Monday, June 6, 2016

Tortoises, Feathers, Sound and Farewells: Our Last Days

The last two weeks were filled with fun mini inquiries and projects during their play. 

I told the class that I would bring my tortoise Steven to class for a visit, but first they would need to create a safe and fun area to keep him in! This would be our last project. The kids worked in teams to draw and label plans and we took the elements from their plans to create this fun habitat for Steven!

We had a maze team, nature maze team and Lego maze team. We also had a wall team to create the enclosure, a ramp team, a quiet place team, and a beautification committee.

The wall team made sure that the area was totally enclosed so that Steven could not get out. All the maze teams worked hard to create mazes that Steven could travel through. They were careful to make them wide enough for him to fit through them. 




The beautification committee did a great job of making his habitat beautiful! They choose to use colorful glass beads. 


Can you see all the math happening here!? Measuring, patterning, grouping, symmetry. It is amazing how much math there is in art!


This stuffed turtle was close to Steven's size so they used him as a model to make sure the maze walls and cave were all tall and wide enough.


I put out materials for the kids to document what they noticed about tortoises. Paints at the easels, oil and chalk pastels...



and clay for my sculptures. 


Their attention to detail amazed me!


When we researched Russian Tortoises we found out they are vegetarians. They were curious what his favorite food would be. 


It ended up being the apple, which most of them predicted!



We did observational drawings of Steven as he crawled around visiting them.



Writing was also used to predict and record what his favorite food was.


Of coarse he spent a lot of time in the special area they created for him!




The measurements for his "quiet area" we're perfect!


Steven had a lovely time interacting with all of the kids! They are more social than you would imagine! He is a really great pet!


Another interest evolved in the last week with creating sound again! They started using recyclables to create instruments.


We had a ton of performances. Each band had to write down who was in it, what instruments they needed, and the name of their band! They were all very good! They loved watching the group STOMP for inspiration!


One STOMP video created a new interest in our sound exploration area created for our outdoor area by one of my previous classes. 


I had set out this provocation. I thought they would enjoy drawing these peacock feathers but they grabbed our microscope and took it in another direction so I added some other feathers. They became very good at focusing the microscope. This had been difficult for them before!


The loved using my iPhone to take pictures through the microscope and became quite good at it! We would display their pictures on the promethium board and the class would guess which feather it was.


I added some giant feathers to use as quills and liquid watercolor to our writing area and was amazed at the writing that happened here!


This friend is creating a program listing all the songs his band is going to play.


We also created these math beads as a gift for next years Kindergartners, along with a book of what they can expect in Kindergarten!


We had a Field Day that the kids LOVED! It was so much fun!


These kids hold such a special place in my heart! I really had a hard time on the last day knowing they would all be leaving to start their new journey at their new elementary schools. I know they are well prepared with 21st Century Skills that they have learned and that they will be able to apply them in all of their subjects, but I always wish their early childhood journey could last a bit longer!



Here is our final journey out to the busses on our last day! We had a hug/cry fest in our room just before so we could leave with smiles and happy memories!  Good luck my little friends on your new grade school adventure. Don't ever stop playing, wondering, creating and looking closer! Don't let go of your childhood so easily! I will miss you all always!