School Journal, Week of February 19-23

We began the week together with a collective moment of drawing, writing and storytelling to recount how we each spent the time when we were not together. We regularly include moments like these after holiday clubs as an exercise in recall of past events, and structure how these events are reconstructed, and shared with others. The children then have the opportunity to practice storytelling skills to share these special moments with their classmates.

After we’ve finished reconnecting with each other, it’s time to reconnect with nature, as well… off to the lake!

On Tuesday, the School 2 group went to a special performance of the Lausanne Orchestra, Le concert dont vous êtes les héros. There was a special format to this performance, with the narrator including the audience in the construction of the story, and we were able to vote on the type of music that the orchestra would play. We practiced our spectator skills, and learned about why the musicians only wear black, as well as the different instruments that are on stage. The children made connections with our Carneval des animaux project, referencing the different sounds of the instruments. We also invented a fun new game, called, “When do we applaud?”

We have elaborated on our upcycled, glass project to explore a contemporary American glass artist, Dave Chihuly. The children have been interested in the bright colors he uses in his creations, as well as the variety of sculptures and types of glass work he creates. We are currently making plans to transform the windows of the Studio into “stained glass” – by creating plans with crayons and pastels and then with acrylic paint on contact paper to give the illusion of the paint being on the panels. The children have also finished their chandelier with Anne Marie, which for now hangs in the Studio. Come in a take a peek at the beautiful explorations that your children have been doing!

Other recent explorations in the Studio… In connection with Eco Schools, a small group of children worked on energy clay sculptures, storytelling and book making inspired by the artist and writer Eric Carle, reusing past creations to make maps, and always an opportunity to explore and play with colors.

Outdoors, we have met and begun experimenting with our new solar robot. Sunny days also lead us to notice our shadows and explore the cause and effect of our actions on how our shadows move. Tag, and all of its variations, is one of the children’s favorite games to play during unstructured time outside, and the children were pleased to create yet another variation … shadow tag!

Learning moments are always present and on Friday, the children were encountered with a big problem while they were playing by the rocks… one of the hoops that they were using was stuck in the tree. A natural source of an opportunity for the children to problem solve — how can we “unstick” the hoop? In small groups, the children observed the problem, discussed and tested possible solutions and eventually (without any assistance from nearby adults) collaboratively solved the problem. One group had identified the technique needed, while the other had sourced the perfect tool… and voilà with combined efforts the hoop was freed!

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