What We Did Today!

Friday, September 22

Today during first circle, we talked about how we were feeling.  We have been doing this all week and it was fun to see how many kids were feeling “great!”  With those feeling sad or angry, we asked if they needed any help with that.  Then we offered ideas of what we could do to make them feel better.  The kids are starting to come up with some good possibilities such as “play with them” and “give them a hug”.  This is a great way to start building some empathy towards our community.

The play dough table was busy, as usual, with textures galore.  Most of the kids were rolling out dough or flattening dough with the tortilla press then testing different textures by pushing various tools into the dough.  No fancy cakes today, but some amazing exploration.

The woodworking table was used off and on with much hammering and even a little design.  Several kids were outside in the sand box and dirt.  They added water to create a fun time had by all.

In the block area, Barkley and Dash built a pretty amazing tower together which was taller than both of them.  Later Mae and Easton built as well.

Dramatic play was mainly the sisters, Lucy and Aesa, taking care of their dog.  When they realized they had no food, they went to the store to find some.  The store was the play dough table where they made some dog food and feed the dog.  Another wonderful script. 

While waiting for snack to be ready, the kids play quiet games.  These can be alone or with others.  It usually includes puzzles, building toys, books, or the writing table.  Today Marcus was using the magna tiles and came up with two monster faces.  See if you can find the nose, eyes, or ears.

My thanks to Margaret and Andrew for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Thursday, September 21

Today the kids were busy from the time they arrived until the time they were picked up.  When we sang our We Are Busy song, I asked each of them what were they busy doing.  The answers were, of course, varied.  There was busy painting, busy playing in the sand box, busy with the marble run, busy cooking, busy fishing, and busy playing with play dough.  I saw all of that, but here is what else I saw.

I saw kids working together to build marble runs, helping fix them when they fell down.  I saw kids solving problems when they both wanted the same thing, with and without adult help.  I saw kids breaking off some of their play dough when someone new had none.  I saw kids gently petting Sun while gathered around Lisa.  I saw kids putting their dishes in the dishwasher after snack and cleaning up their spills. 

We are only on day three and kids are playing together, alone, and joining others play.  We have some “watchers”, some “jump right in”, and some “wanderers”.  All seem to be comfortable with the area and the adults.

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

What We Did Today!

Wednesday, September 20

Today was an interesting day.  There were some long drawn out scenarios which is still fairly new for this group.  The first and longest was a wedding.  Aesa announced in circle that she and Otto were getting married so she would be in dramatic play area.  From there, it developed into a wedding planner’s operation.  The other ladies, I’m not sure if they were also brides or bride’s maids, dressed for the occasion while Aesa chose a smart black dress with a veil attached to her crown.  They decided that they needed a wedding cake, so Julianna took them over to the playdough table and they started creating.  I wish I could post pictures on the site so that you could see what they came up with, but with Avery, Marcus and Aesa working together, the cake was amazing.  As a matter of fact, others at the play dough table, Barkley and Lucy, decided they needed to make a cake also bringing others into the script.  After finishing the cake, Lucy helped prepare a meal for after the wedding and Aesa, Mae and Lillian chose their flower bouquets.  By now, Otto is nervously letting Aesa know that the wedding was already starting and she needed to hurry.  At this point I was checking on the other play happening which was pirate oriented.  This also lasted a while, but not in the way the wedding did.  It was, of course, more about sword fighting and treasure.  The kids have found a way to pretend sword fight without hurting anyone.  This is the part that made me so happy!  One of the pirates, Easton, was so decked out, he put the Swiss bells on his arms making it look like the old cuffs of pirate jackets only a little louder.

Clean-up went pretty well today and as I had an appointment at noon and Heidi was subbing for me, it made the transition easier.  My thanks to Heidi for subbing, and to Julianna and Kristen for helping out today!

What We Did Today!

Tuesday, September 19

Today we celebrated Liam’s 4th birthday with a song and chocolate cake.  There were many kids helping off and on with the making of the cake.  It was a great success as shown by the amount of chocolate on faces.

Many of the kids were outside climbing on the structure as well as digging in the sand.  I wasn’t out, but I did discover a couple of pairs of socks left out there.

