Twisted Strands™: Bookworm Preschool, Lincoln, New Brunswick, Canada

Bookworm Preschool is officially our first Twisted Strands™ submission from Canada! We have a couple of students that went to Canada over the summer to visit family, so they were particularly excited to receive your envelope.

The children at Bookworm Preschool sent us all sorts of lovely items and a letter.

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Bookworm Preschool in Lincoln, New Brunswick, Canada sent us an envelope full of items for Twisted Strands!

The letter told our students that the maple leaf is on the Canadian flag so they included a real Canadian maple leaf that they had laminated for us to hang on our tree! They were also able to find a ribbon that has maple leaves printed on it. Neat!! Last but not least, they are currently studying spiders and they let us know that spiders have 8 legs and 8 eyes! They made some spiders for us to hang on Twisted Strands. The spiders bodies are shaped like the number 8.

The children at Bookworm Preschool didn’t know it, but we have also been making spider projects lately! Our kids were excited to see a new way to make spiders. We have a bucket FULL of plastic spiders that we’ve been using in our play dough and hiding around the classroom. SPOOKY! Our kids would like to know if children in Canada celebrate Halloween like we do?

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Some of the spider webs that the children at Salt Meadow Academy have created this past week.

Adding the lovely white ribbon with maple leaves on it from Bookworm Preschool in Lincoln, New Brunswick, Canada.

Adding the lovely white ribbon with maple leaves on it from Bookworm Preschool in Lincoln, New Brunswick, Canada.

The REAL maple leaf and one of the spiders that Bookworm Preschool sent.

The REAL maple leaf and one of the spiders that Bookworm Preschool sent.

Another spider and a view of the maple leaf ribbon sent by Bookworm Preschool in Lincoln, New Brunswick, Canada.

Another spider and a view of the maple leaf ribbon sent by Bookworm Preschool in Lincoln, New Brunswick, Canada.

Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful items with us for our Twisted Strands™ Project. We appreciate all of your hard work.

Bookworm Preschool, watch your mailbox! We are sending you a letter and a Certificate of Participation on Monday!

To date, we have received Twisted Strands™ submissions from the United States (4), the United Kingdom (2), Australia (1) and Canada (1). We’ve been seeing hits on our blog from other countries such as Oman, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Vietnam, Brazil and India so we are hoping to receive some submissions from other countries soon!

We are now connected to each other through this project! “We are ALL connected.”

To have your school, group or family participate in Twisted Strands™, please mail your submission to:
Twisted Strands™Project
Salt Meadow Academy
15 Bluff Avenue
Clinton, CT 06413
USA

Twisted Strands™: The I Don’t Knows of Barrow Street Nursery School, NYC

The I Don’t Knows (adorable name, right??!) of Barrow Street Nursery School in NYC was the final (HEAVY)envelope we opened on Thursday! We had also received a submission from another classroom in their school at the same time. You can read about The Pandas here!

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A letter from new friends at Barrow Street Nursery School.

A letter from new friends at Barrow Street Nursery School.

We learned that The I Don’t Knows are 3 & 4 years old, like many of our children. They included a picture of their class! The children at SMA recognized some of the names of children in your class because there are children here in Clinton, Connecticut that they know with the same names!

We read tons of books too! Do you have a favorite? Right now we are really enjoying a book called “I Stink”. It’s about a garbage truck in New York City and all of the gross things that he eats! It’s very funny.

The ribbons that The I Don’t Knows sent were similar to The Pandas, but all were unique and wonderful. The kids noticed that some of the I Don’t Knows put only one or two jewels on their ribbons and others lined up jewels along the entire length. We appreciate that everyone worked so very hard on their projects!

M (age 5) twisted the ribbons from The I Don't Knows of Barrow Street Nursery School around the bottom of the branches first.

M (age 5) twisted the ribbons from The I Don’t Knows of Barrow Street Nursery School around the bottom of the branches first.

