Monday, September 16, 2013

Kindergarten Explorers

Kindergartners are quite astute at being "Explorers of the World."  Their natural curiosity and gift of collecting tiny and textured objects makes them experts in the explorer field!  They have had a bounty of treasures to share and presented finds that included pressed flowers, bamboo poles, and even fools gold!  Our discoveries came from as close as our backyards and as far away as France! Presenting in a group setting allows children to express their thoughts and interests, practice speaking skills, gain confidence in their own abilities, and to show tremendous leadership skills.  Kindergartners are also practicing how to be an attentive audience as well which is equally as important.

We listened to several stories at Circle Time this week with similar themes- explorers.  After discussing the roles of the "author" and the "illustrator," we found out that two of our stories in particular were both illustrated by Barbara Cooney.   Roxaboxen by Alice Mc Lerran tells of a sweet childhood memory of pretend play.  The children of "Roxaboxen"  inhabit rock houses and ride horses that look a lot like long sticks.  There is a mayor, a  cemetery for a lizard, and even a jail.  The now grown up children return to Roxaboxen years later to witness its changes and lasting charm.  Kindergartners then design their own town called "Kinderboxen."   This place boasts of houses with many windows, three  jails, hearts, a sun and moon, and trees.   It also displays a very welcoming marquee.  Maybe you can visit Kinderboxen sometime.  It is  located on our classroom wall.

Tuesday's Shan Science class involved mixing various ingredients together to make "tooth paste."  This topic was very appropriate because of all of the discussion of Elise loosing our first Kindergarten tooth and a  Lily's trip to the dentist.  Shan   began Thursday's Science activity with a reading of Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr Seuss.  Kindergartners then set to work following a recipe of glue, borax, a little water, and lots of  muscle.  The senses of smell, sight, and touch were awakened as several contradictory properties were discovered.  The children were able to take a small sample of oobleck (sometimes known as  gak or silly putty) home as well.

There was a lot of discussion early one morning about the oddity on our classroom windows.  There was talk of how it "rained last night,"..."clouds that lay on the ground (fog),"... and "condensation"  that caused the glass to appear to be "sweating."  This impromptu conversation was a wonderful  exchange of scientific inquiry.   we also proved a theory (by scribbling names) that the condensation appeared on only the outside of the glass!

The week's beginning temperatures (mid 90s) prompted our splash time in a wade pool. 
 Midweek, however, called for umbrellas and jackets. 

Our art lesson continued with Post Impressionist artist George Seurat.  This artist and creator of the technique "pointillism" laid pure, contrasting or complementary colored dots side by side in strategic ways to form shapes, areas of light and dark (shadow and highlight) and the illusion of lines when seen from a distance.  We discussed how "Impressionist" style paintings give the impression or illusion of looking at something through "squinty" eyes.  Here are a few examples of our own pointillist drawings.

"Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by George Seurat, Art Institute of Chicago 

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