Could dancing to Motown possibly be connected to a science lesson? Sure! After spending some time getting some movement and levity into our day courtesy of a California Raisins themed dance party, the kindergarten scientists were given the question: How can you make a raisin dance? The predictions ran the gamut from throwing them in the air, to using a heat source and creating puppets! We had just finished studying states of matter and in previous lessons, have been learning about using acids and bases to make chemical reactions. By combining baking soda and vinegar we created a gas that made the raisins pop up and down in the solution. The wrinkly nature of the skin of a raisin makes them hold onto the bubbles until they reach the top, where the bubbles pop and the gas is released. The raisins then drop down to the bottom of the container and start the process all over again. Even without the wrinkles our students are great dancers!
Kindergarteners have been learning about what it means to be a conductor and what better way than to lead our own classroom band?! Students learned that the conductor’s (very important!) job is to keep the music on the right beat and at the right dynamic. They learned how conductors use their hands to lead a group of singers or instrumentalists and how they also help their band or chorus interpret the music with their emotion. So, it is very important for the musicians to always watch the conductor! As student conductors, we learned how to “cut off” the instruments, how to have them play piano (soft) and forte (loud). By jumping in and being the conductor themselves the students really began to understand how important that job is!
For the whole month of March, kindergarten has been immersed in the wild, wacky world of Dr. Seuss. We have been reading his books to practice our fluency, for fun and also to learn very important life lessons. We did an in depth character study of Horton, everyone’s favorite faithful elephant. We wrote our own Suess like tales, tapping into our own imaginations. Students created their own fox in socks rhyming game to take home and play. On one very special Wednesday we expressed ourselves by wearing our wackiest clothes, much to the delight of the whole school! That morning students entered to find our schedule turned completely upside down and a big box that said “Do not open!’ Being that is was wacky Wednesday, we opened it right away of course. Inside we found new Dr. Seuss games to play, they were fun but the box was fun too! Our grand finale was a Dr. Seuss breakfast complete with green eggs! For our science exploration that day we investigated the properties of Oobleck. Our scientists could not come to a consensus on whether it was a liquid or a solid but everyone agreed it was fun!
Kindergarten didn’t have to go too far to learn about the moon, just up the road to the Discovery Museum! Once there, students got to sort moon rocks and investigate some of their unusual properties such as magnetism! Using scale models, we determined the correct size of the moon in relation to Earth. We are also made our own moonscopes to explore the phases of the moon right from our classroom! After our demonstration, we took some time to explore the museum focusing on the moon area. The kids can not wait to go back!
Having the Science Fair and all the interesting experiments getting set up right outside our door is always an exciting time in kindergarten, but this year more than ever my class was thrilled to learn about all the hard work the the older students had done. In what I hope to become an annual tradition, kindergarteners got a sneak peek at the experiments done by their fifth grade buddies during the end of set up on Thursday. This provided a perfect and intimate opportunity for in depth viewing as well as a chance for the eager fifth graders to practice their presentations. My students could not wait to get back out there on Friday! I was very impressed with their level of engagement and focus and also the way the older students patiently and enthusiastically presented to younger audiences. A perfect example of inter grade collaborations here at Unquowa!
Even though you don’t know anything about Chinese language, from the rhythm of this song, surely enough you feel the atmosphere of celebrating a holiday. Actually, kindergarteners did an excellent job. Their happy faces and the mimicking sound of the drum “dong qiang, dong qiang, dong dong qiang” definitely leave the image in your mind. So everybody, welcome to celebrating the tradition of Chinese culture!