M (age 5) stretched the ribbons from the I Don't Knows of Barrow Street Nursery School to the very top. You can see The Pandas ribbons too!

M (age 5) stretched the ribbons from the I Don’t Knows of Barrow Street Nursery School to the very top. You can see The Pandas ribbons too!

The I Don’t Knows had a lot of questions for the students at SMA. We wrote you a letter today to answer all of them. The letter and a Certificate of Participation will go out in the mail on Monday! We think you’ll receive it by the end of next week.

To have your school, program or family participate in Twisted Strands™, please mail your submission to:
Twisted Strands™ Project
Salt Meadow Academy
15 Bluff Avenue
Clinton, CT 06413
USA

Twisted Strands™: The Pandas of Barrow Street Nursery School, NYC

Yes, you’ve read the title correctly, The Pandas, of Barrow Street Nursery School of New York City, sent us a lovely Twisted Strands™ submission. This isn’t our first submission from NYC, if you remember previously, we received one from Buckle My Shoe a few weeks back. Our cluster of pins in the tristate area is getting thick and its “SO COOL”! Little did we realize this wouldn’t be our only Twisted Strands™ submission from NYC in the same day!

Our cluster of pins marking submissions from the NY/NJ/PA area.

Our cluster of pins marking submissions from the NY/NJ/PA area.

The envelope for this submission was very very heavy! We opened the envelope and lovely ribbons adorned with jewels and sequins emerged, along with a letter.

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The Pandas are 2 & 3 year olds. They like to color and play. Right now they are learning about fall and where they are from, they are noticing that the weather is getting colder and the leaves are turning color. They asked in their letter if we have trees where we are from ( :-)). They also asked if we have a sandbox (WE DO!).

We are noticing that the leaves are changing color too. We have been doing lots of projects with fall leaves that we are collecting around Salt Meadow Academy. We have blogged about some of them, such as Dawns Early Light and Somewhere Over The [Autumn]  Rainbow.

We attached all of your beautiful ribbons together so that we could wrap them around the tree.

S (age 4.5) adding the ribbons from The Pandas of Barrow Street Nursery School.

S (age 4.5) adding the ribbons from The Pandas of Barrow Street Nursery School.

A closeup view of the jewels on the ribbon from The Pandas of Barrow Street Nursery School in NYC.

A closeup view of the jewels on the ribbon from The Pandas of Barrow Street Nursery School in NYC.

Twisted Strands now contains lovely ribbons from The Pandas of Barrow Street Nursery School in NYC.

Twisted Strands now contains lovely ribbons from The Pandas of Barrow Street Nursery School in NYC.

We have written back to your letter and we will mail it on Monday! We had lots to say. We also included a Certificate of Participation! We hope that you like it.

To have your school, program, or family participate in Twisted Strands™, please mail your submission to:
Twisted Strands™ Project
Salt Meadow Academy
15 Bluff Avenue
Clinton, CT 06413
USA

Twisted Strands™: Explore and Develop Brookvale, A 10,008 Mile Journey

The previous Twisted Strands™ distance record held by Little Learners Childcare has been surpassed by Explore and Develop Brookvale located a whopping 10,008 miles from Salt Meadow Academy! Explore and Develop Brookvale is located on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, AUSTRALIA!

N (age 9) places a green pin to mark Explore and Discover Brookvale to our map.

N (age 9) places a green pin to mark Explore and Discover Brookvale to our map.

We received a lot of emails and comments from schools and programs committing to the Twisted Strands™ Project, but this the very first Twisted Strands™ submission from AUSTRALIA! Our children had been guessing which countries we would receive submissions from and Australia was one that was wished for rather frequently. I think this is in part due to its location on the map, it looks to be the farthest from our school as possible. Well, the children got their wish!

We received a rather large envelope with markings from a foreign post office. Inside, beautiful ribbons and a wonderful letter with photographs!!

Ribbons, photographs and a letter from Explore and Develop Brookvale.