We made soup out of some of the dramatic play cooking items and had fun sharing it with each other.  The loose parts have stopped much of the  movement of sand to the kitchen which makes me happy!

The art table had colored pencils, oil pastels, and crayons for drawing.  Some of the kids tested the various tools while others preferred adding play dough to the table.  The play dough movement became so big that as soon as the cake was finished, we had to shift to the long table in order to accommodate everyone.  As Sarah said, this is a very sensory oriented group.

The water table became our major learning area today.  We weren’t learning about fish, fishing poles, or nets, but rather how to ask, “may I use the pole when you are done?”  There are only three working poles and upon entering everyone wanted a pole.  Margot found the nets and used them until a pole was available.  Others waited fairly patiently.

The dinosaurs were busy either hiding from the scary, mean ones or trying to eat the quiet ones.  There were so many eggs with them, I asked Sebastian J. if they were dinosaur eggs or were they eggs for food.  I said they were food for the mean scary dinosaurs.

My thanks to Sarah and Brittani for all of their help today.

Monday, Sepptember 18 - What We Did Today!

Monday, September 18

Today we celebrated Dashel’s 5th birthday with a song and lemon cake.  There were four bakers helping Summar and boy did they do a great job.  With the longer day and more structured time, the kids are exhausted by 11:30 to 12:00.  Their ability to listen, stay focused, and problem solve was very low.  So, I was reminded of last year and how songs and finger plays helped bring them a little more together to listen to stories.

The guinea pigs, Bill and Sun, were back and skittering away from most on lookers.  Later, Lillian and Aria were able to hold them for a bit before they were definitely done.

In dramatic play, I removed the cornmeal and added some nature items such as cones, bark, moss and so forth.  The idea being that the sand and cornmeal were being incorporated into the kitchen because the children were creating meals.  They were not wanting to just put a plastic piece of fruit on a plate for lunch.  All things considered, I think the switch was a good move.  There were more kids playing with the nature items as they added things to the pot or plate. 

The pirates came out today in full glory.  There were eye patched pirates, captains, and treasure hunters.  The games included stealing treasure, sword fighting, and burying treasure. 

We continued with our fishing poles in the water table which may start some magnets elsewhere.

Dash was building some amazing building with the cardboard blocks, while Otto was making a horse out of paper by cutting out shapes and taping them together.  Henry was busy at the woodworking table along with Marcus and Avery.

My thanks to Summar and Michelle for all of their patience and help today!

What We Did Today - September 15

Friday, September 15

Today we were very busy.  The kids were moving from inside to outside and center to center.  There was gross motor skill practice as well as fine motor.  All in all, it was a great day.

I went outside for a bit to see what was going on there and spotted Easton, Dashel, and Barkley doing some good problem solving.  What does one do when you have 3 kings?  How do you solve which ones have weapons?  They handled it without too much difficulty.  Avery was working among these said kings fixing and rebuilding parts of the castle – “It’s a ship!” – um, ship.

Play dough was its regular favorite activity.  At one point, there were seven kids working with play dough at the same time.  I heard lots of “May I have that when you are done?”  As well as, “thank you” as they worked on separate projects.

We were fishing with poles instead of nets today and seemed to do well sharing the four poles and waiting for the next available pole.

I have started out this year with nothing but glue, scissors, and paper scraps on the art table.  I want the kids to explore what is in the art cubbies, to create whatever they are in the mood to create.  This is always difficult because they want an idea or instructions.  The longer I push the create your own art, the better chance they will be able to make their art about them not about a craft.  Process is huge in art, but can take a lot of prodding.

In an attempt to keep the sand in the sand table, I added some cornmeal to the kitchen.  Most of the sand stayed in the sand table, but the cornmeal was everywhere in the dramatic play area!  It was a bit easier to clean up.

My thanks to Marya and Jessica for all of their help today even if we did need earphones!

What We Did Today!

Thursday, September 14

Today was our official first day!  Everyone was here and everyone appeared to have a good time.  We have an aide for our classroom from the county, Liz, who added another presence to the room allowing me more time to get to those needing help.  Liz will be her for about 6 weeks so be sure to say hi and introduce yourself.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to greet you at the door today but I promise to be there on Tuesday.

