Last week we celebrated Zoe's Italian great grandmother's 100 birthday! We sent her a video message from K1AC to let her know we were thinking of her on this special day. After we sent the video message and talked to Zoe's mum, we became very interested in the number 100:
The children wanted to see if we could count to 100 by writing all the numbers. We started as a group and continued independently during our free play. As we recorded the numbers, it was a great opportunity to reflect on what we know about numbers and make connections to our lives:
One of the things we've been working on in Kindergarten 1 as part of math is identifying number sequences and the numbers that come before and after a given number. This week we each participated in different activities to help us consolidate and extend our knowledge.
Can you notice what other skills we're working on at the same time? When we reflected on the activities we noticed that when we were working in pairs we had to cooperate and when we had to write down numbers we had to work on holding the pens and writing with control. Can you think of anything else we were developing?
Today is World Math Day! The Elementary School celebrated by dressing in number-themed clothes. K1AC celebrated with some of our favourite number games at a math picnic outside of our classroom. What a fun day!
Ever since we visited Orchard Boulevard/Paterson Road and noticed lots of differently shaped road signs, we've been playing with and exploring shapes in our classroom. Students began to notice and comment on the many shapes that surround us in our daily lives, including in our playground, our homes and even our lunches! As the excitement about finding shapes grew, Ms. Alison suggested that we document some of our findings. We used the 'Explain Everything' iPad app to photograph and annotate the shapes we found. Our shape hunts gave us extended time to develop our ideas about shapes in a social context and debate with our friends about the 'form' of the shapes and what they are called. We gained so much shape knowledge from these experiences! What shapes can you see around you?
Lately in our morning meetings, we've been showing our "moves" as a student-initiated connection to our current unit of inquiry. Last week Henry and Frankie began focusing on different jumps. Their friends were inspired and also began showing different jumps. Since then, every day a few students have wanted to show jumps. Henry and Frankie have been calling them "big jumps" or "small jumps". There were disagreements though and different ideas about whether the jumps were big or small.
Ms. Alison saw a connection to measurement here and asked the students: How do we know if a jump is big or small?
A few opinions were shared, then Daniel suggested that we use the same measuring tape we used to measure our heights. Everyone thought this was a good idea. Ms. Alison proposed that we go outside to measure our jumps and reminded everyone that we could use words like 'long', 'short', 'longer' and 'shorter' to describe the size of jumps. So we all took turns jumping and then marking where we landed in chalk. Once we'd all jumped we compared how far the chalk marks were from the yellow line where we all started jumping and discussed who had jumped 'shorter' or 'longer'. Everyone wanted to know though, Who had the biggest jump? Who had jumped the longest?
There were some different ideas about whose chalk line was furthest from the yellow line. Daniel then reminded us that we had the measuring tape to use, so we lined it up to measure each jump. We learned that you have to line up the part of the measuring tape with the '0' with the place you start jumping. Then we looked at the numbers that matched the chalk line representing where we jumped to. Some of us knew the really high numbers that we were seeing. When we compared them we saw that Wilma's number was the biggest which meant she had the 'biggest' or 'longest' jump.
Since this experience we've still been jumping in our Morning Meetings, but are using different words to describe our jumps, like 'long', 'far', 'short', and 'high'....as well as 'big' and 'small'.
Yesterday, K1AC went on a pattern hunt as part of our inquiry into patterns. We spotted lots of patterns around the playground and documented what we saw with photos and our voices using the app 'Book Creator'. Unfortunately our hunt was cut short when we came upon a very unexpected pattern...a snake!! Don't worry though, because everyone in our class listened well to Ms. Alison and Mrs. Mano and stayed safe by moving away quickly. As you can see we've included the snake in our pattern book with a photo we found on the internet...a real pattern in nature!
Our Pattern Hunt book is now available in iBooks on one of our class iPads in our classroom library. If you would like to have it available on your iOS device at home, please download this file and open it in your iBooks app:
Emma: If you eat all your food you’re going to grow so big and get so tall when you grow up.
Lucy: You have to get bigger or you won’t be able to do stuff when you’re old like your mummy and dad, like do stuff like go to the shop on your own and get sweeties.
