It is often said that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Our seventh graders have been teaching the kindergarten and first grade classes about what fish need to survive, and where fish come from. This is all part of a national conservation and education experience called Trout in the Classroom.
Trout in the Classroom is an environmental educational program that teaches participants to raise trout from eggs. As part of the process, the students monitor water quality and study stream habitats. Through this they learn appreciation for water resources and begin to understand ecosystems. We proudly released our trout in the Mill River of the Lake Mohegan State Park, here in Fairfield in May.
Our kindergartners have been working a lot on expression and how the way we move our bodies and the tone of our voices can tell people how we are feeling. After we read the story The Day the Crayons Quit, I asked each student to chose one of the crayons and to say one of their lines with expression and body language. The students enjoyed this activity so much we decided to keep it going! Using the book as our guide, we created our own script for a short adaptation of this story. Students began reading and learning their lines right away! To help inspire these little actors I asked some of our cast members from the spring musical to come in and mentor the kindergarteners. It was an excellent class filled with great advice, lots of energy, and lots of laughter! Then we decided we would put this “show” on for the Unquowa community. I was so proud of each student for having the confidence and courage to stand up on stage and act out our play!
In one of our most anticipated yearly activities, kindergarten recently took an all day field trip to the Beardsley Zoo. This is the culminating activity to our year long study of animal groups. Our budding zoologists completed an animal scavenger hunt where they found specimens from each group and listed the characteristics that helped them classify them. We also got to go behind the scenes for an animal encounter where we learned about animal adaptions and got to touch some pretty cool animals to feel the differences in their bodies. Much to our students delight we brought our own lunches and dined al fresco! No zoo trip would be complete without a ride on the carousel! A great time was had by all!
It was a very special day in kindergarten performing arts! The students were visited by some of the members of this year’s spring musical, The Wizard of Oz! Since we are working on our own little play in kindergarten, the 8th graders helped coach the kindergarteners in their roles in The Day The Crayons Quit. The students worked so well with one another! The 8th graders gave great tips and helped the kindergarten class with their characterization skills. The kindergarten students were extremely excited to work with these actors and hung on every word they had to say! What a great class!
The return of insects is a sure sign of spring! The kindergarteners headed out to the garden to find inspiration for bug themed poetry. We brought along magnifying glasses since our muses might be tiny. After scouring the garden for all sorts of creeping critters, we sat down to write some poems. Using the natural environment to stimulate our senses we wrote about things that buzzed, crawled and flew. Come check out our poems to see what all the buzz is about!
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!