A Visit to Vermont

I often say that school is an abstract concept to a child who has never experienced it.  Imagine trying to explain places you have never been and life in an environment so unlike your own.  How do you explain life outside our hometown Brooklyn to a preschooler? Here's where the Flat Stanley project comes in.

Thank you to all our families for participating in this project.  Every day, another little "Flattie" returns after an interesting journey.  Keep them coming!  I just love that many of our flatties have visited multiple locations.  The little visitors return with stories of their travels, provided by loving family and friends.  All the returning flatties will be celebrated as we learn more about the places they went and the friends and family they met along the way. 

Here is a video about one of our flatties.  It will be shared in the classroom, but I thought some grown-ups might like to see it too.

Flat Adrian visited a friend in snowy Vermont. What's going on now in Vermont besides snow?  It's sugaring time.  Flat Adrian is there to learn how the sap from snow covered sugar maple trees becomes the sweet syrup that drips from the edges of our pancakes.   Prior to seeing this video, a young child might have never known that this sweet sticky treat was not born in the bottle--it actually came from a real live tree.

This video might just spark some pretty great questions, because we have trees in Brooklyn too.  Do we have sugar maple trees in Brooklyn?  What kind of trees do we have and how are the trees in Vermont different or the same?  Time to learn all about trees, and in doing so, taste some of that sweet amber syrup.

A big thanks to Flat Adrian and Dan, for teaching me something I never knew--it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup!

Click here to watch the full : "Flat Adrian in VT" video

How a Boy Became an Artist

In previous Carol’s Wall installments, I have referenced ExchangeEveryDay, an online Early Childhood publication I subscribe to.  I also devoted another Carol’s Wall to my love of TEDTalk. 

A few weeks ago, one of the ExchangeEveryDay installments was titled, THE INFLUENCE OF TEACHERS, and in the offering, was a TEDtalk. Of course it immediately got my attention!  It was not until I watched the TED video did I realize the subject was about a children’s author/illustrator—yet another one of my great interests!

Jarrett J. Krosoczka is an author/illustrator of approximately a dozen books.  I consider myself a bit of a children’s book bibliophile, but I was unfamiliar with his books. I contacted my daughter Amanda, a children’s librarian, who told me his LUNCH LADY series is quite popular with older children.  Perhaps some of your older children have read them. 

I watched the TEDtalk, in which Jarrett talked about his life, and his passion which developed as a young boy; Jarrett wanted to write and draw stories. With the help of his supporting cast of family and teachers, he was able to realize his dream. 

Despite the odds, Jarrett J. Krosoczka became a very successful creator of beloved children’s book characters.  If that was not enough, he also became a very vocal advocate for arts education.  I always find it fascinating to know that some children grow up to live their dream, and in doing so, also give back to others who dare to dream too.



Flat Stanley Project

Dear Parents,

     For the "Living in America” unit, we embarked on an activity that involved the entire classroom. We talked, acted out and drew pictures about what life was like in Brooklyn and New York City.  Now is the time we learn about the other parts of the US.  We hope to get some information about places that are quite different from our urban environment.  We are taking on a project that has been quite successful in the past at CHP. We made little paper images of ourselves, Flat Stanley* style – to travel around the country, and the world!

• Talk to your child about who to send your little paper “flattie” to visit. Feel free to color copy the flattie just in case you want to send it off to more than one friend.

• Please send your child’s “flattie” along with the enclosed letter, to “meet” grandparents, friends and relatives who live outside New York City.  Do not forget to address the letter and sign their name (you can help the little ones) at the bottom of the letter.

• Send it by “snail mail” or scan the flattie and send it by email.  If sending by email, ask the recipient to print the flattie’s photograph (as large as possible) so they can cut it out and take it along to an interesting locale.  Photograph the “flattie” and send the photo(s) and any mementos associated with the location back to us, along with some written information about the visitation site.

• If you travel for work, you can also bring your child's flattie along, photograph it near an interesting place or landmark and tell us a little something about the place

    Thank you for participating in this project. We look forward to learning about your child’s travels.  This is really going to be fun!

*About Flat Stanley:

FLAT STANLEY by Jeff Brown:  Is a book about a boy named Stanley Lambchop. He was an ordinary boy until the night his bulletin board fell off the wall and flattened him. Stanley was just fine except he was now only half an inch thick! Stanley found that he could slide under doors and even mail himself across the country in an envelope.  And from this book, the Flat Stanley legacy was born. http://www.flatstanley.com/about

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