Monday, September 30, 2013

Kindergartners Egg-cellent Adventures!



Kindergartners had "egg"-cellent opportunities to explore  the uniqueness in all of us.   Circle Time  began with  a story called Eggbert:  The Slightly Cracked Egg by Tom Ross.   Eggbert is asked to leave his home in the refrigerator after an imperfection in his shell is discovered.  He ventures out and attempts to blend in and hide his flaws but without much success.  After Eggbert discovers that the whole world is full of "cracks" he finally decides to be happy as he is and look for the good (and beauty) in everything.

Shan Scientists attempted to create an indestructible protection system for an "egg drop" experiment.  Scrap box materials,  cotton balls (a whole lot of cotton balls)  and paper cups were included in our resources.  Teams released completed structures  from the top of the climber.  There were a few casualties but a lot of enthusiasm, teamwork, and fun.






With clip boards and charcoal sticks in tow,  we took a walking trip around our school to look for the many "cracks" found in nature.  It didn't take us long to discover that the garden mulch, our building facade  made of stucco, and the bark and leaves of trees made excellent (or shall I say"egg"cellent) examples.  These beautiful and intricate line rubbings  were a great precursor to our Art activity this week.  

Kindergartners began an Art unit on the life and artistic styles of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.   He dabbled in various medium throughout his long life and reached mastery in each.  We read about  several details of Picasso's  very passionate life and even identified with some of his character traits:

He was indulged by several family members as a child
He didn't like to be told what to do
He enjoyed going to bull fights 
He was often unpredictable (a bit of a prankster) so his friends had to always be on their toes
He was gifted at art from a very young age

Out of the Mouths of Babes:  (dictated writing journal entries)

"This is a bull and this is a flamingo which is hard to draw.  Pablo Picasso drew bulls and flamingos."-N.A.

"This is the man holding the bull so he will not run away.  He (Pablo Picasso) used continuing lines and he really liked bull races/fights."-N.O.

"I learned that Pablo Taso liked animals without getting his pen or marker off his paper."-M.S.

"Pablo Picasso had a buffalo and then that bull went somewhere with Pablo Picasso and it was Mackinaw and the moose's name was Albert."-L.C.

   This continuous line drawing technique requires you to draw a figure from start to finish without lifting your pencil or brush off of the paper.  Kindergartners did an amazing job of capturing likenesses while drawing one of Picasso's favorite subjects- "the bull."


While on the subject of bulls, Kindergartners also heard a story about a bull with unlikely characteristics.  This gentile bovine, from the book The Story of Ferdinand the Bull  spent most of his days sitting under a cork tree smelling flowers.  An unlikely event, however, caused Ferdinand to act unseemly which caught the attention of a group of the local bullfighters.  After the story, the children discussed  what "made" us angry.   Surprisingly, some of the responses involved encounters with our siblings (names withheld to protect the innocent.)  We also talked about things we can do when we are angry i.e. walk away, tell others to stop, or ask an adult for help.  We also talked about how we can sometimes actually choose whether or not to be angry . 


 Global Experiences 

Kindergartners are finding out a lot about each other since the school year began.  We are celebrating our unique cultures and our families  in various ways.   What better way to learn about each other's families than to meet them personally.  We had the pleasure of such a meeting this week.  Noa's family has been visiting from Russia and came to see her school and classroom.  They also agreed to  share a story with us!  "Red Riding Hood" came to life as we heard a reading in both Russian and English!   It was  delightful to hear a version in Russian from Grandma while Noa translated!  The modernized ending was redeeming as well as a reformed wolf apologized and made up for his past mistakes!   Noa's Grandpa captured the event on video!    Noa gave a preview of the story earlier in the day to a cozy group of onlookers!  What a treat!





Creating  simple and complex patterning in Math is a great way to problem solve,  visually discriminate,  and apply logic.  Designing patterns can also be applied to creating art, crafting quilts, or inventing computer programs.   Ordering numbers and skip counting  were also skills practiced.









  

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