Ribbons, photographs and a letter from Explore and Develop Brookvale.

All of the ribbons that they sent were unique. We decided to tie them together to make one long ribbon and N (age 9) had the honor of wrapping it around the branches of Twisted Strands.

N (age 9) wraps the ribbons sent by Explore and Develop Brookvale.

N (age 9) wraps the ribbons sent by Explore and Develop Brookvale.

N (age 9) wraps the ribbons sent by Explore and Discover Brookvale.

N (age 9) wraps the ribbons sent by Explore and Discover Brookvale.

The children really enjoyed the photographs that were sent with this submission. We got to see views of their classrooms, their rooftop view and even their patio! You have a lovely school. If you’re interested in seeing pictures of our classroom and projects that we are working on, please visit our Facebook page (Salt Meadow Academy Facebook)!

We have written you a letter back with some questions from our children, especially about the branches in your classroom. Is there something we could send you for them? Please watch your mail in the coming weeks (we are guessing it takes about 2 full weeks for mail to travel 10,000 miles!).

Twisted Strands with submission from Explore and Develop Brookvale.

Twisted Strands with submission from Explore and Develop Brookvale.

Explore and Develop Brookvale maintains quite the web presence. In addition to their website (the link is at the top of this post), they also maintain a Pinterest page (Explore and Develop Pinterest) and a Facebook Page (Explore and Develop Facebook). You should pop on over if you have some time and check out the amazing things they are working on and perhaps give them a “like” to let them know you appreciate all of their hard work!

If your school, program or family would like to participate in the Twisted Strands™ Project, please mail your submission to:

Twisted Strands™ Project

Salt Meadow Academy

15 Bluff Avenue

Clinton, CT 06413

USA

Twisted Strands™: Children in the Son Early Learning Center Shines Bright

We received a lovely letter and string from Children in the Son Early Learning Center in Broomall, Pennsylvania. They also maintain a Facebook page (Children in the Son Facebook) where they are posting exciting happenings at their center! If you have Facebook, we suggest that you browse on over and hit LIKE!

This is the first Twisted Strands™ submission that we’ve received from Pennsylvania.

C age 6 pointing to the pin he placed near Broomall, PA for Children in the Son Early Learning Center!

C age 5 pointing to the pin he placed near Broomall, PA for Children in the Son Early Learning Center!

Children in the Son Early Learning Center is a new Reggio Emilia influenced child care center. Right now, they have 22 children but they have capacity for 70, so let’s support them in their growth! We want to wish them the best of successes. Opening a new child care facility can be stressful, scary and overwhelming, no matter how prepared you are. However, the rewards are so great that it makes any hardship completely worth it! Kudos to you!

Children in the Son Early Learning Center in Broomall, PA sent us a wonderful letter and lovely green string.

Children in the Son Early Learning Center in Broomall, PA sent us a wonderful letter and lovely green string.

All of our children took turns touching the very soft string. We noticed that it was made of multiple pieces of yarns twisted together, TWISTED STRANDS™ ! Awesome!

There was a bit of bickering over who would get to put the string on the tree because everyone loved how soft it felt. C (age 6) says that it “feels like a teeshirt”. We all agreed that is a very cozy, comfortable feeling.

Adding the lovely green string from Children in the Son in PA.

Adding the lovely green string from Children in the Son in PA.

Threading the cozy string from Children in the Son in PA.

Threading the cozy string from Children in the Son in PA.

Children in the Son, thank you for your wonderful submission!

Children in the Son, thank you for your wonderful submission!

Children in the Son, please watch your mailbox! We are sending you an envelope on Monday!

If your school, program or family would like to participate in the Twisted Strands™ Project, please mail your submission to:
Twisted Strands™ Project
Salt Meadow Academy
15 Bluff Avenue
Clinton, CT 06413 USA

Twisted Strands™: Challenge Accepted!

