After celebrating the end of our Family Study at the wonderful Family Picnic, we are now moving on to our final community study about our school! Last week we began by discussing all the things that we know about our school.
Then, we discussed all of the things that we want to know about our school and developed with a list of topics that we can investigate to learn more. There were a lot of questions about the building, the people, and the materials.
We realized together that in order to investigate these questions, we would need to explore each floor of our building and ask the many people who make up our school these questions. The students were divided into groups and assigned jobs. We have a group of counters who record the number of rooms, adults, students, closets, bathrooms, and water fountains on each floor. Then, we have a group of drafters who draw a birds-eye view sketch of what the different rooms look like on each floor. Next, we have a group of interviewers who ask each adult their name and job title while the recorders write down the information. Last, we have a group of photographers who take pictures of the people that work here along with photos of the different floors we explore. As you can see, we had an amazing time investigating the first floor. It was great to see how confident and responsible the students were when performing their individual jobs and responsibilities.
As we continue to investigate all of the floors and collect the data, we will publicly display what we have learned by creating a model of the building. The model will include each room in the building, with pictures of the students taken by the photographers. In Integrated Art, we will create replicas of essential pieces of furniture in our school such as tables, chairs, desks, and rug areas. Then the drafters will follow the floor plans that they drew to place the furniture inside the rooms. Outside of the building, the counters will use their math knowledge of how to display data by creating a graph that displays the number of things they counted for each floor. The interviewers and recorders will also create a display next to the model that lists the name and job of each person that works in our school.
In Integrated Science, students have been learning about systems, such as the system of a bicycle, the solar system, and the skeletal system. We will then connect their understanding of those systems to our school as a system, and the many different systems within our school. Two systems in particular that we will explore are the electrical system and the elevators. We will use our prior knowledge of circuits from science class to expand our understanding of electrical systems by adding lighting to our school display. Then we will discuss elevators and pulley systems. The students will help to build a working elevator for our school model by creating a pulley system to scale.
Through these investigations, students will have a deeper understanding of systems as being a set of connected things or parts that each serve a purpose or have a job in order to work together towards a common goal. This will reinforce the idea that a community such as our family, classroom, or school all have people with specific jobs that need to be done so that we all help get each other what we need. Of course, Kindergarten is just the beginning of our integrated Social Studies curriculum. We will continue to develop our students’ understanding of community in 1st Grade, looking outside of our school to study wants and needs in our neighborhood. Stop by the 2nd floor to see our model next month!
Caroline Brown, Kindergarten Coteacher
Zoe Russell, M.S.Ed., Kindergarten Head Teacher
Courtney Sockbeson, M.S.Ed., Kindergarten Head Teacher