Friday, May 15, 2015

Nature center field trip

We had a blast on our nature center field trip! My favorite part was at the end when our naturalist asked us what our favorite part was. The first answer was, "I wish I could have a time machine and go back in time to do it all over and over again." We got to learn about the scientist named Aldo Leopold, observe geese with their goslings, dip nets in the pond, see a puppet show, and build forts in the woods. It doesn't get much better than that!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

All about chickens

For the past three weeks we have been studying animals as part of our science unit. We were lucky enough to have chick eggs that we got to watch hatch in an incubator. Then we kept them for another week and watched them grow from little newborns to downy baby chicks. I'm sad to say I can't share photos, because for some reason my camera failed to transfer the pictures of the chicks!

We had lots of interactions with the chicks, though, and it was perfect for doing a research report all about chickens. In order to research chickens, we did lots of observations, took notes, read books about chickens, watched videos from Pebble Go and BrainPopJr, and interviewed an expert who raises chickens herself. After doing all this research, the kids made posters to share what they learned by making these adorable chicken posters:

The research process was great practice for our next project, in which the kindergarteners get to pick an endangered animal of their choice, research it, and share what they learned with our first grade buddies! Lots more on that project when they finish it next week.

Learning to make krumkake, from our high school cooking class!

Last week was our final visit from the high school's Food & Culture class. When I told the kids we would be having a healthy eating lesson today, they cheered! Nothing makes my heart happier than to hear a kid say "I love healthy eating." :)

This time, instead of healthy recipes like salsa and egg rolls, our high school friends taught us how to make krumkake, a traditional Norwegian dessert, just in time for our town's annual Syttende Mai festival! Here are some pictures of the fun.

They even brought hot plates to show us how it is baked!

Can't forget the powdered sugar!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Celebrating who we are

A big part of our social studies curriculum in kindergarten is learning about who we are as individuals and members of a community. All year long we have done different activities that help us explore how each person is unique. Here are some glimpses into what we have done!

We started off by looking at pictures of children from around the world, and sharing our observations. What does their hair look like? What does their skin look like? Can you see where they live? Do they look the same or different from you?

Then we started a discussion about our skin color. Several of our books taught us that while skin is often called "black" or "white," we are all actually various shades of brown.

We compared our skin color to each other's skin, and then I passed out skin color crayons. The students chose a shade of brown that most closely matched their skin shade. Some crayon colors included almond, chocolate, and maize.

Then they made drawings of themselves using their skin color crayon, and shared their color with the rest of the class:

We read a book called "It's Okay to Be Different," by my favorite author Todd Parr. The message in this book is that we are all different, and instead of ignoring this fact, we should celebrate it! Here are some excerpts from the book:

Later in the year, we did a similar comparison activity using paint chips of various shades of brown. Then we shared how our beautiful skin made us feel.

We also read the book "I Love My Hair" and shared why we loved our own hair. These are all original ideas from each student, and I loved seeing what they had to say!

We then created a matching game out of photos the kids' hair and faces, which is available as a sort during stations and free choice! This is a great way to help kids pay attention to detail and truly notice the differences among each other.

Then we made and shared "All About Me" puzzles, coloring six different pieces that represent who we are. These are now available in one of our workstations, so the kids can try to put together each other's puzzles.

And here's a look at how different we all are - and how beautiful!