bird.
We wanted to say thank you to Finlay's family for sending in their
beautiful thank you note for our tree.
If you haven't already, please send in your family's thank you note for our
Thanksgiving feast center piece by Friday, Nov. 20.
Combining wire and clay
Many children have asked us last week if we could use clay again. And of course we can! Today we offered both, clay and wire. Pieces of wire were used for different purposes in different ways.
Wire as a tool
Bea and Daniel each chose only one piece of wire first and used it the cut smaller pieces off a big piece of clay. Cate and Finlay poked multiple wires into their clay to create 'holes". Remy chose to not get a piece of wire but instead chose a tool from the shelf to create bigger and wider holes. Luke first used one wire to poke holes into his clay while saying "Bee hole. Bee hole." He then showed interest in Remy's tool which she kindly shared with him and assisted him in creating a similar kind of hole. After pushing clay into a small glass jar, Daniel also used wire to pull the clay back out.
Connecting clay and wire
Daniel then experimented with combining clay and wire by adding smaller pieces of clay on top of his flattened out wire. He continued until his entire piece of wire was covered in clay. Lily also combined her pieces by using her wire as an arch - one end in a piece of red clay and the other end in a piece of grey clay. She then pushed both pieces of clay towards each other until they met.
Forming shapes / movement of information
Lily started to shape small amounts of clay to balls by rolling it between the palms of her hands. Bea noticed it and asked her for assistance on achieving the same. She also experimented with rolling clay on the table in a circular movement with more and less pressure. Finlay listened to Bea's comments about her work and then shapes his clay into small balls as well. He added two small balls to a piece of wire ("a snowman"). In response, Daniel asked how to shape his pieces. He then created a different shape - a coil - by moving his hands back and forth instead of a circular motion. This way information traveled from one end of the table to the other and transformed in the process.
A medium for story telling and collaboration
Luke and Remy sat next to each other and at first worked on their own, observing the other one's work. Luke began to go over to Remy and say "Play with me." After Remy added another large piece of clay to her original piece she offered him to join her. They changed ideas, mirrored each other's work and created "cakes" and "birthday cakes" together by layering slabs of clay on top of each other.
Finlay poked a pieced of wire through a flat slab of clay while holding the pice of clay horizontally ("a popsicle") he then turned in sideways, now holding both sides of the wire with the piece of clay in the middle ("a rolling pin"). He started to rock or swing it back and forth singing "Row row row your boat".
Thank you for the trees.
Because they give us leaves.
The persimmon tree in the outdoor classroom seemed to have changed colors over night (or over 4 days of not being at school). The bright yellow and orange leaves were so inviting to jump in and to throw around.
He's my friend! - Frannie
The Brown Room children have very strong connections to their symbols. This morning, when first arriving upstairs before entering the classroom, Luke noticed friends using our check-in board with their photos and symbols. Later once exploring the classroom, Luke noticed friends using their symbols at the message center and was shown the symbol organizer.
Luke then began making marks of his own on paper using a variety of different stamps. When his friend Frannie visited her drawer in the symbol organizer to use her symbol on something she was working on, Luke made a connection that he didn't have a stamper in his organizer drawer yet!
"Oh no! Empty!", Luke said when he opened his drawer and didn't find a stamp inside.
Without hesitation, he then chose a "moth" stamp and placed it inside of his drawer. Closing the drawer with his newly chosen symbol inside, Luke was still disappointed. He noticed that next to his name there was only blank space - no symbol image!
"No! My symbol!", he said pointing to his label on the organizer drawer. Ines then helped Luke stamp his image next to his name. He celebrated his decision with a little wiggle dance, then moved on to exploring other areas of the classroom.
Luke has not yet identified his symbol with a "name", but we look forward to learning what he will call his beautiful image.
A New Language - Wire
Yesterday, children began exploring wire. In what ways could this material be used?
Vocabulary used by the children during this initial exploration to describe the way the wire pieces were being manipulated by their hands included twist, bend, and fold.
As children began to shape the wire into different forms, teachers offered additional descriptive vocabulary including spiral, loop, round, curve, and arch.
Children observed that the wire differed in colors and communicated these differences with one another.
Weight and thickness of the wire was observed when attempting to cut the wire from the spools.
Here are a collection of wire sculptures created by Bea, Lily, Finlay, Remy, Cate, and Hugh on Tuesday, 11/10.
