Sunday, February 15, 2015

Exploring Sound: The Project and Presentation

After extensively exploring sound through experiences and technology, each member of the five expert groups were able to pick an instrument that would make sound the way their group focussed on.  We looked all over the classroom and our homes for materials we could use.  They looked at pictures of their instruments to try to create them as close to the real thing as they could! Measurement skills were needed to create many of the instruments!

Many also got a great fine motor workout!

They worked very hard on these projects and they turned out great!

After the projects were finished, we met with the expert groups to work on our presentation to share with others what we had learned!  The experts figured out what needed to be said about their way of making sound, than picked what they wanted to say.  Most wanted to introduce their instruments, tell how they made sound, and let everyone know what part of the instrument vibrated in order to create the sound. Some were also very interested in sharing about how if you held the part of the instrument that vibrated, the sound was quieter because it couldn't vibrate as much. A couple mentioned how the different sizes could produce a higher or lower sound.  

At first they wanted to use the microphone but I told them that part of being a good speaker was being able to project their voices loudly. They practiced and practiced using their presentation voices! They presented what they learned to 9 classes in our school and then to to their parents.  They were the most excited about that presentation! Their speaking and listening skills amazed me!

 After each presentation, the other classes got to walk around our room, check out their beautiful sculptures...

...and explore sound by trying out our instruments. If they had any questions, the experts were right there to answer them! I can't tell you how many students in our school have stopped me to tell me how much they loved coming to our room for our presentation! Many have said that they want to explore sound too!

The kids were so proud of themselves and they were very aware of how hard they have worked during this inquiry, project, and presentation! I am so proud of them!  The next day was Valentine's Day so we celebrated our friendships and enjoyed the day. They created some collaborative art that we will keep displayed in our room to remind us of our friendships! On one, each friend picked a color and painted their hand. They put their hands together and rubbed to mix the colors and create their new friendship color.  They made their prints on the canvas with their new color.  It turned out beautiful!

They also used valentine colors to create two more beautiful pieces!

Our next inquiry has been introduced! We have recorded everything they think they know and everything they wonder about simple machines! This new investigation will start this week and they are very excited about it!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Exploring Sound Part 2: What Have We Discovered?

We have continued exploring how different sounds are made.  The video below shows our explorations and how writing is integrated into these explorations.

The kids have discovered through this exploration that sound can be made by striking, shaking, rubbing, strumming, and blowing.  We started looking at real instruments and figuring out how they made sound.  We used the arts to look closer and to explore the details of what these instruments looked like. 

We used play to explore instruments both real and homemade to investigate how they made their sound.  They discovered that bigger items made lower pitches and smaller items made higher pitches. They also started experimenting with rhythm. 

We watched videos of a group called STOMP on YouTube. They are a group that use recycled items and dance to create sound.  They were very inspired to put on their own STOMP shows and explore rythym further.  They had to plan, practice, problem solve, collaborate, and perform! They put on some awesome shows! I wish I had more videos, but I kept on accidentally taking photos instead of videos!

I loved how the group playing percussion on chairs ended their show by posing with their pencils crossed!

After investigating instruments and figuring out how they make sound, the kids picked a way to make sound to become experts in and started organizing data.  We created a web map and organized how different instruments made sound.

Each expert group created a circle map of instruments for their way of making sound. 

Now that we have organized our knowledge, the next step will be our projects and presentation. The kids are currently working on creating instruments to show the way of making sound that they signed up for.  After we finish our projects we will start planning a presentation of our learning to show other classes and our parents! I can't wait for you to see what they have been creating! 

Here are some other things going on in our room...

I came across some tools and set up a tinkering table with materials for building and creating. 

A lot of fine motor muscle building, creativity, teamwork and planning started happening right away!

They also loved exploring with the tape measure that came with the tool set.

Below is a birdhouse designed by one of our friends. Since we can't screw it together we are going to use gorilla glue so that we can put it outside.  

In writing they are learning to use a rubric to rate their writing and illustrations as they work on their stories.

They are keeping track of their knowledge in their data folders and using them to take the next step in their learning.  They are always pulling these out during exploration times and station times to see what they still need to learn and finding materials in our room to help them learn it.  It puts them in charge of their own learning!

A lot of 21st Century Skills are being used as they build and create together!

I love this picture below because if you look at the friend's face on the floor and then look at the bottom half of their structure, you can see I was very lucky to get this picture! They have all started building things in the block area together now and are really showing that they can work with others on projects, problem solve and get along while doing it! What important skills these are for any career they may choose when they grow up!  If kids don't play when they are young, these important skills are not fostered! The difference in these kids 21st Century skills from the beginning of the year to now is astounding!

You can see the Symetry in the structure below! Amazing planning and thinking skills!

A friend decided to sort rocks by weight.

I love the thought put into this smiley face! Notice the pattern?

Stay tuned for the last part of our Sound Inquiry! The instruments they are creating are awesome! I can't wait for you to see them!