This is a time for learning the schedule, the areas, and the other kids.  Most of the kids made it through all of the areas or centers of the classroom and we said each other’s names.  We even had a few opportunities to ask for something that someone else has when they are through.  Regrouping after gym is a bit difficult, so we will come up with an alternative plan to bring the energy down.

The water table was well used and for very different purposes.  I began as a red pond with fish, nets, and some bug catchers.  Later, the dinosaurs made their way over and began eating the fish (who knew?), by the end of the day, there were some fish, some dinosaurs, and shells and sand.

The train track was started up early but then abandoned for other things.  Along came another child to add to it only to choose abandonment also.  By the time clean-up arrived, I noticed one last attempt only to end in abandonment as well.  Perhaps I will set up a track ahead of time in order to allow more continuity.

The kitchen was heavily used again today.  The idea of bringing in the sand as a substance in the kitchen is very enticing.   I think I will need to and oatmeal or cracked corn to the kitchen so that the sand can stay in the sand table.

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

What We Did Today!

 

Today we celebrated Easton’s fifth birthday with vanilla cake and a song!  Eleven out of 15 kids were busy making the cake.  I think that is a record.  Our first day was both fun and educational.  We were able to work on conflict resolution and remind kids that by talking through problems, they may find a simple solution.  I may have to send them to Washington and teach some officials how that works.

Please be sure to introduce yourself to our newest student, Marcus.  He did an amazing job joining in without knowing anyone.  He, Avery, and Aesa were all busy at the workbench today using the hand drills.  Much patience is needed while working your way through the wood.

Outside, Aria and Easton were working with the water barrel and sand.  I dropped a box of outdoor toys that I was given in the grassy area.  It wasn’t long before the kids were checking it out to see what was available.  Avery and Aesa were working on the structure.  I’m not sure if they were fixing or tearing down and rebuilding, but I’m sure they were improving our space.

Inside, Henry, Marcus, Mae and I created a track while Dashel and Barkley were building behind us.  This caused a need to work through some problems, but ultimately, everyone was enjoying their play.  Barkley and Dashel’s castle was taller than they, but it was knocked down before I got a picture.

After snack, I asked the kids to pick a book to read.  After the second “But I can’t read” I asked them to read the pictures.  They don’t believe that’s possible, but eventually, get it and enjoy “reading” stories to other kids.  Have them practice this with you at home.  It gives them confidence, allows them to practice turning pages the correct way and they notice things in the pictures from which they get hints of what is going on.

My thanks to Kerri and Kymberli for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Wednesday, August 16

Today we celebrated Edie and Jessica’s birthdays with cupcakes Jessica brought for snack!  With seven kids and three adults, life was easy, at least for the adults, the kids still had things to work out and practice to do so.  We finished up our summer camp with an ocean in a bottle.  The kids used sand and shells to put into a bottle, added water, and created sea animals to put in the bottle also.  The sea creatures were self-designed or traced from some cut outs.  They colored them with permanent markers, cut them out, and then shrunk them in the oven.  Josh reminded me that #5 plastic works as Shrinky-dink material as well.  Just draw and color your picture, cut it out and bake in a 300-degree oven for two to three minutes.  If you find yourself with a rainy day this fall, try it, the kids will love it.

At the sand table, kids were molding and squashing the sand.  There were four of them early on marking territory around the table.  As the sand began to disappear, there was a need for “rules” or an understanding.  Just whose castle can you smash?  How do you stop someone from riding a truck over work?  How much sand can you keep on your side?  For the most part, they did well with minimal help.  It was wonderful to listen when they could figure out how to proceed without adults putting their two bits in.

Camping and cooking were a big draw today.  Shane was cooking up a storm and passing it to other kids, as was Lillian.  Henry, Simon, and Edie were setting up the train track and working the trains around without running into each other.  Otto, Avery and I were reading about sharks.  Otto already knows quite a bit, but even he was surprised when we saw pictures of two egg cases.  One was from a horn shark and it looked like a spiral shell, the other a dogfish shark which is more like a purse.

My thanks to Anya and Jessica for all of their help today!

