Saturday, October 3, 2015

Our Kite Inquiry: Learning About Perseverance

One of our friends kept making kites during Thinking,Learning and Discovering Time.  Before we knew it, making kites was a favorite pastime for many of them so I asked them if they would like to investigate kites. They were very excited! We started by finding out what they wondered about kites.


Next, I set up an area where they could investigate try to find out some of these answers themselves. 



When they first started, they had trouble drawing the diamonds and triangles, but as time went on, his skill, which is in our common core standards, started greatly improving!


They also noticed that kites do not have to be flat! They can also be 3 dimentional. This started our conversation on the difference between 2-D and 3 D shapes, also which is in our standards. 





They started noticing that kites had sticks to keep them sturdy and that the string was connected in the middle rather than the bottom.  After a thorough investigation at our kite station and through reading books and watching videos about kites, we were ready to try kite making again! 

Our challenge: How can we make a kite that will catch the wind and fly without us running?

I set up a station with materials. Another teacher , Mrs. Vogal, was in our room when we were having a class discussion about materials we needed and brought us a bunch of her dead lilly stems! They were perfect because they were light weight and easy to cut to size!


Before we could create our kites, we needed to come up with a plan. We worked together to come up with a plan for a collaborative kite and I modeled how to draw and write a plan. The kids then got some planning paper and got to work!



After getting their plans approved, the kite making began!



We tried them out...


But they didn't work as well as we hoped! I was actually very glad about this because I was hoping to help them with a very important life skill that they will need to be successful in everything they do for the rest of their lives!  We brought our kites back in and I read them this story. 


We learned from this book the life skill of perseverance! We learned that the only way for us to fail is if we quit! If we make something, or try something and it doesn't work, we only fail if we quit.  We learned that if something we make or try doesn't work, it is an opportunity! Instead of quitting and failing, it gives us a chance to become problem solvers and learn!  I will often (very often) run into provblems as I am teaching them. I sometimes cross my arms, stomp my feet and tell them I'm going to throw a fit or sit and pretend to cry.  They laugh and tell me no! I need to be a problem solver! We have learned quickly that throwing fits, crying, and quitting never, ever, ever solves our problems!  I have noticed they actually really like being challenged to solve problems! It also teaches us that the more we try, the better we get! 

So we tried again! Can you see a difference? Some started all over, some took the same kite they made previously and made improvements to it.


They did a much better job this time and were much more successful! The goal was to get it to catch the wind without us running. 

Check out these two videos showing a first try and a second try!  What a difference! In the 2nd video you can see that this friend was even able to get his kite to do stunts like my delta kite! Unfortunately, I turned my camera off right as it started doing tricks!  You can see it starting to do loops at the end!





We also made a kite as a collaborative class project. Look at how seriously they take this project! They are really taking pride in their work!










It also had a successful flight! It didn't go high, but it met our goal of catching the wind and floating without us running! This was such a fun little inquiry about something so simple! Usually my projects are so large scale (simple machines, sound exploration area, musical instruments). It was wonderful to see how so much learning could take place with something as simple as wondering how to make a kite that will fly!
Here are some photos of other things going on around our room the past couple weeks!

Getting to know a special friend every day!


Self portraits using many art mediums. 










Friends were helping each other mix the perfect shades for heir skin. 


Exploring our names and our friends names. 






Creating plans and building. 




Math all around! 


We are starting to notice some changes happening to the trees and the weather so we will taking a closer look at that next! I can't wait to see where the kids take it!

8 comments:

  1. It's so much fun to be able to see the process that we get to hear about at home. Thank you!

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  2. So much inspiration in this one post! I am having a little trouble getting IBL started this year, but this gives me some great ideas! We will be reading about apples this week, and I'm hoping to get a dramatic area started - maybe a bakery or restaurant - we'll see where the kids take it. I don't have any dramatic-type furniture, so the kids will have to make it all out of the boxes from our move to our new classroom. Thanks again for posting the awesome work you and your students do together!

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  3. So much inspiration in this one post! I am having a little trouble getting IBL started this year, but this gives me some great ideas! We will be reading about apples this week, and I'm hoping to get a dramatic area started - maybe a bakery or restaurant - we'll see where the kids take it. I don't have any dramatic-type furniture, so the kids will have to make it all out of the boxes from our move to our new classroom. Thanks again for posting the awesome work you and your students do together!

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    1. That's wonderful! Take baby steps! That's what I did! It sounds like you have some wonderful ideas! Good luck!
      Sincerely,
      Darla

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  4. Hi Darla. My kindergarten team just loves what you're doing in your classroom and you've been an inspiration for us. We are becoming an IB school and were told we weren't doing enough play-based inquiry in our kindergarten - this was music to all of our ears because we knew that! We now have more freedom to teach using our standards rather than curriculum guides and add more play back into their days. It's awesome and the right thing for kids, but a lot more work, as you know. We were wondering what your daily schedule looks like now that you've gotten into the groove. I read your schedule post from 2013, but wonder what it's like now with more practice and tweaking? Thanks again for all you share!

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    1. How wonderful! You are so lucky to have that kind of support! I will be posting about my schedule very soon! I am getting a lot of questions about it so maybe I will get it done this weekend! Thank you so much for your kind words!
      Sincerely,
      Darla

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  5. A lovely post Darla about their journey in kite making. So many learning and cooperative moments for your students. Making and achieving goals is such an important lessons for our students. You have created such a wonderful learning environment. Sincerely, Michelle

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    1. Thank you so much Michelle! That means so much coming from you!
      Sincerely,
      Darla

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