Superhero camp - What We Did This Week!



(an early training program for our younger superheroes)




A Superhero is truthful

A Superhero is caring

A Superhero makes good choices

A Superhero treats others as they would be treated

A Superhero is fair

A Superhero cooperates with others

Our superheroes are:

Lava Girl: also known as Aria Van Metre   

Ducky in a Pond: also known as Edie Cuellar  

Shark Boy: also known as Finn Van Metre                 

Volcano Henry: also known as Henry Curry

Peregrine Falcon: also known as Simon Darmofal 

As early justice league trainees, we worked very hard this week.  We learnt how to fly, we problem solved as a team to save the city from a huge bull trying to destroy our homes! 

When Batman and Superman were kidnapped, we followed clues to find them, taking out bad guys along the way.  

We saved babies from fires, moved enormous boulders, climbed some very tall mountains, and learnt some new kicks – front kick and roundhouse kick.     


Wednesday, July 11 - What We Did Today!


Today we started circle counting the kids. We then contemplated where our other friends might be or why they might not be at school.  Most of the kids added their ideas to the conversation giving them a chance to be heard, practice talking in a group, and waiting for a chance to talk.

After circle the kids headed to their interest areas.  Josie and Isla each added to our ocean mural by finger painting plants onto the paper.  It now has sand, shells, and plants.  Fish and sea animals are next!

I spent a lot of time outside today where the roller coaster is still one of the most popular options.  What will I do when the mud returns?  Bring it inside to the gym?   Or will it become just another reason to get muddy?

The sandbox was also a place of interest for digging and finding spiders!  Isla and Sebastian found a big white guy who somehow ended up dead in the sand, but they continued looking!

The kids got hungry a bit earlier than snack time, so when Josie spotted some popsicles in the freezer, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to divide them amongst the seven kids.  They each quietly enjoyed half of a popsicle while I started getting ready for snack.

In the gym there was much climbing and hanging from the play structure with River, Rowan, and Addy each pushing themselves a bit beyond their comfort level to try new things.  Eliza found herself the owner of 3 cats and a pony all staying close to her for food and loving!

My thanks to Trisha for all of her help today!

Tuesday, July 3 - What We Did Today!


Today we talked about what animals we know that live in the ocean.  The kids came up with several to share.  We looked at a book that showed animals from various oceans around the world.  We will be using this information to create two oceans in our classroom.  

The first one we have been working on is in the water table.  Today we added sea animals such as sharks, whales, crabs, and octopus.  Each week we have been adding something to the ocean.  To date, we have shells, rocks, sand, and animals.

The second ocean will be set up as a dramatic play area.  We started by using a piece of brown paper to make a mural.  Today we added sand and shells to the paper.

We continued our project from last week at the art table in order to give everyone an opportunity to make a votive holder.  Besides the shells, I included some small colored glass pieces to add to the clear jars.  Many more kids chose this activity this week.

The dramatic play area is set up with a camp fire, camping lanterns, and backpacks filled with camping gear.  There was only a little interest, but I hadn’t told them about it in the circle, so only the fire was noticeable.  Hopefully, it will pick up next week.

Of course, outside was the main event again this week!  The roller coaster has been great fun, an automatic opportunity for practicing waiting, fairness, and empathy.  No grown-up necessary to intervene, just watch, listen, and learn from the best!

My thanks to Jasmine and Mari for all of their help today!

Wednesday, June 27 - What We Did Today!


Today, with only six kids, we talked about the ocean.  We made a list of what is in an ocean so that we can recreate an ocean in our water table.  Last week the kids added shells and rocks.  Our list includes crabs, sea stars, sand, salt water, seaweed.  We will add more to our list throughout the summer.

We by-passed our first circle as I had a new toy set up outside which definitely grabbed the kids’ attention.  I knew it would be impossible to pull them all in for a circle when there was a roller coaster waiting outside for them.  An alumni parent reached me to see if we would be interested in this fun addition.  I jumped at the opportunity although I knew that storage would be difficult.  Her thought was for in the gym, but that would definitely be tough to store.  It comes apart, but I think it would still be difficult to put in the gym closet.  Hence, I set it up outside for now to see how it went over with the kids.

