Sunday, April 3, 2022

Kindergarten Geologists

We knew we had to start investigating rocks and crystals when the kids started opening rock shops on our playground!

These rocks are meteor rocks from space. If you buy one it will give you a power…but you don’t know what kind of power you will get until you buy one and see what happens! 

I am very excited for our new school and new playground, but this imaginative play with nature…rocks, sticks, pine combs, leaves flowers, etc. that become so many things in their imaginations is something I will really miss! I hope we can still somehow incorporate some natural elements!

The kids were also bringing Miss Megan and I all the rocks they could find to show us what amazing characteristics they had and asking if we could take them to our room!

Based on these interests, we set up the room so that they could explore rocks and their attributes further!

We had been learning about measurement in math so we provided some materials for them to apply what they had been learning. They compared weight, height, and length of different rocks. 

The kids also sorted rocks by different attributes: color, shape, size, rough/smooth, crystal/not crystal, geode/ not geode.

They looked closer and documented what they noticed! 

Some decided to use watercolor to show what they noticed. Their detail was amazing!

One friend who chooses to show his learning through the language of sculpture whenever he can even documented a gem from a book using clay!

Here a friend used agate to create some art on the old projector! Can you tell what it is?

They practiced observational drawings/informational writing by picking a rock and trying to record every tiny detail they noticed and listing some of its attributes to describe it.

On the playground a group was very excited to have found what they considered a very interesting fossil! They thought it might be a leg bone or a tooth!

Miss Megan showed them a video about paleontologists and fossils then set up an area for them to make their own out of air dry clay.

We read a very good book called “Scribble Rocks” and it gave us an idea for a Random Act of Kindness!! It was time for the Kindness Ninjas to strike again! They decided to create scribble rocks for Miss S’s class! They found rocks outside, then made a plan of how they wanted their scribble rock to look. They painted their rocks with acrylic paint. The idea is for Miss S’s friends to make marks on the rocks and pass them on to another class!

It was a great way to end our unit on rocks. They all started a rock collection and may decide that geology is in their future!

Here are some other things that has gone on in our classroom!

Miss Megan explored sound with the kids and they learned that sound is caused by vibrations and is made in many different ways! I wish I took more pictures but I was testing the kids for their report cards! This unit was also interest based as the kids kept showing us ways they could make different sounds with different objects, so Miss Megan grabbed onto that interest and did an amazing investigation with them!

The kids created a pet shelter in our dramatic play area! They learned the needs of living things and what pets needed to survive! They also learned how to take care of many different pets…even snakes!

The kids worked in teams to make traps to catch a leprechaun, but he got away! He did leave us quite a surprise when we came in the next day! We still have glitter everywhere! 

So much more interests are being shown that we may have to start picking and choosing! We have noticed an interest in fashion design, beauty parlors, rainbows and space! I can’t wait to see where these kids take us next!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Exploring Force and Motion And Simple Machines

After making the ramp to get all of our food items for those experiencing homelessness down the stairs, the kids started showing an interest in ramps and how things roll. We grabbed onto this interest and set up some ways for them to explore these concepts further! We learned that force is either pushing or pulling. We also learned that nothing can move without some sort of force. But sometimes things moved without us pushing or pulling them, especially on a ramp or if we dropped it.  We discovered the force of gravity and enjoyed exploring through art! 

We created an incline plane so that gravity could pull marbles down through globs of paint! They noticed that sometimes the paint created resistance and slowed the marble down!

We let droppers push paint out onto paper and gravity pull the paint down the paper!

We created a collaborative art piece by using the forces of push and pull! Here they pushed and pulled the brushes across the canvas.

They pushed toy trucks across the canvas in paint and also made the canvas into an inclined plane so that gravity could pull the trucks down.

They pushed and pulled cardboard across some paint to create more marks. 

They also dipped yarn into paint and used forces of push and pull to flick the paint or drag it across the canvas.

Here is our collaborative art piece so far! We are taking a little break from it for now, but will definitely add more as the year goes on!

My amazing Student Teacher put together this display to show their Force and Motion art!

We made some salt dough to show how sculptures are also made using the forces of push and pull.

They created plans and then pushed and pulled the dough to create these sculptures!

They loved this so much that I brought out the clay. We have some very talented sculptors in our class!

As we started learning g about simple machines, we started out with ramps. Here they were challenged to create an inclined plane that would make the ball roll and stop at the end of the rope. Only two were able to do it!

I set out materials for them to try and create some Rube Goldberg machines. When creating these, they collaborated, worked as a team, problem solved over and over and over and showed persistence to get them to work! They really showed grit and did not give up, sometimes working multiple days to get them to work! 

We also explored levers, screws, wedges and pulleys. 

We also learned about pulleys and how they make lifting loads easier! In fact, we learned that simple machines make all of our work easier!

Marble runs were a favorite!

This inquiry into force and motion and simple machines let these kids practice and use so many skills that future employers will look for! They came up with creative, innovative ideas, used critical thinking skills, tested them out, dealt with frustration and handled it, collaborated with others, worked together (teamwork), problem solved, and dealt with disappointment appropriately if they couldn’t get it to work. These kids amazed me constantly as they used they skills and I look forward to seeing what else they will do with them!