Like many preschool classes, we had a feast today and invited parents. The way ours was different, however, was that we served pasta and it was not a celebration of Thanksgiving. We have come to the end of our Pasta Project that we have been involved with for about the last eight weeks.
When we asked the children how they thought we could best show our parents what we had learned about pasta they decided that they wanted to cook it for them. We discussed what we would need to make or buy for this event. In this process, we learned about invitations and keeping track of RSVPs.
We decided to make placemats like the ones we had seen on our field trip to the pasta restaurant (another post I need to write). Each child also made a menu where they sounded out the words of the items we were serving. We also learned how to set the table.
We were expecting 45 people! So when we made our "red" ravioli last week, we froze it. We made tomato sauce on Monday. We also made two more batches of fettuccine noodles yesterday.
Today was the big day.
We gave parents a guide listing all the things they needed to check out in the classroom while the pasta cooked; our folders which held field notes, experiment documentation, a memory drawing, a culminating drawing, and surveys the children had conducted; the various cookbooks we had made; photographs of our field trip; documentation of learning that was displayed on the walls; as well as three pasta making stations. We gave each child some dough and they taught their parents how to use the pasta machine to make noodles.
And then we ate!!
It was a wonderful celebration of our learning giving the children a chance to be the "experts" and teach the people most important to them how they have learned so much through their wonderings and their play.
I am quite thankful that I teach in a school and community that embraces emergent learning.