While the collective interest in building a living pond in our classroom continues, we have been doing a variety of activities in preparation for construction. Natural materials that were collected during our field trip to the ponds and throughout the fall (sticks, leaves, rocks, acorns) were organized and sorted according to their relevant characteristics. More detailed information on these activities will be posted under the "Investigations" tab.
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Last week, I talked about the growing sense of community in our classroom. There are a number of other events with our JK friends that have helped build our sense of school community as well. Morning meeting is one such event that helps us, as JK and SK classes, prepare for the day ahead. Each morning, after completing our SK morning routine, we walk to the JK classroom for a community time where we play games, sing songs, and build social skills with our JK friends. And lately, we have been inviting our JK friends into the SK classroom for more shared learning opportunities. Below are a couple pictures that highlight some of these experiences. One is story time. After outdoor play, SK and JK have been gathering together in the SK classroom to participate in a read aloud story together. This is a great chance to build literacy skills like comprehension, vocabulary development, and making connections.
Which leads us to this week's video. A week or so ago at morning meeting, we played/chanted a little ditty called "Button Factory." Then, we found a container of buttons on the TinkerLab supply shelf that looked interesting so we brought it into the classroom. After seeing this jar of buttons, it seemed only natural (to me, anyway) that these buttons could be sorted so I grabbed a couple egg cartons and put them on a classroom table. To be clear, I did not give any specific direction, just simply put the egg cartons on a table in the classroom next to the jar of buttons as a kind of provocation. A day or two later, one of the kids brought in a book that had ideas for making all kinds of stuff but one thing, a game called Awalé, caught the attention of a couple children. The directions suggested using some kind of game "pieces" (like seeds or beans) in an egg carton. Put all of these factors together and the next thing you know, we have a "button factory" in the classroom where children are sorting buttons into the egg cartons, based on their individual characteristics. After the sorting was complete, we had all the right pieces to assemble a new game for us to play during classroom Number Play. The "Button Factory" consumed almost an entire day of explorations and number play. It was fascinating to see how the idea of a button factory permeated all classroom activities for the day. And now we have a new game to play! The excitement of the button factory had a lasting impact on our class so we decided to share our button factory and game at all-school meeting.
For more information on things happening in the JK classroom, including some of the shared time with morning meeting, Spanish language development, and outdoor play, check out the Bennett Day JK Blog!
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.