Sunday, April 18, 2021

April Photos Part I

Classroom photos from April 1 - 16.  And now I am completely caught up!

working with a clipboard in the hammock

a delicious mud meal
using up my extra packets of herbs & spices makes it even more fun

decorating big cardboard box forts!
we didn't know it at the time... but this would be the begining of Boxville

making Easter baskets with paper lunch bags
wonderful practice in measuring with a ruler for older children

and excellent practice in cutting for younger children

shaving cream swirled with food coloring

rolling the eggs around gives them a marbelized look

set the egg on a paper towel so the colors can strengthen


they go home as gifts for parents

waiting in anticipation for the red buckeye to bloom

a whole school Easter egg hunt
each child takes a different color of plastic egg

then, they go off to hide them thoroughly in the yard
you can find any color except the ones you hid yourself

friends hanging out together

and the Stamp Game

thank you to Ms. Anna for the donation of a HUGE
whiteboard for our Outdoor Classroom

chatting and digging together

a Bug Hunt
take a clipboard, paper, and a magnifying glass
so you can sketch what you find!

how much weight can this piece of string lift before it breaks?

pouring water down the driveway
Part I

like Boxville, this is an idea which is going to catch on
and grow bigger

the buds on the buckeye are continuing to swell

I ask the chidren, do you think it is the leaves opening
or is it the flower?

using a tube from the Water Wall loose parts
to help direct the water from the pump straight into the bucket


snuggling with the dog

when the sun is really bright in the driveway, 
students like to work in the Art Room on their MLBs

working in pairs in the library on SWI
sorting word families for Fire, Water, Earth, and Air

we have found that the index cards can blow away outside

making narcissus bouquets for parents

pouring water down the driveway
Part II

if we build a wall with bricks, 
will the water stay between them?  or will it go on its own path?

walking along the sidewalk to see how far the water goes
the fire hydrant is their limit, as beyond it is the neighbor's driveway

hammering in our 12 inch long earth staples to help keep our canopies up

thank you to ALL of the families who have shared their outdoor
recreational items with us!  it makes a big difference!

pouring water down the driveway
Part III

if we pour gallons and gallons and gallons of water
down the driveway, how far will it go?

will it reach the next storm drain?

I escort them so that they can go past the fire hydrant
and on down the sidewalk until wherever the water stops moving

picking out debris that might slow the water down

has it stopped?  no, it's still going
but we see that widening out into the puddle slows it down


it stops moving before it reaches the storm drain

we draw a mark with chalk where the water stops

when we come back after lunch, 
it has wicked its way past the chalk mark, but just barely

okay, what we need in this situation is more water

they watch it go down the driveway and we follow it again...
but no matter how much water they pour, it slows down so much
at that wide shallow puddle, that it never can reach the storm drain

Upper Elementary Word Study:  Analogies

speaking of analogies, these baby leaves look just like feathers
baby leaf : feather :: fiddlehead : snail

adding an edited rough draft to the MLB

Jataka Tales for one group

and Ancient Egpytian Mythology for the other

on the day I want to talk about the word sum for < hydrant >
the fire dept. shows up to test the fire hydrant by our house

what perfect timing!

and the buckeye buds pop open!
the answer is, the leaves come out

but, wait, there's more

inside the leaves you can see the beginning of the flower forming too

I am loving learning so much more about my yard!

it's like being awake to something you were always asleep to before

the birthday girl chooses her ornaments for the Birthday Ring

her classmate sets up the Celebration Sun for her

since the Earth revolves around the Sun in a counterclockwise direction
we lay the month pieces out accordingly

since it's not safe to have a candle in the Canteen Tent, with the mulch floor,
we use the Solar Jar from the Biome Jars to represent the Sun

blowing out six candles

no one else can help her blow out the candles because it's COVID!
all these little tiny things that make it such a strange time...

I introduce the loupes
and then I can't get them to come to lunch 😊

when they do come, they can't stop looking at their food,
their clothing, the mulch, the arms of their chairs...

their boots...

and every other thing!

they just love them

oh, yes, and the birthday candles

they discover that the melted wax is a slightly different
color than the unmelted wax of the candle

sewing hyacinth crowns

helping a friend with the Dot Exercise

thank you to every family who donated large cardboard boxes
so that I could mulch the paths to the vegetable garden!

first, however, these boxes have been discovered by a group of curious
creative children, determined to put them to a much more interesting use

Boxville begins on Tuesday, April 13
and continues in full force for the rest of the week

there's even a box habitat for some discovered earthworms

a lesson on the lunar calendar vs. the solar calendar
what is the difference and why does it matter?

we find Taro Root at the grocery store!

keeping tabs on the buckeye
the leaves have really unfolded!

I ask the children, please, if they are going to launch lemons 
with a Lemon Throwing Stick,
that they do it on the South Lawn so no one gets hit by a lemon

wait, someone's throwing lemons? 

I want to try!

it's just a simple two-pronged stick

but it launches a lemon quite a distance down the field

everyone stands on the mulch mountain behind the person who's throwing

as there are some cracks appearing in this piece of
plastic tubing, the boys set up tiny pails all along it
to catch every drip of water so that it is not wasted

they proudly show me their invention

a pair of muddy shoes
neatly set outside the box fort

meanwhile, I'm discovering the new baby leaves on the cypress tree!

we are lucky to have a deciduous conifer (cypress)
and a broadleaf evergreen tree (magnolia) for the kids to observe 

older children want to make hyacinth crowns too

and this one is a present for mom

we find the first robin's egg shell of the Spring

some children run and get their loupes when they see something
but some children wear them around their necks all day long

"I want to do that new work with the colors"
this material is really hard to find and I'm so glad to have it!

this card is visual discrimination
they have to match two identically shaped items (like a roller skate)
but one of them is wrapped in black & white polks dotted wrapping paper 

"Ms. Renee, come here!  Quick!!"

they have spotted an exceedingly peculiar earthworm

it crawls along on the surface of the ground unperturbed by the sunshine

it is approximately 10 inches long

it has a slightly blue metallic sheen in the bright light

at first we leave it alone, but on the off-chance that it is an
invasive species (first, because it is so long... second, because
the color is slightly off... third, because it doesn't seem to mind the sun)
we decide to collect it and research it further

terrarium aka peculiar worm habitat

Dox Exercise card with four addends!

after reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz,
I give a lesson on how to paint skin tone

I feel I am slowly adapting and learning how to teach outside

and painting in natural light is better anyway!

everyone's paint palette has only five colors:
white, yellow, red, brown, black

you begin with white as it will help the colors mix better
to be on a wet surface

carefully checking...

painting your own skin tone is not as easy as it sounds

in rolling over a log, they find a disturbed colony of ants

and run to come and get me
"Ms. Renee!  Come see what we found!"

it really is heartwarming to see them just being children

after all that time of being alone, 
trying to play together via screens during COVID

I feel like they are re-wilding

and I'm glad

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