Saturday, March 25, 2023

Little Geologists and Paleontologists at Work

It all started with the kids finding and bringing every rock they found in our playground area to us as if each and every one was the coolest treasure ever found! 

They loved scrubbing the dirt off to see the beauty underneath!

Some started bringing in their own precious rock collections to share with the class!

Since we teach based on the students interests, we grabbed on to this opportunity! My amazing student teacher, Miss Abby set up an area with a few rocks for them to document what they see and notice!

Because this group was so interested in the different kinds of rocks, I set up invitations in our Art Area to explore land forms to see if that also sparked any interest!

It definitely did!

I set out magnets for them to explore and see what they notice! They loved sorting the items and exploring how the magnets both attracted and repelled each other!

Miss Abby had them create “Rock Collection Holders” to hold all of the rocks they had been collecting.

We set up an invitation to create “Nature Art” like Andy Goldworthy!

They were definitely inspired by his work!

They created a rock with Miss Abby! 

We became scientists and sorted by as many different attributes that we could think of!

We looked closer and documented what we noticed to practice writing informational pieces. 

They really loved the geodes so I brought out Agate which are sliced, polished geodes for them to show what they noticed after looking closer using liquid watercolors. 

Their Agate art turned out beautiful!

Miss Abby set up some great invitations to explore fossils!

They became paleontologists as they tried to excavate chocolate chips out of a cookie without breaking them! They had to be extra careful since they were fragile like fossils!

Miss Abby did some Land Form projects with those who were interested and created a display.

She also created a display of their fossil exploration. 

Another side interest was mythical creatures! 

They painted yetis, trolls, Bigfoot….

Mermaids, dragons, unicorns and Pegasus.

This inquiry was totally interest based! We notice that when they write about their interests, they do their best writing and have a huge desire to learn more! Wait until you see where their interests will take us next!

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Kindness Ninjas Changing the World With Kindness Again

In the late Fall, our class was invited to become Kindness Ninjas! Every year, the Kindness ninjas live out their mission of changing the world one Random Act of Kindness at a time! 

We started out by brainstorming kind words that would make others feel special and encouraged! Then we wrote out messages for kids in other classes!

Kindness Ninjas were turning up all over our room!

We snuck the baskets outside their doors! After each act of kindness, we talked about how their acts of kindness can make it spread further! We found out another class filled the basket with kindness notes and gave it to another class! 

We gave another class Christmas Cards with kind words for them and candy kisses!

I can’t remember how homelessness came up, but the kids were very concerned for those without homes! We got blankets donated to us from a parent who was able to get them from “Blankets of Hope!”

We rolled them up.

Then added an encouraging note to each one.

I dropped them off here at St. Vincent de Paul to pass out to those who need them.

A few weeks later we found out that during a major freeze, St. Vincent’s was sheltering over 600 people each night. We decided to collect some things they may need as they are taking shelter. We also decided to ask the other classes in our school for help.

Each one of the Kindness Ninjas wrote a letter to a teacher asking them and their class for help! We next made posters and collection boxes to put around the school! Talk about an authentic use of their emerging writing skills! 

We checked the boxes and brought everything we found up to our room to put with our own item!

We decided to organize them and put them in groups of ten to figure out how many of each we had. Because of boxes with multiples, they had to work hard to make some groups of ten by adding groups together!

We recorded what we had collected the first week.

After a second week, we were amazed at the amount of items we had collected and organized! Everyone really wanted to help! In the end, we donated around 320 wash clothes, 350 tubes of toothpaste, 300+ toothbrushes, almost 500 bars of soap, 23 more blankets, plus some deodorant, bath towels, chapsticks and lots of socks! I think maybe there are a lot more kindness ninjas in our school than we thought! I cannot wait to see what these sweet kids with their big hearts will do next to change the world with kindness!