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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Our Poetry Tea: How Academics Are Covered Through a Project.

This month, the kids have been diving into poetry! They learned quickly that poetry can be written about ANYTHING!  They learned how to make a poem look like a poem and were exposed to many different styles of poetry.  They practiced their writing skills by creating their own personal treasuries of poems that they would bind at the end of our study.  We had come up with the idea of creating a treasury of one poem from each student to sell to parents in order to raise money for the sound exploration area we had designed. I truly believe this motivated them to do their best work. 

When I told them about having a Poetry Tea for their parents where they could each recite the poem they had picked for the class treasury, they became very excited!  The planning began at once!  After brainstorming about what to serve our parents, they analyzed data by creating a graph and tally chart to find out what kind of snacks and teas the most friends wanted to make. Based on the data, they had decided on mint, orange-cinnoman, and raspberry tea to drink. For snacks, they decided on chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate chip cookies. 

First we used writing skills by creating invitations to our tea. 


Some friends used their creativity, critical thinking skills and problem solving skills by creating flower arrangements for their tables.



They used measuring skills and following direction skills by following a recipe to bake cookies. 



They dipped strawberries in chocolate. That was just plain fun!


They practiced counting one to one with Mrs. Holton by counting how many chocolate covered strawberries we made (there were 80)!


More writing skills were used as they created labels for the snacks and tea along with recipes to show how we made the tea. 


They used reading skills to follow the recipes for the tea which they took very seriously!  Friends took turns grinding mint leaves with a morter and pestle. 





After we were finished writing poetry, they each gave me one for the class treasury, then put their own together. Choosing paper for a cover was serious business!




Those whose parents purchased a class treasury strengthened fine motor skills by binding them using scrap material.  They had to pull the material through the holes and tie them. 



We put our treasuries on the tables.


After going to Mrs. Garrabrant's class to listen to them recite poems, we invited them to come to our room so that we could recite our poems to them. It was great practice and community building! We used our reading skills to read our personal treasuries to them also. 



We set everything out to get ready for our parents. 



Finally, the moment they were waiting for arrived!  They had been so impatient for this moment all day long!  Every child recited their poem for our parents. I was so proud of every single one of them. The parents loved how every poem gave such unique insight into each child's personality. Kindergartners truly do create the best poetry ever!


After the Poetry Reading, the children went to their seats with their parents to enjoy the treasuries, snacks and tea together.  It was beautiful.  Everyone loved this special day. It is a favorite for parents and the students and I have so much fun putting it together for them!


As you can see, many academic skills were covered in this project! Writing (poems, labels, invitation, recipes), reading (poetry books, friends poems, rereading their own poems, recipes) and math (counting, measuring, graphing, tallies, data collection), along with 21st Century Skills (problem solving, team work, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking).  So many skills in our standards can be covered in such a meaningful way to the kids where they actually are using and applying the skills in real life situations. They see why these skills are needed and work hard to be able to use them during these experiences. 

We raised $60 to put toward our sound exploration area by selling our class poetry treasuries!  Thank you parents for helping support something they are very excited about! Next I will use that money to purchase the materials.  This week, we will explore the materials and fine tune our design. Hopefully it will be built within the next week or two!  I can't wait to share the end product!  Stay tuned!






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