Sunday, May 13, 2018

Learning and playing outside

As I'm sure you already know, there are enormous benefits for students to learn and play outdoors, and we are lucky enough to have a nature-based play-space for our students at our school that the parents and community continue to add to and advocate for. Each Monday we use the space for our recess play, and try to go in the garden several times each spring and fall with the help of a parent volunteer. Below are some pictures of some of the activities we've been doing!

Moving and balancing logs

Searching for ants

Playing in the digging pit in the garden

Visiting the mama duck in the mini forest, as she sits on her nest

Drawing in our Sit Spots

Picking flowers

Testing the wind with streamers

Testing for acids and bases with our garden parent liaison/scientist

Sweeping and watering plants

Oh, and reading about bugs once we got inside :)

We also had a visit from the city water people, who installed a water bottle fountain, gave us all free water bottles, and let us try the pesto-making bike! It was a lot of fun.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

All about owls

One of the best and most engaging ways for students to learn is through immersion in one topic, sometimes called a thematic unit, that integrates all types of learning. Rather than having "reading" and "science" and "math" time be separate silos, thematic units help kids use their literacy and math skills through immersion in a topic that interests them. While it's tricky to find time for these types of units, I do my best to thread them throughout our days in kindergarten. For the past couple of weeks, we've been studying owls, particularly in one of our WIN groups (WIN stands for "What I Need" and is a time of day when students go to different classrooms to do literacy activities in small groups) but also throughout the rest of our day. Here are some pictures of what we've been learning!

First, we read books and watched videos about owls, plus studied a real great horned owl mount! We took notes and put them in a notes folder.

We also dissected owl pellets to figure out what they had eaten.

Then we began putting everything we'd learned into a book. I love how these books turned out. We'll present them to another WIN group next week!