There were a few surprises awaiting the children today!
Before the winter break, and especially in these few days after, we have been paying extra close attention to the work happening in the black and white areas. As teachers (plus a lot of observation from Jen this week), we have been questioning whether or not we needed to make adjustments to the space, materials, challenges being offered, additional provocation materials added to the space, etc. With all of our own observations and questions in mind, we decided to bring it to the children at morning meeting on Wednesday. We were wondering how they were feeling about the space and materials. Did they think there was anything that should be changed or adjusted.
I started by telling them a few of mine and Jen's observations:
1. Sometimes it feels like there isn't much room for you all to move around.
2. We've noticed that it can be difficult to get some of the materials to balance for building.
3. We've noticed that a lot of the structures are only made out of these [bed risers].
"I feel that it is big." - Nora, 5.3 years
"No, it's not big enough." - Lochie and Reed simultaneousy
"It's a little bit big, but a little bit small." - Lochie, 5.2 years
"It's too small." - Jack and CC
"It looks small..."- Lucia, 4.7 years
"But it's not." - Maxon, 4.10 years
"It's not the same because the white area is bigger, and the black area is small." - Elle, 5.0 years
"We need to spread it out." - Jack, 5.7 years
In order to achieve a larger space in the white area, we had to move the nugget and cozy corner. So, we switched it with the blue table. We will continue to observe and analyze the movement and flow of our classroom and collaborate with the children to work out any kinks we may find.
The all-school Birthday calendar
Another surprise for today was the "completion" of the all-school birthday calendar! A big thank you to Jen, Ines, and Elena for their hard work to make this happen! I promise to get you more dialogue around this from our visit, but it will be tomorrow or next week! We also added St. John's to our classroom birthday calendar!
Clay with Brigitte
Based on the children's work with wire, beads, and paper beads, we initially invited them to make clay beads that they could use for jewelry making. These children love clay, and there was so much meaningful work that happened beyond creating some beautiful clay beads.
"I made mine like I made the paper beads." - Lochie, 5.2 years
"I made a triangle bead." - Elle, 5.0 years
"I made mine like a cinnamon roll." - George, 4.6 years
"I love cinnamon rolls. I have them at my house. The icing is yummy!" - Elle
"It's a holy leaf." - Violet, 4.8 years
"It looked like a caterpillar ate through it." - George
I"m making a pepperoni pizza bread." - George
"I made a straight line with wings." - Lochie
"I made Brigitte." - Violet
"I made a snowman." - George
"I made a sea star and couch." - Elle
As we always do, we had to wait for the clay to dry before they could glaze it. But, on Wednesday George, Violet, Elle, and Lochie spent time glazing their clay creations.
On Thursday, Brigitte once again invited children to the studio for clay, but this time it was our white clay. They were very busy making baguettes and other bread creations.
"Baguette, I"m making a baguette. I"m cutting my baguette." - Reed
"We need more baguette. I'm making some baguette. Can we put all of our baguettes together. Who's going to bake my baguette?" - CC
"I'm making an oven." - Audrey
"I'm making an apple crisp." - Nora
"When I'm done making my baguette, I'm making a baguette cake." - Reed, 4.9 years
"I'm making a baguette cake with a birthday candle." - Audrey, 4.9 years
"I made a baguette cake." - Giacomo, 5.1 years
"During bread week on the Great baking show, they made a square break out of circles. That's what I'm doing." - Lochie, 5.2 years
"I want to make a design on my clay." - Marley, 4.11 years
Marley's idea led to quite a bit of print making on small clay slabs and other sculptures. Their work was thoughtful, intentional, and you can see the contamination of ideas (specifically with the baguettes).