Tag Archive | collaboration

Belonging

One of the reasons that I don’t feel that spending time on Facebook is a total waste of time (besides staying connected with family and friends) is how much inspiration I receive from the early childhood community who post on Facebook. Finding this quote from a longtime favorite educator and inspirational advocate for young children is one wonderful example.

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After seeing this beautiful photo that features a quote from Bev Bos on Facebook early Friday morning, I had an opportunity to celebrate such a sense of belonging on that very same day.

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As I spotted K and E carrying the HUGE branch across and over The Garden Classroom, I will admit I was feeling a bit apprehensive about their actions. Yet seeing the determined look on their faces, I didn’t interfere and allowed them to continue with their task.  Besides, I was curious  as to what their plans were. It was very obvious that they did indeed have plans.

Unfortunately, my pictures don’t show the results to the best advantage because of the spotty sunlight, but the girls laid the branch across the entrance and blocked the opening to the deck and Art Cottage.  Okay…I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to ask, what was going on!

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K: We’re keeping the boys out. We’re letting in all the girls and half the boys.

E (asking her twin): You mean “B” don’t you? Don’t you?

K ignored her but started grabbing paper and crayons and began creating signs. E also began to create signage and both girls taped their signs on to the branch.

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Soon other girls joined them on the deck writing and stamping papers and taping signs.

I approached K again and asked her, “What is so special about the Art Cottage that you want to keep some boys from going in?”

I suspect she did not have a clear answer to that question, but I have to hand to her when she responded to me very confidently and even fiercely, “That is something only girls and not teachers can know.” Yowzers! Now that is what I call ownership!

As I was watching the activity on the deck, I commented to K how hard the “crew” was working. K responded to me, “That is the girl crew working to keep the boys out!”

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I invited another teacher over to help me to find out more information and she also got snubbed. All we could do was stand back and observe. With amazement.

Stand back and feel pleased that these strong and determined young girls and future leaders, teachers, astronauts or whatever, took ownership of the space and materials to claim independence and show off their confidence.

With Joy!

Francie

P.S. The “No Boys” rules was very lenient. They did not actually bar any boy from physically stepping over or crawling under the branch and onto the deck and into the Art Cottage.

Natural Scientists

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All children are natural scientists. They ask questions, create a hypothesis, test and prove or disprove their hypothesis. Several children demonstrated their understanding of science by experimenting with some kitchen scales that I had purchased from a thrift shop.

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Not only did they discover the engineering principals of how the scales worked, they also had an opportunity to refine their scientific vocabulary using words such as small, large, lighter, heavier,  and variations of the terms such as large larger and largest.

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On Wednesday I brought in a bathroom scale. My scale is “old school” and features a large dial and numerals. When stepping on the scale, you can watch the arrow as it moves around the dial to land on the appropriate numeral. Perfect for small children as it demonstrates when something weighs more, the arrow moves further around the scale and stops on the appropriate number.

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While the 3 Day morning group wasn’t able to identify the numerals on the scale, they still demonstrated their knowledge concerning the concepts of weight.  

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After R, J, H and C piled several items on the scales we used a marker and took note that the items weighed 10 pounds.

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They wanted to weigh the pinecones. I asked them how many pinecones would it take to weigh 10 pounds, R said, “Many! Many pinecones!”  After reaching their goal (with the addition of a few more items) R and H entered into a timeless discussion of how big their dads were,  Pointing to the highest numbers on the scale, R said, “My dad is this all the way up here!” H pointed to a number a little lower on the scale saying, “My dad, he’s this much!”

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When the 5 Days classes came out, A and G immediately came up with a plan! Demonstrating their knowledge about numerals, they worked on getting the scale to register 100 pounds.

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After having some difficulty balancing the items on the scale and still not reaching their goal, I suggested that they stand on the scale. Still coming a few pounds short, A looked around and picked up a concrete paver used for building, and after stepping on the scale…the arrow landed on 100. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Such wonderful collaboration! What wonderful scientists!

 

Creativity, Curiosity and Innovation Explodes in The Garden Classroom! (Part 2)

 Here are some more examples of the children’s creativity that I was able to document  as they worked and played in the Garden Classroom last week. Image These 5 Day boys continue to refine their ability to balance the building materials in new and interesting ways as they did last year. They are talking more to each other and showing a great deal more respect for each other’s ideas. I am so privileged to witness such growth and development! The (plastic) reptiles are enjoying a very comfortable and cozy shelter made for them by these master builders.

 

 

Image   After a child in the 3 Day classroom discovered a small piece of wood on the ground she brought it to me and declared that it was a “sea otter.” She told me she needed to paint it. After providing her with some acrylic paints, other children discovered their own pieces of wood or in some cases, some eucalyptus bark they discovered in the Art Cottage, Soon, a whole menagerie appeared, mostly identified as sea otters but one was a “sea otter monster.”  and another a “rainbow polar bear.” After painting. the creatures, the children glued and painted seed pods for eyes. The original sea otter grew a “mustache!” You can see the  sea otter with mustache in the center of the picture.  

There’s more! Watch for part 3!