Showing posts from May, 2010

Sabot Dragon Day!

Every spring, a red Dragon is seen at the pre-school. This Sabot Dragon might be a real dragon, or he might be a teacher wearing a costume. There is a lot of debate about this throughout the year, despite the fact that there is a moment where the Dragon head comes off and the teacher inside is revealed. I love the magic, and always maintain that it is a real dragon. Often children argue that it must be a teacher, because they can see the Dragons shoes (I promise you, they are never shoes that any teacher is wearing that day). This year Afton made a good point, what if it is just a Dragon that likes clothes? What if he loves to shop and order things from catalogs? I love the idea!
Here are some pictures of Thursday, when the Dragon brought strawberries for all of the children;

A visit to Stony Point

I accompanied the Meadow room (pre-k age) to visit our other campus and future home at the Stony Point campus.

They hiked up the long road to the door with much anticipation and excitement, dancing with joy (and a bit of nervousness, too). Not all of the children will carry on with kindergarten with us, but everyone is aware of the pre-school move and knows that when they visit Sabot in the future, we will be at Stony Point.

Next we went to one of the 1-2 classes where the children sang some of the songs they wrote this year, and showed us their guidebooks to the plants, animals, birds and snakes of the Stony Point campus. Some children took tours of the building, and then the 1st and 2nd graders led us into their forest, which is much larger than the wild space we share at the pre-school.
After that, the Meadow room visited the kindergarten.

What a wonderful day!

Pre-school Memory Book

"After we all leave here, what will you want people to remember about the old Sabot Preschool? What will you want to remember about this place? What would you want to show the children who never got to go to school here?"
"I was thinking about buttercups. I want to remember them because they are so special and magical." Arthur 5.5
"Running through the labyrinth, looking at the trees, flying kites in the meadow, every bird in the forest." Lily, 5.11

“I would like people to remember my classroom. I want them to remember that everybody says the Sabot Dragon lives in a cave. The cave is hiding behind a big tree. He has a basket that he puts strawberries in. Maybe he has a little strawberry plant, and he picks them.” Elizabeth 5.9

More on photography, cyanotypes and the 3/4 year olds

The children in the Garden room have continued to focus on photography, both in how it can be used in the classroom (for documenting happenings and artwork, for taking pictures of people and events, like birthday circles), and how how it works. The Garden room teachers have provided many provocations about photography, including some x-rays on the light table. This led to some hypothesizing about how x-rays are possible.

Last week Lukas and Oliver came to the studio.I told them I had the chemicals in a jar, and asked them if they would like to put it on some paper so they could make some more photographs. Lukas painted "Mr. Bones", our model skeleton onto the paper.
The next day, Lukas, Oliver and Dahlia came back to the studio to make some x-rays out of the now dry paper.

Later, I went back to ask them about that experience;
"Remember when you put the chemicals on some paper and made those pictures? I wonder if you could tell me about that day, so I could write it down.…

How do you know it's love?

Adelina lights up whenever she (or anybody else) mentions Ruby. I told her I noticed this, and asked what she feels when she thinks about Ruby. Where is the feeling, inside or outside of her? She drew a picture of the people she loves. Then she created a beautiful metaphor for the feeling she has when she thinks about Ruby, Aurelio and her family. She said "There's a great, big circle around me and Ruby. The circle is  music, and we dance. When I feel love, flowers go all around me."

What does your Dad do at work?

The subject of Dads and work came up on Friday as Cooper was drawing a picture of his family. He made his Father and Mother at work. He drew his Dad and then hesitated. I asked, "what does your Father have at his work?" He replied that his Father had a computer, which he drew. Hoping to encourage more detail, I asked what his Dad did at work. "Well, he works. He just works. Sometimes he talks on the phone."
Cooper may know more than he let on, but then again I have often had this conversation with young children. They know their Father goes to work, and sometimes they know the name of the job he has, but very few have ever given me details of what their Father actually does during the day. They often really don't seem to know.

I wonder if Men, like the Father in my own family, feel the details are too complicated to explain, or maybe that they are too dull to talk about?
I'd like to encourage all grownups to talk a little more about what they do during the d…

Blogging -a Strange and Wonderful Thing

Hi. I created this blog because I needed a place to show Parents my documentation. After moving into the studio, there was no access for me to the classroom based online documentation format the Parents had built, and so Blogger seemed like a good solution. Plus, I really wanted to publish writing about my work, and thought blogging would be a good way to cut out the middle man. I am of the age where the internet still fills me with wonder from time to time, like when I get a comment from someone in Australia, or Canada, or Seattle or Brussels, or D.C....anywhere that isn't Richmond, VA.  I feel like I have made friends who really understand teaching, and who are interested in things like children and wild places, mapping, drawing to learn, and other things that I need to talk about. I wouldn't trade my new world of colleagues for anything.
But here's what is strange about it -I get comments and questions from people all aver the world, but very few from people I see face to…

Flower Day!

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.