"How 'bout we go here and we jump over to Kenya." - Lochie
Monday, we began morning meeting by noticing who was missing from our group. Violet noticed that Cedar was not here, so we took the opportunity to remind the children that Cedar was with her family, on their way to Kenya. Knowing that this is a bit of an abstract concept (a foreign country that none of them have been to), we provided a map for them to see and touch. First, we identified our home, Washington, D.C., and Kenya.
Before Cedar left, we talked to her mom about the possibility of sending messages through the mail; we also started a What'sApp message group so that we could communicate with them while they are abroad. Our hope was that we could stay in touch with Cedar over the five weeks while she is in Kenya, and we felt that this presented an opportunity to build on the children's desire to create and send messages, but it became much more than that.
We then posed the questions: How could we talk to Cedar? How could we send her a message?
Jack: My force.
Sylvie: Get on a plane and go there.
Lochie: Get a plane. We could go on a plane like Cedar.
Revisiting our conversation
Elyse: We talked yesterday about how to talk to Cedar while she's in Kenya. Giacomo suggested that we make a message for her, but we never decided how to get it to her. Jack suggested that we send it with his "force", and Lochie and Sylvie suggested "a plane". Do we have any other ideas?
Lochie and Sylvie: On an airplane.
Lochie: Send a message on the airplane.
Brigitte: [Pointing to the map] Do you know what this part of the planet is?
Brigitte: So, can we walk across it and bring it all the way to Kenya?
Sylvie: I think we go on an airplane.
Lochie: No, No, I don't walk to walk in water.
Brigitte: Is there a way we an walk across?
Lochie: How 'bout we go here [moving his finger from the western United States, down through South America] and we jump over to Kenya?
Sylvie: But maybe we have to take an airplane.
Giacomo: To get to an airplane port, it's a little bit far.
Lochie: How 'bout if we jump a little bit [pointing at South America] closer and then jump [moved finger to Kenya].
Elyse: So, how will we send [the messages] to Cedar?
Lochie: Umm...How do you put a message in the phone and send it to Kenya?
Elyse: We have two questions we have to answer.
Lochie: Maybe we can get a big container and a big phone attached to it the container. Then it will send.
Sylvie: But maybe we have to take the airplane all the way to it.
Elyse: How does the container get to Cedar?
Lochie: How 'bout we put a lot of things and attach it to it and Kenya, and then we can send a message and then we can drop it on Kenya. And we can also go back to here.
Elyse: You guys are really thinking about this.
Sylvie: Maybe we have to bring it on the airplane.
Lochie: Drop all the things on Kenya, and then send a message goes on to Kenya and then back to here.
"What could we put on the map as a reminder of where we are, and where Cedar is?" - Elyse
Sylvie spent some time working on the idea of using all of the Brown Room symbols on one piece of paper. She referenced our school directory so that we could ensure that all 14 children were represented. She also chose a piece of paper to stamp Cedar's symbol on, so that it could be placed near Kenya. Once she finished, we took the large paper over to the map. Sylvie found Washington, D.C. and we held the page of symbols up to the map.
Sylvie: It's too big.
Elyse: Why is it too big?
Sylvie: We cannot see Washington because it's too big.
Elyse: So, what can we do?
Sylvie: Maybe it can be small.
Elyse: Do you have any ideas about how to make it smaller?
Sylvie: I don't know.
I shared with Sylvie that we have a big printer at school that might be able to make it small enough to fit on our map, but we would have to walk over to where Molly and Jessica work. Sylvie agreed that we should walk over there to try and make the symbols smaller, and George decided to join us too!
Once we shared our ideas about the symbols and size of the paper with Molly and Jessica, they said that they could help us figure it out. Using the copier, Jessica showed us how we could push a few buttons to change the size (scale) of the image. First, we printed one at 25%, but Sylvie seemed unsure about whether or not it would be small enough. George suggested that we needed it to be bigger, so we printed one at 50%. Sylvie still seemed dubious that these would fit on the map, so Molly suggested that we use the 25% copy to make an even smaller version. It worked! We now had four options for our map; so, we thanked Molly and Jessica, and went to test them.
Once in the classroom, we held each copy up to the map, and Sylvie decided that the smallest one was the best because it did not cover up Washington, D.C.
During second meeting, before snack, Sylvie and George shared the story of their trip to the copier and how the copier made the image smaller and smaller. Now, we can find Cedar on the map and know where we are too. The children then discovered that we had not included our (Elyse and Melanie) symbols, so this is one of our next problems to solve.
Our questions or information so far:
Sylvie: What does she does in Kenya?
C.C.: Ballie is a baby and she does not have hair so long like mine.
Elyse: What is your favorite thing to eat in Kenya?