Summer Camp 2021

August 13, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grownups,

An ice cream vendor moved into our train station and took over the ticket counter. Fortunately, this only happened after all the trains had left the station, and everyone got to where they needed to go. I’m so glad I was headed to WPNS on the train. Ice cream! I love ice cream. Ducks and crocodiles apparently love ice cream too. Some took boats and some just floated down river to buy the ice cream. Oh yes! It was a store. You had to purchase the ice cream. There was a cash register and a person in charge.

Actually, some of our ice cream vendors think they’re in charge of all the vendors. They do have very good ideas, and it is extremely disappointing when someone appears to be ruining your very good idea. Then, something magic happens. They have a very good idea too, and they add their very good idea to your very good idea and suddenly you have an absolutely fantastic idea – like taking over the train station with an ice cream shop. There were gallons of ice cream and ice cream cones in all kinds of flavors. I had lime sorbet, just the thing on a sunny day at the end of summer.

Thank you all for your wonderfulness and thoughtfulness, for the cards and gifts. You are a gift.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

August 12, 2021

Dear WPNS children and families,

Another late night recounting of the day: There were two birthday celebrations today and presents all around. One with a cake made from our outdoor mud kitchen and the other with a goodbye birthday medley. I even got the most beautiful llama and koala socks. I had help opening the present and choosing which socks to put on. Of course I had to put on a pair immediately. Even the bag was extra special with fur and polka dots! Thank you!

Also, I absolutely must tell you the story of the train. We have our very own train station and ticket seller. The ticket seller arrived with tickets to sell. You can buy a ticket anywhere you want to go. Be sure to stand on the right side of the counter, and you do have to wait for the ticket seller to hand you a ticket. Don’t just grab a pile.

There were four cars on our train: the engine, two passenger cars and a caboose holding seven passengers. One of our cars kept trying to derail, so we had to uncouple it. Afterwards the train could only carry six. Even without the troublesome car, the train had a few problems. It went off the tracks and got tangled up in itself, but our engineers are the best and can solve any problem. The passengers even helped.

Where do you want to go?

Love,

Teacher Michelle

August 11, 2021

Dear WPNS children and families,

Three little sloths hung from the rafters. One hungry crocodile came for a visit. One sloths toes were too stinky, so the crocodile sniffed the next sloth. That sloth smelled delicious, so the crocodile took a lick. Yuck! Sloths taste terrible. The crocodile decided to amble away and find something more edible, and the sloths picked dragon fruit and had their own nibble.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

P.S. This was a story the children were making up as they played. They had covered the two climbing triangles and connected them to the climbing dome and covered that too. I managed to crawl in and loved the group story telling. I was barely able to crawl out. I had some expert coaching.

August 10, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grownups:

Our alligator that loves chomping and crashing was bouncing off the walls today.

Oh, haven’t you heard that expression before, “bouncing off the walls?” You have. You’re right we don’t have any walls, so alligator was bouncing off people and marble runs and bouncing with red painty paint brushes and a stethoscope that was really a pretend hissy black snake. You may not have known that.

It is really surprising when alligator bounces off you with a paint brush. I agree. I’m sorry about that. I do hope you’ll forgive alligator because she really is so much fun and chomping, crashing and bouncing is what she does. I do see. Some of us are not chompers, crashers and bouncers and like things calm. I wonder how we can make space for each other, those who like a lot of excitement and those who like less. Because we all belong here in this magical space.

You’re right alligator reminds me of Pooh’s Tigger too. Bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun. That is the most wonderful thing. Yes. I do see that when you worked really really hard on your marble run, you didn’t want alligator anywhere near it. Alligator did tell me that she really just wanted to be able to help build it, but when you yelled “No” so loud it scared her.

She didn’t know what to do and her alligator arms went wild in her attempts to keep herself safe, but that only made things louder and worse. And she got more and more scared, and her arms went more and more wild. You felt you knew she was going to knock it over and she did and you were really angry. I am so sorry.

I did see that you rebuilt your marble run really high and had marble races. I also saw alligator built her own marble run and her yellow caterpillar loved crawling up it and over it and along it.

I love our alligator too! Really she’s the best. And sometimes I feel like chomping, crashing and bouncing too.

And I love you,

Teacher Michelle

August 9, 2021

Dear WPNS children and families:

It’s our last week of camp. Can you believe it? I have really enjoyed playing with you all. I do hope to see you in the Fall though I know for some of you, that may just be a drop in to say hello or at one of our events. Hold on a second. There’s a wolf tapping me on the shoulder whispering something in my ear. What? Can you repeat that? I didn’t quite get it. You want me to tell them what?

