Outdoor Joy

The children love spending time in the school's outdoor garden area.   The children play, learn and discover during their daily outdoor play.   


We care for one another when a friend falls and offer a helping hand to a friend trying the tires for the first time.  

We watch as the flowers turn into strawberries.

We feel the leaves as they begin to dry up.

We taste the sweet juice of the freshly picked melon.

We create "soup" and "ice cream" from mud, grass and leaves.

We build strong bodies and minds as we run back and forth.

We imagine as we watch airplanes fly overhead.

We connect with one another and our world.

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Sharing with you

Welcome to our first ​2017-2018 blog post.   Through this blog, we look forward to sharing our work together with you!   We've been busy exploring and learning about materials we will use throughout the year.  Returning students have taken the lead in showing and teaching new students about the materials in our space.  Our first weeks have been filled with JOY as seen in these photographs!

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Dog Project

We have been immersed in a dog project for several months.  The children have read countless books about different types of dogs and learned numerous facts about dogs.  They brainstormed things you would need if you had a dog and then a small group visited Pet Supply Plus in Broad Ripple to find the items.  The children explored drawing through doing observational drawings of different dog objects.  They explored mixing colors to create the different shades and colors of dogs.  We had a service puppy in training visit us so we could learn more about the difference between pet dogs and working dogs.  Stay tuned for more as our project continues.

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Dogs: Continuing Investigation

St. Mary’s students at the Lab School continue to go further and further with their ever-evolving project work covering dogs. In support of this, different items were brought in for the children to investigate. They were given the option to draw some of the items individually or as a multi-part still life, to re-create their own versions out of clay, or to compose and photograph the doggy accessories!

What is all of this? Why would a dog need any of it?

Palmer: Toys… and dog food and that’s for the bowl for dog food.
Isabel: Some dogs use the same stuff ‘cuz the same stuff then some dogs eat different stuff so they don’t get sick.
Fletcher: Your doggy is smaller so why that toy ball in there?
Palmer: The dog bed is so soft!

Here, smell these dog treats.

Honesty: Smells like dog food, its nasty.
Journee: Smells like sausages.
Fletcher: No, it smells like beef jerky.
Isla: Dog treats! Some doggies are old and some doggies are young so they eat different!
Gretchen: It smells yucky. If we eat it you’ll get a tummy ache on the ground.

Honesty: What’s this (canned food)?
Gretchen: What’s supposed to go in here for (dog bowl)?
Honesty: It’s for the dog food!


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Our Study of Eric Carle

We began the year reading books by author and illustrator, Eric Carle. We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Mixed Up Chameleon, and The Very Busy Spider. The children were immediately hooked on his books. We used these stories as inspiration for telling our own stories in story workshop. Children began to imagine the legos as different foods the caterpillar was eating and the blocks as the legs of a spider. The children requested repeated readings of these familiar books. We got more books by Eric Carle from the library. We built our images as storytellers, drawing inspiration from his stories. We began to develop our images as painters by learning about how Eric Carle paints his characters and scenery. The children explored sculpting as they created their own characters for storytelling, using tissue paper and water color (just like Eric Carle!) to finish their sculptures. We worked on building our identities as readers through reading his books. The children had read and heard his books so many times, they felt confident as readers independently reading his books. We explored being authors and illustrators ourselves, drawing inspiration from Eric Carle’s stories as the children made their own books. As we move on in our work, all of the children view themselves as readers, writers, painters and storytellers… just like Eric Carle.

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Building Our Identities

The past few weeks we have been immersed in a study of Eric Carle. We have used his books as inspiration for building our identities as storytellers, writers, painters and readers. The children have been rebelling their favorites such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Mixed Up Chameleon. They have been using their imaginations like Eric Carle to paint and create their own characters for their stories. Most importantly, the children have come to call themselves readers, writers, painters and storytellers. Here they are in action!

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Eric Carle Studies

Welcome to a new year here at SMCC @ The Butler University/IPS Lab School. We are so thrilled to welcome back returning families and families new to our location.  The children are in the swing of our daily play together.  We started the year with an author study of Eric Carle.  We used this knowledge to launch our story workshop.  Story workshop is a way for us to think about telling stories through our play.  We think about telling stories about places we go and things we like to do with our friends and families.  We also this about telling stories like the ones we read.  The children have experimented with their own versions of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Mixed Up Chameleon.

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Our Work as Photographers

The afternoon class completed their photography alphabet.    It is a beautiful work of art!
We got out the professional Nikon camera.   The children learned the parts of the camera and photography words.  Each student chose a letter to find in the school and photograph.  We returned to the classroom to edit the photograph on the computer.  The photograph was printed and added to our collection of letters.  Once we had all the letters, the children sorted the letters and organized them for the final piece of art.   They cut, glued and painted a finishing coat on the top.   The children gave it a title and signed their work.
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Switching Roles

We switched roles with our reading buddies in the afternoon class.   Instead of going upstairs to listen to our buddies read to us, we invited our buddies to our classroom so we could read to them.   We spent 2 weeks practicing how to be good readers by looking at the pictures, saying what is happening on the page, thinking about what the characters are saying or how they might be feeling.   Additionally, we practiced taking care of books and book handling skills by turning the pages carefully front to back.   We even learned that good readers talk about a story after they read.   So, we practiced talking to each other and sharing our favorite part of the stories.   After all this practice, it was finally time for our buddies to come and listen to us read.   These photos capture the confidence the children displayed as they took the lead role in reading.   It was certainly a proud teacher moment!

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Exploring our Identities as Scientists

Over the past week, we have had fun exploring our identities as scientists with snow. We mixed colors in the snow and watched the snow melt into water. The children wanted to see if it would turn back into snow if we put it back outside.  So our experiment began, we put the water outside overnight. We came back the next day to discover that it froze into ice!  This led us to explore ice a little further.  All the while, the children are making hypotheses and testing them out!  We will continue to explore the properties of snow, water, ice and temperature to see what we discover.

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