Sunday, 24 February 2013

Snowflakes


Snowflakes

Beautiful Visualizations



During outdoor play one day it began to snow quite 
heavily. The children returned to class very excited about the newly fallen snow. We read Cynthia Rylant’s story, Snow.



During the read aloud the children began to describe the snowflakes they saw in the illustrations of the book as well as the snowflakes they had just seen while outside.

Many of the children began to use beautiful visualizations to describe snowflakes.

S.: The snowflakes are like leaves, falling from 
branches.

T.B.: The snowflake in beautiful, flying in the sky.

S.M.: The snowflakes twirl and fly in the snow.

C.L.: Snowflakes are like feathers.

S.K.: This little snowflake is like a star.


These beautifully poetic images described by the 
children became the inspiration for art. The children independently chose a medium to transfer their snowflake visualizations into pieces of art






Art and Nature Inspired Poetry








Symmetrical Snowflakes

Snowflakes
Nature’s Wonder


The children have been fascinated by the intricate details and designs of snowflakes. During math we read a book about symmetry and discussed where we may see lines of symmetry in nature. We discussed how even snowflakes are symmetrical.

We continued to explore lines of symmetry as well as shapes by creating symmetrical snowflakes using patterning blocks.

The children created very intricate and beautiful snowflakes.




Where Do Snowflakes Come From?

Provocation for a new

Inquiry


“I Wonder where snowflakes come
from.” - S.M.



While at the art center, one of the children used oil pastels to draw snowflakes. After drawing a few snowflakes, S.M. asked: “I wonder where snowflakes come from.” This was the provocation for a new inquiry on snowflakes.
During Sharing our Learning Time, S.M. shared this question and piece of art with the other children. Many of the children had their own questions and theories about snowflakes.


Watercolour Representations of the 

Children's Theories about Snowflakes



Where do snowflakes come from?

C.Z.: snowflakes come from the sky. The clouds.
E.L.: The snow clouds.
A.L.: They come from the clouds and I think they come from the North Pole.
M.Y.: When it rains and the air makes the rain so cold then the rain turns into snow.
C.L.: The snow comes at the Winter.
T.K.: When the cold air turns into rain the rain gets so cold it turns into snowflakes then it melts and turns into water.
A.L.: Water.
S.K.: The snow goes up and down and there will be water.
I.G.: Snowflakes come from up to the clouds and when it’s raining so much that’s how the snowflakes it makes.



How might the clouds make snowflakes?


E.L.: little tiny snowflakes in the clouds and when they bump into each other they make bigger snowflakes and when the sky gets darker that means it’s going to snow.
A.L.: they use water and they put it on them and then it’s going to come down from the sky.
S.M.: The water goes up to the clouds and then it snows. The water from the lakes goes into the clouds and the water turns into snow in the clouds and then when it gets heavy and dark it starts to snow.





Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

from Room 9!




Friendship Fruit Salad




 

Secret Valentines:

Making a friendship bracelet for a friend.



A special thank you to parents for helping to make Valentine's Day a special one for the children by sending in fruit for the friendship salad, treats, and cards.



Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy 100th Day!

On Tuesday, February 12th our class celebrated the 100th Day of Kindergarten!

To mark the 100th day of school, the children participated in a few activities related to the number 100.

Necklaces with

100 Froot Loops!


A few of the children even incorporated patterning
as they strung Froot Loops on their yarn.


How many times can you write your name in 100 seconds?



 

100 Days of Kindergarten Crowns


The children filled 10 strips of paper with 10 stickers, pictures, dots to count to 100!



Saturday, 2 February 2013

Co-Construction of the Alphabet

This alphabet was co-constructed with the children at the beginning of the year. The alphabet has become an important tool for the children as they grow as writers. 

Our goal is to present letters and sounds in a way that is both meaningful and authentic for students.

The Process


We began co-constructing the alphabet 
by introducing each student’s written name and identifying as a whole group the first letter and sound of each child’s name. We wanted students to take ownership of this alphabet because it will encourage them to use it as it is something special they created. 


Each student used watercolour paint to create a unique background for our collaborative alphabet. 

Watercolour painting the background for our alphabet.




Putting the Alphabet together:




"It's like a puzzle and we had to put it together." - T.K.

