Monday, February 17, 2014

How we Presented Our Learning About Castles to an Audience

The kids worked really hard on creating projects to show what we learned during our castle inquiry to present to other classes in our school and to our families.  This is such a great way to hone our speaking and listening skills!  First they signed up to be in an expert group. 

One group worked on a castle model and a book to show parts of a castle. 

I love how the girls below are using a resource to make sure their representation is accurate! 

One group created a map to show what maps tell us and where castles are located.

The group working on how things were different in the past and the group showing who lived in castles both wanted to create big books to show what they learned.  They chose to paint their illustrations.

The group showing us about castle defense and weapons decided to create a poster. 

They created wonderful items with the purpose of teaching others about castles. 

The kids practiced persuasive writing by creating invitations to invite (persuade) their parents to our presentation and open house. 

We practiced as a group.  Many kids also practiced on their own during exploration time. I loved the stuffed animal audiences they created!

After practicing, we discussed how each time we practiced our presentation we improved!  3 kindergarten classes came to our room to see our presentation. At the end of our day, our families joined us! I was so excited over the turnout! Around 35 family members came to see our presentation!  I don't think I have ever seen the kids more excited than they were about presenting for their families!   

Each expert group presented. After they presented we had an open house where our guests could walk around and see all that we had done about castles. We closed by sharing our kids favorite video showing a squire helping a knight put his armor on. 

I wish I had more pictures of the presentation itself, but it was such a busy time focussing on the students, it was hard to get pictures!

Every single one of them did a beautiful job of speaking as they presented...even our most shy students!  You could see the pride on their faces and when I pointed out that they had taught almost 125 people about castles they positively glowed!  Parents let me know how excited their children were about presenting.  They talked about it at home!  Now that I have done a large scale class presentation, I see the benefits! It was a great way for the kids to show their learning.  It was a beautiful celebration of their learning with our families.  It also brought closure to our inquiry so that we are ready to start fresh on Monday with a new investigation.  This was truly a wonderful experience for all and I can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Kindergarten Researchers: Writing Nonfiction Books

Our kids are fascinated with nonfiction books. They love reading about real things!  We decided to learn how to write nonfiction books by having all of us write one about castles. Each day, we learned about an element of nonfiction books such as labeling, fun facts, close up pictures, maps, questions and having fun with font to title what each page was about.  

After our first try with our castle books, the kids picked a subject they were interested in to research and write a non fiction book about. They were very focused during their research!

Some researched in teams since they picked the same topic to write about. 

I love how our friend below has literally surrounded herself with books to do her research!

They created web maps to organize their thoughts before writing their books. 

After they researched and organized their data, they started writing their books, using their web maps to remind them of what they had learned during their research.  Subjects ranged from worms, birds, Guinness pigs and insects to volcanos and planets! 

After writing their books, most of the kids wanted to put the books they wrote in our class library for others to read. Parents, the kids will be bringing home their books for you to enjoy soon!

Valentines Day

Valentine's Day was a day of celebrating our friendship! The kids brought in fruit to make a Friendship Fruit Salad! It was beautiful and delicious! I was worried we would not have enough fruit but we had plenty!  Our friends added the fruit they brought into our giant bowl.

Look at how beautiful this salad was!

I was worried we wouldn't have enough fruit! I obviously worried for nothing! Our families are extremely generous!  The kids loved it! I gave them huge helpings and they were still coming up for seconds and thirds!

We also created a friendship painting. The kids told me what they thought love was and I added their quotes to the painting. Such wisdom from the mouths of babes!

They created very creative boxes with their families to hold valentines from their friends. 

We have made some amazing friendships this year! That is definitely worth celebrating!