Showing posts from March, 2012

Making a Spiral

His note said "I want to make a spiral"

Which is the real J.?



I am a vollunteer at WRIRlp, low power independent radio here in Richmond VA.  As a radio advocate and music lover, I was excited when Annie and Beverly came to the studio today to make a dancing mat.  "What is a dancing mat?" I asked.  "You know, it's for dancing. And it has a radio and everything, Anna."  "Yeah, and we should make disco dancing lights!" O.k., then!
dancing radio

                                                       disco radio

Zoe at school

I love it when my kids can visit me at work. Zoe is showing A. how she would draw Popeye the Sailor Man

planning a kitty big should it be?

The heart of the kitty game is nurturing. During play, the kitties face many obstacles from scary monsters to teenager babysitters as one; it is the kitties against the world. During this small group time we talked about making a real house, one of the things on their list (things that would make their game more fun).

"It has to be big enough for all of us, and we might want another friend to play, like Acadia or Nora, so it has to be big enough for them, too."

drawing one kitty for each person in the group.
drawing the shape of the house

"We have a kitty house inside so we need to build one outside. We'll use cardboard and wood sticks."
"Cardboard might get wet outside."
"The house would be made of all wood sticks And then we would have to paint the walls."
"We could build it out of blocks and wood."

counting the kitties/friends

Making the plan a little bigger  "We don't want boys because they could play shoot." "Well,…

Where love comes from

The Rainbow room (younger 4) children continue to investigate and theorize about body systems. This is another part of the conversation from last week. I started by reminding the children that they had said that veins go to your heart.
      eyes have veins,                           hand, bones and veins
Next I asked them about their earlier theories about love. At an earlier meeting they had discussed their differing ideas about where love comes from within your body. I asked-
"If veins go to your heart, where does love come from?  What do you think? Does love come from your heart, or your brain, or your whole body?"

love goes into somebody who you love

"Let's write a little poem about bodies. I will write down your words while you draw hearts, or how love goes from one person to another person. Does anybody have a first idea I can write down?"

by Xander, Rainey, Gabriella, Emory and Julia

all the love went in my neck
and then went down into my heart all the lov…

Second Conversation about Veins

Xander, can I write some words about this picture?

"Write this. This is the beginning. In my body I have veins, and my veins take the love to my Mommy and Daddy. The love goes into my Mommy- her nose, her forehead, into her brain. She feels the love going to her heart. Mommy and Daddy. The end."

A girl with rainbow hair and her friends

by Annalise

Children as scientists

Children in the Rainbow Room (4) have been talking about bones and bodies ever since Classmate X. broke his foot. They have come to the studio a couple of times with their teacher Cris. In talking to them, we are trying to figure out how to support them, and to do that, we need to find out what their intention is in this exploration. Our hypothesis right now is that the children are forming understandings about systems within our bodies. On this day, I reminded the children that in our last conversation (about veins), they told me that veins are connected to our hearts, and that we looked for where we could see our own veins. 
Gabriella said "You have to wear socks to keep your veins warm. My Daddy told me if you don't wear socks, your veins will disappear."
Then R. said "If you swallow a seed, a plant will grown inside your body." Can we draw that? I said. 
"If you have a flower growing in your belly, then when you sneeze, it will come out of your nose&quo…

a new book!

I am very excited that I have a chapter in this book, which is my article on the forest from Voices of the Practitioners. Lot's of great stuff here for you to check out if you are interested in teacher-research...
Our Inquiry, Our Practice
"Through teacher research, teachers engage in the systematic study of their own practice to answer questions they have about teaching and learning, and their own effectiveness. This book explores what teacher research in the early childhood setting looks like, why it is important to the field of early childhood education, and how teacher educators can support it. Including articles from NAEYC’sVoices of Practitioners online journal, Our Inquiry, Our Practice offers a theoretical framework as well as lively accounts of teacher research in action."
On March 9 if you are near Hampton Virginia, you could go to the VAECE conference and see "Conducting, Supporting and Publishing Early Childhood Research" at 2:00. I will be presenting…

Making a wooden Ferris wheel chair

After the children made their wire Ferris wheel chair, they found it was the right size, but noticed that the metal wire wasn't very comfortable to sit on. They had also decided that they wanted to paint the chairs with themes ("star wars and race car for the boys, butterfly and unicorn for the girls."). They decided that the wire chair was "just a plan", and that they would make a real chair out of wood.

Here are some questions going forward:

How will the children "bend" the wood to make the seat and back?
When they notice that the measurements aren't precise (all the 34's aren't the same size), will the children want to make modifications? and a big question; Does this method of figuring things out with woodworking lead to understanding of the underlying structures of things? Nancy, Robyn and I can provide scaffolding around specific things, but mostly we are letting the children do the thinking here. I have seen this method lead to unders…