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Monday, June 17, 2013

Memory Books

One of the parents (RD) on one of the last days had called these a "yearbook," 
 and I thought it was a perfect name for these memory books.  They really are yearbooks, and thinking on it, the children probably would have loved passing them around to their friends and signing their names.
Back in May we did bubble painting on a heavy watercolor paper.  It was a fun experiment and had a beautiful result, here is the link to that project in case you missed it:
The children then used these painting as the cover for their memory books.

Some who missed that project painted their backgrounds
I printed out 10-12 pictures of each child over the year, there were so many to pick from it was hard to narrow it down.  They looked through their pictures and began to tell stories about their memories of the pictures, what their favorite experiments and projects were, and laughed and commented on pictures of themselves with friends.  I asked them to pick their favorite for the covers, and  I was surprised to see the photos they chose as the one they wanted to feature on the cover.

After they chose their cover picture, they then got to work gluing in the rest of their pictures. Their papers were not yet stapled together, next time I think I would do that first.  I had wanted them to sew the papers in as we have done in the past, but we were running short on time. I learned my lesson; papers, photos and glue were going everywhere, it was a whirlwind, but even in the chaos of it all you could tell the kids were loving being present with all these photos and memories. The pictures really honored their experiences throughout the year, and them as individuals.

After the pictures were glued in, the children spent several days drawing in their books and
spending some more time with the pictures.  Many of the drawings featured parents and siblings.  

 When they began to run out of ideas of what they would like to draw in their books, they were asked if they would like to do a drawing of some of the pictures in the book.  This idea was met with much enthusiasm and once again they blew me away with their renderings of the photographs.

I love these two different takes on the same picture.
They are such a fun book to have and save for when they are older.  I believe that through this process of revisiting the pictures, talking about the experiences in the pictures, drawing the moments captured, and later looking at the books will really solidify a memory of childhood for them for the future.

End of the Year Keepsakes

Phew, school ended last week and we have a little time off before summer camp begins.
I wanted to honor the time that the children spent here at school and so I thought they would enjoy
looking at pictures at of themselves throughout the year, and choosing some to make into an end of the year keepsake.

I loved watching them looking at the pictures of themselves.  
They were really taking in the pictures, and expressing thoughts and memories
about different moments of their play at school, or projects they had done.
They then set to work picking their favorites, which is always a surprise for me.

As always I feel lucky to have a great materials exchange nearby, and I had these wooden tops 
that are excellent for stringing wire through, however sticks work well for this too.  The children would bead a little then pick a picture that we would tape on the back photo to the wire. They would bead some more and repeat the process until they felt they were done, or they ran out of room on the wire.  I have a couple my daughter has made for us throughout the years, and I love the finished result.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Our School Garden , A Work in Progress

It is that time of year when we are busy, busy, busy!
Busy playing, fixing, finishing, preparing and growing!
Our school garden may not have many plants growing in it right now, but important work is taking place:)
The fence and arch were pretty beat up after the winter, so our first project was to hammer the loose boards back into place.

Our Colorful fence has faded a bit, so the next project was to touch up last years paint job, these little workers were up for the big job.

We still have some more painting to do and the arch is a work in progress at the moment, but I think it is looking fun and colorful.

In addition to the painting and fixing that was taking place, the children were also turning the soil, and getting it ready for plants.  Nothing like digging dirt and looking for worms to excite this crew.

Of course there have been many breaks from our busy work.  This crew received a nice wagon ride after planting our strawberry plants in early Spring.

They have also been seed starting in the house.  Here are some children planting sunflower seeds in 
egg cartons.

They sprouted in 2 days, but got a little leggy before we got them in the ground,
I am hoping they make it!

This week we hope to finish the arch before the end of school and the start of Summer Camp.