We saw a wonderful post by Hopmeadow Nursery School on Facebook today! I know that many of you don’t follow our Facebook page (Salt Meadow Academy Facebook), but you should! We post and share all sorts of interesting projects and dialogs.

For those of you that don’t know, or remember, Hopmeadow Nursery School was the VERY FIRST “Twisted Strands™

” submission. When we mailed them their Certificate of Participation, our students also included 10 pieces of yarn, all braided together, one for each child. We included a challenge…What would you do with this yarn? Challenge accepted!

Attached is a link to the Facebook album by Hopmeadow Nursery School’s response to our yarn challenge! Please take the time to read through each photos caption to fully grasp the depth that this project has taken on! The children have fully embraced what we wanted the “Twisted Strands™ ” project to be and more! Beautiful.

Hopmeadow Nursery School Twisted Strands Album

At the end of the album, the children allude to sending a challenge our way! I can’t wait to see what it is! We will certainly post about it!

To have your school, program or family participate in Twisted Strands™, please mail your submission to:

Twisted Strands™ Project

Salt Meadow Academy

15 Bluff Avenue

Clinton, CT 06413 USA

Flight of The Bumblebee: A Two Year Old’s Perspective

Last week I posted a drawing on Facebook by A, age 2.5.

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A said “It’s [a] bumblebee flying around outside.” Look closely, I can visualize a bee moving from flower to flower,can you? We have been stopping daily to study the bumblebees on our lavender plants that line our driveway.

One of our Facebook followers, Alyce Thorp, commented that “It looks a little like Flight of the Bumblebee sounds” and she graciously included a link! I completely agreed with her and decided that I’d play Flight of the Bumblebee for A today. His reaction was priceless! He stood up and flew around the room just like his drawing. He was laughing and screaming and bumping into the table and chairs. He dipped down low and stood on tippy toes. He crawled and spun on the floor. He asked for it again and again and soon the whole room was buzzing and flying and laughing! Such a wonderful idea and a great time! Thanks Alyce for the suggestion!

Twisted Strands™: Park School, Dartington, Devon U.K.!

The children were over the moon today to receive a Twisted Strands™ Project submission! It had been over 2 weeks since we received our last submission, and we were starting to get a bit down about not having received any additional.

Today’s submission came from Park School in Dartington, Devon, UK! They are 3,241 miles away from our town of Clinton, Connecticut, USA! IMG_7360.JPG

We opened the envelope and first read your wonderful cover letter!

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Park School is a small “human-scale”school. We had never heard of this type of school so we visited the Park School website for more information.

Human-Scale is an approach to understanding our world that uses the human as a unit of scale. How many humans make the ideal community, a functioning country or an ideal school? In terms of use for institutions or design, it deals with the belief that there is a proper scale that defines its limits by the well-being of both the person and the planet and the ability of the person to seek wholeness. It can be seen today in the call for architecture, economics, politics and schools that are created as if people matter. It is an organisational principle that understands there is a balanced relationship between the needs and wants of the personal and the communal. Therefore community institutions at a human scale should be created with the person at their centre.
At Park School, we have three fundamental questions that we ask of the children; are you looking after yourself, are you looking after others and are you looking after your environment? If they are doing these things then we often don’t need too many other rules. These three principles address the inter relationship between the personal and the communal. -quoted from Park School’s website.

Very interesting! We love learning about new approaches and philosophies!

They also included a copy of their newsletter dated October 8, 2014, which mentions Salt Meadow Academy and the Twisted Strands™ Project by name! Exciting!

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The children couldn’t wait to view the ribbons! We slowly unwound the ribbon from the package, starting at the end submitted by a girl named Adelaide. Her ribbon was red and had “With Love” printed on it. The ribbons were connected so the next ribbon we saw was a wonderful grey elephant ribbon from Dorothy. The elephants were followed by a tan ribbon with printed houses and trees on it from Darcyl! The trees leaves were yellow and red, just like our fall trees here in New England! A deep burgundy satin ribbon from Will was next. It was so smooth and shiny. Charlotte included a piece of light purple lace ribbon! Wonderful! The next ribbon in the chain was a light sky blue ribbon printed with London on it from Louie! Felix sent a satin, buttery yellow, thick ribbon! Last but not least, was an orange ribbon with shimmery gold edging from Fleur!

