Archive for the ‘KMS Blog’ Category

Exploring Gratitude through the Language of Making

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Once again the students and teachers of KMS and Watershed School – visiting from Boulder Colorado – continued to strengthen the beautiful ties of friendship and collaboration. This year’s concept of inquiry was gratitude, which we explored through hands-on activities crafted by the visiting 7th graders. Our week-long journey together culminated with an epic field trip to the Maker Faire.

Thank you, Watershed School, for another incredibly rich and meaningful experience working, playing, and learning together. We look forward to joining forces again next year!
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ArtFest 2017

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ArtFest 2017 was a smash success! Thanks to all the students and teachers for their hard work, and our parent photographers for these great photos!

Cool Camp Trip 2017

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Cool Camp Trip 2017

in photos and quotes

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“Cool camp let’s kids learn about animals and nature.” -Tallulah

Please click through for more Cool Camp in photos and quotes (PDF)

Alumni Visit to KMS

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We had some special Alumni Guests today in the Elementary Program! 90s KMS Kids Hannah and Rachel joined us for Emelia’s awesome collection (pictured, bottom left) and a special circle where we talked about KMS then and now. A snippet of the conversation is below, it was followed by singing all the Cool Camp songs!
 
What kind of projects are you doing now?
Hannah: I was working on smart water research for houses that can help them save water, so water doesn’t go to waste. A lot of companies are now creating technology to do that. I’m sure you guys know a lot about water and the environment…
Randall: They love meteorology!
Kids: *cheers, mixed with groans*
River: We learned too much about meteorology!
 
Kids: What was your favorite project while you were at KMS?
Hannah and Rachel: We were here for Preschool. I remember dressing up and dancing ballet and music and storytime and a lot of art.
Leo: Did you do a Spring Show?
H+R: We did a ballet performance. We went on trips to angel island for our picnic every year. We’re still friends after meeting at KMS!

The Language of Mathematics (and a heavy dose of teamwork)

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We spent the morning playing a fun math dice game called “Stuck in the Mud.” When the game was over, we recorded 15 double-digit scores – one for each student who played.

“Let’s put them all together,” Ruby (7 y/o) suggested. Then she added, “Who wants to work with me?”

Niko (7 y/o) and Abril (6 y/o) volunteered. I handed Ruby the clipboard of fifteen Stuck-In-The-Mud scores, all of which were in the double digit range. The three girls ran to the white board, picked up dry-erase markers, and began putting their heads together to add up all the scores. Applying skills learned from everyday math class, along with a heavy dose of perseverance, teamwork, and critical thinking, they worked out the final sum within an hour: 871!

Reflecting on this experience as an educator, I am not only proud of the hard work Ruby, Niko and Abril applied. I am inspired by the beauty in the way they embodied the KMS values through this experience.

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Our Boat

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With our Peaches’ curiosity and imagination, an empty sand table has become a boat that takes four of them off to a great adventure on the sea!

No way. The hundred is there.

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Billie admires the first stanza of Loris Malaguzzi’s poem, The Hundred Languages of Children.  She knows this stanza well, as she proudly points to the word “hundred” and tells me, “This first part of the poem is my favorite.” Billie, along with her peers, has embarked on a profound journey to uncover the deep meaning of this poem, having already learned that Malaguzzi was a teacher who lived in Italy in a city called Reggio Emilia, and that he wrote this poem as he wanted the whole world to know what he thought about children.  As Billie studies words in the first stanza, she softly reads them out loud to herself:

“The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.”

Later on that day, KMS Atelierista Alden and I asked Billie and her peers, “What kind of school do you think Malaguzzi wanted to create for children?

Billie replied by drawing this picture:

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She elaborated by explaining, “Malaguzzi wanted to create a nice school that kids could have fun in and enjoy the free time and also the things that they had to learn and they don’t even notice. There might be something they don’t want to do and the teachers turn it funner and they turn it different and they turn it fun so they don’t even notice they’re learning.”