Oh, the wolf says you are all very sweet and tasty except for the sour ones. She says some taste like watermelon. Some taste like grapes. Some taste like mango. Then there are the sour lemon ones. Her lips have still not unpuckered from eating.

Well if you ate them, I hope your lips never unpucker. It’s all right is it? Why is that?

Once you were all in her belly, she says you must have been playing some kind of wrestling game because her tummy was rumbling around like crazy which didn’t feel good at all. She had to reach in and pull you out.

I am glad. Is that all? No? Oh. They have questions too you want to answer. Okay.

Yes. She is very fond of wolf spiders as pets. She hopes the wolf spider will be well taken care of. She doesn’t like mermaid eggs. Too fishy.

Anything else? Yes of course. She wants you to know that she can’t resist stinky feet so please don’t wash yours.

I hope you won’t listen to her and will wash your feet and keep them safe.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

August 2, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grownups:

Today I got an invitation to a party! So exciting! The invitation was delivered especially to me. By hand. They drove over to where I was especially to hand deliver it. But I missed it. I can’t believe I missed it. I love parties. I heard they had dancing and cake and ice cream and games. I love dancing and cake and ice cream and games. And all my favorite people were there too. I bet there were even presents and costumes and balloons. I don’t know how I missed it. Maybe, just maybe, there will be another party. I hope so.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 30, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grownups:

Potion makers made potions today. There was one poisoning but luckily someone quickly created an antidote. There was a jello potion that made your arms and legs wiggle like jello. Fortuitously, we have some very talented antidote creators among our potions crew. One of the potion makers accidently took the jello potion which made it difficult for them to create an antidote with their hands all wobbly. I took a giggle potion. Everyone likes to giggle, right? But I couldn’t stop until I took another to stop the giggles. I took a speed potion but went too fast and had to take some slow potion to slow down. Oh grown-ups, you might be interested in the potion that causes your children to help clean up. I think there was another that created general agreeableness, but these potions were not for grown-ups so I could be mistaken. Oddly, after all the feel better potions and antidotes and other potions that worked so well, the clean-up potion was ineffective.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 27, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups,

Today we had a parade in the midst of purple-caped chase. As you can imagine, capes were flying this way and that in and around and among the orderly procession of wagon, marchers, musicians and bikes. One musician was swinging her pipes this way and that joyfully through the dark barn where the cows mooed in accompaniment and the horse neighed. Just as she swung her pipe high in the air to bring it into contact with the other for a resounding ring, her pipe struck an excited purple caped runner. Expecting to be safe in the dark barn, the purple caped runner was surprised by a clunk of something hard and metal on the forehead. Head throbbing and sure they must be bleeding, they roared right in the face of the musician. They felt angry. The musician, not meaning to hit a head but only the other pipe, felt very frightened and began to cry. Both needed a moment to feel their feelings and feel safe before they were off again. The purple caped runner became the chaser, and the musician went to drill holes in the sand.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 26, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups:

Aargh! It’s the blue and pink handed pirate with my trusty mate here. We keep trying to catch you, but you are a tricky lot, dodging this way and that and dashing aboard your pirate ship. I try to climb the gangway. Too slippery! You want me to climb aboard the ship’s ladder, but I know what you are trying to do. You want me to get eaten by that shiver of sharks guarding your ship. Well my mate and I will just go have a nap, and you don’t want to wake a sleeping pirate.

Wait a second what’s that chicken doing waking us up. I caught it and gave it a really good squeeze. Of course, I checked to make sure the chicken wanted to be squeezed. Wouldn’t you? All pirates do. It had a huge chicken smile on its face, so I took that as okay. Oh no! It got away again. My mate says to pretend sleep, and when you get near, I’ll catch you too.

Love,

Blue & Pink Hand Pirate (Teacher Michelle)

July 23, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups:

An alligator visited our yard today. He had a very large mouth with lots of sharp teeth and his favorite thing was to run around with his hands out crashing into people and his next favorite thing was to chomp things. The problem was nobody like being crashed into unexpectedly. That could hurt bodies and feelings. And nobody liked being chomped. I mean who would want to be chomped by an alligator. That would be scary!