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These ribbons were all so very wonderfully unique, just like all of you! You connected your ribbons together to show that though you are all individuals, you are all connected. Now, we have your ribbons on our branches and our unique students are all connected to YOU! Also, you’re now connected to all the other schools and programs that decided to participate in Twisted Strands™.

We wove your beautiful strands around our branches very carefully! We hope you think we did a good job! Our Twisted Strands branches are getting very colorful!

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Thank you so very much for your submission! Please watch your mail, as we will be sending you something soon!

To have your school, program or family participate, please mail your submission to:
Twisted Strands™ Project
Salt Meadow Academy
15 Bluff Avenue
Clinton, CT 06413
USA

Somewhere over the [autumn] rainbow…

I’ve posted about the numerous investigations we’ve done with fall leaves, today was no different. After talk of how much the leaves in the yard look like a rainbow, the children set out to find each color; red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Blue and purple turned out to be the hardest to find. Can you guess what we used for blue? No…not flowers…and no, we unfortunately did not find any blue leaves. The children picked up some discarded plastic pieces from the field across the street and some wrappers to use in their blue pile. Why not help the environment while learning more about it? 🙂

We came back inside with our treasures and sorted them. There was some debate whether a leaf that had two colors on it was one color or another, but issues were sorted quickly.

We already had a significant leaf collection, but for today's work we set out to gather new materials.

We already had a significant leave collection, but for today’s work we set out to gather new materials.

Everyone here at SMA loves to use glue! Lots and lots of glue! It’s sticky, it’s fun to squeeze and sometimes, just sometimes, we get to hear that awesome noise that the glue bottle makes when we squeeze it and nothing but air comes out! So we set to work making one long paper to attach our collection to.

Our paper was very long. The children counted how many sheets that they needed to have one for each color in the rainbow.

Our paper was very long. The children counted how many sheets that they needed to have one for each color in the rainbow.

I was asked to copy the names of each color on the bottom of the paper, which I happily obliged. The gluing began. At first, a leaf or item of one color went down and they jumped to another color.

A rainbow beginning to take shape.

A rainbow beginning to take shape.

We love sticky glue!

We love sticky glue!

At some point the decision was made to glue the entire pile of each color before moving on to the next.

The red was the first pile complete!

The red was the first pile complete!

They moved on to each color only after finishing the one prior! I appreciated how they decided to organize their work! Hands were super sticky, the floor was sticky and there was lots of giggling, which means we’re doing something AWESOME!

Almost halfway through with our autumn rainbow.

Almost halfway through with our autumn rainbow.

They added green to the autumn rainbow.

They added green to the autumn rainbow.

Adding the blue to the rainbow. Blue was tricky to find in nature so some discarded wrappers and plastic worked just fine!

Adding the blue to the rainbow. Blue was tricky to find in nature so some discarded wrappers and plastic worked just fine!

The product of today's session! A beautiful autumn rainbow!

The product of today’s session! A beautiful autumn rainbow!

I have a feeling that our rainbow is no where near complete! We’ve already collected new additions to add tomorrow and we are keeping our eyes peeled while we are outside for more blue and purple!

The children would like to know if you have blue leaves where you are from?? What about purple??

It Started with a Single Shadow

The children have been interested in shadows for a few months now. We hop on them while walking to the bus stop, we make shadow puppets on the wall, and we lay on the floor and try to cover them up. We even cast our shadows on the floor to block out our kitty Murphy’s sunbeam.

