In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, our Kindergarten group, aka, Earth group (third planet from the sun, our third group to join our elementary) celebrated by cooking Green Eggs and Ham for their Food as a Language.
For the past two weeks, the elementary has begun exploring rhythms using only drums. In order to help the students understand how music should be layered and arranged, we used only drums and no other instrument. Basic drums rhythms were created in Maschine to help guide the students to listen for the rhythm they need to match. Most of the students were successful in synchronizing with the rhythms they heard played by the speakers. We began counting to the beat in order to understand how many times the drum should be hit. The beats and the children loved the challenging rhythms. By participating in a drumming experience, children can be working on attention, impulse control, and decision-making skills. Next, we sat down in a circle and played “telephone” using the drum rather than our words. It was interesting to see how the rhythm initially started and how it ended once it made its way around the circle.
Playing a drum or percussion instrument can be a useful way to communicate none verbally and to listen to another person’s nonverbal communication. Rhythmic pattern is one of the most important elements of music and typically the initial layer in the majority of songs.
The kindergarten class has started the school year off by currently studying the parts of a plant and what the functionality of those parts are.
In order to asses their understanding of this subject, the teachers asked them to draw the parts of a plant. As a group, they also discussed what a plant needs to grow and wrote the key terms together.
The students were then given play dough in order for them to represent the new information that they learned in a three dimensional way.
This project was available to children ages 4 and up. Three groups were formed. Group A was the elementary group (children 1st through 4th)
Group B was the prek group (entering kindergarten)
Group C just introduced to preK
Group A Day One:
On our first day, we sat down to discuss the “title” of the program – Creating a City for Wildlife. Our goal was for the children to understand the purpose behind the project. Why the title is what it was.
We began by having the children each write the title on paper. We then asked for meaning…….What is a city?
- It is where a lot of people live, like a town
- It has buildings
- It is loud, you can hear your neighbors and it can be annoying!
What is a habitat?
This was a little more difficult for the children to understand. At first, we heard “It is where animals live”. We began to talk about what happens when the habitat is taken away due to the building of a city.
We looked outside of the window and we observed the parking lot, the buildings. This led to a discussion on how the animals will die if they do not have a habitat.What did the natural habitat of Sugar Land look like before we started building our buildings?
This brought us to looking up the definition on an ipad, and we saw that the definition.
noun: habitat; plural noun: habitats
the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism.
We began to focus on the fact that we have lost the natural habitat of these animals. Because the discussion was so rich, we gave the children paper to draw what they thought the natural habitat looked like before our city was built.
They discussed what animals are native to our city. Some of the animals they mentioned were alligators, anteaters, various birds, snakes, and monkeys.
We ended by finishing our drawings and then discussing the quail, ducks, and turkeys being native to our area.
Day Two: We revisited our conversation about a natural habitat. The children usually say, “It is an animal’s house”, We are focusing on helping the children understand the difference between a “natural” home and a “man-made” home. We would like to encourage the children to expand their vocabulary when describing these terms. We visited the incubators to look at the eggs. We took out the non-viable eggs. One was a turkey egg, and one was a duck egg.
A asked, “Why are the quail eggs so small?”
This question led us to pulling out the non-viable eggs to compare the different eggs from the different birds.
The children put the eggs in order from biggest to smallest. They began to understand that the smaller the egg, the smaller the egg. They are very familiar with our chickens at the school, and understand that our smaller chickens lay the smaller eggs. We looked at the finches in the art room to see how small the finch eggs are as well. The turkey egg wound up being the largest egg (they realized it is the largest bird).
B and N discussed whether a turkey can fly or not. And how much a turkey ate. They researched using the ipad to find out that turkey do fly! They watched videos of turkeys, and they shared the videos with the rest of the group.
To end the class, we recapped all of the differences between the birds we are incubating. They broke up into groups to list the specific characteristics for each bird.
Over the course of the summer, Little Wonders and School of Wonders will be holding two different programs, Creating A City For Wildlife and The Science and Art of Storytelling.
Creating A City For Wildlife is a program created by our director Maryam Lumpkin and local farmer, Mike, that will further enhance knowledge and awareness of social and science topics that are currently happening in our environment. The program is available for children ages 4 and up.
Our other program, The Science and Art of Storytelling, is being held by School of Wonders. The program will allow the children to explore the study of frequencies and wave forms in music with the integration of literacy, art, and physics. The children will be working closely with the classroom teachers, the atelieristas, and audio engineer to create their own films composed of their soundtracks and visual narratives which will be shown at an end of the summer viewing party. The Science and Art of Storytelling is available for children ages 5 and up that have completed one year of elementary education.