Brr… Yesterday it was 2 degrees with a wind child of -10. This morning it was 40 degrees. We took advantage of the much warmer temperatures and headed outside. Although it began to rain, we still enjoyed sledding for the first time this year. The children also became very curious about a large section of the field that had iced over. They decided it made the perfect skating rink.
Oh my! I can’t believe it’s this time of year already. We began creating stories for our script early in January and have now come down to what I think will be our final direction. This in no way ensures that changes won’t be made. In fact, if history has taught us anything in Pre-K, the characters are sure to change in these last two weeks of writing. Remember, this story is written by the Pre-K students. You’ll find all sorts of silliness and that is just the way we like it. Here is a copy of our draft thus far. We’ll figure out a title, change the format to look more like a play, and begin planning costumes and sets once we return from Spring Break.
Once upon a time, there were 2 little pigeons playing basketball. Two Big Baby Ducklings came along and said, “What are you doing?” Then the 2 pigeons ran into their house. The BBDs were very hungry and now they were grumpy. They tried to blow down the house.
2 police officers came. “Halt!” They captured the 2 BBDs and took them to the police car.
The 2 pigeons decide to watch tv. They were watching The Pigeon on the bus.
(On the tv.)
Pigeon decides to drive somewhere and get some mac and cheese. Then pigeon gets dressed in blue stuff. Then she puts on some make-up. She has to go to an important meeting with her friend Red Panda. They drive to the meeting.
Penguin, Rainbow Spring, and Grape are at the meeting. They are talking about work. (work talk). Rainbow Spring and Grape accidentally end the meeting by being too silly. Penguin, Red Panda, and Pigeon get back on the bus and leave. After they drive for a while, they stop and go to sleep.
(Back at the pigeon house)
The 2 pigeons go back out to play basketball again. Everyone that isn’t BBDs or police slowly comes over and says, “Can we play, too?”
Then they all get tired and fall asleep in a heap.
The police officers drive the BBDs to jail. The BBDs say, “We just wanted some food!” “O.K.,” says the police, “we have a cage that can help you with that!” The cage is made out of bananas, so the BBDs eat the banana jail. The police say, “We’ll drive you back if you say please.” The BBDs say, “Please drive us back.” The police drive them back to the pigeons’ home.
Everyone was inside when they arrived. The BBDs knock on the pigeons’ door. “Who’s there?” says the pigeons. “The BBDs, can we please have some food?” replied the ducklings. “Sure!” said the pigeons, “Here’s an apple.” “Come in guys, we have some yummy food in here.” “You can have as much as you want.”
Everyone has a party at the pigeon house.
Two of our dear friends moved back to Florida last week. We are already missing their smiles. Sigh….
No worries! The children have a plan….
We’re going on a road trip to Florida! Yippee! Oh, fine, it is only imaginary, but we can still make our plans. To assist in the planning, I photocopied all of the pertinent states from my trusty road atlas and stitched them together with old-fashioned scotch tape. The class was quite surprised to find such a spaghetti mess of roads between here and there. Yet undaunted, they began to take action.
First, the children decided we needed a car to get there. Enter our trusty stand-by, a nice empty box.
Here are a few bits demonstrating the process and explaining some of the technical details:
I think we’ll need to attack the map next….
Two children were having a heated discussion regarding the distribution of toy cars. We decided that the problem could best be solved by visiting the Peace Table. In case you missed the introduction before, the Peace Table is a special place where two or more friends can work together to solve a problem.
Both children amicably sat down and I began my usual spiel. To each child I asked, “What do you want?” Both stated that they wanted to make a football game with the cars. One child had been previously playing in the area before moving to make a ramp for a separate game. The other child, inspired by the first, moved over to create their own football game. Once we figured out that the “problem” was that both wanted to use the cars to play football, we spent five minutes trying to find a solution. One child suggested that he should get all of the cars and the other child could play something else. When I questioned whether it would solve the problem if the other child, instead, got all the cars, the first child said emphatically, “Mrs. Forst, why don’t you go inside [the classroom] and we’ll figure this out.”
Turns out they didn’t really need my help at all. It seems that my presence simply prolonged the argument. Two minutes later, they returned to the classroom. They had solved their problem and decided to play the game together. Again, I am reminded that children are a lot more capable than we give them credit for. Luckily, they knew they could handle it.
The children were trying to figure out how they might convert our loft into a more comfortable spot for hibernating or adapting through the winter. A few ideas sprang forward including making a burrow under the bottom, creating cave walls on the lower portion, and making beds in all areas. While a few debated the possibilities, another group began scouting out the top of the loft. They explained that they needed to find materials to make a nest that they wouldn’t fall out of. Their plan was to create a nest and suspend it from the balcony banister. Thankfully, they realized the trouble with flimsy grass-like materials in creating suspension beds before any human trials were put forward.
Feeling that I might be able to provide them with some more safe examples of nest building, we pulled up good ‘ole Google images and perused nests of all sorts. Now our interest became more fully grounded in materials. Our quest to create the perfect nest began.
This project is not yet done, but if you’re interested in making your own, here are the materials we used so far:
- brown paper (grass)
- yellow paper (sticks)
- many colors and lengths of raffia string
- white and red Basket Box & Bag shred
We moved it into the box as none of the children have yet come up with a plan for “sewing” (their words) or sticking the nest together, yet. Although one enterprising student did suggest that I could tie all of the pieces together…. I think we’ll see if they come up with another suggestion.
Looking more closely at the winter homes we saw illustrated in yesterday’s book, we decided to try our hand at creating our own. Today we explored creating caves and burrows using supplies in our block area.
Child A: “We almost had the same idea, but then we didn’t.”
Child B: “Yeah, but we were building the same thing, but I didn’t have enough blocks.”
“Now….how do we make roofs?”
Child A: “Oh my gosh! I know how to make this!”
Child B: ” Me, too! I have a great idea!”
Child A: “No, no…I have a great idea.”
Child B: “We need a little help. It’s like, falling over.”
Child B: “How about we slide it in and it holds it?”
Child A: “There we go! And put these here.”
Child A and B: “Yea! We did it!!!!”
Child A: “We need that roof on there.”
Child B: “We need something to block them.”
Child A: “We…..aaaaaaaaa [blocks fall down]…That’s ok!”
Child B: “This is the shelter so the relaxing place doesn’t get rained on.”
Child A: “This is where the garage is and this is where the balance beam for them to walk on.”
“We have two animals and they are separate.”
“I’m making a nice cave for my bear to live in.”
“I’m going to change my burrow, now. My cave is going to be different from my burrow. Caves are on the Earth, up top, and burrows are underground.”
Our trip to the aquarium today went quite well. The sea life we most wanted to see was up and about, wiggling and swimming for all to view. The almost unanimous favorite? Drum roll, please…….
(hmmm…taking pictures in the dark is hard….)