Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Exploring Apples

We have been learning to look closer and document through pictures things that we notice as scientists.  Now we are learning how to use writing along with our pictures to document what we notice, created or did! The kids are learning how to say a word and write down letters for the sounds they hear. They are also learning that it is okay if the words are not spelled quite right. This is giving them the freedom to write independently. This skill will also ultimately help them grow as readers.

Here in Ohio, the apple orchards are very busy harvesting apples. It is the best time to get local apples and fresh apple ciders in the markets and stores! Apples are everywhere! Our amazing student teacher, Miss. Reese set up the room for exploring apples. She filled the science area with different varieties of apples for the kids to observe and some books about apples for research.

The children did a great job of showing the small details they noticed in the apples.  We have been learning about labeling as writers so they labeled some parts of their apples in their documentation of what they noticed.

Miss. Reese set up this STEM opportunity in our math area! It reinforced the concepts of one to one correspondence, measuring by comparing taller and shorter stacks, and identifying more or less by looking at groups of objects and numbers. It also started a conversation about grit (doing hard things without giving up) and problem solving. They also recorded how many they stacked and wrote the number. Some wrote sentences about how many they stacked and also weighed their apples and added that fact to their papers!

The record holder was this little friend who stacked 8 apples!

Another STEM opportunity that Miss. Reese set up was this challenge at the Engineering Table.  Can you build a bridge that can hold one or more apples?

They did a great job of figuring out how to make a sturdy bridge so the bridge wouldn’t break and the apples wouldn’t fall! They were definitely having to use critical thinking skills as they designed and problem solved. They worked hard to record the designs of their bridges and how many apples they held.

They showed what they noticed about apples through sculpture. This hard clay is great for developing the finger muscles we need to be able to hold our pencils correctly and write. Our fine motor skills need a lot of work!

They also enjoyed creating apple art and using paint to show what they noticed about apples! I was impressed with their eye for detail here!

They integrated math and art by creating patterns and art with apple prints.

Miss. Reese set up an experiment after the kids noticed our apples turning brown after they were sliced. They predicted what would keep the apples from turning brown? Vinegar, water, lemon juice or nothing? It was the lemon juice!

We also tasted apples and collected data by graphing which apple we liked the best. We listed words that described how each one tasted! Here are the results.

As we ended our apple study, the kids created the different apples we had in our room. They observed them, painted them and since we have been talking about labeling, we labeled them with words that described them.

Here are our labeled apples along with documentation showing what we did as we learned about looking closer and labeling! Throughout this experience, I have noticed kids starting to get more comfortable with writing! I look forward to seeing them grow as writers and use their writing skills naturally more and more during our day!

Here are a few other invitations that have been set up for them to explore in our literacy and math areas!

Below is a game called “Stack-It.” The kids take a cup. If they can identify the letter and sound they can use it to create a structure. If not they set it in their “to practice” pile.  When they are done. They record th Eleuthera they knew and have a friend help them practice the letters they didn’t know.

Here, they use the play dough and stamps to match capital letters with the lower case letters.

In the math area, they have started sorting objects in different ways. We are learning to name the rule that they sorted by.

Here I set out an invitation to sort beans and work our fine motor skills at the same time! I loved how they all used the materials differently!

These kids are obsessed with creating patterns in the math area. Here are just a few!

Miss Reese did a fabulous job of putting together some amazing experiences for her first inquiry!  She thought hard about the environment and the experiences she could set out for them to explore.  She is only with us for two more weeks and we will be cherishing every moment we all have left  with her as a part of our classroom community!