To encourage creative writing with some of our Kindergarten aged children, we paste a picture a the top of writing paper. He is a fluent reader and is not actively working on additional reading skills. We keep him challenged with reading comprehension and are now asking him to produce more writing.
This past week we studied electricity in some of the afternoons. The children were given a balloon and shown how to create static electricity. Rubbing the balloon created static electricity because the balloons become negatively charged and have taken some of the electrons from the hair, thus, leaving them positively charged. The hair (positive) then rises to meet the balloon (negative) as opposites attract.
We then showed the children our circuit board. Here they were able to see how to light up the bulb by creating a circuit. Many children were very interested in the circuit and ended up experimenting with ways to change the circuit.
As an extension of reptile work the afternoon children began a study of dinosaurs. We have many, many books about dinosaurs and also have a 5 year old dinosaur expert in the class! After reading a book introducing dinosaurs, we showed the children these x-rays of dinosaur skeletons. This proved they were vertebrates as well as we could see the backbone. The children really enjoyed turning the light out and turning on the flashlight to see the skeleton.
We introduced two dinosaurs a day with a small model and a paper to color.
We used the Dinopedia to read about the specific dinosaur we were talking about. We learned about herbivores and carnivores as well!
As another extension of reptile study, we took a field trip to the Great Lakes Zoological Society to see many examples of real reptiles! http://www.glzszoo.com/
Feeling a shedded snake skin!
Blue tongued skink!
Another Gecko. This one is just hanging around!
Afternoon children are usually ages 4 and 5 who are ready for more intensive study of the topics we are talking about in the morning. We also learn more math, language and science in the afternoons!
This week we introduced the concept of Sink and Float. The children take various objects and drop in water to see if it sinks or floats.
This is also a multistep activity which involves putting on a smock, drying off each object after it is dropped in water and then classifying it on the sink or float tray. When done, they put all objects back on silver tray to prepare for next person.
To extend this activity the afternoon children completed a more extensive experiment on the same topic.
Here we made predictions and recorded the results.
We have begun to study time in the afternoons. Using our special “Judy” clock, we introduced the concepts of an hour hand, minute hand and gears. Thus far we have started with “o’clock.”
They decided to make a book and took turns turning the minute hand to go to the next hour.
They used the stamp to make a sheet and draw in the time. We stapled these books.
Next up is “half-past.”
Cutting is so popular right now and many of our afternoon children (4-5 year olds) have decided they want to cut out more advanced shapes. Since we have been studying arthropods (spiders mainly) they wanted to make a black widow.
It was a challenge to hold the black paper together so it was cut on both sides but they all did it and then made red parts to glue on the spider.
They also cut out pumpkins, maple leaves and attached hands with a heart in the middle.
As one of our teachers has a Masters in Education with a focus on using the creative arts in learning, we decided to spend some time learning about sculpture today. We had previously discussed the Lincoln Monument while using our microscope (see previous post) and had talked about it being a sculpture. Today the afternoon children were read 3-D ABC, A Sculptural Alphabet by Bob Raczka. This helped them to see many different types of sculptures. (We also read had a book about the Lincoln Memorial and were able to see how big this was – much different from the back of a penny!)
We had been saving lots of items that would have been recycled and also went to the Scrap Box to obtain the rest of the parts to create our own sculptures.
They chose what items they would like to incorporate into their work.
Here are some masterpieces.
This was a lot of hard work!
We are busy in the afternoons! After lunch we clean up the classroom and start working! Besides more in-depth math and language, we have been looking in microscopes….
and conducting experiments!!
By the way, if you have a microscope, put a penny under the light and try to see Abraham Lincoln. We tried this with seven pennies before we saw it! As we “follow the child” in Montessori, we ended up studying Abraham Lincoln and discussing erosion (as on the pennies that were worn away.) We also branched off and decided to clean some of the pennies and conducted an experiment to see what the best cleaner would be!