Monday, June 10, 2013

Farm to Table to Farm to Family Table!

Kindergartners have come full circle (so to speak) with our journey that started at a commercial farm in September all the way to Etienne's Farm house this past week. 

We have been able to hopefully close a loop and bring our school year to a close with a very meaningful journey around the classroom, school building, out into the community, and throughout the world! 

Our class trip to Etienne's house was a culminating part of that journey.  The house and grounds were full of Beatrix Potter-esque charm and beauty!  We studied Miss Potter's upbringing in London and her estate at Hilltop Farm (that is still in existence) earlier in the year. 
As you may have remembered, she kept a menagerie of animals at her home and often studied their characteristics, sketched their forms, and acquired various kinds on her travels to the countryside.  

We made our arrival after taking a very adventurous route to the farm and were welcomed by Etienne's father and sister.  Eager Kindergartners were able to find adventure around every turn beginning in the barn.  Baby chicks were caressed and sorted by hen and  turkey after examining attributes of each.  We were able to pick freshly laid eggs evidenced by their warm temperatures.  

We met  a rabbit that we are pretty  sure is a close relation to Peter Rabbit (minus the blue coat) and were greeted by a feathered friend that was later identified as a duck  that looked a lot like a rooster.  We were also  greeted loudly by a rooster who was not at all interested in us checking his feathers and inspecting whether or not he had ears-he did!    
We were also given some turkey feathers as gifts and decided to tickle the rooster with them!  We sauntered over to the rams and sheep and watch (from a safe distance) the proper hold for handling the male.   We also compared a ram's horn (non- detachable) to a deer's antlers that fall off seasonally or with injury.   Ks even had an opportunity to feed the freshly groomed animals!  

The orchard bore promises of juicy peaches and the garden was filled with the being shoots of a great harvest.  Red lettuces looked like they were already ripe for the picking.

Washing wool was next on the agenda with three different types, textures, and  colors to choose from.  we found that a gentle dipping in mild soapy water was sufficient followed by a few rinses.  The pungent aroma of the wool reminded one of your favorite wool sweater that you happened to wear out in the rain.

A game of fishing with bobbing ducks was just the perfect touch while overlooking the beautiful scenery of Whitmore Lake.

A thorough hand washing was followed by a family style bagged lunch set up in the dining room of their gorgeous farmhouse.  Adults were even treated to a steaming bowl of jambalaya over rice and a three berry cake made by Etienne's Mom!  It was very difficult to tear ourselves away after all of that, but we left with so many fond memories and an invitation to return to their farm again next year!  We will definitely be there. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June Dates/Updates at a Glance!

Monday,  June 3rd (P.M.) Cardboard City EB Display in the Cafeteria 

Tuesday, June 4th (A.M)  Cardboard City EB Display in the Cafeteria and Foyer
                                           (Items should be taken home Tuesday evening)

Thursday, June 6th K Buddies with Mrs. Carpenter's Class-Pajama Party!!!
                                   Wear your P.J.s today!

Friday, June 7th   Trip to Etienne's Farm House, 9:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M.
                                (Wear long sleeves & long pants today!)

                                Visit with Grandma Gruber, Quilting Project 2 P.M.

Saturday, June 8th Maker Fair, WCCC  

Sunday, June 9th Kindergarten 2013-14 Playdate  1-3 P.M.

Tuesday, June 11th  Graduation Day!   2 P.M.

Wednesday, June 12th Last Day of School for 2012-2013, 1/2 Day!  Dismissal at 11:30 

Thursday, June 13th  Staff Development! 

Have a Great Summer!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

UMMA! Oh, MY! (Our Trip to the U of M Art Museum)

 Kindergartners ventured out to the UMMA (The University of Michigan Museum of Art) last week and were treated with a VIP Tour!  Outside, we  "swung" into action right away then were greeted by ...who else?  Six of the "25 cats named Sam" by Andy Warhol on display in the museum store!