Now this alligator had a friendly smile and could be great fun to play with, so a few people in the yard wanted to figure out how they could let the alligator do his favorite things without anyone getting hurt bodies or feelings. One person figured out to have a chunky wooden block to chomp on. The alligator loved it! Another figured out how to put their hands out and brace their feet so alligator could gleefully crash into them safely.

I did say these were alligator’s favorite things to do. What I didn’t say is that alligator didn’t know how not to do these things. In fact alligator’s body was telling his head he needed to do these things. I smiled when I saw the friend whip out the wooden block for chomping. My smile grew when I saw the other friend give alligator hands to crash into. The friends smiled, and alligator smiled biggest of all. (And you know alligators have very large smiles.)

Love,

Teacher Michelle

P.S. Grownups: here’s a great article on proprioception, one of our sensory systems that basically tells us where our bodies are. It discusses proprioceptive seeking behaviors like crashing into things and/or people. It gives a lot of replacement activities which all children can use to calm. If you are feeling a bit alarmed about chomping, it was pretend chomping by a tiny rubber alligator. The problem-solving was real. Your children are amazing!

July 22, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grownups,

Today in the yard, I saw you climbing up to the very tip top of things and then standing up tall and balancing. I came close, just in case. I knew you would want to keep your self safe, and I wasn’t sure if you knew that it is safer to climb something with a soft surface underneath like your bed or dirt and wood chips. Concrete is hard like rocks are hard. We have all fallen. Sometimes it hurts a lot. Sometimes it hurts a little. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt at all. Falling from somewhere high or on something hard or both hurts a lot. So I came close and let you know about the concrete. Our school rules are to keep ourselves safe, keep each other safe and keep the space safe.

You crowed like a rooster on a fence. You hooted like an owl in the trees at night. You tweeted like a bird nestled in its nest. You used both hands and feet and checked to see if you felt stable enough, if you felt balanced enough, if you felt safe enough to go to the next rung, then to the very top and stand up while holding onto the tree branches. I noticed the small branch didn’t hold steady when you grabbed onto it. You noticed too. You didn’t grab onto the bigger branch. I could see you wobble a little as you moved your hands from the tree branch to the top of my head to make your way down. You’d used the rungs to climb up, but you held onto my head and then my arm as you made your way back to the ground and flew off.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 21, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups,

I’ve got a friend who has a problem maybe you can help them solve. They love building things. They like building really tall towers with blocks. They like building sand castles with decorations. They love building. The problem is they have a friend who really loves to smash things. She loves a tall tower. Why? To knock it down. She loves sand castles. Why? To smash them. And she loves to play with her friend. She loves to knock down their tall towers. She loves to smash their sand castles.

When this happens, my friend feels really, really angry, and they want to smash something. They want to knock something down. They want to roar really, really loud. This is a tricky situation. How can we keep my friend’s very important work that they worked really hard on safe? And how can we let their friend enjoy smashing and knocking down while getting a chance to play together?

I can’t wait to hear your ideas. I just know you will have a good one. Feel free to ask your grown-up to email me.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 20, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups,

Yawn! My eyelids are getting heavy. Actually my whole body feels heavy. I’m just going to take a little break …

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…Oh pardon me! I feel a little embarrassed. I must have fallen asleep with my finger on the z key. I think it was the monster chase and the sunshine and the digging rivers, waterfalls and lakes. Next time I might let the monster catch me. They give nice furry, cuddly monster hugs I heard.

I admire you. I really do. I love the way you take care of yourselves and each other, checking in with each other to see if everyone’s still having fun, letting each other know when you need a break. I love the way you take care of the school, putting the animals to bed, putting away the sand tools, dumping the water. I love the way you take care of our world, turning off the water, using just what you need.

I think it’s time I took care of my self too. I’m going to go take a nap with Odie my cat. See you later.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 19, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups:

I cannot decide which story to tell. Do I tell the story of the treasure map, the yellow clues and the gold rock you found and planted? Or do I tell the story of the telescopes, the green dragon with an orange tail and a green tail and a monster the size of six elephants riding it and the web we built to catch it and all the options we came up with in terms of what to do with it once we caught it? Actually I think I will tell a story of courage and let you tell the other stories to your grown-ups.

Three children were running towards the climbing dome. One got hurt and started to cry. One, seeing the other hurt, started to cry a little bit too while calling for help. The third began looking for spiders. The one who called for help was certain the one looking for spiders had hit the one who was hurt. The one looking for spiders admitted they had hurt the one crying but didn’t know how or why. They thought it had something to do with wood chips.

