Two Groups, One Amazing Morning
The "Beanstalks" (the older kids) and the "Sprouts" (the younger kids) spent their first morning apart. We started out together in the morning, and after an hour or so of focused activity, the Beanstalks went outside to the Bean Patch.
As we came outside, we opened the cabinets in a ceremonial fashion to display shelves of sparkly new works. We got out rugs to sit on for circle (mats that would also be used as workspace) and had a nice circle to introduce the new works and the "work cycle" (getting a work out, using it, preparing it for the next child, and putting it back on the shelf). Then the kids got busy!
At first, they took each work out one by one to have a turn with everything. Then they started pairing off or grouping into threes and working together or watching how others do the works. One of the kids pointed out the E was doing the peg work "not right":
So I pointed out that she had found a different and beautiful way of using the pegs (incidentally she had already used it twice in the traditional way). Notice in the above photo how she is still using math concepts (fractions, breaking up space into segments, length vs. width, and distributive properties of amounts). T also had a great variation of how to use space:
And he seriated the peg boards by value...I wonder if he did that on purpose?
Anyway, when the brain is ready for spatial reasoning, it finds a way to learn it through the children's play.
They also made rainbow bean pods inspired by our harvested beans.
When they had cycled through the works and the craft activity, we got out the art caddy, and wow, their eyes lit up! It was like they'd gotten a free pass into the art storage closet!
The creative juices flowing from that table were bountiful and wildly uninhibited. They each made very individualistic pieces, with unique uses for the materials and art media.
And what were the Sprouts doing during the morning? Enjoying solitude, choosing their own art activity (pink paint stamping with pipe cleaner stampers!)
enjoying free reign over all of the indoor materials
and doing some Sprouts bonding, which carried out through the day.