Creating a journal
True, this turned out to be a slightly more difficult experience over zoom than I had anticipated, but we all created a beautiful journal to use however we'd like. It was originally intended that we might use them to track the growth of our seeds, and we can certainly still do that, but it could also serve many purposes.
Tegan, Audrey's sister and St. John's alum, shared with us that during her Rainey Room year they created books and wrote stories as part of their birthday committee work!
Maren's Birthday Gift
Maren also shared her pot and plant that she received from her birthday committee in Tucker Room!
"This is my birthday gift I got from St. John's." - Maren, 5.6 years
Please keep in mind that projections are not set in stone plans. They have been written down based on recent conversations, the children's interests, life of the school/entire St. John's committee, etc. They are subject to change as our work and time together progresses!
We had a rather large crew today for our first day back! It's so wonderful to see friends we haven't seen in a while! Maren and Audrey have been on campus, and it was great to see them and their sisters (Tegan and Lily)! Riva, Saul's sister was also able to join us to plant seeds! A full house for sure!
Today, we followed up on Giacomo's process and idea for planting seeds for spring! We've had a few conversations about what it means for it to be spring, and this was our first zoom call since we celebrated the spring equinox!
“That’s what I tried to tell you. When you said it wasn’t spring, a flower in our yard was already growing.” - Giacomo
I have since learned, from the Tucker blog, that there is an astronomical spring (equinox) and the meteorological spring (when it feels like spring, but technically it's still winter).
As a reminder, Giacomo slayed out these steps for the seed planting process:
“First, get seeds from somewhere. Number two, get a pot. Number three, get dirt. Number four, seed in dirt. Number five, water it. And then six is sun!” - Giacomo.
So, what do we need to do first?
"The dirt to the middle [of the planter]." - Maren
Audrey chose bunnies, and Giacomo wanted to be sleeping plants who grow!
We have discussed the "Pajama Project" a few times in the virtual classroom, and most of our questions and interest centered around the process of transferring the original drawings/watercolors to the computer and then onto the fabric. During our first conversation, we looked at a "Photo Riddle" of St. John's, and there was a lot of excitement around Toad, and during our second conversation, we drew with sharpies and added watercolors for enhancement.
Today, we started our conversation by looking at some of the "final" designs from the on-campus pods.
We were looking at the Brown Room design when Giacomo said,
“Now it’s time to do it with Saul.”
Last week, when we used black sharpies/pens, filled in with watercolors, to draw our pajama designs, Saul chose a rainbow. Today, he was looking at his original design as we worked on the digital drawings. This helped inspire our final, collaborative design.
Rainbow design for the Pajama Project
[looking at Saul's rainbow drawing/watercolor]
You can recreate your rainbow. A rainbow on the St. John’s pajamas would be beautiful. We have so many rainbows at St. John’s.
“But we don’t have enough space for the rainbow.” - Giacomo
What if I clear the whole screen and you and Giacomo can work together on a rainbow? Would you like to work together to create a rainbow design?
“Do you want it totally red?” - Giacomo, 4.3 years
Important information is that we only get four colors. The whole school has to decide together. Today, we can make our drawing any colors we want, but eventually it will only be four colors. Rose drew the red. Giacomo did yellow.
Saul, what color would you like to put under the yellow? Do you want to choose green [he was making green lines]?
“No, red.” - Saul
What’s your favorite color Saul?
“Green.” - Saul [he added green arc]
“Green arc, I did not know that.” - Saul
Together, Saul, Giacomo, and Rose filled in the colors of the rainbow. While Rose started with the red and yellow, Giacomo added the large green and blue, while Saul filled in the green and discussed color choices for the "final" design.
I have one question for you about the rainbow. The rainbow we just drew, we can only have four colors. If you could only have four colors, which ones would you choose.
“I would choose green, pink, and red.” - Saul
“I helped you to make the rainbow with the pen. I’m bringing my colorful ideas back to you.” - Saul, 3.7 years
Now I’m going to take your ideas, and Giacomo’s ideas, back to everyone at school.
Memories of St. John's
We had a beautiful time together this morning, and we had a special treat of both big sisters joining us! Riva and Rose were each able to sit and work with us. We got messy with our hands, learned a bit about the the process of clay after we're finished creating, and took a close look!
We explored looking up close with our magnifying glasses, and I introduced the digital microscope! It was a lot of fun to "zoom in" on our clay, and other things that we could find!
“I’m so excited to see you guys, but I’m working now. It’s a special day today. It’s a special day for clay.”
