Exploration: New Experiences and Materials in Pod A
It was a busy and noisy morning in Tucker A! Each of the children worked with hammers, nails, and wood in the studio area. Children discovered how much effort was required to drive and nail into the wood. They also noted the differences in using a shorter nail with a wide head and a longer, thinner nail. Wolf shared his knowledge of tools with his classmates. Wolf - (Looking at his nail in the wood) It's not exactly straight. (He removes the nail with the hammer.) Lane - Is that what the back (of the hammer) is for? (A little later.....) Wolf was an expert at hammering. As the morning progressed, Wolf shared this strategy with Maren and Nora as well.
The construction area is always a popular choice for our children. Yesterday, we added the new and unique materials pictured above. Children quickly proposed uses for these items. As they built today, children developed narratives involving animals and worked through concepts of stability and balance. The group wanted to build a structure that was taller than a teacher: mission accomplished. As always, the area supported collaboration and the formation of relationships.
The Tucker A Pod features a plant area to support children's understanding of the plants that are a part of the birthday gift this year. Nora examined leaves and flowers with the digital microscope today. The noticed the lines running through leaves in the enlarged image. Jill - Why do you think those lines are there? Nora - I don't know. Dakota - Because they growed like that. Wolf - (Coming over from the construction area) They hold the leaf to the stem. I see it connecting. Nora - I see the lines. They grew like that. (She examines a variety of leaves under the the microscope.) Nora - That leaf has the same thing -- the line. Jill - Are we noticing that all the leaves have lines? Nora - Yes! All the leaves have lines. (Looking at another leaf) It has lines, too. This (digital microscope) is like an x-ray. Like an x-ray taking pictures of your tummy. (She looks at another leaf) I'm pointing out that this leaf has a line. Lane - (Looking at the line) That's part of the stem. Nora - I think this is a mystery. The mystery is that all leaves have the same lines. Lane - (Pointing to the center of the enlarged image of a flower) See that part.... it's the necturn. Actually, it's the pollen. The bees get the pollen. Cannon - (From the sink) Bees get pollen and nectar.
This is an early conversation about leaves and plants and there are certain to be several more. We are eager to hear children's theories and understandings. You'll notice that teachers don't correct children or rush in with our knowledge. Instead, we allow children to construct knowledge in a collaborative manner.
Outdoor Classroom Collaboration
The Tucker B Pod had an hour outside today, which proved to be the perfect environment for making connections and building relationships. At certain points, all five children in attendance were playing and working together. It all started as Fletcher noticed that the sand had been dug to resemble a moat. He asked children to help build a moat and Aida was the first to join in. Then a bridge was suspended over the moat.... Fletcher - I'm afraid it (the bridge) will not hold.....(Indeed, the bridge does hold! Fletcher admires the hole that has been dug.) This is going to be the biggest hole ever!! Andy - Here's gonna be the river. We're making the biggest moat ever. Aida brings over a boat. Oliver - Let's make the stream nice and flat. We can get a tube and put it through there. Fletcher - We're saved! It (the tube) is too short! Aida - It looks like they're having fun! Fletcher - Psssssh, psssssh, turn off the (imaginary) water! Real water was eventually added as children worked together to create the moat. A good time was had by all!
More Collaboration and Connections! Tucker B children also studied the numbers on the communal hopscotch and continued work on a large rainbow weaving they began yesterday.
Many thanks to the families that have shared their memory boxes. Yesterday, Olivia, Cannon, and Gig shared their boxes with their classrooms. As children share, their classmates are noticing connections. For example, the memory boxes of both Cannon and Gig prominently featured the messages they received during our time away from school. Olivia has been very generous with the items in her box..... she is letting classmates "buy" and "sell" items from her box in the Tucker B Store. The connections made by children will inform part of the future work of the classrooms. We'll keep you posted as these ideas develop!