Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Month of January 2015

This month has been the busiest we've had since starting our Reggio-inspired program at School 33. We are preparing for the art show at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. We've compiled 28 panels of documentation. The artwork is beautiful on its own, but we wanted to make the students' thinking visible on the panels through stories of our learning and quotes from the students.

This is a quick summary of what the students have been working on, though I haven't had time to get into too many details about the projects on here this month! 

The Kindergarten classes began their investigation of animals in our community. They will be visiting the farm in a few weeks, so to get an idea of what they know about farm animals, and what they want to learn, I had them draw sketches of the animals that might live on a farm. I didn't give background knowledge, as I was genuinely curious about the knowledge they're bringing in. Most students chose farm animals, though a few had farms confused with the zoo. Many color choices were made without thought for realism. We are going to study the animals closely after this. I'll print images of the animals they chose so that they can create observational drawings of them. We will critique the before and after drawings and use critiques to guide their obesrvational drawings. After the farm trip, we will add or change our drawings as needed, then the students are going to work on creating life-sized animals to share with others what the animals really looked like on the trip.

The first grade classes also began a new lesson this week. They will be investigating What's Inside? We're starting with the body. The students have shown interest in how their bodies work since they first used mirrors for self-portraits. We are asking them to think about how the organs in their bodies work. The first group was studying the heart.

We look at a 3D model of a human heart on an iPad app. It actually beats and can even be sped up to beat more quickly. The kids were fascinated. 

Teacher- Why does it do that?
Kiarelys- When you run, it sounds like that.
Sandieliz- It looks like a nose.
Teacher- How big do you think your heart is?
Wilberto, making a fist- Like my punch! 

Kiarelys- The heart go up, it's more bigger. [She's talking about the appearance of the heart as it constricts and releases]
Teacher- What are the parts for?
Wilberto- It can save you. If you stop breathing, you die. These pop up like this. [aorta]
Teacher- Why does it beat?
Wilberto- When you're running so much [it beats.] it stops doing "boom boom" when you sit. 

At this point, all of the kids feel their chests to see if their hearts beat.

Lia- I'm sitting now and it's still beating.
Sandieliz- Mine too!

Wilberto- It's so you can't die! 

We revisit the size of the heart question by looking it up and it said the heart is the size of a fist. 
Wilberto- I saw that on TV and I knew.
Sandeilz- I think it is four or five... [pounds?]

The second grade classes are beginning an investigation on What is Balance? 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week of December 8-11


Pre-K has been continuing their observational drawings of nature.