“I have a magnifying glass.” - Saul, 3.7 years
Introducing the digital microscope
What about saving our clay?
Photos from home
“Hello Elyse! Are we going to sew today?” - Saul, 3.7 years
What did we do on our day apart (yesterday)?
"Where is everybody?" - Giacomo (yesterday when Saul was not with us)
Yesterday, we took a few minutes to think about when spring is going to start. Giacomo noted that we are already seeing signs of spring outside, but we also looked at the calendar and it says that the Spring Equinox is not until March 20th. How can this be?
Can we plant seeds together? On zoom?
So, my question to you was, ‘These first five steps that you named, do you think we could do these five steps together with Saul on zoom?
“We could, but first you have to find a seed, which is pretty hard. You have to find a seed factory. You could do an apple. You could get the seed from the apple and plant the apple.” - Giacomo
I’m just wondering if we could do that on zoom from our own homes?
“You could do that, but you have to have a lot of soil. It’s easy. Find a clear spot where there’s no plant. Dig and give the ground soil to the plant.” - Giacomo
It sounds like you have a pretty clear plan on how to do this.
Are giants real?
“Is there a video of him? - GIacomo, 4.3 years
If you don't know the story of Finn MacCool and Benandonner, the giants who created the "Giant's Causeway", then the short version is that there are two giants who want to fight each other, but they must cross the water from Northern Ireland, to the Isle of Staffa in Scotland. Finn MacCool is said to have created the great causeway by throwing trees into the water to create a pathway. Eventually, they decide not to fight each other and the "Causeway" is destroyed. All that remains are hexagonally jointed basalt columns both in Scotland and Ireland.
Giacomo, do you know where Scotland and Ireland are?
“Well, they’re somewhere in space. But before, a long time ago, they were the whole earth. There were two caves and a home, and a rumbling sound like a volcano cracked their things apart. A huge way went so high and took it into space to float away to never seen again.” - Giacomo
“Mostly giants are actually bigger than the great blue humpback whale, so they lived about 100 years ago. They lived on the first day; the first day of the earth. That’s when the giants lived.” - Giacomo
“Where is the place where the Giants were?” - Giacomo, 4.3 years
Can I show you on a map where the story we read takes place? - Elyse
We watched two short videos about the "Giant's Causeway". Each retold the story of the giants in a slightly different way, but also told us about the scientific explanation behind the rock formations.
It sounds like he said that we can believe that the giants built it, or a volcano made it. What do you think? The scientist said that maybe it was created by the giants, or maybe by a volcanic eruption. Which do you think is true?
“I think eruption is true because eruptions happen often when scary things are around. I saw a face that looked a teensy bit like him [in the video].” - Giacomo
The name of this book is “Scottish mythical creatures”, and our story was about a giant, so he must be mythical. What do you think mythical means?
“It means things that lived a long, long time ago that don’t live anymore.” - Giacomo
Maybe the giants really did build it. Is that possible?
“No, I think the eruption made it. I’d like to see some more. Okay, so then I want to see another video of how it was built.” - Giacomo
The whole world
Loose parts sculptures
Spring is coming! OR is it already here?
Giacomo suggested that we take a break from our sculptures, so I offered to read a book called And then it's spring. This lead to a conversation about the upcoming spring equinox and the changes that we will begin to see in our outdoor environment.
“It’s already spring!” - Giacomo
It is so close. Today is March 10th, and spring equinox is March 20th. That means we have ten days.
“On my calendar now it’s spring.” - Giacomo
The twentieth will be our first day of official spring.
"Elyse, but spring is when plants come out of the ground.” - Giacomo
“And i’ve seen lots of plants come out of the ground.” - Giacomo
It sounds like you’re saying that we’re already seeing some different signs that spring is coming.
“When it’s summer, or there’s other days, the bulbs are in the ground, but when it’s spring, they come out. That means it is already spring.” - Giacomo
A plan for next week
“What I like the most is clay.” - Giacomo
What about on Monday, we can do clay together?
"Yeah, I have clay!" - Saul
‘I’m starting to watercolor my drawing.” - Saul, 3.7 years
Today we worked with a new design technique inspired by Rainey Room B who used sharpie markers and watercolors to illustrate their design ideas for our school wide pajamas project. It's a two step process where you draw with the sharpie marker/black drawing tool and then add watercolors to enhance your drawing with color.
Before we started drawing, we revisited the pajama documentation that is hanging in the hallway at St. John's.
