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!

Tuesday, May 8 - What We Did Today!


Today we worked on a special project for Mother’s Day.  Shh!  The kids did a great job working on it and everyone was involved.  The weather was so lovely that Ginny was outside the entire free time.  Kids were building, climbing, and digging.  I was out for about five minutes and had to come back in, too hot for me!

Over the weekend, the butterflies came out of their chrysalides.  We had five yesterday and due to some mishaps three today.  The kids were watching them and asking about holding them.  I told them they would be able to hold them on Thursday when I put them into the tent.

Molly wrote her book today.  We will read it on Tuesday.  She is quite the writer!  She had many things to tell me about each of her pictures.

There were many musicians playing in the loft.  They were using sand blocks, rhythm sticks, and bells.

At the water table there was green water with clear cups, pitchers, and bottles.  I was served several cups of tea that was actually green (color not type.)

Finally, at the last circle, we read, “Room on the Broom”.  We have tried this before and it is just that little bit too long to keep 15 kids’ attention, but today, we made it through!  My thanks to Trisha and Ginny for all of their help today!

Friday, May 4 - What We Did Today!


Today we had an extra long circle as we talked about the job of the leaves.  Did you know that they can make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?  Not really, but they do make their own food for the entire plant.  After talking about which leaves we eat, we completed our library page for our community books.  This takes a while and can be tough on those not use to having to do something they aren’t interested in, but all 15 completed their pages!

Outside, Marya was busy with the hustle and bustle of the majority of our class playing outside.  There were kids working on the “tree house”, kids digging in the sand box, and kids playing their favorite slide game, crash the truck.  This game evolves over the school year and today was an attempt to use one truck to rush down the slide and crash into another truck at the bottom of the slide hard enough to make it drive off of the slide.

Inside, I was hoping to have kids write in their journals about their plants.  Unfortunately, after having them write about the library, they were definitely done writing.  I had three girls I asked if they were ready to write who agreed and completed a page in their journals, but I couldn’t coax anyone else.  Maybe on Monday!

We ended our day reading about the dentist as we will be visiting Pediatric Dentistry on Monday.  My thanks to Michelle and Marya for all of their help.

Thursday, May 3 - What We Did Today!


Today was a bit of a crazy day.  Mainly, I think, because I wasn’t able to get ahead of what was going on.  I felt that I was coming from behind fixing rather than helping kids problem solve.

I was outside for the first part of the day.  It was great to see what these kids have been doing!  Sara had told me Tuesday how well they were working together, and I was able to see some of that today.  We had many tree climbers, Stella, Bash, Josie, Adam, Margot, and Sebastian.  Some of these kids climb as high as the tree allows them while others are just beginning to feel safe on skinny limbs.  If you ever have the chance to watch this process, watch their bodies and their faces to see the ah-ha moments or the uh-oh realizations.  They are learning about their bodies and what they are capable of.

Rowan and Jubilee stayed out of the trees today and were building huts to stay in.  They created a pathway from one hut to the other.  They picked up heavy boards and trunks to place where they wanted them, building strength and confidence while allowing their creativity to be realized.

Molly and Bash were looking for worms to no avail.  I think the warm weather has sent them below, below ground.

Inside, some of the kids were making wind socks.  They are hanging from our butterfly near the sun and moon.  Josie and River were making music for us to listen to.  Addy and Bodhi joined them later.

My thanks to Lisa and Kai for all for their help today!


Wednesday, May 2 - What We Did Today!


Well, today was our field trip to the library.  The kids did great on the walk to and from the library with only a few shouts of “Where’s the bread!”  They did very well staying between the bread of our sandwich.

I have been taking kids to the Albina Library for years!  The children’s librarian there is Nina and she is amazing.  She always knows when it is time to stretch or sing songs – Josh, we heard the original version of “The Slippery Fish”!  She read several books which we enjoyed. 

On the way back to school, we found a bird house on the curb.  I asked the kids if they thought we should take it to school with us and they agreed that would be a good new home for it.  Of course, I had to explain that when someone leaves something on the curb, they are giving it away.

Back at school we had a little time while snack was being prepared to play.  I was outside with about seven kids who were working at various things.  Easton, Otto, Avery, and Marcus were building a tree house with the boards we have outside.  I was watching without directing only interjecting when I was concerned about the placement of the board for safety. 

Inside I noticed Mae working with the Tangrams, Barkley and Henry building with Legos, and Finn and Lillian building with Widgets.

At first circle, we checked our stem experiment to see what the job of the stem is.  We noticed that the leaves of the celery were red.  When the stalk was cut, we could see red dots showing where the dye had moved up the stem and into the leaves.  When I cut the celery the same direction as the veins, we could actually see the line of red dye up the stem.  So now we know that the seed has a baby plant inside, the roots take in water and nutrients, and the stem carries the water to the leaves!  I wonder what the leaves job is?

My thanks to Summar and Kymberli for all of their help today and Julianna for walking up to the library with us!