Wednesday, August 9 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we had a very long circle talking about boats on the water.  We looked at pictures of various boats and then headed to the art table to create our own boats.  We had paper plates, aluminum foil, sticks, and other pieces of scrap to work with.  We even had some water to test our boats out to see if they floated.  Otto decided to try putting a cork under his boat to keep it above the water.  Simon was going to use flat wood sticks to create a pontoon boat.  It was great listening to the suggestions they came up with.  Mae was having so much fun with the scissors that she made several sea monsters.  While all of this was going on, Josh was talking to them about ballast and keel giving the kids new vocabulary to work with.

The ocean in the water table received its’ regular crowd.  A fresh basket of shells was quickly added to the sand and water for animals to hide in and under.  We have shells, corral, sponges, sand, rocks, and sea animals in the ocean. 

There were many campers today. Aria and Finn went camping with their kitties.  Lillian found herself with four brand new, just born puppies.  She used the camp fire wood to build a nice fire to keep them warm while she bathed and feed them.  Shane was making food as well and serving it to Avery.

The train area is blocked with the play ocean we made.  I brought out some train track and the trains for Henry to build with.  He, Edie, and Simon built their own track using the pieces we brought out.  Others joined in off and on creating a wonderful community play.  Edie added some blocks for houses and buildings making the space much more elaborate.

Next week is our last summer day camp.  My thanks to Josh for all of his help today!

Tuesday, July 25 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we started out talking about sculptures made with scrap (found items).  We read a story about a Dad who welded scrap metal together to make sculptures.  Realizing that we couldn’t weld because we didn’t have the right gear, the heat used is way too hot to be done in the classroom, and we were concerned about possible fire, we decided to use scrap materials along with glue, tape and or staples. 

The kids decided what they wanted to make and then headed to the table to choose the scrap items they wanted to use to create their sculptures.  We had a camera, a flying robot, a playground, and a snow ground to name just a few.  Most of our sculptures were horizontal rather than vertical.  Ezra created upwards while making his rocket ship and Djuna with her playground.

The second part of our day, we talked about color, how different colors make you feel warm while others make you feel cold, how some colors look good together and others do not, and how some colors help to make other colors “pop” or disappear.  Thinking somewhat like Kandinsky, we each had 6 colors of paper to make 3 different size circles.  The difficult part was tracing the circles on the papers.  We cut out the circles on our own or with help from Hazel, Rebecca, or Sam.  The final part of the project is to stack the three circles on top of each other leaving something like a target.  The kids had to choose which colors to put together without duplicating a color.  It was great listening to the kids talk about which colors they liked together and why.

My thanks to Hazel and Rebecca for all of their help today!

Monday, July 24 - What We Did Today!

 

Welcome to day one of art camp!  We have nine kids enrolled, one parent helper, one alumni helper and myself.  We began the day asking the question, “What is art?”  Noah responded that it was when you make something with your hands.  Ezra said it was being creative.  Put the two together and you get a great definition of art, creating something with your hands. 

I read “What’s Art?” from our Click magazine.  It shared some different types of media artists may use – painting, photography, paper, medal, stone, and cloth.  They spoke of art as telling a story, mood, or feeling.  Then we looked at some different types of art and tried to decide what the story or emotion might be.

After circle, we went to the tables and “played” with clay.  We pounded, squished, pinched and flattened. Once we had the feel of clay we created different things knowing that they were going to be destroyed before snack.

The second part of clay play was to choose an amount of clay and put it into a shape.  Now we would create something by pulling, pinching, and stretching the clay.  Isla was visiting us and she made a dog by pulling clay from one end to make a leg and then another.  Hannah made a pinch pot using her thumb and fingers to pinch the sides of the pot. She even used tools to add texture to the piece.  Flynn made a duck and then a nest for his duck.  Noah made a butterfly pinching and pulling clay to form the wings.  Eleanor made a turtle, Ezra made a rocket ship, Andre made a picture, and Djuna made a tadpole. 

I really enjoyed watching them work through how they were going to pull the clay in order to make it look like a leg or wing.  They were working well with each other and helping others out when needed.  My thanks to Bridgit and Hazel for all their help today!

Wednesday, July 19 - What We Did Today!

