Showing posts from November, 2012

making an umbrella

Rainbow room, 4 years 

How we Learned About Trees

While working on this mural showing their hypothesis about how leaves get color in the fall, Ian, Ella and I had this conversation. 

Anna- How did you learn all about trees? 

Ella- From our brains.
A- Your brain taught it to you? 
Ian- Yeah, our brain was like, "ok, this is what happens so they can get water, the more bigger the trees go, the roots stretch." 
A- Wow, so whose brain was it? Did your brain think of it and tell Ella's brain? or did Ella's brain think of it and tell your brain? 
Ella- They both... 
Ian- I know, since Ella didn't think of it, my thinking must of went into her head. 
Ella- Or maybe we got the same idea from our same brains

A- Maybe you got some clues from all the things  you've been thinking about trees, and then you added the clues up, and got the idea. Maybe. Like your brain is a detective of trees.

Ian- Maybe the brain was like "doot-do-doodle-oo, lets find about trees"
A- Maybe so. And then it makes your eyes look at trees, it …


I have been helping some of the kindergartners with a mural which helps them show what they think about the role of roots in the life of a tree. 
learn more about the kindergarteners and trees here:

young children in the studio

At the start of each school year, the youngest children at Sabot (who are two) explore the studio, looking and touching and trying things out.

Building tall in the Rainbow room

in the Rainbow room, they built a tall tower  they built it with blocks, but it was hard for everybody to reach so another group built with squares on paper  it was kind of like a contest to see who's was tallest, but we were all on the Rainbow room team, so the contest was just for fun the paper building went almost to the ceiling and across the floor. the block building went as high as the children could reach. Jordan said "Hurry, a hurricane is coming to knock it down! Hurry, hurry!"                                                 and then, after it fell down, they started again

Thinking Like a Historian: What's Happening in the Studio? 2nd grade

Organizing all of the traces, artifacts and offshoots of a project is hard to do. I have heard about lots of different ways to do this over the years, but I think it all comes down to finding something that works for you and sticking to it. This story board is an attempt to consolidate and organize an inquiry in the second grade. They have a guiding question for the year; "Who was here before us?" The second grade teacher, Aneesa and I, have come up with our own guiding question about how second graders come to understand history.

(to see more about this project, visit
The story board took too long, so I probably won't do it again. I still need to find something that works, especially since I am trying to keep so many projects going at once. If you are a teacher, or have a job where you have to keep track of documentation of multiple projects, I'd love to hear about it. What works for you?

magic ship

D said "If you push this button, it will make it change colors"

Learning: What's happening in the studio?

These are some pictures from an inquiry into trees that is happening with the kindergarten.              It started with the tree that has bricks inside it, a source of fascination and speculation to many people at Sabot. How did it get bricks inside it, and why are they there? The photo of the wire key shows one of the first ideas about the tree- that it had a magic door. Some of the children designed machines that could help look to see what is inside of the tree. Children began to hypothesize that the tree wasn't real, because real trees don't have bricks. That's when the kindergateners began a very detailed study of the attributes of trees. What makes a tree a tree?             The project continues with new questions about leaves and roots. I am learning more about scaffolding science learning from the kindergarten teachers as they work with Dan (the science man). From the children, I am learning to have faith that science and imagination go hand in hand. The attribu…

making a roller coaster

this is the plan for a roller coaster
this is how the roller coaster goes