Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Circle Preschool

What does it feel like to give our love to other people? 

How can we keep Martin Luther King's words and spirit alive each day? 

These are questions that we are wrangling with in the Kindergarten.  We made a decision to give the handmade stuffed animals to children with  challenges that may be different or even the same as ours. The teachers at Sabot had a connection with the teachers at the Circle Preschool and so we began to make plans.

We discussed together challenges that a child might overcome.  We wondered about the challenges  the children at the Circle Preschool might encounter? The Kindergartners offered some of their thoughts.

Sometime kids have to do chores.

Being away from family that live far away is a problem.

If you don't have a yard that is a big challenge because you can't run.

If your mom and dad  live in different houses that is hard. 

If you living in a dangerous place where guys might live 
 (like in a haunted house) this is bad.

Some of the children placed a small heart inside of their stuffed animals. This was a symbol for their love. 

"My love is inside me and it is a thing.  Love has to be something like water, food and air but you can’t see it. I put some in my stuffed animal."

"Me and Ivey and Ella, my sisters, were hugging me so tight. That is love. I would put that in a stuffed animal."

"My love is in my heart. Your heart has love inside. I can give it to people, though."

If I want to get love out it goes through  invisible tubes and when love comes into your body it goes through the same tube. My heart has a flap and love goes in it. 

We traveled to the Circle Preschool with our arms filled with stuffed animals and our hearts filled with love. 

We shared our stuffed animals and the preschoolers guessed the identity of each creature.


We were asked to share some snack with the children. 

Goodbye beloved stuffed bunny.

What feelings were in your body when you were visiting the Circle Preschool?

I felt sad and happy to give my stuffed animal because I had to give it away and because they liked.

My body was happy to learn to tap dance.

We just gave them all our animals in a basket and they could decide who got to keep them.

One of the kids  thought my  stuffed animal looked like a carrot. It was funny because it did not have a stem.

Sometimes I  have anger when I give away my toys but not today.

My heart was screaming, “Ella you now have love.”

Monday, April 22, 2013

Anticipating Our Feelings

We had an intention to make stuffed animals for children that might not have one. If you don't have a stuffed animal it is difficult to fall asleep at night. Sometimes stuffed animals listen to your feelings of frustration. After the children sewed the stuffed animals we checked in with each of them. 

How do you think the children will feel when they receive your gift? How will you feel when you give them the gift?

Jericho: I think the children will like it. I will feel happy because they will probably say thank you and hug me. It will make me feel happy because they will like it. I have too many things so I don’t need to keep it. Sometimes when someone is sad you give them something.

Ian: I feel like the person I give it to will hug me. I am going to feel proud of myself for doing that work. I want to give it away because it is nicer than keeping it. I think the happiness in my body will come out.

Elizabeth: I will be kinda of happy and kind of sad. I will feel happy because the child will need it.  I will feel kind of sad because I really love it. I will feel proud though when I give it away. There will be a lot of love in my body and I say 

Acadia: I will feel happy because my hard work will not go to waste but to someone who loves it. I know that the children will care about it and sleep with it. My tummy will do the happy dance….when it flips.

Matilda: I think that the child will say “Yeah” and dance. I like to give things to others because I  feel nice and excited, too. I feel like I  just made a new friend.

Tanner: When I get presents from Santa Claus I am very happy.  The children will be very happy, too.  I think all children should have a stuffed animal to keep them company. I have my pooh in my bed and he doesn't have love in him but he is very special to me. If I give my spider to someone he will be the child’s special family.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What Happens to Your Body When It is Feeling Love?

Our meeting with Dan got us thinking that it might be easier to define love if we notice what love does to people or even animals.  Maybe we need to study a person or animal as they are feeling love or offering love to others.

What is that feeling you have when you see someone or a pet after a long day in Kindergarten?

P: Sometimes when my dad is gone and I see him I run after him and give him a hug and I feel love.

Ell: I have fishes and I walk into my house and they are happy because they look at the door and they are looking at me.

G: My dog sniffs me because he loves me.

N: The cat purrs when he sees me  and he shows love. He runs when he is startled.

I see my cat and my fish with my eyes and then with my heart.

Love is something that we experience when responding to our animals. Do animals experience love? We wondered if we could tell if one of our pets was expressing love for us?

Ly: When I come home and see the fish they jump out of the hole and that makes me happy. I think they are happy, too.

C: Whenever my fish and dog sees me they see me they come out and wiggle around because they think I am going to feed them and they love me.

We also begin to realize that it is not just our heart that is working when we experience love. Our eyes take the pictures of what we see and then our brain reads the pictures.

What does love feel like? What does our body do when it is experiencing a feeling?

D: Love is everywhere inside your body and you feel it inside your body and all over.

Dan: Love cannot be described as a thing but as a feeling that we feel. Like chemicals and hormones. It is a special chemical that a body makes and it can make you feel excited or scared about things. What happens when you feel really really scared?

P: I felt scared when I was first riding a bike and I felt like I was shaking.

Ac: I felt scared when I got stitches and my body was scared, too.

N: When I get nervous I get scared and I don’t want to leave.

E: My body was shaking during a fire drill. 

