Hello out there!! Lately I have been finding my writing mojo through micro-blogging on Instagram. At this moment in my life I can pretty smoothly produce a couple short and I hope meaningful tidbits each week and now and then round them up here. You can follow me on Instagram @fromtheplayyard by the way!
Pulling these together one theme I notice is interconnectivity. In the first (oldest) post below it was as simple as an idea sparked from a Pinterest post, later a song learned from a visiting facilitator, an interaction with an artist’s exhibit and the sustaining of community connection through shared celebration.
The post about our bus adventure gets to the underbelly of this idea. I think our ideas, our practices, ourselves are always connected to other people. Sometimes that sense of connection might be hidden away, which is how I feel driving in my car through Southpark alongside all the other people driving their own cars. When I use public transportation, walk or bike the city I have a more visceral understanding of my connection. It’s a good feeling! I think it’s the same with ideas, practices and identity; they are always connected to a history and geography of other people.
In the chemistry lesson post below I was reminded of this oneness on an atomic level. Our physiological makeup at the micro is, according to Einstein and Bohm, part of a wave/particle energy field that connects all of us through the very fabric of our being to our world, the universe and one another! This life is a shared experience, whether we are pinning someone else’s idea to our bulletin board or pinning our trust of children and other humans into the fabric of the universe.
Here we go!!
On a cold day last week the energy in the room was getting a little keyed up as kids were transitioning between play ideas. I remembered these block bodies #pinterestbrain and the kids were inspired to make, measure and record body perimeters for more than an hour! #math #teachablemoment #blockplay #unitblocks #whew #thankyoupinterest
This week's excellent city bus adventure! Yay public transportation and kids! We took a bus, transferred to the lightrail, and transferred to another bus to go to the park. Then all that back again. We counted money, talked about time, bus numbers, routes, maps, read signs (in English and Spanish) and learned the nuances of riding the bus. More importantly we spent the day in the city with Charlotte and her people. The children were present and emerged in city life (rather than boxed into a room or building set aside for children). #authenticlearning #alc #fieldtrip #earlychildhood
Our monthly tea party this week was magical! I love entering fantasy play with kids from time to time and at a tea party who could help joining the funny voices, hats and tiny plates! Through this play we aren't "teaching manners," (which are just artifacts of particular cultures), but we do play with more broadly human concepts of togetherness, making requests, speaking up, and showing consideration. Please pass the hummus, my dear!!
Did I already mention this week how much I love my colleagues?!! I am learning chemistry (for real this time) alongside the kids through the performances and experiments of our own "Dr. Science." My co-facilitator is bringing ideas I learned in high school and metaphysics I learned at age 30 to our 3-7 year olds. They run to join BY CHOICE twice a week for these offerings. #earlychildhoodscience #selfdirectedlearning #alc
Cooking day plus folk song: ?Snake baked a hoe cake and set a frog to watch it. Frog went a dozing and lizard came and took it! Bring back my hoe cake you long tailed nannyio!? Thanks to our friend Sara for teaching us this quickly beloved song! Playing innocently with this small rebellion of name calling is not only cracking us all up but is an important way to toy with power. As children play they learn to modulate aggression in a safe space. We also hope they see the adults in their lives as not so serious and people who can be trusted to understand and talk openly about emotions and needs without judgement even if you called a name or stole somebody's cake for real. #whatsanannyio? #earlychildhoodliteracy #nvc #alc #glutenfreevegan
We saw the inspiring exhibit, Washed Up, today. Large scale animals made from the large amount of trash, particularly plastic, washed up at the beach. Seeing these collections and particularly the cutout debris from a flip flop manufacturer is a vivid reminder about all of the waste created by us, the consumeracracy. I am grateful to this artist for sharing such beauty from the ugliness to inspire conservation and critical conversation. #washedup #savetheocean #artivist #STEAM #scienceliteracy
Happy Bike Day! Once a month all the kids bring wheels of various sorts and we hang around our big ole parking lot most of the day. We all look forward to this shared and recurring experience. I notice that our little community really thrives with this kind of ritual in our lives. It's so nice to look forward to something that is both special and also lowkey. Bike day is like this fantastic mini holiday we celebrate that brings togetherness, builds rhythm and is just plain joyful. What monthly or weekly mini-celebrations exist in your life?
Yesterday I stood on the shore and watched two seven year olds, two six year olds and a three year old navigate a row boat with one paddle. These kids amaze me! They are ingenious, have that grit stuff that's all the rage, and know how to work together to solve problems and have fun. Sometimes the best thing I can do to support learning is to stand on the shore (this time literally!) and trust the children, trust the process, and trust my own guidance to know when support is desired. #trusttheuniverse #natureplay #grit #problemsolving #alc