It is almost as far back as the sandbox and extends to the door.  The roller coaster car goes down the tracks and continues until it hits the old compost box.  The kids had a ball and before too long they were reciting whose turn it was making sure everyone was included.  Simon and Sebastian spent most of the morning outside with the roller coaster!

Back in the shady area, Rowan was setting up a tea table and invited several of us to join him.  We had sand tea and maple tea.  I personally prefer a dark tea.

Inside, Isla and River were at the sand table using the shells to create impressions in the moon sand.  Josie was the only one to work on a votive holder using shells and a jar.  It looks pretty cool.

There was a lot going on in the gym with jumping, riding, and dressing up.  Again, they were doing a good job remembering to ask if they could have something when the other was done.

My thanks to Angie for all of her help today!


Wednesday, June 21 - What We Did Today!


Happy summer!  We had a “first” circle at 9:45 for the first time and the kids did well.  Of course, it is always a bit easier when you have eight kids rather than 15!  We talked about what options were available and then I set them free. 

At the art table, we made sun visors to keep the sun out of our eyes when we were outside playing.  Josie was ready to test hers right away!  She, Sebastian and Liam were outside for a while playing in the sandbox or climbing, but it was so hot they didn’t last too long.

At the sensory table, we had trays of shaving cream.  Always a favorite with my sensory kids as well as some of the curious kids.  What is that?  What does it feel like?  What do you do with it?  Check it out and make your own decisions!

The water table just had water in it.  At first, some of the kids put farm animals in and then played out scenarios with bad guys and good guys.  They played very well together.  Then Eliza decided to make a beach with the shells on the rug. Once she started, I asked her where she thought she could have a beach.  She looked over at the water table and put in the shells.  She started to put other things into the water and I asked her if she would find that at the beach.  She said no and then found some rocks.  “These would be at the beach!”  And on she went.  Rowan immediately began helping her look for things that you would find at the beach.  We will continue with this thought next week as well.

At the dry table, I have a special sand.  It is great as a way to build sand castles without having to use water.  It holds its’ shape well.  Many of the kids hung out working with this medium together.

We had two more circles, one to sing and one to read, before going home.  Thanks for sending your kids, they make this so much fun.

My thanks to Rachel for all of her help today!

Music Camp - Day two

After recapping our conversation about rhythm, we talked about dynamics - the loud and soft of music.  I used a ruler on the table to show them what sound waves might look like if we could see them.  They all practiced with their own ruler and some discovered that the bigger the sound wave the louder the sound and the smaller the sound wave the softer the sound.  We used some of yesterdays instruments to practice loud and soft before moving to the table to create rain sticks, sand blocks, and bells.

Music Camp - Day one

Today we talked about rhythm - our inner beat.   We walked around Knott street and listened for various sounds, then we found objects to use to make sounds with.  Back in the classroom, we practiced finding our beat while walking, dancing, and playing some instruments.  We made rhythm sticks, drums, and boomer rang clappers.  Clappers are an Australian instrument shaped like boomer rangs.

Wednesday, May 23 - What We Did Today!

Today we talked about the picnic on Friday.  We will be making sandwiches for ourselves then walking up to the park.  I reminded the kids that the water feature comes on as it gets close to lunch time so bring a bathing suit and towels or towels and a change of clothes!

We have had a regular group of kids outside lately who are building in the trees.  They have created a comfy home in the corner and enjoy playing there most days.  Today, several kids helped to plant seeds and plants in our garden.  We planted lettuce, cabbage, carrots, pumpkins, and sunflowers.  We already have strawberry and potato plants growing.

Inside at the art table, the kids worked at collage similar to Eric Carle.  With all shades of painted paper, kids cut out shapes and glued them to paper to create an image.  Most of the images were caterpillars as I had shown them the “Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

At the sensory table, we had shaving cream sprayed with liquid water color.  When I asked the kids what it felt like, I heard squishy, mushy, and a lot of softs.

This class has grown an amazing amount and I am so proud of them.  We talked about Kindergarten and I asked about any worries or concerns they might have.  Most were about kids making fun of them.  So, we talked about what they can do if that happens.  I was suggested that they can tell an adult or walk away.  I told them they can say “No thank you” or “that’s not okay”.  Remind them that they have power with their words and they can use their power if someone isn’t being kind.  My thanks to Keri and Julianna for all of their help today!

