The weeks move on and we continue our separation into two Eagle classes. This week, we have started using the terms "Black Eagles" and "Golden Eagles" to more easily distinguish between "the group that goes with Mr. Jake" and "the group that stays with Mr. Sam" (respectively). We are also hoping that this practice eases the students' understanding of their place in our plans each day--most importantly, that they have one, and that their work is always very important to us.
We began this Monday’s Morning Meeting with a review of last week's work on ‘Candy Town’ and ‘the Spiky Room’--two ideas for the new studio space which the Golden Eagles have worked very hard to define these past few weeks. I then invited the students to raise their hands for a discussion on this work.
Louis expanded upon an idea he gave last week regarding "little hotel room bottles", saying, "Superman has really little houses made of really little bottles, and around it are really big bottles with tornadoes in them!"
Zoe added, "One time I saw a man with a Superman costume and he had big strong arms so he could lift up things and save the people."
Riley said, "The Spiky Room has scary seaweed and then it has nice seaweed. It's always changing!"
On Halloween, we tried having our Morning Meeting inside of Candy Town. Ms. Sonia and I were curious to see if and how changing our surroundings to the new space would change our conversation on the topic. Camerina said, "Nobody knows where I am!", her face full of excitement.
Riley said, "I really wanna buy candy and build a city in this studio, like Candy Town."
Carlos added, "When all the kids are in Candy Town, we make a present and then it will rip with candy!"
Eli said, "Candy Town is special and that's where those zombies and swords came from," he pointed to the Halloween tablecloth that had been left in the room, adding, "All the kids were alive and the zombies used the swords and bumped them."
Zoe explained that in Candy Town, "You get candy canes and then you take em apart and then use em to build Candy Cane Town. It's next to Candy Town." Sonya added, "it's in Florida!"
When asked what she would want to do in Candy Town, Ananya responded, "I wanna sleep in candy!"
Our visiting Black Eagle, Aki, pointed to the bottles of colorful liquid and said, "We could use the colors of the bottles to make candy canes." Sometimes it takes an outsider's perspective to make connections like this!
The Eagles then spent a large portion of their play time in Candy Town. Riley strung lengths of white yarn through cardboard tubes, which Aki and Louis incorporated into their "bridge" building project. Zoe found a cardboard jewel box hiding in a wicker basket. She presented it to Sonya, saying, "Look what I found!" Zoe eventually left a small length of yarn in the box and hid it back where she found it.
Aki, Eli, and Louis discovered a sheet of sparkling rainbow stickers, which they stuck to the colorful bottles and other objects in their "bridge" construction. Aki explained that the stickers show "it's from Rainbow Valley". Louis said, "This means it's done!" At one point, Eli declared, "I'm going to stay in the new room forever!"
This week's discussions on Candy Town and the Spiky Room seem to show a bit more cohesion to the students' conceptions of the new space. It was also valuable to gain a bit of insight into their actual use of the space, if only for a brief part of one day. Particularly, the thoughts on and use of bottles stood out. In general, the Golden Eagles' ability to riff on each other's thoughts is outstanding and exciting to document.
Next week, we will continue to push into Candy Town and the Spiky Room, observing the Golden Eagles’ choices in this new space. Rather than continuing to have focused “design”-centric meetings, we will plan activities in this room as part of our regular morning play. For starters, we will provide the students with “little hotel room bottles” and colorful liquids to give them a chance to recreate the found objects they seem to be so curious about.
What are your thoughts on how the Golden Eagle culture is taking shape? What do you think of ‘candy’ and ‘spikes’ specifically? What do you think these ideas mean to your child?
Thank you so much for reading,