Tag Archives: OR

How to Build a Bridge

By Laura


Today the puppy classroom went on a field trip to the park. They tried to cross the river but discovered that part of the bridge had been washed away. Each puppy gathered a different material which they thought would work to make a bridge.


Yellow puppy tried to use two small sticks. The kids explained why this didn’t work:

“They’re wobbly.”

“And the bridge can’t reach the other side.”

“And they need two more.”

“They end too short.”


So, Orange tried a popsicle stick. There was some discussion of using this as surfboard to ride across the river. But when Orange tried to surf the current carried the puppy back to the same side of the river.

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The Post Office

By Laura

We have noticed several children playing games about delivering mail, mail trucks and mail planes. So next week we have scheduled a walking field trip to our local post office. Today at circle we did some thinking about mail and post offices. We made a list of some of the things we already know about the post office. And developed some questions to ask when we visit it.

We Already Know:

It’s for mail sending

For giving mail to people you love

Packages, too!

Trucks bring mail to your house sometimes

Trucks also pick up mail, bring to the post office and deliver them to different places

Big blue box is called a mailbox and put your mail in it

A stamp is something you put on the mail, if it falls off they throw it away (some disagreement about this one, so it became a question)

At the post office we wait in line, then they put a stamp on it, and then they mail

Our Questions:

How do they put the mail in the trucks?

What happens if a stamp falls off a piece of mail?

Where do they put the mail in the truck?

Can you make your own stamp?

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Rocket Design

By Laura

For several weeks now, a large group of children have been playing rocket ship and space exploration. I have several large cardboard boxes in my garage that I have been saving for a dry, sunny week like this one. I am curious about how these materials will influence and expand their rocket play. Instead of simply bringing the boxes into The Commons, I decided to spend this morning doing some rocket plans and designs with a group of children who have been participating in this play.


I told them about the boxes and asked if they wanted to design how we could use them to make spaceships. They immediately got to work with joy, focus, and lots and lots of ideas.

I will be curious about how doing this preparation and design work beforehand will influence their ability to collaborate on one or two large-scale rockets tomorrow. Even though they were making individual drawings they were definitely inspired by each others ideas and common themes of seats, beds, radios, buttons, defense mechanisms, wheels, and means of propulsion were evident in their drawings. I’m looking forward to seeing how this 2-D design process will be translated into a 3-D construction tomorrow.

Guess Who?

By Laura

Today DH, OR, EF, CG, CR, and VH worked on clay self-portraits. Can you guess who made which portrait?


Problem Solving with Rose

By Laura

Rose joined us at circle again today to tell us about something that happened at her preschool and to elicit some help and advice from our preschoolers. The following is a transcript of the circle time discussion. Even after only meeting her a couple times, it is clear that the children feel connected to Rose and can empathize with her feelings, recognize when something is unfair for and brainstorm a variety of ways to change the situation. Hopefully this low-stakes rehearsal with a the persona doll will help them stick up for their “real” friends and themselves in the face of unfairness in their own lives…


Alisha: Rose has a story about something that happened at school that she wants to share with you guys. To see if you have any advice for her, or her friends.

One day Rose was at school and it was morning free play time, just kind of like how we have here, before circle. They were inside. Just like we have before circle. There were two girls sitting at one of the tables and they were drawing with markers and pens. And Rose was like, ‘Oh, I would love to draw right now with markers and pens.’ And so she walked up and she was about to sit down and one of the girl’s, whose name was Beth, said, “You can’t sit here, this is a girl’s table. You’re a boy, so you can’t sit here.” And then she looked to her other friend, who was named Kate and she said, “He can’t sit here, right? ‘Cuz he’s a boy and this is a girl’s table.”

OR: But she’s actually a girl.

Alisha: Is there anything you notice about that story?

OR: It hurts her feelings!

WG: Yeah, because you know what? She’s not a boy, she’s a girl.

DH: Markers is for everybody.

KM: A boy, or a girl . . .

DH: Those girls aren’t very nice.

Alisha: They are still learning how to be friendly to everyone I think.

KM: So E, my sister, has a book, The Magic Bunny, the person, she has a friend named Beth.

Alisha: Oh, Beth. So you recognize that name? It’s not the same Beth, it’s a different Beth that goes to Rose’s preschool. SS, anything you noticed about the story?

SS: Yeah, they thought she was a boy, but she was actually a girl. Continue reading