We were hoping that the new classroom would be available for the Black Eagles one week ago (October 28th), but due to some technical delays, we are stuck waiting for now. This means, however, that the Golden Eagles get a little more time to enjoy the daily company of their Black Eagle friends! We are using this opportunity to remind the students that whether they are Black Eagles or Golden Eagles, they are first and foremost part of one big class of Eagles.
At our morning meeting on November 6th, Mr. Jake said, "We have two groups of Eagles now. ALL of us are Eagles--what do we do that's the same?" Charlie answered, "All the Eagles play!" Kiichi said, "They play at home AND at school." Julian Bowen responded, "They eat breakfast!" Charlie again chimed in, "We eat lunch!" Gael said, "They draw." Eli said, "Draw with chalk." Adam added, "Play policeman and fireman." Sonya added, "All the Eagles sit in circle." Charlie said, "Play games like '3 Little Pigs' and play house!" Riley said, "We go outside." Rayden said, "They all have some fun!"
Mr. Jake and I then introduced a drawing and block-building activity related to “Eagle City”--a place where Black Eagles and Golden Eagles all play together. Julian B., Adam, and Carlos drew “train tracks to Eagle City”, while Riley drew a “Sandwich Shop” and constructed a “Eagle Castle in Eagle City”. Several Black and Golden Eagles also constructed an “Eagle Tower in Eagle City” in the block area together.
A few weeks passed with the Golden and Black Eagles spending the majority of their days together. Finally, our school got the official permission to open up the new classroom for the Black Eagles. We decided as a staff to open up the new space on Monday, November 25th.
At Morning Meeting on November 19th, we discussed the following Monday’s final split. Mr. Jake said, “On Monday, the Black Eagles will be starting their work at the new classroom.” He added, “They will still be a part of Amazing Magic Beans. How can the Black Eagles and Golden Eagles still be friends?” I shared some notes from a Golden Eagle meeting on October 22nd, when Zoe asked, “What if we write Mr. Jake a note, ‘Can we come visit the new space?’” Julian Bowen added, “We could write a card!” Carlos said, “We can make it with sprinkles!” Juliette added, “Put it in a envelope!” Lauren said, “A mailbox.” Gael said, “A mail TRUCK!” Riley suggested we “send a picture of the Golden Eagles to the Black Eagles.” Charlie summarized, “The mail truck could deliver the mail to our old classroom!”
On our final morning together, we reminded the Black and Golden Eagles of what their days would be like from now on. Zoe replied, “Not EVERY day!” And Mr. Jake reiterated, “Yes, starting Monday, all day, every day”, the Black Eagles will be in their new classroom. Camerina said sadly, “I wish I could go to the new classroom”. I took this opportunity, saying, “Camerina reminds me what the Golden Eagles get that’s just for THEM. What is it?” Aki (a Black Eagle) raised his hand, answering emphatically, “CANDY TOWN!”
We once again reminded the Eagles of their ideas regarding mailboxes. I asked, “What could we decorate our mailboxes with?” The students answered “trains, feathers, paint, rainbows, chalk, birds”, and of course, “eagles”.
The Black and Golden Eagles had a wonderful morning, sharing their love of painting and playing “Eagle nest” in the loft together. And so we closed our last morning as one big group of Eagles. While Mr. Jake and I are eager to get started with each of our classes’ investigations (e.g. the Black Eagles’ High-Line and robots, and the Golden Eagles’ Candy Town and Spiky Room), it was also wonderful to have an opportunity to build unique culture as Eagles in the form of Eagle City and the mail project.
While there is still some lingering confusion over whether this change will be “every day” or not, we are confident that with time apart, the Black and Golden Eagles will grow to love their new identities, as well as cherish their time together--which is now all the more precious.
The next time that the Golden and Black Eagles play together, we will have to try bringing up Eagle City again. It will be interesting to ask questions such as, “What does Eagle City need?”, “Who lives in Eagle City?”, and “Can you fly to the High-Line and Candy Town from the Eagle City, or is it too far away?”
In the meantime, we will write letters to each other and deliver them to each of our classrooms’ specially-decorated mailboxes! This will be a powerful literacy tool, a lesson in patience (mail is slow, after all), and a reminder that we can always stay friends.
Let us know what you think,