Now I know that all of you want to be safe and keep each other safe too. I know this about the one looking for spiders too. I also know that if we feel scared or angry, we sometimes don’t think about keeping each other safe. We are not thinking at all. And we need ideas for and examples of doing something differently and a whole lot of practice.

I’ve been thinking, and I don’t think that the one looking for spiders felt angry or scared. I think the one looking for spiders was interested in playing with the one who got hurt and the one who looked for help but is learning how to invite someone to play and to join the play of others. “They look like they are having fun,” thought the one. “I want to have fun with them. How can I get them to have fun with me?” So they all ran. One got hurt.

I said this was a story about courage, and it is. It is scary when someone gets hurt, and we want to keep each other safe. Maybe you might want to look for spiders because you feel bad, and you want to get away from that feeling. But the one looking for spiders stopped looking, and with a little help, they went to find out how the one who got hurt was doing. They hoped the grown-ups were helping, and they were. One had gone to get an ice pack. Another was giving a hug and checking for bumps.

Then, as the one who had stopped looking for spiders watched the tears roll down the one’s face who had been hurt, they said, “Sorry.” This was a real sorry. No one had prompted it or said to say it. That is courageous. I do not know about you, but I love a real sorry. It somehow feels better than an ice pack or a hug even.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 16, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups:

A pirate ship anchored in Cache Creek and began launching canon balls. While some of the balls came close, we finished collecting the sprinkles for our donuts and a few extra for our sugar dish. We did speed up our efforts a bit, but who eats donuts without sprinkles. Then we ran. Apparently, you can fall to pieces when tagged by a ball, and the same ball can restore you to a single piece. That way you can keep playing the game. Most of the balls were thrown into the air and landed willy nilly around us. Some of us were confused and a little worried about the tag canon ball. The pirate tagging was also confused. No one had said that you were supposed to throw the balls. When told, the pirate promptly threw the ball. “Oh magillicutty!” We also forgot to tell him to toss it up into the air at a run. Yikes! Sorry. That one went right in the face. Prior to the pirates showing up, we had a very lovely tea party with our two babies. There was tea, donuts with sprinkles as mentioned, and soup.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 15, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups:

Today, a fire engine, a police car and several other vehicles sped past. Something was up on the stretch heading down the hill. Some said it was a hole. Some said it was road work. Some might have had other opinions. When the bus ambled past, we didn’t fall in, and I’m glad about that. One person decided to go for a drive, and another decided to go along for the ride. Only the first person didn’t want company. They stomped their foot. Their voice got loud explaining they were going to ride by themselves. No one paid attention. In fact a stegosaurus decided to hop on too. Now the first person got even louder waving their hands. Eventually, they just left the car behind and found another one and sped happily away. I wonder if the second person and the stegosaurus are still waiting for a ride.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 13, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups,

There was a moment today in the sandbox. Did you feel it? I did. I was sitting on the stoop of the house eating blueberry soup. Sometimes it was too sweet, so the cook added lemon. Sometimes it was too sour, so the cook added sugar. Sometimes it was just right. Delicious! I think I ate at least eight bowls.

While I was busy slurping down soup, treasure was being discovered under the sand. Have you read the stories about treasure? Dragons guard their treasure, breathing fire to keep everyone at a distance. Pirates hide their treasure so no one else can get it. People use locks, bolts, moats filled with alligators, enormous dogs with sharp teeth to keep their treasure all to themselves.

Yet, in the sandbox, there were no dragons, alligators, enormous dogs, hiding or locks. It seems you all felt there was enough treasure for everyone. I heard you discussing the best tools to use to uncover the treasure. I heard you working together to share ideas so everyone could find treasure. I felt the magic you create with each other. Did you?

Love,

Teacher Michelle

P.S. For the grownups: I hear myself stumbling over how to respond to a child who wants to show me a new accomplishment. I’ve got my phrases for responding to 4 year-old writing and pictures. As I write this, I realize even as I use these, I’m missing an opportunity for connection, for authenticity. That my stumbles are a call to slow down and listen with all my senses, to make more space for them to tell me the thing they are trying to say, to let go of my agenda and just be with them, to communicate with my attention that I see them. Here’s a blog by Teacher Tom I found when looking for help: http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/search?q=good+job#.YO4KZK9_2Gg.gmail

July 12, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grownups:

While mountain building, we found mama giraffe. Baby giraffe ran to her and gave her a giraffe hug asking, “hug?” first. Mama smiled a big giraffe smile and said, “Yes. Hug please.” Do you know how giraffe’s hug? That’s what I think too. They wrap their long necks one around the other and squeeze. I paused a moment from my mountain building contributions to smile too. Then, I got back to work, but someone hollered, “No!” They were busy digging a hole down down into the mountain. I was glad they stopped me and told me their plan, so I could be extra careful not to get sand in the hole while still building up the sides of the mountain.