Wednesday, July 19

Today my friend Sam came in to help out.  The kids loved her and she did a great job.  She will be with us again on the 2nd of August.  At circle, we asked yet again what was in the ocean and what we have in our ocean.  We realized that we didn’t have any plants in our ocean as of yet.  I brought out a box of sea sponges for the kids to look at, smell, and hold.  They noticed that they were hard, some were smooth while others were pokey, and they had small holes in them.  They then put them in our ocean and watched as the sponges began to change.  “they’re softer.”  “They’re squishy!”  were the main comments.

We added plant life to our mural by putting a string of yarn into a paint dish and splashing it on the paper.  This was fun to do and added a different texture to the mural.  The kids were working in large groups the entire morning.  The water table was full to capacity as the sponges were introduced.  Creating scripts around the sea life.  Lillian was looking to play with someone at the sand table so I asked if anyone was interested in checking out the sand table.  Just like a school of fish, 6 kids turned together and headed to the sand table where they played together for 20-30 minutes.

Sam took two kids outside for a short time.  It was even too hot for them.  When they returned, they headed to the camp site.  Avery once again build a fire rubbing sticks to start a blaze.  He cooked trout, eggs, and rolls.  Shane was also cooking up a storm.

At the art table, the kids created their own underwater scene as viewed through a porthole.  I saw fish, shells, water, sand, and an octopus.

During the last five minutes until snack, about three kids were playing with the marble run Shane had built, three were building with the Legos, and three moving between the widgets and Mr. Potato head.

My thanks to Sam and Kristen for all of their help today!

Wednesday, July 12 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we had 9 kids working and enjoying each other’s company.  We began with our morning circle which was a bit hectic as kids jumped up to talk to me whenever they had a thought!  Most of them became engaged when we read a big book about the sea and what is in the sea.  Then off they went.

Camping has evolved with the change of players in the dramatic play area.  Today started out with Avery and I building a campfire.  Aria and Finn joined us to put the wood and rocks in the right places.  Then Avery takes a stick, puts it upright in the middle of the wood pile and begins rubbing it to make friction in order to get a spark.  He then tells me he needs to give the fire oxygen as he blows on the wood.  Aria goes from there adding a pot and stirring various foods together.  Finn continues stirring while Aria runs to get some oil for the pot (moon sand.)  This continues for a while until night fall, lights out, fire out, sleeping bags and searching for our missing camper.  The script was picked up a few other times during the morning.

Outside Andrew had Henry, Edie, and Simon working in the sand box digging and burying cars and trucks.  Mae was busy sweeping up the sand on the rubber turf.  These kids played really well together for a good 30 minutes.  They’ve come a long way.

Lillian, Avery, Finn and Aria were busy with the moon sand in the dry table.  If you haven’t checked this substance out, be sure to next time you are in.  It looks a bit like kinetic sand, but is very different.  It will hold together as if you had water in sand to make sand castles.  And that was the main use of it today.  Later, I hope they will discover the imprint capability it has by using shells and other devices to press into it.

Shane joined us a bit late, but came right in, found the trains and cars and started working with me.  His script was one using an ambulance which allowed me to add person who called 911 for help.

My thanks to Andrew, Margaret, and Anya for all of their help!

Wednesday, July 5

Today was day 2 of Chrysalis Camp.  We had 8 kids who all worked hard.  Our first circle, although very hectic, allowed us to talk about the animals in the ocean.  We picked our favorites and several kids headed to the art table to create a three-dimensional version.  We had a turtle, fish, octopus, sea horse and coral.  These will be added to our mural in process once finished.

Our water table ocean had additions to it today. First Aria asked if she could put sand in the ocean.  Is there sand in the ocean?  Yes.  Then yes, you may put sand in our ocean.  She had many helpers once she started.  I think the sand table is close to empty!  Edie wanted to have more shells and did so.  At one point, I asked how the fish were going to be able to live with all the shells taking up space.  Edie turned over a shell and said, “These are their homes to hide in.”  And right she was, many sea animals use shells and rocks to hide in.

