After about two hours of school this morning, I walked into the studio and pretty much yelled at Jaala “I LOVE SCHOOL!”
Today was just awesomeness. As Terry put it, “at the closing circle, it was like all 17 kids were looking at you like Tuck the Turtle does, stretching their necks forward, mouths open, hungry and ready for knowledge.”
Today we started with talking about seeds. We collected plants that had gone to seed from our garden and proceeded to collect the seeds into tubes. We talked about seed dispersal, which we touched on last year as well. Nora did her final project of the year on seeds and focused on the origin of the seed. I’d never had anyone ask me where the first seed came from and I had no idea, so Nora and I went on this discovery together and it was so interesting and fun and emergent and amazing. I will share her final book and resulting play with you soon.
I split the groups today into two as usual and I split it K and 1st grade. We have 8 1st graders and 9 kindergarteners, so it’s pretty perfect. I always start the oldest kids first so that they can keep working if they want through their studio time. This often happens as the kids get older and want to continue to stay focused on their work . Today the 1st group worked for about 45 minutes and as we started labeling our tubes and storing them for tomorrow’s continued project, Holden looked reluctant to stop, so I invited him to stay as I was bringing in the 2nd group.
Our fresh faced kindergarteners dove into the project. Holden was still working and we began to talk again about seed dispersal. I had a chart set up on the table the entire time. It had the four different ways for seeds to spread; wind, animal, water and expulsion. The chart was next to Holden and he began pointing to the different ways seeds move and he literally turned into the teacher for the kindergarten group. I so love when the younger kids magically turn into the mentors when they grow a year older and have younger kids join our class. The kids were mesmerized.
We continued this project during “Art with Jaala” later in the day and the same enthusiasm was there as they glued some of their seeds to card stock for the first part of our seed wall project. Seed dispersal talk happened throughout the day and we ended up having three amazing meetings about many topics including this one. At closing circle I chose to read “The Little Red Hen”. At first the kids were talking about the “moral” of the story and after much discussion about if she should have let them have some cake or not even though they refused to help, we decided that many outcomes could have happened and the discussion shifted to the grains of wheat The Little Red Hen “found”. Hmmm. Seed dispersal. How did this connection ever happen?
The entire story is pretty much the evolution of the seed (and society). And then, in all the magic that is Mystery Bay, Catalina, who had been sitting to my right said, “where did the first seed come from”? I think music started playing in my head at this point and I said, “Nora, would you like to tell us about that?” and Nora said, “well, it happened when the Lobe fish started to come onto land and began to grow legs and it brought spores from the ocean up with them and then plants grew.” Silence. Holden:”so everything came from the ocean? We came from the ocean?” Silence. Jake: “We came from monkeys.” Atti: “Before that we came from dinosaurs.” Silence. Lucas: “Before that we came from sharks because everything came from the ocean.” I think at this point Atti’s neck grew about five inches longer and the look on his face was pure wonderment at all of these ideas moving around the room. Then more silence, which is totally okay with me. Then Holden: “Well, that just explains everything!” Wow! So, if your kid was one of the kindergarteners, I guess in many ways evolution was taught on their very first day of “school”. Pure awesomeness brought to you by “The Mystery Bay Danger Hunters.”
We are the scientists in this class and today as Hannah was holding a chicken she said it best, “I’m a great chicken holder, I’m a chicken scientist.”
I’m in love with this class. Special thanks go out to Terry, who is WONDERFUL! Jaala who is ALWAYS WONDERFUL! Jen who is making reading and handwriting more fun by the day. Sarah for picking up the slack at snack. And especially to Holden for bringing our day full circle. It was magic!
I LOVE MY JOB!
See you tomorrow.
p.s. On a totally different note: we have a life threatening egg allergy in our class, so please no eggs in our class this year. Thank you so much.