Saturday, November 2, 2013

Leaves in the fall!

To continue our unit on trees, we have begun to look closely at leaves, which is always fun in the fall! Here are some excerpts from our leaves explorations:

Going on a leaf hunt
Our school grounds have so many types of trees! Here are we collecting as many as we can with our partners.

Sorting leaves
Lots of kids also brought leaves that they collected from home. After talking about characteristics of different leaves, we paired up and sorted leaves in any way we chose. The object for me as the teacher was to see how their brains were working, so I asked them how they sorted them. Most chose to sort by color, but quite a few thought of their own ways to categorize leaves, including Pointy/Not Pointy and Soft/Rough. Sorting is a really important math concept for little minds to master, and leaves are a fun, hands-on way to practice.

Leaf Gallery Walk
Whenever possible I try to incorporate movement into the classroom so kindergarteners can get some of their energy out. If it were up to me we'd have a recess/outdoor break every hour :) But since that's of course a bit unrealistic, I try to use ideas like Gallery Walks to get them up and moving! After we finished sorting our leaves, we all walked from table to table to see how others sorted their leaves, kind of like a leaf gallery or museum!

Leaf Fun
The leaf table was something new I tried this year, and it was a hit! I just filled the sensory table with leaves, acorns, and pinecones that the kids collected. Add a few shovels and it's like bringing a fall leaf pile indoors.

We also played some leaf sorting games on the Smartboard, and made leaf collection books, but for some reason I can't find a picture of them. Next week if we have time I also want to do an observational leaf walk now that the colors have really popped on the trees around here! The kids will bring their science journals and hopefully take some good "notes"!

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