Monday, December 18, 2017

What Is a Hurdy-Gurdy?!

Once a student, always a student. Such is true for our Seabury students and for this man, Jacob Breedlove, who came to share his 30+ years long passion for all things Medieval. 

He started out by asking us a simple question: "What are your impressions of the Middle Ages?"

Our answers were varied and quite knowledgeable for first and second graders: 

  • harsh
  • feudal 
  • hard labor
  • gory-bloody disputes
  • war and knights
  • serfs built their houses out of twigs and stuff
  • peasants were poor, too, but they could build better houses
  • the plague killed a lot of people and it was very sad
  • books were hand written and cost a lot
  • the nobles lived in castles
  • the kings had most of the money

Jacob was quite taken aback and said, "You are prodigious! I wasn't expecting this at all!" 

He then began, in his gentle, captivating way, to share more about the Middle Ages. Such an enriching way to continue our own life-long studies of the world around us!

The "Horse's Bransle" Dance:
Big to the left, big to the left
Small to the right, small to the right

Paw your foot like a horse
And kick, kick, kick, kick 

Clothing: notice the layers, the hood (a separate article of clothing,)  the woven belt (woven by Jacob himself,) hand made shoes (that are in need of a cobbler,) and even a hole in his sock. 

Also notice the tippits hanging down on his arms, and the handwoven, linen underwear that should last for over 100 years!

One student said, "Your outfit looks like a shield!" 
Keen observation.

When Jacob was younger, he worked as a paper boy to buy Medieval instruments. But some of them were way too expensive to buy. So he learned how to make them!

He played a variety of hand-crafted instruments 
from the recorder family. 

This is a double reed wind cap Krumhorn, one of several from this family of instruments that Jacob brought. 

"It sounds like the sound track from Mario."
"The bigger one sounds electronic."
"It's like a bassoon." 

Jacob also played the viola da gamba, 
a Renaissance instrument similar to a cello. 
Click here to hear his song. 

Its name is Licky the Lion, named after the beautifully carved lion head (in the place of a scroll) with its tongue sticking out. 

And finally, to answer the question, "What is a hurdy-gurdy?!"

"The hurdy-gurdy is a stringed instrument that produces sound by a hand crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to those of a violin." ~Wikipedia

Jacob playing a 700 year old French dance song on his hand-crafted hurdy-gurdy.

The kids' reactions:

  • "Wow!"
  • "It sounds like a fog horn."
  • "I felt like I was in the Middle Ages."
  • "It was really beautiful."
  • "Magic."
  • "Calm, soothing"
  • "Mesmerizing."

We learn something new each day, including this teacher!
Can't wait to start studying the Renaissance time period!

Thank you, Jacob, for sharing one of your many passions with us. 
Check him out here for more information about him. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Snowflake Breakfast, A Seabury Tradition

Each year, the entire Seabury lower school gathers together for pancakes, syrup, bacon, hot chocolate with marshmallows, 
juice, and fruit. 

There is a seat for every student in the Pre-K and K rooms. 

Parents and grandparents come help serve.

The Navigators get plenty to eat.

And there are plenty of photo ops and props.

Finally, we have a Christmas Carol Sing-a-long, 
complete with the Twelve Days of Christmas.

"Five Golden Rings!"

So many fond memories.

Have a nice break, everyone!
See you next year!!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

An "Hour [And More!] of Code"

This week the Navigators participated in the international Hour of Code. We loved it so much, that we spent more than one hour!

From the website:

What is the Hour of Code?
The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Check out the tutorials and activities. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.

We fearlessly forged forward and experimented with dozens of code sites. Check out our Youtube Channel for more videos that give an insight into how young, gifted students think!

We get by with a little help from our 4th grade friends. 🎶

We did it! Can you? 

First Grade Version of "Fog"


 The fog comes 
on little first-graders' feet.

It sits looking over
school and playground
amidst gleeful laughter

 and then it's time to go in.

Original poem:

by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking over
harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Castle Art: Lessons in 3D, Perspective, and Proportion

Our Social Studies topic of the Middle Ages was woven and integrated throughout our curriculum. This castle art project with Angela, our art specialist, took three days to complete. We learned how to incorporate 3-D, perspective, and proportion into our watercolor paintings.

The results? Amazing!

Notice the 3-D effect of the castle towers:

Notice the perspective of the drawbridges:

Notice the people in the foreground and the background:

Notice the proportion of the faces (self portraits) and the bodies:

Can't wait for the next 
Social Studies/Art/Science/Writing/Math topic: 
the Renaissance!!

Raven and the Box of Daylight at the Museum of Glass

What's inside that strange looking building in Tacoma? The Museum of Glass's hot shop and lots of cool glass art!! ...