One of the people working on the hole had an idea. They got a bucket and filled it with water and carried it across without sloshing any and dumped it into the hole. Just as they were filling in with water, a triceratops fell in. Others pushed sand on top of the triceratops and both water and triceratops disappeared. The hole disappeared too, so they built another.

This time they dug and dug, deeper and deeper looking for the triceratops, but it had disappeared. That water bucket was on its way, and one person, hollered, “Stop!” Soon the hole in the top of the mountain became a waterway to the edge of the mountain. The people working on the waterway built up a bit of sand at the edge. When they were ready for water, they said, “Go.” Water sped along the waterway into the hole. Some broke through the edge and spilled down the sides.

In the meantime, a line was forming at the bus stop for tickets to ride. We waited for the bus which filled quickly. Waiting is hard, but eventually our turn came, and we climbed aboard.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

July 09, 2021

Dear WPNS children and families:

Whew! What a way to end our first week together at WPNS. There were witches in the yard. Yes! With pointy hats and cackling laughs and everything. I asked if they were nice witches, and they cackled, “NO!” and then they cackled, “Yes.” I was confused and decided to hide. I was sure they would never find me behind Tommy’s mom. They found me. So I decided to hide behind one of you instead. This time I knew they wouldn’t find me. They did. I don’t know how. So I decided to hide behind a bush. I was really quiet. I didn’t move an inch. Right? That’s what I thought too. But guess what?

That’s right, they found me again and this time they turned me into a witch too and brought me to their potion lab and taught me to make potion. You need 8 spiders, 10 bones, 1 gold coin, two frog eyeballs and some other stuff. They told me I can’t give you all the ingredients. They had me test it and I turned into a frog. Flies taste disgusting by the way. One of you had the antidote. Thank goodness! I was just about to go look for some delicious cherries to get the fly taste out of my mouth when the witches handed me a big spoonful of another potion.

My stomach hurt. Brown hair started sprouting out all over. That’s right! They turned me into a bear! But when I started chasing them growling, they quickly gave me the antidote. Then suddenly more and more witches were turning into bears. I was given grapes and promised they would keep me human forever, but they tricked me. I’m now a bear forever.

Lovegrrrr,

Teacher Michelle, the forever bear

July 08, 2021

Dear WPNS children and families,

Today, I’m thinking about superpowers. You might be wondering why when we painted, sped around the track, read, played drums, created, cooked and handed out speeding tickets. You might be thinking, you didn’t see any superheroes in the yard, so why is Teacher Michelle thinking about superpowers? Well, I saw superheroes, and if you want to see one, look in the mirror. Each of us has a superpower. You might be telling yourself, “That’s awesome!” or asking yourself, “Is that true?”

I believe it is true, but sometimes superpowers can cause us trouble. When we are super strong and can lift heavy things, for example, we might end up throwing things by accident because for us they are too light. The world isn’t made for us. It’s made for people who are commonly strong. Eventually, when we are really old, maybe we will learn how to pick things up without sending them flying through the air.

When we are super fast, and I saw some super fast people today, we might crash into people because the world isn’t made for us. It’s made for people who are just commonly fast. Eventually, when we are really old, and if we have a lot of help from the people around us, we might learn how to move through the world without bumping into others.

You might know people with these super powers. Maybe you even have them or a bit of them. I bet you don’t know that some people have super brain powers. Okay maybe you do know this. Their brains work differently in a world that is made for people with commonly powered brains. Sometimes they hear things no one else hears or see things no one else sees or taste things no one else tastes or feel things no else feels or smell things no one else smells. There are other brain powers too. And in a world designed for people with commonly powered brains, it can get really really

LOUD

MESSY

SPICY

ITCHY

STINKY

So loud, messy, spicy, itchy, stinky that they feel like they have to fight or run or freeze to feel okay. And people have treated a person worse because of their superpower. Eventually, when they are really old, and if people around them can  learn to help make space for everyone’s superpower, they can find their power and the stillness within.

Oh and people with superpowers are awesome! Just like you!

