Last week we went to visit Mr. Gallagher in the computer lab to further our investigations about light, dark, and shadows. We practiced holding and moving the mouse and clicking on different words and images in order to open two games for ourselves from the BBC:
This past week we made a visit to the Botanic Gardens here in Singapore. The trip supported our ongoing investigation of light, dark, and shadows and our developing understandings of the connections between the three. It also introduced a new phenomenon: reflections. We enjoyed our search for shadows and reflections in the Ginger Garden and around the Symphony Lake and photographed what we saw using the iPads. We even saw a giant monitor lizard beside one of the ponds!
The day after our field trip, we reflected on our visit to the Botanic Gardens. We talked about our favourite parts and the things we saw. We drew in our reflection journals and discussed as a group. Keep following our blog to see how we are using the photographs we took and the observations we made to further our understandings of how shadows and reflections work and what the differences between them are.
As we continued to explore The Dark, personal connections and questions started to emerge. We recorded some of these ideas with sticky notes like active readers do:
As she reviewed the documentation, Ms. Alison realized "tensions" were starting to emerge.
In K1AC, we use Kathy Short's Authoring Cycle to guide the next steps of some of our inquiries. The Tension stage follows Connection and Invitation. It is defined by:
It seemed that the children had certain experiences with and theories about the dark, but there were some questions about how it functioned. When Axel pointed out that there was dark behind our projection sheet, the other children agreed that the dark can be in many different places. But how does it get there? No one was quite sure.
So Ms. Alison suggested that we go hunting for the dark to try to collect some clues. The children love the idea! After looking around the classroom, we went outside. We found the dark all over the court and playground! But we still were unsure how exactly it got there.
Then some people started using the word 'shadow' to describe what they were seeing. So Ms. Alison asked: "What is a shadow?"
In the next few weeks, we'll continue to play with dark, light, and shadows. We will pursue our questions and test our theories as Investigations. Stay tuned!
For the last two weeks, Wilma has been our Star Name. So many inquiries, questions, discoveries, and explorations have emerged from our Star Name programme that we've decided to slow it all down when we need, and allow 2 weeks (or maybe even longer!) for each Star Name, to to allow time for these great thinking and learning opportunities.
This week we spontaneously continued the straight letter/curvy letter challenge and tested the letters in Wilma to see which they were by forming them with straight popsicle sticks. If we could make the letter, it meant it was a straight letter. It turns out that all the capital or upper-case letters in Wilma are straight letters!
We also practiced sand tracing, handwriting, and spelling out the name Wilma with letter magnets at the fridge and light table. We watched the Sesame Street podcast for the letter 'W' and added to our list of words that start like Wilma.
Since we've been playing a lot with light and dark we decided to see if we could make the letters in Wilma using our hands and the overhead projector. Can you recognize the letters in Wilma? W-I-L-M-A?
What an incredible day! Today we celebrated and shared our countries and cultures as part of ISS Elementary School's UN Day 2013. The day opened with the Parade of Nations which introduced the many different children and nationalities at our school. Kindergarten then had fun visiting four country rooms. First we were off to the Philippines! We watched a video all about the different islands and activities you can do in the Philippines and learned about their flag. Do you know that times of peace are represented with the blue block of colour being flown on top? Next, we visited Malaysia where we participated in some beautiful batik painting, storytelling, and dress-up. Next up? The United States of America, where we coloured the flag and pieced together a map. We also played a couple of fun games which involved bean bag tossing and basketball dunking. Finally we were on to the Netherlands where we had a chance to have our picture taken with the King and Queen. We enjoyed tasting some delicious pancakes, learning some Dutch trivia, and playing a fun target game. After our world tour, it was time for lunch. Grade 4AM were kind enough to help us tour the incredible international buffet supplied by mummies and daddies and select what we wanted to try and eat. Lots of us were risk-takers and tried some new foods for the very first time. Thank you to all the families who supported this beautiful day! What wonderful experiences and memories!
The High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore also took some photos of our time in the Malaysia room. The photos are available on their Facebook page and I've posted those with Kindergarten 1 below:
"It's like we're having a beautiful day!" - Lea
This week we began a new unit of inquiry as part of the transdisciplinary theme 'How the World Works'. Children were invited to freely explore, play with and inquire into unit concepts through Dark Days, where our main classroom lights were turned off, the natural light from windows was blocked, and we found other ways to see and move around.
We played with materials like flashlights, prisms, lamps, transparent coloured paper and plastic, gems and jewels. During our play we had some important "Ah-ha! Moments" and "Seeds of Thought":
We reflected on our experiences by hearing our discoveries repeated to us from Ms. Alison's documentation and looking at the videos and photos that she took. We made an enormous painting the size of our bodies to represent our Dark Day experiences: