“Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.”
Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)
We embrace this first week of school as this is a special time…there is excitement and anticipation, connections are being made yet separation is fresh, confidence and trust are being nurtured yet insecurities surface, freedom is being explored and rights are being established. It is a wondrous time! The world is so very full for our sprouts.
We had a magical week:
The rubber hit the road – vrooom! We observed parents (part of the trellis) watching their children (fresh vines) blossom; climbing and exploring outside of (maybe) their typical comfort zone, working through challenges, and learning from their sprout and others.
We had multi-age magic emerge in: zip lines, wood building, nailing/screwing/hammering, older students reading to younger students, butterflies and spiders.
Student suggested classroom expansion: we made a student sign in and out, we made a mailbox, we worked with clay.
Some of this week’s provocations: creepy yet fascinating (ask about the polka dot spider), flexible vs. rigid (ask about the zip line), ABC’s of our classroom (ask about our ongoing list)
Academic foci included:
- word of the week: and
- word chunk: -ink
- environments: spiders, butterflies, butterfly eggs!
“I’m good at the tree.” “The tree is good at you.”
“Once upon a time, there was an orange.”
“If someone never cried he would be in Ripley’s Believe It or Not?”
“I’m a rock star!”
“tick tock – tick tock, i’m a little cuckoo clock”
This week some of the Gardeners have been interested in creating zip lines. One student mentioned having been on a zip line, and thought that he could recreate a zip line by using some of the materials available. Other students were very fascinated and asked to join in.
Student A: Well first we need to create a checklist, so that we know what we need.
Student B: Ok, well we need scissors to cut the rope.
A: Got it (Writes down scissors on his journal). Hmmm, What else?
B: OH! I know, we can use these bubble things on the bottom because if we fall it will be soft and it wonʼt hurt if we fall.
A: Yeah. Oh and I almost forgot to write the most important thing, rope!
After writing down the things they needed, they began critically think about where to place the zip lines. While discussing and testing their ideas they found that the tree was the best place to begin attaching the rope.
A: See, you have to put it at the highest branch that way you can zip down and go super fast (points to the rope he knotted on the tree branch). This is going to be the best zip line EVER!
B: Yeah! Can you put this red one up on that branch behind you? Iʼll tie it to the fence.
A: OK, but pull this one tighter, because if itʼs too low its not going to work. (jumps off tree and tries hanging from rope but falls on the floor) See! we have to make it tighter!
B: (tries to hang on the rope herself) OK, Iʼll put it even more tighter.
Once the students felt that they were almost finished with their zip lines, they invited the rest of their friends to come down to test them. Gardeners immediately began pushing and pulling on the ropes, wondering if the ropes were strong enough to hang and zip line off of. They noticed that when some friends pulled on one section of the rope, another section of the rope would either loosen or become rigid. They continued to play with the ropes by hanging, flipping, and going under, over, and in between them.Next Week:
Provocations continue, we will be diving into counting collections, making an ABC book of self, laying our foundation via the Bill of Rights…what is a COUNTING COLLECTION!? They provide provide children with rich opportunities to practice oral counting, to develop efficient counting strategies, to group objects in strategic ways, to record numbers and to represent their thinking. Research shows that although counting is one of the best ways we know to help children develop number sense and other important mathematical ideas, we don’t do nearly enough of it in elementary schools. Children need lots of experience with counting to learn which number comes next, how this number sequence is related to the objects in front of them, and how to keep track of which ones have been counted and which still need to be counted (Fuson, 1988a). Experience with counting provides a solid foundation for future experience with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Stay tuned for the heavy-duty research in next week’s message.
If you have any questions, please reach us as follows:
CLASSROOM/CURRICULUM/PARK DAY – Michelle Goldbach-Johnson
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
PARENT TEACHERS – MJ Garcia
ADMINISTRATIVE – Trish Valdez