Building our alphabet by matching the lower case letters
with upper case letters. 


Making it Meaningful



The students discussed the beginning sounds of each other’s names and what letter each photograph should be placed on. Students were able to make many connections during this activity as they have a strong connection to their names and those of their friends. Students were then invited to photograph images in their inside and outside environment to build to their alphabet.

The children taking photographs of objects
found in our classroom.This was followed by a
discussion about letter sounds and where
to place the photographs on our alphabet.
 


Engage and Explore


We wanted to give our students access 
to all letters and sounds. The co-constructed alphabet is posted at our Graphic Communication center as a resource for students to engage with and further explore.


Building Community: Collaboration in Kindergarten


Considering an Elusive Concept: 

Community



Foundation of community


Thomas Sergiovanni writes on the topic of school community. He defines 

community as “people who work in the same place (a community of place), feel a sense of belonging and obligation to one another (a community of friendship), and are committed to a common faith or values (a community of mind)” (p.63). Establishing this collaborative network of relationships takes perseverance but is key to becoming a community. (The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation)


Collaboration as Teamwork


Collaboration is a key component of our classroom. The children collaborate when they are engaged in play at the centers, exploring the outdoors, participating in projects and when engaging in class meetings. It was important for us to teach the children the word “collaborate” and to have the children understand the benefits of collaboration.
The children have had many opportunities to see first-hand the benefits of collaboration. Some of the projects the children collaborated on include, the Collaboroative Colour Collage, the Kite Project, the Enchanted Castle Project, the monthly constructed calendars, the Beautiful Stuff Project, etc. The final products and the skills developed throughout each of these products have given the children many opportunities to see the benefits of collaboration.


Through these projects, the children have created a 


community based on a shared sense of place, mind, 

and friendship.


Children’s Ideas about the Word Collaboration


C.Z.: Collaboration means you work together as a team.
S.M.: Even in centers we try to get beads, when there’s only three people tidying up and more people help to tidy the mess that is collaborating.
E.L.: It means you draw something with some help of friends.
A.L.: When you work you do it together that is what 
collaboration means.
T.K.: Collaboration means you work together.
S.: Work together! 



The Benefits of Collaboration

Why might collaboration be important?


A.L.: Collaboration is important because if you 
don’t, you won’t be a good team and you won’t make something good. You have to do it as a team. I collaborate in the blocks and we made a rocket ship 
that went to outer space!

S.M.: If you are in a center and you don’t help to tidy the class cannot get the bead and when you are working if there is two people you can do it easily and you can finish fast.

A.C.: Collaborate is like when you go and help your friend, that’s collaborating.

T.K.: When you make art, sometimes you need a little help.


The Collaborative Project




This Collaborative Line Drawing is a shared piece that all of the children can feel proud of. As the children worked on the Collaborative Line Drawing they were engaged in conversations that discussed the interesting lines drawn by each other, multiple perspectives on what the finished line drawing looked like and their individual ideas about colour placement.  Their conversations highlighted a sense of respect as they listened to the ideas of their classmates.

“It’s so beautiful!” - T.K.




The children sat in a circle and took turns using a 
black marker to create a line on the paper, when they finished creating their line they held the marker at the end of their line as another child would come up and continue creating his or her own line from where their peer had just left off, this continued until each child had a turn to make a contribution.

Once each child had, had a turn contributing their line 
to the collaborative piece, T.K. exclaimed, “It’s so beautiful! I see an animal.” 


Sharing Multiple Perspectives

What do you see?


The children engaged in a Think-Pair-Share, sharing their perspectives with a partner.



A.C.: I see curly lines and decorations.
C.Z.: I saw in the collaborative line drawing they have a roller coaster with googly eyes, a shark and a dolphin.
A.R.: Zig Zag sharks!
T.K.: I see a slide.
C.L.: It looks like an alligator.
L.M.: a dolphin.
I.G.: At the bottom, a dog that doesn’t have feet.
M.Y.: It looks like a bird with hands.

It was important that we discuss during our meeting the importance of multiple perspectives. Even though we all looked at the same piece of art, we each saw something different. We discussed that even though our ideas are different, each idea is valuable. 


The Product of
Collaboration