The Times The newsletter of the Cambridgeport Children’s Center Carolyn Canina, Executive Director 65 R Chestnut Street Cambridge, MA 02139 617.868.4275 www.totlot.org Summer 2013 Carolyn’s Corner We have had an amazing year! As we continued on our Reggio Journey, we enriched our art curriculum with our very own atelier. Our children now are able to explore various art m aterials in a space specifically designed to demonstrate the value and appreciation of the materials and the creative process. Atelier means “place of the possible,” which emphasizes the importance of creative, research-‐based learning for children and adults. Together we decided to start our studio work with the exploration of clay. We began with a huge hunk of clay, using our whole bodies to experience how clay felt, and how we could m anipulate clay. The children worked with clay for months, some children using clay as a sensory experience and others making a “piece” for our annual art exhibit. The studio not only deepens our art explorations, it also allows for so many opportunities for developing skills in all areas of learning. Children are able to work together on projects, strengthening their social/emotional development in practicing listening, negotiating, and collaboration; cognitive skills are also worked on as children problem solve ways to create something, explore materials with their senses, sort and categorize materials, and make plans for what they want to create. Both toddlers and preschoolers get excited about going to the studio and know that they are doing important work when they enter that space. To connect our art exploration and prepare for our art exhibit, we took a trip to the DeCordova Sculpture Park. The children explored the park sketching various sculptures in small groups. Once back at the center, the children and teachers reflected on the trip, made a class book, and are now exploring sculptures in our atelier! The Tot Lot Times Summer 2013 Preschool Update The Preschoolers had a wonderful time experimenting with music collaboration, dynamics, expression, and performance. At the core of the study was the exploration of music and musical concepts. We explored a wide variety of percussion, string, and wind instruments, while learning about rhythm, counting beats aloud or in our heads, recognizing and copying patterns we played. The children experimented with harmony through voices joined together; glasses filled with different amounts of water; and the different sounds of a guitar string as it's tuned. We listened and categorized the sounds of the music, exploring how to make quieter and louder sounds, fast and slow rhythms. Additionally, the Preschoolers built upon their collaborative role-‐
play and communication skills. The children formed and organized their own “bands,” building stages to play on and assigning different music roles. They collaborated both in the planning of the shows (discussing what songs to play, who should play which part, or how to count the songs off) and the execution (playing with raucous big bands or quiet small groups). Lastly, while we explored real percussion, string, and wind instruments, expanding our vocabularies while learning new gross and fine motor techniques, we also used our imaginations to create instruments out of recycled odds and ends. Another focus this year was our new garden. We began the gardening process by starting some seedlings indoors and then transplanting them into our raised beds once the weather was nice enough. Every day the children went outside to take care of their garden by watering it and aerating the soil. Children also documented the changes that they saw each day. They went outside with clipboards and unifix cubes to draw what they saw and measure the growth. This helped them to learn about number concepts, sized-‐based comparisons, and using non-‐
standard units of measurement. Children also learned pre-‐
literacy skills as they labeled their documentation each day. Going to our garden each day gave the children ownership of the space and a feeling of pride as they get to see their plants grow and grow. This experience also helped children to learn about the characteristics of living things and how they grow and change throughout their life cycle. We look forward to eating our beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, basil, and dill once they have grown. 2
The Tot Lot Times Summer 2013 Toddler Update Towards the beginning of the school year, we introduced glue to the Toddlers as an art provocation. The sticky, gooey, runny glue caught the attention of each toddler and we embarked on a journey of understanding. The Toddlers were very interested in using their senses to learn about the properties of glue: how it felt, how it moved, how it could be smeared with a finger or a whole hand, how it flowed out of the bottle, how it dried on skin, and on and on. Eventually we moved on to learn about how glue can stick objects together and spent months collaging. When it came time to focus on an artist connected to this study, we learned about Louise Nevelson, a sculptor who worked in New York City, creating assemblages out of found materials that she arranges in boxes and painted a solid color. After learning about some of her work, the Toddlers explored materials that we would eventually use to make our own Nevelson-‐inspired assemblage. We also voted on a color to paint it (they chose white) and prepared boxes to be glued into by painting them white. In small groups we worked in the studio where a variety of materials were made available for gluing-‐