Lou Lou shared this example with us. Can you see how she draws them with the outline and filled them in with watercolor? - Elyse
“I want to see the tiny ones.” - Saul, 3.7 years
“I want to see all of the tiny trucks closer to my mind.” - Saul, 3.7 years
“If you put them a teensy big closer they’ll get bigger.” - Giacomo, 4.3 years [referring to zooming in on the image]
Do you remember what happens next, after it’s on the computer? Where does it go after it’s on the computer? - Elyse
“To the fabric!” - Saul, 3.7 years
What was her first step? - Elyse
“Paper.” - Giacomo, 4.3 years
Just like what we’re doing today. - Elyse
“That black thing reminds me of the pictures that we hang out in the hallway. It looks a lot like it.” - Giacomo, 4.3 years
Giacomo, this is the board that hangs in the hallway at St. John’s. These images and this fabric are hanging in the hallway at St. John’s. - Elyse
What would you like to draw as your idea for the pajamas?
"You’ll see. You’ll see it when you’re done.” - Giacomo, 4.3 years
“I’m gonna draw you!” - Saul, 3.7 years
You would put me on the St. John’s pajamas? - Elyse
“Yeah!” - Saul, 3.7 years
Well, let’s start drawing then.
“Before I do my own everything, I’m going to draw a teensy plant inside of the holes of the darkness.” - Giacomo, 4.3 years
You’re thinking about a plant? - Elyse
“Yeah.” - Giacomo, 4.3 years
We do have a lot of plants at school. - Elyse
“You see my colorful rainbow? I wanna show you my rainbow. This rainbow is very big.” - Saul
Reflecting at home
Saul's parents sent these photos below of his work from our call this morning. Over lunch with his family, Saul shared a bit about how he drew and watercolored an image of Elyse and a rainbow for the pajama fabric.
“Do you know what my surprise is?” - Giacomo
I don’t. Are you ready to share? - Elyse
“When I say it’s done, then it can come out. I will hold it up so that you can see.” - Giacomo
“Do you see it’s something with grass.” - Giacomo
I did see some green, but I didn’t know it was grass. There are so many things that are green, so I didn’t want to assume that it was grass. - Elyse
“I’m using a lot of white to make clouds because my drawing is outside. It’s outside in the forrest.” - Giacomo
“It’s ready! It’s a cave with scary animals and monsters.” - Giacomo
What kind of scary animals and monsters? Can you tell us more? - Elyse
“The T-Rex because that’s the biggest predator that roamed the earth.” - Giacomo
The blue reminds me of the sky. - Elyse
“And that white is the clouds.” - Giacomo
“This is going around and around and around. [switches directions].” - Giacomo
“What is big and stormy and wind. And it’s so big and so windy that you can never escape that moves oh a teensy teensy dot.” - Giacomo
Is it a hurricane? - Elyse
“No, but a kind of going around and around. Moving. Whoo whoo.” - Giacomo
Is it a tornado? - Elyse
“Yes!” - Giacomo
Sleeping Dragons and Universes
Saul chose Sleeping dragons who "hoo'd" like owls, and Giacomo thought that maybe they could also breathe fire! It's a hybrid owl, fire breathing dragon!
Then, Giacomo decided that we would be Sleeping Universes who floated!
“I wanna show you my shadow dancing.” - Saul
“A bird!!!”- Giacomo
“You could be a small bird, a big bird, or a medium size bird.” - Saul
“You could be a baby bird.” - Giacomo
Can you see my wings? ‘Tweet, tweet.’ - Elyse
What animal is Giacomo going to be?
“What makes that big bang that’s the king of the dinosaurs? The biggest dinosaur that ever roamed the earth? [Roars] It stands up on two legs, teensy arms, big legs, and a long tail.” - Giacomo
“It may be a monster.” - Saul
“It’s a dinosaur. [roars]” - Giacomo
So that Saul and I can remember your clues were, ‘It stomps, has teeny arms’. - Elyse
Saul, what kind of dinosaur do you thin she’s being? - Elyse
“It has enormous tracks. It’s tall. Its teeth are strong to bite through bone.” - Giacomo
Saul, do you know what kind of dinosaur this is? What’s your guess? - Elyse
“He lived with the rhinosaurus.” - Giacomo
“It lays eggs, but it grows up to be the biggest creditor to roam the earth.” - Giacomo
Could it be a T-Rex, Saul? - Elyse
“Yesss!!” - Giacomo