Monday, May 10, 2010

April at Wellspring

Our world was expanded this month as we visited Egypt. Many children have prior knowledge of Ancient Egypt through TV and books; yet, the photos of Scott and Mary’s trip and the Egyptian items really connected the children to the country in an authentic way. The rug was the center of our circle for two weeks and children sat in the Egyptian chair listening to Goodnight Cairo just as a young Egyptian child would. Children studied the photos of Scott climbing a pyramid as they made their own structures with sugar cubes. No one worried that the sides weren’t smooth, since the sugar cubes looked like the stone in the step pyramids photographed. The children began to understand the height and weight of the stone blocks leading many to wonder how they could be built without cranes and trucks. We experimented with blocks and pencils trying to replicate how the stone was moved. Pictures of a mummy prompted an exploration into the process of mummification. The children wondered about the water extracted with salt. This led us to a scientific experiment about extracting water from cucumbers and eggplant.


April showers are bringing food to our paddock space. The lettuce, peas, and radishes have sprouted. We’re thinning the radishes while observing what happens underground in the formation of these vegetables. Many children are fascinated that the roots are the edible part! We have also observed plants emerge from the soil that we did not plant. The children have studied the differences in leaves and have a few ideas about their origin. Time will answer this mystery.

Thanks to all who contributed materials for our recycled art projects this month. Bottles, cans, balls, aluminum pans, and boxes were transformed into some amazing pieces of art. These projects are a testament to the creative talents of children as they are tangible evidence of what a child can see in common trash. The children also wrote recipes for potions and poisons this month. After mixing these concoctions, the children observed how the materials changed over a few days or even a week. The recipes involving shaving cream produced the most dramatic change. After working in the Art and Writing Nook one morning when this work was quite frenetic, the parent helper expressed her surprise that the mixtures weren’t all brown.

Grandparent’s Day was a special time at Wellspring this month. It was delightful to see grandparents from near and far spend the morning with us at school. The children enjoyed making butterflies and turtle rings in the Art and Writing Nook. They had fun making fish and then racing them in the paddock. Several children took the opportunity to paint signs of spring while others played dodge ball in the paddock. It was a very busy and memorable morning for all!

Lastly, I would like to thank all the parents that take time out of their busy schedules to help in the classroom. This often isn’t terribly “sexy” work but it is special for your child to have you present and for you to see them at “work”. Your support makes a significant difference in the lives of the children. Thank you again for enriching our space.

~Anne

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our First Podcast!

We are so pleased and excited to present the very first episode of our new podcast, Words - The Blog of Wellspring Community School.  Please do check it out, post a comment, and share with your friends, families, neighbors, and anyone else you think might be interested!

Interview With Stephanie Field, Director & Heather Laszlo, Co-Founder of Wellspring Community School

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Sunday, May 2, 2010