wooden disks, buttons, spools, bottle caps, washers-‐and each child chose, arranged, and glued in the materials that appealed to them most. In May, the assemblage was installed and put together for the first time (in our art show) and now hangs in the classroom. Another popular Toddler activity this year was circles. We enjoyed exploring and searching for different circles that we see in our world every day -‐-‐ in street signs, flowers, the sun and the moon, tires, blocks and a person's eye. The Toddlers were very excited to identify circles everywhere and loved doing different activities in the classroom including stacking circles, dumping and scooping circles with trucks, using tubes and cylinder blocks to build, and painting and drawing circles and cylinders. The Toddlers were responsible for introducing a Reggio-‐inspired journey based on observation, reflection, planning and learning, which proved inspirational to the entire Tot Lot community! After noticing a riding car with a broken wheel at a local park, the children brainstormed what tools they could bring to fix the wheel. The next day we returned with tape and scissors. Subsequent days brought new ideas and new tools to try. The teachers would document daily what had happened around the broken wheel, post a provocation, and plan next steps with the children -‐-‐ truly a Reggio-‐inspired exploration! 3
The Tot Lot Times Summer 2013 Thank You! Vacation homes lakeside and seaside…Red Sox memorabilia…fine wine…a child’s birthday party complete with cake and activities….just a few of the intriguing and coveted auction items sold at this year’s Rhythm & Spice fundraiser, held on June 2 at Middlesex Lounge. With over 80 guests in attendance, including parents, teachers, and friends, the excitement to support Tot Lot was contagious! The event opened with a touching presentation to Volunteer of the Year Carl White. Carl’s dedication to Tot Lot is evident, and his enthusiasm for our community is inspiring. After a rousing salsa lesson from Sharon and Juan Lozada, guests were focused on the auction, enjoying every moment out-‐bidding each other, always with encouragement from auctioneer Mike Monestime. Proceeds from this event, which raised a record $12,000, will continue to support Tot Lot’s Reggio journey and goals for this year. This event would not have been possible without the support of all of the Tot Lot families, the event sponsors Cambridge Trust and Middlesex Lounge, and all of the over 100 businesses and individuals who donated auction items. A full list of donors can be found on the next page.
Save the Date! Family Fun Day 2013 October 5th (rain date October 6th) Tot Lot’s afternoon of fun for the entire community! Bounce House – Games – Face Painting Bake Sale – Raffles
On Hastings Park, 2pm-‐5pm, $5/child For more information or to volunteer, contact [email protected] 4
The Tot Lot Times Summer 2013 Rhythm & Spice Donors 2013 10,000 Villages Alison Bagg Area Four Attorney Donn Dingle Barnes and Noble Bertha Pantoja-‐Moore Landscape Architect Boston Bruins Boston Children's Museum Boston Duck Tours Boston Guitar Society Boston Pops Orchestra Boston Red Sox Boston Sports Club Cambridge Brewing Company Cambridge Common Cambridge Friends School Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Care.Com Central Bottle Charles River Canoe Clover Food Lab Comicazi Craigie on Main Curious George Store De Cordova Museum Diablo Glass School Dianne and Ed Rice Doug and Judy Weinstock Ecotarium Edaville Elevated Living Emily Carre Hampshire & Andrew Hampshire Emma's Restaurant Equinox Eric Carle Museum Flatbread/Sacco Bakery Flour Bakery and Cafe Fresh Pond Market Friendly Toast Grafton Street/Temple Bar/Russell House Tavern Group Hallie's Flower Garden Harvard University A thletcs Hassan Williams Henry Bear's Park Highland Kitchen Hubway Bike Hurov Family Hyatt Regency Iggy's Bread of the World Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Isis Jillian's Lucky Strike Boston Joie de Vivre JP Licks Karmaloop Katy Boelter Dimock Kendall Hotel Kim Scott Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health L'Espalier Landmark Theatres Le Meridian Leeba Salon Legal Seafood Life Alive Lulu's Haircuts for Kids Mass Audobon Metropolotan Laundry Michael's Salon Middle East Restaurant MIT Museum Museum of Science Music Together/Groovy Baby New England A quarium O2 Yoga Palm Bay Importers Petsi Pies Pizza Pie-‐er Prana Power Yoga Rangzen Tibetan Regattabar Rendevous Richard Burkett Pottery River Gods Sarah Saab Shell Gas Station Somerville Carwash Starbucks Stefanie Belandis & Paul Collier Stonehearth Pizza Story Land Taza Chocolate The Biscuit The Discovery Museum The Fireplace Restaurant Trader Joe's Tru Bistro Trustee of Reservations Two Little Monkeys Upward Spiral Studio Veggie Galaxy/Veggie Planet VIM Fitness Wheelock Family Theatre Zipcar Thanks to fundraising efforts, swimming at MIT continued to be a popular community activity enjoyed by both classrooms this year.