We love paper, especially our huge roll of paper. We also like to work outside. One of our girls “S” aged 4.8 was very interested in starting a new investigation. She inquired about it by asking “What if we took paper to the parking lot across the street and draw that line on the ground?” My response…”Sure! What do we need to take with us?” She came up with a list of things: paper, pencil, markers, crayons. We gathered them into a plastic tote box and away we went to set up her temporary outdoor studio.

As it turns out, I didn’t realize she had her eye on the shadow that a pole was casting on the parking lot. I had thought she wanted to draw the cracks in the pavement, which sounded pretty neat to me. However, to my surprise, she set to work setting up the paper so that the shadow was cast onto it.

S positioned the paper so that the wooden poles shadow was cast across it.

S positioned the paper so that the wooden poles shadow was cast across it.

She stood back looking rather pleased with the placement and grabbed a pencil. She traced the outside edge of the shadow. Once she was finished, she stepped back again. I could almost see the gears turning in her head. She took off running across the field and grabbed leaves off the tree. She called back to me “I’m going to trace the leaves! The shadow is a tree!”

S tracing the leaves she gathered off of a nearby tree, turning the poles shadow into a tree trunk.

S tracing the leaves she gathered off of a nearby tree, turning the poles shadow into a tree trunk.

She traced leaves up and down the entire shadow line, which was now the tree’s trunk. Once they were traced, she set to work coloring them with various techniques. She worked very very carefully on over a handful of the traced leaves. Carefully and very slowly, she rubbed the crayon sideways, without any paper on it. She remarked about how the pavement under the paper made her leaves look bumpy. She giggled as she layered different colors on top of each other. These leaves look magnificent!!

S traces leaves onto the paper.

S traces leaves onto the paper.

S starts to color the leaves shes added to her tree.

S starts to color the leaves shes added to her tree.

S switches gears for a bit and declares her hand is very tired. I ask if she wanted to take a break and she declared “NO!” and she then decided to go for a brief lap around the field at a full sprint. She returned with a smile on her face and set back to work, coloring more of her leaves. She tried a more hurried technique of scribbling this time. I noticed that she is not using her dominant hand on these, a sign that her right hand is likely still tired from the previous careful coloring.

The first leaves take an amazing and fantastic turn! The layers of colors look wonderful. The second set was colored with S's non-dominant hand.

The first leaves take an amazing and fantastic turn! The layers of colors look wonderful. The second set was colored with S’s non-dominant hand with a more scribble technique.

The first day, S spent almost 90 minutes working on her project until she let me know that she’d like to put it away for another day, which we did.

Today, nearly 3 weeks later, she asked if we could take it out again. We unrolled it and put it on the big table in our classroom. It kept curling up, so S weighted it down with a bowl from one of our shelves and she asked for tape, to tape it to the table. After the paper was situated, the coloring began again. For today’s work, she chose to use markers to color. She also invited a friend “I” age 2.8 to participate.

S elected to use markers to color a portion of the tree trunk today AND invited a friend "I" age 2.8 to participate.

S elected to use markers to color a portion of the tree trunk today AND invited a friend “I” age 2.8 to participate.

S and I worked for about 30 minutes together adding different designs to the tree. They had a really nice collaborative dialog while they worked.
S: “I, where do you think you’ll color with that white crayon.”
[I points to a white space on the paper] I: “Right here!” [begins to scribble]
S: “I, I don’t see any white, I think it is because the paper is white. Maybe try somewhere else.”
[I moves his coloring to a blue leaf and resumes his attempt]
S: “Much better! I can see the white, the blue is dark and makes it show up!”
[I giggles and high fives S] I: “I see white, S! I see white!”

S guides I to attempt coloring with the white crayon.

S guides I to attempt coloring with the white crayon.

The following are some extra shots of the tree progress that they made during today’s session.

Tree coloring progress from today's session.

Tree coloring progress from today’s session.

Progress from today's session.

Progress from today’s session.

How do you know that it’s been an exceptionally awesome morning??

"I" takes a little snooze after all that hard work!

“I” takes a little snooze after all that hard work!