Love,

Teacher Michelle

Wednesday July 07, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grownups,

After morning meeting, I sat and read on a mat under a tree about a spider who loved someone smaller than her. Others thought she needed someone big, but she knew the smaller one, despite their size, was brave and just. While I read, others meandered or zoomed or zigzagged by in cars and buses and on foot. I paused in the reading to say hello, hoping they might stay, but they kept going. Sometimes before I could even get the hello out of my mouth, I was already saying goodbye. And before I could get to the next page, I was already missing them.

In the midst of all this traffic, someone popped by with a pancake. This pancake was the best pancake I’d ever tasted in my whole life. I had to have the recipe. Eggs, oil and syrup. Delicious! With a good book and a pancake, I almost forgot how much I missed them until I remembered again.

To distract myself, I decided I would like to try and make one of these delicious pancakes. Instead, I needed to hold the baby to keep it safe while a friend did the cooking. I did get the ingredients though. This pancake had salt, pepper, and tea leaves. We cut it into small pieces for the baby to eat.

Soon the kitchen was bustling. Soup was on the stove and chocolate muffins were in the oven. The spider made it out of the book to slowly walk over to hunt for a missing spoon and peanut butter sandwich. She walked so slow because it turns out it takes a lot of strength to hold a big body with spindly legs even if they’re eight of them. A smaller much speedier spider kept tapping her on the back to encourage her to keep going. It was worth it in the end. Eight legs are wonderful for devouring eight grapes faster then you can say arachnid.

Love,

Teacher Michelle

Tuesday July 06, 2021

Dear WPNS Children and Grownups,

Today is the day of the owl and the water way. The owl soared through the night sky when all of the school was quiet. Nothing moved except the leaves shivered a little in the night winds. She called for her friend, but he didn’t answer. He was home tucked in bed sound asleep. It was a long sad call. The raccoons climbed the tree. The one we watered today with the water from our restaurant, the one with $10,000 blueberries and free blueberry pie.

They climbed the tree to sit with the owl while she waited for her friend to arrive, and the owl felt happy when she saw him though very sleepy. She snuggled down in his arms and watched as many hands laid a water way. You use the rain gutters and lay them end to end to end, attaching the first beneath the last of the ones in the chute. Each one has to go under the one that came before so that the water will flow. Then you dig a big hole at the bottom of the last one. Then you test it by spraying water from the hose at the top of the chute.

Uh oh. It’s stopping there in the middle, and it’s coming out between two, there, where the water way starts to go uphill. Then we must dig away some sand to make it lower and test again. Well, it did go down the next section, but it’s stopped again. Time to dig some more and test again. Not quite yet. Dig some more. And once more I think.

It worked! It made it all the way down to the bottom. Now, someone else starts working on piling up the sand to block the water from coming out the side. The block became a dam, and higher up, it’s pouring from the side. It’s making it’s own zig zag way through the sand. Turns out the wet sand and all the interesting things we find in the sand make beautiful sand castles.

Thank you for the magical day!

Love,

Teacher Michelle

Monday July 05, 2021

Dear WPNS children and grown-ups,

Today, the brown cow butted its head into the sand and didn’t think anyone could see it at all even though it’s rear end was hanging out there in the air plain as day. Baby giraffe’s neck is so long that no matter how high we piled the sand or how deep the hole we dug, we could not cover baby giraffe from bottom to top or from top to bottom to really be hidden. Someone solved the problem. They told baby giraffe, “Lay on your side.” Then all of the animals started disappearing. One minute I could see an animal and the next it was gone.

It seemed as if you could magically became whatever the animal it was that you were holding. If you were holding the cow with horns, You grew your own horns and butted others. If you were holding the dinosaur, you roared. There was an issue though. No one else seemed to know when you were trying to play. It seemed like it could be fun to play this game.

I love being knocked over if I’m ready for it or to play scary safe games when I know you’ll stop if it gets too scary or if I just need a break. Also, I might have some grand plan in my head and be really surprised and maybe a little angry if a bull comes charging through and messes up my plan. I definitely love being invited into a game. If you’re going to touch me or something I made, ask first.

I saw how patient everyone could be and how much you know about playing. Know you can use these skills to teach and remind those of us who maybe don’t know or are having a hard time or forget to ask. I hope you will remind me if I do. We all love to play and to keep the play going. If we don’t, it’s because we can’t. Not yet.

Hey! Has anyone seen that mama giraffe? She is super good at hiding.

Thank you for a wonderful first day!

Love,

Teacher Michelle

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