Here is a link to the full poem by Loris Malaguzzi:

http://www.innovativeteacherproject.org/reggio/poem.php

 

 

 

 

 

My Dream for the World

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Pre-K have been discussing fairness, a topic that is part of their everyday routine. They were introduced to the idea of constitutional rights for all people, through developing an understanding of the diversity of our world. With the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday we discussed the awareness of social justice within the classroom as well as in the community. We investigated many influential people such as Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, Harvey Milk, and Rosa Parks. Along with reading books the Pre-K class has incorporated the art of music to correlate with the idea of peace and love. Maria Luna, director of the Spanish program, introduced the song “Barquito De Papel” by Mexican composer and singer Jose-Luis Orozco, (Little Paper Boat). This a beautiful song that speaks about spreading the hope of creating friendships across the world.

We spoke about the KMS’s core value Honoring our Relationships. We believe that building compassionate and trusting relationships is the foundation of a safe learning environment.  Strong bonds between children, teachers, administrators and parents all contribute toward creating a space where each person is valued and respected as an equal member of the community.

Dr. King was the catalyst for the changes we see today in society. Integrated classrooms, buses, restrooms, as well as the ability for people of all races to enjoy movies, church, parks, and communities together are all thanks to the efforts and leadership of Dr. King. Teaching children about these accomplishments as well as introducing them to the history of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement gives them a foundation for honoring values that will carry them into their future.

The children illustrated their concepts of civil rights, diversity, justice and equality after reading My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold. Dr. King’s powerful speech I Have a Dream laid the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement. Pre-K reflected on what it means to be considerate of others and have equal opportunity to be their true self, full of hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow. Students drew pictures of a wish or dream they have for the future of our world:

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“The white people getting to sit on the bus and black people can’t. My dream is for the world to be peaceful and have justice” – Mahiti, age 5

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“This is Rosa Parks, on a bus and someone is telling her, “I don’t like you! Get off my bus!” That’s why I want to be a Super Hero and help people!” – Willa, Age 4

Metaphorical Thinking in Children: Seen through Projections

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Metaphorical Thinking in Children:

Seen through Projections

by Loty Arteaga and Alden Fletcher, in collaboration with the KMS PreSchool Students

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In the ongoing study of the sky, Loty invited the children to observe projections of the sky in the Atelier.  Video and projections are an effective language for the children’s research.  The children were captivated with the images and created a special relationship with this new visual language, engaging in spontaneous dramatization.

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“It’s snowing there!” Navya exclaimed, when looking at the clouds. 

Navya started to “collect” the clouds in her hands and “ate” a handful.  She explained,  “I’m eating the sky.”  Other children followed her imaginative invitation.     

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The sky transformed to a colorful  sunset.  “Fire! Fire in the sky,”  Cecily exclaimed, pointing to the bright orange.

“Not fire,” reasoned Parker Simone.  Then Kiran pointed to the clouds, saying, “Look at that smoke… Fire clouds.” Torben shook his head, saying, “No, it’s not fire, it’s only the sunset.  It’s yellow and orange.” 

So Loty asked the children, “What is the sunset?” 

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Oona offered her idea, “When the sun goes down and the moon comes  up.”

Then Kiran made a beautiful compromise, combining the two descriptions, “It’s fire sunset!”

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Later, the video showed a fire pit on the beach. The children noticed and exclaimed, “Fire!” 

Lucas went up to the wall and touched it, removing his finger quickly as if burned.

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The next day, Ethan  observed, “The clouds are moving,  the wind is pushing the clouds.  Look!  The sun is burning the water.”

This was another interesting perspective, related to Kiran’s idea the day before. 

Loty noticed this and asked, “How can the sun do that?”

Ethan explained, “When the sun is almost down, it burns the water because the sun is hot.”

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 3.02.06 PMThrough the language of projections, the children are able to observe variations of sky in a controlled environment.  They see the colors, the clouds, the movement and the reflections more acutely.  They are also inclined to collaborate with the projections in a way that surprises the teachers, interacting with the environment they see in metaphorical ways. 

Pre-K Games: A Parent Perspective

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We love having parents in to see how we learn through play. Vincent’s parents Bridget and Tommy came in to visit yesterday morning, and had this to say about their visit:

“We spent the morning with Vinnie and his classmates, playing games and learning how the kids created them. Some used color matching, some used handmade pawns, while others brought different objects from home. Everyone enjoyed using their counting and math skills while competing against each other to cross the finish line. It was action packed and everyone was very proud to share the rules of their game and to show all of their hard work!”

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