Today's group of children began their initial exploration of wire by manipulating the shape
with their hands as well.
Then, a collection of small hollow materials were offered to the children and they immediately took to threading the items onto their wire pieces. They demonstrated fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, persistence, patience, sorting, and sequencing abilities throughout this process.
We compared our creations to some homemade musical instruments that we have found before in the school instrument cabinet.
We have always been fascinated by these and now, we have our own handmade rattles to use in the classroom!
A little rain won't stop us from enjoying our outside time.
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For her birthday color, Jade chose BLUE.
Lily explained to Bea, who wasn't present for the first part of the birthday gift, what her and Wilder had created out of clay.
Lily: We made frog jumps. With Wilder. Yesterday.
Bea: It goes like jump, jump, jump.
Bea then painted lakes, ponds, and little babies and Lily painted logs to sit on for the frogs.
Jade: What are you doing?
Cape: I'm painting.
Jade: What are you painting?
Cape: A road.
Jade: I'm painting a monster.
Cape: I'm painting a monster's house.
Jade: Is that this monster's house? (pointing to her painting)
Cape: I like his birthday.
Ines: What do you think Wilder will say?
Cape: Great! I think he would say great work.
What is Thanksgiving?
Bea: It's like when you give stuff to people, like candy.
Lily: Having people over.
Bea: We are going to Poppy's house.
Daniel: Where is Poppy's house?
Bea: In Arizona.
What does it mean to care about someone?
Bea: You love them!
What are you thankful for?
Bea: Sam and Ines. Because I just love you guys.
Bea: I want to thank daddy. Because I love him. he hugs me. And he puts me upside down.
Finlay: For my mom. Because her get all my toys. Also surprises.
Remy: Elle, my Elle.
Hugh: For my dad and for my mom. because they bring special toys.
Cate: For mama. She gave me Didi.
So far we read the following books together:
"I am Thankful" by Suzy Capozzi
"Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood - Thank You Day" by Farrah McDoogle
"Splat says Thank You!" by Rob Scotton.
If you have any favorite books about Thanksgiving or "being thankful" and would like to share them with us, we would love that! Just send us an email or bring them in during drop-off or pick-up.
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On our way to the Chapel of the Carpenter for dismissal Finlay noticed a big box. When we opened it to see what's inside we found....
What are you making, Cape?
A car. A real car.
A car going in the street.
You see what I'm using?
A big street.
I'm using this to cut down roads.
That's a smooth road.
(adding grey clay and smoothing)
My hands are strong and I push down on this.
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What can you share with us about your work, Lucas?
The imprint went away.
It goes away and it comes back.
On this kind of message.
It goes away.
I'm closing it to get inside.
(smoothing out prints made)
This one is my favorite because it has many points on it.
(when using spiral seashell)
Imprint inside a imprint inside a imprint.
And then I make a different kind of imprint.
This whole building is where worms live.
(the grey clay)
When the fire is on they are inside here. They wait for dinner.
They eat clay for dinner.
They live in here when it's not fire.
(the grey "middle")
I'm making these where the worms can live.
(holes made by fingers, chain, & doorknob)
I mix the color brown with this color (grey). When it's fire the clay is gonna be all brown. It's gonna be brown like orange.
The clay doesn't wrinkle when it gets cooked in the oven.
I think it is gonna wrinkle !
Ines: Do you think Wilder likes worms?
I think he does. - Lucas
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I'm making a road to the castle.
(Referring to Michael's castle)
Cape used different kind of loop tools to slice of thin and long pieces from the block of clay. He then flattened them with his hand and connected them by squeezing the clay with his thumb. He then used a modeling tool to add textures to it.
I'm just writing James's name.
Who is James? - Cape
That's my brother.
Bea used a sgraffito tool to draw and write, noticing differences in marks when using more or less pressure. She wrote a message to her brother, James: "For James. I love you." (first photo) And she drew a sun (second photo).
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So hot. - Michael
Michael had a preconceived idea that perhaps this new material would be hot! He seemed hesitant to touch the block at first, but after some time of observing peers working with the clay he was then ready to explore the material himself.
Ines: Can our shadows disappear?
Yes. When we go in the shade.
(jumps back into sun)
My shadow is back!
I'm making Didi's shadow now.
It looks like a blanket. Because Didi is a blanket. - Cate