Not one soul asked to go outside, thank goodness!  Many of you heard and/or saw the drums coming up from the gym.  We had a drumming practice going on while learning what different sounds we could make with our cans.  Mae was also working with music before we left for gym playing the guitar.  She tried to find someone else to play music with her, but at that time, the ocean was a larger pull.

Avery was busy at the work table and asked Otto to work with him. Otto was busy with his octopus so he asked Avery to build a rocket for him.  Having agreed to do that, he walk over to Otto tape measure in hand and said, “About this big?” as he pulled the tape out a certain distance.  Umm, no, this big.” Showing Avery on the tape measure how big it should be.

Okay, now that you heard how much fun we all had, can you find out where they were learning science, technology, engineering, art, and math otherwise known as STEAM?

My thanks to Teresa, Lillian’s grandma for all of her help today.

What We Did Today!

Wednesday, June 28

Today was our first day of Chrysalis camp.  We had eight kids, a parent helper, a student helper – Anya – and me.  The kids did a great job joining circle first thing.  This is new for them, but they handled it well.  We talked about the ocean and created a web.  The kids told me what they know about the ocean (main ideas), then as they became more detailed, specifics were written by the main idea.  For instance, the first main idea was animals.  As the kids thought more about this, they began naming animals that were in the ocean.  This gives us a place to start as we begin to create an ocean ourselves.  The animal topic was by far the most popular, so we added ocean animals to the water.  The main ideas the group came up with were animals, birds, water, rocks, shells, and plants.

The majority of the kids began around the water table checking out all of the fish and sea animals.  They asked for nets, but we only had two so we made some using netting from foods and old frames of hand nets.  They were busy catching whatever they could.  At the art table, we had colored sand to create with.  Most of the kids were more interested in creating mixtures, but several used the colors and glue to create a picture.

At the sensory table, mural paper was set up with finger paint and brushes to create a backdrop for our ocean.  In the dry table, there is sand with various containers to fill.  Some of the kids asked me for shells, so we added a basket of shells to the options table.  I think the entire basket ended up in the table with the sand eventually.

In dramatic play, we have a camp site complete with sleeping bags, a fire, and lanterns.  Everyone did a great job, including Anya and Ali!

What We Did Today!

Wednesday, May 24

Today we checked out our celery stems which we had left on Monday in a vase of water and red food coloring.  We saw red dots at each end and when we cut across the veins we were able to see lines of red where the red water had actually been drawn up though the veins toward the leaves.  Now we know the job of the roots and the job of the stems!  What’s next?  The leaves of course.

We decorated bags to fill with things we think we might need if we didn’t have a home – toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, combs, floss, cloths, etc.  We will be filling them on Friday as only 8 people remembered to bring “stuff” for their bags.  We will also be preparing for our tea so it will be a busy day.

Play dough was busy today.  There were pancakes and cookies as well as poison noodles.  Many scripts were going on with the back and forth of communication that we like to see.  That was happening also at the dry table with the dinosaurs. 

Outside, Lynnae and George were both enjoying the kids as they ran around and around the structure.  Flynn and Hannah were busy digging while Myles was working with the tools.

Myles was sitting with the guineas when Andre decided to build them a maze.  Once it was finished, we placed the guineas into one end and watched as they tried to figure out where they were and what they were supposed to do.  They started to head forward, but were spooked by one of the kids so they got as close to each other as they possibly could.  We tried to lure them with carrots to no avail.  Finally, they started to move again.

After watching for a while, Mason, Jack, and Ben created their own video game using a maze pattern.  As I watched, I heard Ben say, “You got hit in the head so you have to get to the noodles to get back your heart!”  Looking at the floor, I was able to see the maze with the noodles at one end and other food creating the maze.  Wow, I know it is a video game, but it is one they created and they were deciding how it worked, not just copying something they had seen.

My thanks to Cara and Lynne and George for all of their help!

What We Did Today!

Tuesday, May 23

Today we celebrated Barkley’s 4th birthday with rainbow cake and a song!  Since his birthday was 2 weeks ago and he turned four, wouldn’t that mean he was now 5?  We read Avery’s book “My Family” and Otto wrote his book “My Family” to be read on Thursday.  Which brings me to the tea.  We are looking forward to having you to the school for a tea to celebrate all of our authors.  The kids will make scones and there will be some fruit as well as tea.

