The Learning That Takes Place

I sit here knowing I will blog, just curious where to go. I wonder if that’s how writers feel, whoever or whatever the writer might be. Here it is May and “winding down” is rarely in my ‘schema.” We have just completed a complex unit on the Rainforest. We learned about the flora and fauna, the indigenous people and the importance of this ecosystem to us all. An added layer to our study is an Earth Day component. The children practice and participate in ecologically sound behavior at home (recycling, turning off lights, saving water), receiving a stipend (a quarter) for these behaviors. We raise money for
Rainforest Action Network

Our classroom is transformed into a rainforest: collaborative efforts make this an amazing site to see. Thanks to Brainpopjt and @Wonderopolis we showed incredible videos and information to support the kinders in their learning. The books both fiction and nonfiction drew incredulous surprise and interest in this unit. We learned about the “Shaman’s Apprentice” reading the book and then watching a @readingrainbow espisode.
Shaman’s Apprentice

We learned about fruits and spices that first came from the rainforest. We made a Smells of the Rainforest guessing game and matched the smells to pictures, that they were then able to play with their parents at Open House. Open House/Art Fair is a major school community event. Each grade level focus on a special interest that incorporates all facets of learning with a project: in kindergarten it is the Rainforest. The art teachers work with each grade as well to display the students’ art in an open space: in kindergarten they work on group projects.

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Today we had Grandparents/Grandfriends’ Day. My teaching partner creates a beautiful looped slide show about the steps we take to create our rainforest, that we show on the Smart Board at both events. The kinders play games with their visitors, as well as show them around the room and the Art Fair. Open House and Grandparents/friends’ Day is exhilarating, exciting and exhausting. This week end is Mother’s Day, an ideal time to celebrate and share the “gifts” we have in life. How grand when kinders get to share with grandparents! As a teacher and grandmother I can see the joy in the faces of the grandparents and a class full of kinders.

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