We finished our community inquiry study several weeks ago, but we know that remaining active in our Stephens Community will always be a part of who we are at The Children’s School. This morning we traveled to the fashion department where we learned about some of the basic skills needed to sew. We worked with fashion faculty to stitch together a community quilt. They will do the finishing touches and then we will be able to share!
While our college students are busy working with half of our preschool students on math skills, the other half have been diving deep into a study about squirrels. We began our inquiry by listing out everything we already knew about squirrels. We then went on a walk to see squirrels in action! We paid attention to how they acted, how they moved and looked to see if we could find out where they lived. Next, the preschool students asked questions about squirrels and we charted all their wonderings . The teachers used the students’ questions to guide the inquiry. The students studied where squirrels live and found that tree squirrels live in a drey (nest) typically built of twigs, dry leaves, and grass. The students then collected these materials outside and constructed their very own dreys. Next, students began to explore the different foods that squirrels eat. The students are currently exploring the acorns outside and looking for different squirrel foods. Today, we even got to crack open some different types of nuts!
Today, our students brought in a variety of things to share with others! Dolls, toys, Pokemon cards, a moth, Lincoln Logs, bi-lingual story, soccer demonstration, writing journals, books, wooden car, and coloring books.
We know that exercise is important. We have been fortunate to have access to The Silvethorne Arena on campus. On Mondays and Wednesdays we leave the lunch room and go to P. E. So far we have learned the importance of stretching and how to play different games. We have played Line Tag, Capture the Cone, Hula-hoop Fun, House Clean Up, Soccer and a fitness test where we ran the mile, did sit-ups and push-ups. We will continue to learn more games where we can practice working together, having good sportsmanship and getting healthy and strong.
We have invited Aztecs, Incans, Romans, hunters and gatherers into our classroom! We are inquiring about their society, achievements, government, and more.
In Miss Alissa’s inquiry group, are learning about the Aztecs. Today, they spent the first part of inquiry going over the map of the Aztec Empire. They labeled several places on the map, including the capital city, Tenochtitlan. Then, they created a KWL chart to write what they knew about the Aztecs and what they want to know about the Aztecs. They spent the rest of their time exploring all of our books.
In Ms. Vonder Haar’s inquiry group, they began learning about hunter-gatherer tribes. Ms. Jenn came in to work with the group, and read the book The First Drawing by Mordecai Gerstein to kick off their discussion. Together, they explored the problems with different homes a tribe might choose: they acted out the problems with living in water (we can’t breathe in water) and in trees (we wouldn’t be protected from the elements), before realizing that a cave would protect us from weather, would keep us warm, and would allow firelight to stay bright. Then, they created tableaux–frozen, silent pictures–of stories people might need to communicate to each other without words: directions to good food, and warnings about dangerous plants and animals. We finished class by taking those stories and drawing them on our “cave wall” sheets.
Great empires are being dissected in Ms. James’ inquiry group. They began our discussion today with the quote, “Today’s empires are tomorrow’s ashes,” and interpreting what that means to our study of the Incan Empire and the Roman Empire. Each group is focusing on the government, religion, achievements, politics, economy, society, the rise and the fall of their empire.
The students have become experts with Play Doh and love to create, cut, and roll it out. This week, we got out some air dry clay for students to begin exploring. The texture is harder and it takes more strength to roll and create an object. We began by learning some basics movements to help us warm-up the clay — using two hands to roll out a snake shape or rolling it into a small ball. The students also tried out some different tools such as a rolling pin, cookie cutters and other items that made neat prints. They really enjoyed the challenge of creating something out of this new material!
We had some special guests join us today in preschool to wrap up our fire safety week. Firefighter Derek, Captain Neal, and Engineer Kale from the Columbia Fire Department came to visit and to tell us how to be safe during a fire. The students got to see all of the gear a firefighter would wear during a fire and how to shout out so a firefighter could find them in smoke. The students also got to climb aboard the fire truck and look around the inside. The students really enjoyed getting an up close look at their uniforms and loved when they turned on the lights! The firefighters were very excited to see our students demonstrate stop, drop and roll and to listen to a song the preschoolers had practiced!