Immediately we were warmly greeted  by our SK Daddy and family- our special tour guides!   Dad explained about some of the UMMA's large permanent collection and also showed us a temporary exhibit of elaborate, organic, and architectural whimsy whose creator was inspired by, of course,  Alice in Wonderland  and Mr. Warhol himself!  One Kindergartner noted  the "symmetry" in design of ornate African ceremonial masks and another pointed out a head dress made with hundreds of cowry shells that was once used as currency and denoted a sign of great wealth for the owner.   We also observed an intricately carved  wooden chair  that even told "whittled out" stories on its foot rest.

One surprising discovery was made inside of tidy wooden drawers that centered several rooms.  Treasures, literally treasures were fastened to cushions in each of compartment.  Kindergartners were in awe of all of the gorgeous beads and necklaces, exquisite tiny containers and bejeweled belt buckles, and delicate paintings that rested there.  

We tore ourselves away to admire Indian sculptures, Japanese kimonos that depicted ancient stories, and even a platinum vase!


The museum's elevator, we discovered, has to be as big as it is to transport and store all of the massive paintings and sculptures that are acquired and in rotation from time to time  as well as hold all of the many visitors.

Contemporary  Art  in the museum enlightened us on how the use of very ordinary household objects can invoke extraordinary thoughts and opinions.

Also, the point of view from inside the museum looking out appeared just a captivating. 

After reluctantly saying our goodbyes, Kindergartners admired the outdoor sculpture garden briefly then a bit of serendipity happened!  We came upon a structure that looked much like a cannon that caught our attention.   Last week, we discussed Memorial Day, Maya Lin (the Architect who designed the Vietnam Wall  in Washington D.C. and also the U of M "Wave Field.")   We also read The Wall by Eve Bunting.  We learned  about how the Vietnam Wall, a large granite slab that is tucked in to  the little hillside of the National Mall is engraved with the names of  fallen soldiers from the Vietnam War.  We learned that because of the engraving process,  visitors can even feel the letters  with their hand.  Patrons can also receive a "rubbing" of a name with the assistance of  the National Park Ranger like I did.

This structure outside of the art museum, inscribed with a dedication,  gave us a very good example of how an engraved memorial might feel. 

Upon our return to SK,  Kindergartners were asked about the part of the museum visit they found the most interesting. They commented:

"The black and white face made out of wood .  It was a mask!"-W.

"The man that's made out of shooters!" -B.M.

"Everything!  The man with broken parts!" -C.R.

"Andy Warhol's Cats"!-C.F

"So, the chair did not look very comfortable...(on) the back part,  a head sticks out!"-C.S.

"The chair!  People were on it!" -E. B.

"The symmetrical headrest!  I like how there were a bunch of different things  but they did not look like a headrest.  It would be a surprise!"- E. B. M.

"The elevators were like..bumpy!"- S.L.

"The symmetrical headrest!  I liked the animals inside."- E.R.

"I liked the neck rests and the headrests."-S.S.

During afternoon "Choice Time," Kindergartners decided... (Well, the conversation went something like this...) 
 "What if we had our own art museum?....  We could put ourselves on display.... and people would come... and we won't move.... and they will think that we were paintings... ! And we would fool them....!"  They then began feverishly  cutting away frames from paper.  They scoured the room and set up a Plexiglass sheet, props from the Gilgamesh play, a blanket from the quiet area,  the  word wall board into the  museum facade and "trompe l'oeil" (trick of the eye) ensued. 

Just FYI, we have  been talking about Leonardo da Vinci (Mona Lisa) and   Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Vertumnus) as some artists who included the painting  technique  of trompe l'oeil and used optical illusions- realistic looking objects like flies and painted violins on doors, upside down hidden images, and  portraits made of fruits, vegetables and other vegetation- into their artwork to fool the viewer. 
Kindergartners celebrated these tricksters with a yummy "Arcimboldo" fruit and hidden vegetable salad for snack!  

Our current "Andy's Cans" for charity count: 21.  
Our Kindergarten Class' goal: 100 CANS!