Even in the heat of today, some kids were outside with Kerri.  I didn’t get my nose past the door so I’m not sure what they were playing, but they didn’t last too long.  There were several new things to explore today.  At the dry table, we have bird seed and dinosaurs.  We have added rocks as well.  There were several scripts going on regarding the dinosaurs that lasted for quite a while.  Eventually, as usually happens, much of the bird seed made its way to the dramatic play kitchen.  It was filling pots, bowls, and tea pots. Carrying “stuff” from the dry table to other areas seems to be an unwritten rule with preschoolers.

The trains and the train affectionottos were busy with several tracks stemming from the center piece.  They had included trees, bridges, houses, and signs to their set-up.  They too added some bird seed to the train area.

Shane, Finn, and Aria were working on the marble run that Shane had made while Avery began to make his own.  Shane switched over to the gears and after Finn and Aria had left, Avery added their tower to his and created an amazing structure.

In the water table, I have added some papier mache materials to the water.  It has and interesting texture and once molded and left out of the table, it will dry and harden.  My thanks to Stephan and Kerri.

What We Did Today!

Monday, May 22

Today at first circle, we checked out our seed experiment which is testing out what seeds need to grow.  We started this last week and so far, there is no visible growth from any of the seeds.  However, we did discover that seeds with water, warmth, and light but no soil, rotted!  We then started a new experiment to discover the job of the stems is.  We will check the results of this experiment on Wednesday.

I enjoyed watching the creativity going on today.  At the dry table, the dirt was switched out for bird seed and dinosaurs.  A group of four were playing around the table for a good twenty minutes.  They had to solve problems, let others join, and accept additions to their scripts.  All of this was accomplished with minimal help.

The same was true in the dramatic play area.  Again, four kids playing together, creating scripts, solving problems and differences of opinions, and enjoying their game.  Another group of four outside were a bit looser, not always playing together, but appreciating each other’s space.  They were climbing trees and the rock wall, hiding in the tall grass like rabbits, and digging in the sand, joining and separating as needed.

We were able to talk about the story “His Name Is Joe” about a homeless man.  I asked them “What would you need to take with you if you didn’t have a home or refrigerator?”  It took a while, but we finally got to toothbrush, toothpaste, food – snack bars, and water – maybe a water bottle that could be refilled.  A toucan was suggested and at that point I totally lost what little attention I had!  The bag that these items will be going into is about 8x8x2.  We will be filling them on Wednesday, so if possible, please bring in whatever you and your preschooler have decided would be necessary.  My thanks to Rachel and Rebecca for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Friday, May 19

Today was busy.  These kids have started to figure out a lot about being part of a community.  They are playing with different groups of kids, solving problems, trying new things, and including others.  It was a loud day, but everyone was doing what they should be.  Many kids were helping others clean-up – just because!

At the art table, we were using bingo bottles with liquid water color to paint.  They allow for dots - which a few kids chose to attempt, writing - similar to felt pens but messier, and then the age old soak the paper with as much liquid as possible and see what happens – the favorite choice!  You have an example of your child’s use on the invitation envelope.

All of the “Our Community” books are finished up and we will create a cover on Monday so the we will be ready for the Authors’ Tea on Friday at noon.  The final part to our community theme is information regarding those in our community without a home.  We read “His Name Is Joe”, a boy’s story about a homeless man he gets to know while helping in a café based on Sisters’ of the Road from downtown Portland.  We didn’t have time to talk about what the kids could do to help, but we will continue the conversation on Monday.

We worked with finger paint today.  I like to have the kids mess with the paint on a tray and then take an image by placing a piece of paper on the top and rubbing the back for a print.  This is an easier clean-up and saves on paint.

At first circle, we talked about roots again, this time discussing what they do for the plant.  We were able to look at the roots of several plants that I have in jars of water.  We theorized about whether or not an old carrot would be able to grow in just water like the plants.  The class was mostly mixed so they decided on maybe as the answer (already politicians!)  To test our theory, we put an older carrot that still had some stems and leaves into a test tube with water so we can observe what happens.  What do you think will happen?

My thanks to Amber and George for all of their help today!