This week we though a lot about the Thanksgiving holiday coming up. We read books to help us learn more about the holiday, where it orginiated, and different perspectives for understanding it. Students learned that humans have always celebrated fall harvests, but that the first Thanksgiving was something unique to our country. We read about Thanksgiving through a biography of Squanto's journey, a native American who helped the pilgrims learn how to utilize and live off of the new land in America. We read many books about how people celebrate Thanksgiving, and reflected on our own traditions as well as what we are thankful for!
This week we brought in some new materials to our classroom and the kids went wild! We built with giant legos, new puzzles, and monster trucks!
This week the students were introduced to the idea of meditation. We've used our daily cool down times after lunch/recess to practice this. Because we are studying rocks, we've focused on learning The Pebble Meditation, which represents four elements of happiness. In this meditation, students gather four stones. One stone represents a flower, for freshness; one stone represents a mountain, for stability; one stone represents water, for clarity; and one stone represents space, for freedom. Students painted their four stones to represent these elements, created bags to keep them in, and books to remember the meditation!
Students in Kindergarten have been exploring all things rocks! We've been observing rocks from many different angles, and today's activity was all about testing how hard our rocks were! Students use different objects to try and scratch their stones -- pennies, paper clips, fingernails, etc. After we recorded our information, we shared our findings: which rocks were scratched by ALL objects? Did any rocks not scratch? How many rocks? We all found our hardest rock and compared them amongst the group!
Each day after lunch/recess, we have a quiet "cool down" time where students can engage in activities of their own choice. Many times, themes of interest emerge in the group. This week it was drawing with graph paper and jewelry making! Check out these photos of art work by the K's.
As part of our rock project, students used the day to practice our engineering skills! We used tin foil to build boats and wondered about which boat could hold the most rocks. We tested different models, worked alone and in groups, and recorded our findings. After this, we moved on to exploring which boat could hold the HEAVIEST rock! Students each looked through their rock collections for their heaviest rock and created a boat to hold it. We then compared our heaviest rocks amongst the group. We then ventured outside to test these boats in a real river, created by us! We dug out some of the sandbox and created a water way, put out boats in, and voila!
The K's began exploring addition this week! We've been practicing the concept with different manipulatives, such as our rocks from our rock project, and other tools like number lines, unifix cubes, story books, and more!
The K's have been exploring shapes in math and last week they were introduced to 3D shapes! We collected some everyday 3D shapes -- old boxes, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, and more -- and began working as a class to construct a spooooky haunted house! We will present this at the all school meeting on Friday October 30!
This week we dove into geodes! We learned that the crystals inside geodes are formed from water running through the air pockets in rocks, and that the larger the crystals, the older the geode! We studied examples of different geodes, and even broke into some of our own! Students looked closely at their rocks and added an entry to their geology notebooks!