J: When you are scared your heart beats really really fast.

Dan: Yes and you can feel shaky and then nauseous and maybe get cold or hot.

We started to wonder if we could learn about love based on the way that our bodies react to love or even other strong emotions like sadness or anger.

In the above sketch, Tannin notices that one of her fish has died.  Love is sent to her heart and she begins to feel sad. As she feels her face changes the way it looks.

Add caption

N: I am playing with my friends and it is a nice day. I am happy. There is a happy dance in my tummy.

How Can Science Inform Our Understanding of Love?

 We wondered if science could inform our thinking. We invited Dan Daglish our Science Specialist  to attend one of our Project Circles and have a conversation with us.

Dan: Love is difficult for science to understand because  science often requires running tests or experiments in order to collect information and figure things out.

Jesse: We could have  an experiment and look for love. We would need to open up a dead person to see what is love.

Caleb: I think that a scientist could draw an x on a dead person and see all of the love in that person’s love.

 Dan:What would love look like inside of a person?

Caleb:It would be all the pictures of the people loved.

Jesse's representation of Caleb's theory.

Ian: If you wait until somebody dies you would not be able to see love because only their bones are left.

Noah: You could make a machine and suck love out.

Dan: What would you expect to see if you looked for love inside of a person?

Nora: You could make a cat scan xray and see the inside of a person and get an image of love.

Acadia: It would look like a heart and it would be inside a real heart.

Elizabeth: It would be a package inside the heart and it would be delivered by the blood cells.

Ian: It is invisible.

Tannin: It would look like a person taking care of a community and being a part of a community.

N: We would see tubes coming out of the heart making love appear. My eyes see something and then it sends a signal to my chest. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Special Delivery

"Love is just love." 

How do we discuss these big ideas?

 How do we represent something that cannot be seen?

We are deconstructing love....peeling back the layers of what we know to be true. 

The children offer their hypothesis.

We need to have love to live. It is not invisible. 

How do we give and receive love?

E: I think it gets delivered into your heart. The blood cells bring love to you.

T: You habe to love or people would not like you. you have to be nice to people and they give you love. Thee is a love cell that travels around your body and brings love.

J: If you don’t have love when you are born you won’t like  your parents. We have love when we are born because babies like their parents. Love is just inside of you.

Annie had a good point. Love has to be something and it is something you need. You would die without love. Annie said it is like water, food and air but you can’t see it.

We started to realize that we must have love. So if we must have love than it would be important to know how our bodies receive and give love. The children acknowledged that this is not something that they think about much. It just seems to happen so it is going to be hard to understand.

We did have some courageous risk-takers who offered some hypothesis.

A: There is an invisible package and an invisible tube and whenever love comes into your body through the tube and your heart has a flap that goes inside.

C: There is a string in the community and the string is attached to another person that you love. This is how love travels.

G: Love is shot into your body by a tank filled with love.

Cat Henney, our math specialist,always tells us that math explains everything in our world. R. must have been listening.

R. described the exchange of love....the give and take... occurring in the heart using the math terms we have been using in our classroom. If you give away 2 hearts of love, then 2 more and then 3 hearts of love inside of your body heart then there are 7 hearts of love for other people.
Notice that the heart squeezes the love hearts from the heart organ (just an inside glimpse of the mechanics of the heart). 

Noah sees love as a special delivery from one very busy mail person.

N: There is an invisible mailman and he delivers the invisible package of love to others and then drives away.

Trying to Understand Love

We merged two inquiry questions during a conversation in our Kindergarten. We are pursuing the heart and also wondering about the love that connects us together. The love that Martin Luther King talked about in his important speeches. We think that the heart and love are connected. As we started answering a big question Jericho asked an even deeper one.

Where is love kept in your body?

R: The love is in your heart. You love somebody.

T: The human body has different shape hearts than the the "love heart". If you didn’t have a heart in your body than you would not have life.

L: The love heart is a different kind of a heart. It is a different shape of a heart than the the heart in your body. The heart does not mean love because it is in your body.

D: You need to have love in your heart so you can love people in the world.

Caleb: The more love in your body the more you love your friends and your family. Your love is kept everywhere in your body. It is in your bones and not just in your heart.

Do you need love? 

Ac: You need air to breath. It is like this for love. When love comes it goes into your mouth through your throat and then pumps it all over the place.

An: There is love in your heart and without it you would die. It is in a pocket in your heart.

Annie's heart pocket is filled.

Jericho asks his own question. What exactly is love? I don’t know what that is?

C: Love is like this funny thing around the world. You know when you make a friend. It travels everywhere in the world.

 A: Love is love.

L: Love is love because it spreads to everyone in the whole world. People are spreading love to people.

ES: Love is somebody that you care about like your family.

TK:I think it is an actual thing. I don’t think it is invisible.  There is no such thing as invisible. It has to be SOMETHING at least.

TF:Invisible is just something made up. Invisible can't be a heart in your body.

J: I think your heart is red and it beats. I also don’t know which one is the real heart. The one in your body or the real one…the actual one. I am real so if my heart is inside of me it has to be real. I am in this world.

D: Love comes from the heart. That heart is the real one and the other one is the symbol.