Connections time this week built from our exploration of the senses to the skill of observation. Students used an apple (inside and out) and a tree outside (viewed from different points of view) to talk about how we look at multiple points of view and multiple data points to ask questions, form hypotheses, and draw conclusions.
We introduced explorations in the afternoon. At first, it was an open-ended exploration of materials that supported our discussion of autumn and the change of season. Arranging and organizing the materials, or exploring how they interacted with other materials.
The next day we asked students to make a plan before beginning their exploration. Students were much more intentional about what they did and more explicit in what they were wondering. The kids were using resources in the classroom (and brought from home) to try to identify the materials. In trying to explore some of the differences, students wanted to look inside, too.
On the third day, we introduced the idea of keeping records – and magic happened. The kids’ interactions with the materials fueled writing, math, and a number of new explorations that we’ll be following up upon. One group was “researching” by counting and recording the rings on our tree branch blocks. Another student decided to weigh them; another to measure their height in unifix cubes. Another student was exploring our nature materials and the prints that could be made with them in paint and labeling them.
In our workshop time, we worked on adding details to our drawings to support our writing. (This is a first step to adding more detail to our writing.) We worked on our letter books, practicing correct letter formation, and learning the next verses of our Alphabet song. The latest is “hungry hippo h-h-h.” We worked on reading and writing color words. Students also sounded out, stretched, and wrote short a words. It is exciting to watch our students’ progress.