Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Haunted House Project

A book that we read inspired the kids to turn our dramatic play area into a Haunted House! We created a list of what we wanted in it.

After looking at the list, I thought everything could be divided into 6 groups. The kids signed up to be on a team that would work on each part. We came to an agreement that there would be no blood or killing in our Haunted House because that would not be appropriate for kindergartners. They did a very good job of respecting that boundary! 

During Thinking, Learning and Discovering Time many started making things on their own to hang up! Aren't these the cutest monsters ever? 

The spider experts started researching spiders. They each wrote about one spider fact. 

They presented what they learned to the class...

then got to work creating spiders. 

They added their spiders and spider webs to our Haunted House.  Notice the dead flowers.  They said a haunted house had to have dead flowers. 

The Bat Team also explored, wrote and presented what they learned about bats. 

They made bats to hang in the Haunted House. 

Next we learned about skeletons. They created a sketch based on research we did on the computer and then got to work making a big one for the Haunted House. 

The House Team wanted to make a stormy night in the window. They went and grabbed yellow paint for the Lightning but when we researched lightning on our IPad, they realized lightning was white!

Based on their research they created white lightning. 

Here is our finished storm and skeleton!

The Ghost team created ghosts to fly in our paths.

The monster team created a witches costume and a black cat costume. 

The House team also worked on the front of our Haunted House. They wanted a yellow window.

They also created a blue door. 

We needed a sign so some kids volunteered to measure the area with paper tubes...

then measured the paper for our sign to be the right size. 

Some friends painted the words on the sign. 

Here is our finished house! Totally kid-did! I just hung it up for them!  Welcome to our Haunted house.  

I hope they have fun playing in it!

We also had a pajama day!  The kids were allowed to bring their stuffed animals in so I told them they could have them during Thinking, Learning and Discovering time!  I wish that I had gotten more pictures but they did so many cool things that required collaboration with friends, critical thinking, problem solving, measuring, they built houses for them, made beds for them, wrote stories for and about them, made them cards, read books to them.  They did such a good job using reading, writing and math skills with these toys just naturally!  Here are a few pictures that I got.

Enjoy your week! Stay tuned to see what we explore next!

Exploring Pumpkins

I set out some areas to look closer at pumpkins, gourds and apples since these are things we are seeing a lot of at this time of year! The kids started exploring and documenting what they noticed right away!

We had a review on what an observational drawing or documentation of what an object looks like.  They looked very close at the apples and noticed many small details such as small dots and more than one color.

This group loves measuring!

It was finally time to open up our pumpkins.  I got our science table ready!

We read this book which gave us some very interesting information!  We were trying to guess how to tell which pumpkin had the  most seeds!  They all thought the bigger the pumpkin, the more seeds it would have.  This book taught us that the more lines on a pumpkin, the more seeds it will have.  There is a row of seeds for each line! The more lines, the longer it has been on the vine.

Of course that meant we needed to count the lines on our pumpkins!

Our biggest pumpkin had the most lines on it.  With this research in mind, the kids predicted which pumpkin would have the most seeds.  When we collected the data, it was interesting to see that not all of them thought the research was true!  We would have to prove it!

We had also been wondering what color the inside of the white pumpkin was.  The kids picked three colors that they thought it would most likely be and we collected data to find out what we thought.

It ended up being yellow!

I couldn't get the top of of this pumpkin so they all used their muscles to hold the bottom down for me.

Before we started taking the insides out, I gave the kids time to explore and look closer.

After that, they dug in!  They were not squeamish at all!  They were literally up to their elbows in pumpkin goo!  They got to work separating the seeds from the pulp and then just played with the pulp as if it were play dough.

We had voted on the facial features of our jack-o-lantern.  I was getting ready to draw the shapes when some kids stopped me and said they wanted to draw I gave them the marker and they took turns each drawing a part of the face. 

It turned out way cuter than if I would have drawn it! I love how the eyes are different sizes!

Here a friend is pretending our jack-o-lantern is eating him!

We dried out the seeds and noticed that what the book told us was true!  Our pumpkin that had the most lines on it had the most seeds.  Now it was time to count them.

I turned the science table into a math table!  

First they looked at what 100 looks like by looking at the chart.  Than they looked at the seeds on the tray and guessed how many seeds that pumpkin had.  Most guessed 100.

The kids filled the 100 chart with seeds and then put the 100 seeds in a cup.  After we get each pumpkins seeds counted into the groups of 100, we will see exactly how many seeds were in each pumpkin.  This was helping the kids with counting objects and counting by 10's.  Before they put the seeds in the cup they counted them by tens on the one hundred chart.

We are not finished counting the seeds yet!  We will work on finishing that on Monday!