The (hyperlapse style) video below captures the JK friends visiting the SK Café and being served by SK children. SK decided it was best to divide the JK friends into two groups for two reasons; they only had enough seats at the table for five and it would "get a little crazy" if the whole class came in at once. See for yourself how it all went. Every time I watch this thing I see something different!
In the TinkerLab, the SK class has been working with a building set called Roominate. Though the website will tell you this is an engineering-type toy for girls, the girls in our class have been more than inviting for the boys to build with them. The set encourages kids to build a doll house for Bettina and her pet bunny, Hoppy. The kit includes a variety of pieces that can be put together as furniture and other items from kids' imaginations. It also includes a couple battery packs, with wiring, to connect lights and small motors. In the house (pictured above), you'll see a two-level house for Bettina and Hoppy. Notice the different living spaces, slide (instead of stairs) to go between floors, and strand of lights and sun on top. This was a total team effort to design, build, and decorate.
Taking front and center in the imaginative play is the Café. A true classroom creation, the Café has been an idea, turned into reality through days of play, creativity, prep (as the chefs call it) and a little silliness. What started as a place to get food for MBC Hospital, has now evolved into a standalone entity. The children first started taking turns as chefs serving customers using a food cart and then ran with the idea to build an entire café. The café has been ongoing for two weeks and the next blog post will have more info about the process that led up to serving our JK friends a few meals.
This week the SK class "plugged in" and participated in an international movement known as the Hour of Code. In a nutshell, this is an effort to teach children across the globe how to type code using some kind of programming language. This is not a completely new concept for our class because we have already been actively programming using a Lego WeDo kit to make things like an alligator chomp, monkey bang on a drum, and birds chirp.
This week we learned a new programming language called Scratch Jr. This app, developed specifically for making programming on an iPad accessible to young(er) children, is a great outlet for storytelling, creativity, logic and problem solving. For an introduction to programming with Scratch Jr., we focused on the early stages of storytelling; specifically choosing a setting, picking characters and assigning them actions. In the pictures below, you will see a screenshot of Scratch Jr. that shows a script made by one of the SK students telling a character (cat) what to do when the green flag is clicked. For many, this kind of experience was exciting because it seems more like an interactive game that children learn to customize and control the characters.
Both Lego Wedo and Scratch Jr. have offered a great introduction to the world of programming. It'll be exciting to see what they come up with in the weeks and months ahead! Scratch Jr. is a free download you can get for your iPad or iPod right now.
This site was created by Colin Reynolds as the SK Lead Teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. Stephanie Holdridge was the apprentice teacher for the academic year.. You can contact me via e-mail or follow me on Twitter.