Axel: I can already drive a race car.
Denzil: Me too.
Lea: You have to have your birthday. When your birthday starts you grow into another number.
Violett: If we grow taller even to 100 we’re going to die.
Aziz: My mum doesn’t say so.
Wilma: When you are eating you get so, so bigger.
Aziz: When you grow taller you can even touch the ceiling.
Emma: Even brothers and mummies and daddies and sisters grow taller when they eat food.
Denzil: I think I’m taller than Emma now.
Lea: I think I’m taller than everyone.
Denzil & Axel: No, Daniel is taller than everyone. Daniel is the tallest in the class.
Denzil: Actually Ms. Alison is tallest.
Lucy: You have to keep measuring yourself or you won’t know how tall you are.
Violett: Once we grow up you’re [Ms. Alison] still going to be taller than us.
Zoe: I have a special book about you [Ms. Alison] and I know you’re going to go a bit down when you’re going to be a grandma.
Denzil: If you don’t eat food you’re body will get shorter and shorter and smaller and smaller and you will be a kid again.
Daniel: No, if you don’t eat food nothing will happen.
Aziz: You will be the same size.
As you can see we have some very interesting ideas about growth! We are so excited to measure ourselves again later this year and see what happens!
Roll and Record is our new favourite math game! We roll a dot cube, count the dots, and then write the number that the dots represent on our record sheet. This game helps us to practice our one-to-one counting, number formation, and ability to represent numbers in different ways.
Some of us challenged ourselves by rolling two dot cubes: one with the numbers 1 to 6 and one with the numbers 1 to 3. We practiced 'counting on' to combine these numbers and record a total between 2 and 9.
This week, during her morning-time free play, Lucy had an idea. She was going to make a pattern! So, she found some crayons and a piece of paper and started drawing. Later that week, she used our 'pokey mushrooms' to make a new pattern. She shared both of her pieces of work in our Morning Meetings and all of the children seemed very interested in what she had created. We decided to do some more exploring of patterns as a whole class since some of us had not heard this word before.
Today we sat down at the carpet, unlocked our thinking with the 'FORM' thinking key and studied Lucy's work. We asked ourselves 'What is it like?' and brainstormed what we noticed. Soon we realized that patterns are things that happen "again and again and again" (Denzil).
To give us some more ideas about patterns, we read the book Patterns Everywhere made us curious about what patterns we could find on ourselves and in our room. We started by looking at each other to see if we could find any patterns similar to those in Lucy's work or the book.
Very quickly we found two!
Ayesha noticed her leggings which repeat "black, purple, black, purple, black, purple...".
We also noticed Violett's shoe laces which have an "animal pattern" (Zoe).
After our group discussion, it was time to explore individually. We challenged ourselves to use many different materials in our classroom to make patterns. Here is our work:
At the lunch playtime, Zoe noticed something....a pattern!! When she pointed it out to her friends, they noticed another one just beside it on our playground.
As we move forward with our pattern inquiry, we will investigate pattern 'units' and anything else we find interesting or curious about patterns along the way!
"Documentation is not about what we do, but what we are searching for." - Carla Rinaldi
About a month ago, we started to wonder about the 'FORM' of the things around us. As we discussed, an intriguing question emerged that we were all curious to investigate: How tall is the school? Since then, we have been pursuing a long-term and transdisciplinary inquiry to answer this question.
Ms. Alison kept documentation along the way, which serves to represent our ideas and thinking and the evolution of our inquiry over time. The photographs and audio-recorded (now transcribed) discussions made visible in this document supported the development of "next steps" during the course of our project. Both teachers and students have used this documentation to reflect on our learning journey, which has been truly emergent in the sense that none of us could have predicted the exact outcomes. Of course, we have also made connections to our written curriculum, including comparison of objects, measurement vocabulary, positional language, and non-standard measurement.
What is most important here though, of course, is the process of learning. Emergent curriculum builds on the strengths of children and directly addresses their interests and learning needs. In collaboration with their peers, children were able to engage in open-ended exploration and decision-making, while also giving careful and critical consideration to the suggestions and proposals of their teacher. In this way our inquiry has been co-constructed.
We hope you enjoy our learning journey documented below!