Tuesday, May 22 - What We Did Today!

Today the classroom was very mellow.  We celebrated Bash’s 4th birthday with a song and chocolate cake.  The cake was yummy.  I was outside for the first part of the morning and had a great opportunity to see several kids working in the trees.  Some were climbing, some were creating a “tree house”, and others were creating a magical world as Sarum the White! 

Inside, Nathaniel was working with kids creating various collages using small pieces of paper, scissors and glue sticks.  I am beginning to notice symmetry in their work.

The water table was green soapy water again with pouring tools.  Water and pouring is very soothing, and many kids are drawn to it as the day wears on.

The worms in the worm farm were hiding pretty deeply today.  I think because I left the extra sheet off of the farm.  They don’t like the light and will stay as far away as they can.

There was dramatic play going on for a long time involving several kids.  We had a visitor today and she was drawn to the dramatic play area and making supper.  She and Isla set out quite a spread!

The cars, trucks and people were working together in the building area.  Addy and Eliza had quite a dialog going on while using all of the above.

My thanks to Nathaniel and Lisa for all of their help today!

Monday, May 21 - What We Did Today!

Today the classroom was very mellow.  There was a lot happening, but the kids were handling it on their own with minimal conflict!  What more can you ask for with Kindergarten around the corner?

Margaret was outside for all of our free time.  The couple of times I headed out things seemed to be very much child oriented outdoor play.  Avery and Otto were climbing in the trees and adding to their tree house.  Mae was digging for China.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that China was not straight down, and she would most likely end up in an ocean (assuming she made it through the core!)  Finn, Marcus, Henry and Edie were creating mud slides.  They piled up an assortment of things at the bottom of the slide, added dirt and sand, and then one of them would be the mud and slide down wiping out everything in the way.

Inside, Aria wanted to play some of the board games I brought out recently.  One is about patterns, one is shapes, and the last is numerals.  She, Lucy and I started then several joined in later.

At the art table, we were making butterflies using tissue squares and fabric starch.  Our water table was filled with blue soapy water and the kids wanted to change it to another color, so I dropped some yellow food coloring and just like magic, the water turned color from blue to green.  The play dough table was very busy today.  Even with only a small amount of play dough, these kids made things work.  Great job!  My thanks to Summar and Margaret for all their help!

Friday, May 18 - What We Did Today!

Today was our Authors' Tea.  We celebrated 15 authors with blueberry and honey vanilla tea and scones.  The kids did a great job moving through their three stations - building a community, putting together bags for the homeless, and baking their scones.  My thanks to those of you who were able to help us with supplies for our bags!  Thanks also to Marya and Jeff for their help today and to Kyle for coming in early in order to bake scones and help set-up!

Tuesday, May 15 - What We Did Today!


Today Josie, River, and Addy wrote their books.  Before gym, we read My Family by Josephine Zoradi and “My Family” by Adeline Jones.  Then after gym, we read “My Family” by Isla Hall and “My Family” by River Seidel.  We hope that you will be joining us on Thursday at noon for our Authors’ Tea celebration!

While I was busy taking dictation for my writers, Rachel was outside with many kids.  She said there were about four different play scenarios going on sometimes crisscrossing, but not joining.  Rachel was outside the entire free time with kids coming and going.

Inside, Brittni was working with the kids to make invitations for the tea.  I had paint, soap, and water mixed together in bowls.  The kids job was to blow bubbles high enough to put their paper over the top and pop the bubbles on the paper.  It leaves some great patterns on the paper.

The colored water in the water table is being enjoyed with pouring, squirting, and some splashing.  I brought out the worm farm for kids to check out with the understanding that the worms had to go back into the farm rather than be carried around because they had a job to do.  They were surprised and excited to see so many in one place. 

My thanks to Brittni and Rachel for all of their help today!

Monday, May 14 - What We Did Today!


Today we celebrated Lucy’s fifth birthday with a song and rainbow cake.  The bakers once again created a visual delight which I heard also tasted great.

Josh was outside the entire free time while kids came and went.  The only time I ventured out was to get recruits for a project.  Easton and Avery were building a helicopter in the trees.  They explained to me what it could do as well as let me know that I was floating in air right then.

The project was our bags for the homeless.  The kids drew pictures with magic fabric crayons and the adult helper ironed the picture on the bag.  Don’t forget, we will be filling our bags Wednesday and taking them up to the church office.

The butterfly tent had a few visitors today.  The kids are very gentle and get excited if their butterfly opens its wings to show them it’s beautiful colors.  After school, I released the two remaining butterflies, so they might have some life experiences.

We started out first circle talking about gardening and what the kids would like to plant in our garden.  Their list was pretty long with some good ideas.  We will start planting next Monday our last week of school.

My thanks to Kyle and Josh for all of their help today!

Friday, May 11 - What We Did Today!


Today we celebrated Barkley’s 5th birthday with a song and chocolate cake.  There was a large group helping with the cake this time and they were very helpful as well as skilled.  The chocolate cake received thumbs up from all the kids eating it.

At first circle, we talked about the last phase of a plants life – flowering and seeding.  As Simon said” it goes on and on” through the cycle.  I brought in a branch from my apple tree still flowering.  Then I showed them an apple and talked about how it would form on the end of the flower if it had been pollinated.  Finally, we cut open an apple to find – seeds!   And back to the beginning again!

We planted and wrapped mothers’ day presents while others went outside to play.  Otto, Mae, and Avery were busy making a cool mud mix although I have no idea what it was for.  Simon and Edie were in the garden area while Henry and Marcus were in the sand box.

The butterflies had a couple of visitors, but mainly, we left them alone.  There are two left, one of which seems a little worse for the wear.  Freedom will soon be theirs!

We read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle taking note of the pictures and how they were created.  Sometime in the next two weeks, we will create our own art work based on this premise.

My thanks to Kelly and Jennifer for all of their help and support today!

Thursday, May 10 - What We Did Today!

Today I was outside most of the day.  The kids came and went, and I was able to help write two books.  We read “My Family” written by Molly Herbst, “My Family” written by Bodhi McIntyre, and “My Family” written by Stella Stewart.  Five more to write and seven more to read!  AND the Authors’ Tea is on Thursday the 17th.  Oh, my! 

The kids did an awesome job listening to the books today all the way to the middle of the third book.  They tried to let me know that they were done, but they held in there with me and we made it through!

Jenny was working with the kids in the butterfly tent, helping them to hold them and keep them safe.  When I asked who was able to hold a butterfly, I found that not everyone chose to be inside for that project and missed out.  But really there was important work to be done outside such as digging, building, and keeping a baby dragon happy. 

I asked the kids what it felt like when they were holding the butterflies.  The only word they had to describe it was “tickles”.  Well, it is pretty descriptive.

Jake was at the art table helping kids with a butterfly project.  After they finished up, they came outside with their butterfly trailing behind them.  I fun project, even if it is a craft (sorry).

My thanks to Jake and Jenny for all of their help!

Wednesday, May 9 - What We Did Today!


Today we talked about our Butterflies.  Due to some mishaps, we are now down to two butterflies.  I waited to add them to the tent until I had time to talk with the kids about the expectations of holding the butterflies, moving around in the tent, and the number of people allowed in the tent with one adult.  Later, I brought kids into the tent two at a time.  Not everyone made it as they had other important things to do, like playing!

We also read a book called, “His Name is Joe”.  This is a story about a homeless man from the perspective of a child.  The book is based on the Sisters of the Road café in Portland where no one is turned away because of money.  They can pay for their meal by cleaning, washing or other necessary duties of the café.  I asked them what they thought someone might need to help their body stay healthy if they didn’t have a place to live and had to carry it with them in a small bag (think 8x8).  They came up with many ideas such as toothpaste and toothbrush, water, medicine, soap and shampoo.  We will be personalizing a small bag in which to put what the kids decide on then passing the bags on to Joyce in the church office for distribution.

Outside in the warm weather, most of the kids were doing one of two things, crashing trucks down the slide or climbing in the trees.  This is the first year so many kids have been about climbing trees!  I love it!  My thanks to Julianna and Kacy for all of their help today!