Parents plan a wonderful Teacher appreciation celebration each year. Last night we had a dinner at Avery's house, with food cooked by Sabot families. the setting was beautiful -a house from a magazine made more delightful by the air hockey table in the living room! Today was flower day -a really lovely tradition where children come in with flowers for the teachers they love.
It is hard to hold to serious small group inquiry on such an exciting day, so here are some of the things that happened in the open studio;
Reese made a tooth box in case he gets a loose tooth, Lola and Avery made a Mothers day present, Greta made a picture, Sam made more flowers, Dalia and Kaiya colored.
During a meeting a few weeks ago a teacher asked the preschool staff what the difference was between 'centers' and 'provocations'. It seems to me that there are a lot of similarities between the 2 things. Provocations are materials or experiences that Teachers set out to provoke children's thinking. From what I've seen, centers are classroom areas that are set out to give children experience with certain developmentally appropriate learning activities.
So in a traditional classroom you might see a literacy center where children can practice certain writing activities, and in a Sabot classroom you will find writing materials, a variety of papers, things that make marks, envelopes, books and other tools and materials that can be used for writing. One mistake people sometimes make is to assume that the fact that the environment is set up differently and may look looser and less formal in a more progressive school means that teachers don't look for those moment…
The 3 and 4 year old children made up a game of 'powers' in which two children stand on a carpet square and then 'psh psh psh' their powers at each other. Other children sit to the side and often draw the action and cheer. After they had been playing this game for a while, we teachers began to wonder how to take the thinking further.
We came up with some questions; What color are your powers? What sound do they make? Could I borrow your powers? We encouraged each child to make a mask, cape and a pocket to hold their powers.
"Real animals don’t have any powers. Stories have powers. Yeah, in stories they have powers. Not any kind of real animals can’t do stuff. Can’t do stuff that powers can do, no. We play stuff but it’s not powers." Anna Hart, you have powers, don’t you? Hart "No. I have pretend powers. Just when I freeze stuff, and when it’s dark. It only comes out when I’m mad, or scared."
The back and forth between magical thinking and theory making …
OUR RICHMOND: Some thoughts about moments from this two year project.
The kindergarten started the 15/16 year thinking about the world championship bicycle races that flooded Richmond with people from all over the world. This led to a year-long look at crowds and ultimately the question "Who are the people that make up the city?"
The children considered the concept of 'crowd' in lots of different ways. I was surprised when the children turned to ideas about the volume of spaces, scale and number in this conversation:
What is a crowd? Is this (our circle a crowd?)
Penelope Maybe if there was a hundred and thousand a hundred and thousand people in here.
Cal- (It would be crowded) if we were inside of a ant’s belly!
? (What if the people) could be a thousand feet tall, like a thousand feet tall. The size of the door!
Sydney Yeah! Let’s crowd up in a bundle! "Yea! Yea! Yea!" What if we shrunk to the size of ants, like Cal said? Would this be crowded then? "No…