This week on the Owl Blog, we’re sharing a classroom blog post by Jacey Higgins, Head Teacher of the PK Penguins class. Each week, our classroom & enrichment teachers post detailed accounts of the projects and investigations in their learning spaces. Parents access these blogs using a private login, giving them a secure and safe window onto their children’s learning.
THE FARMS WALL
In last week’s blog post, we shared how the Penguins had begun organizing the information that they already knew about farms by placing a Post-It next to each statement identifying if that statement was about ANIMALS or PLANTS. To better represent this organized information, the class worked to create a wall dedicated to Farms, where they could gather all of their ideas, questions, photographs, or anything else they learn during our project work study. A few Penguins volunteered to help create the signs that are now hanging on our Farms Wall. Below you can see them hard at work creating their signs.
HOW DO WE RESEARCH?
In addition to thinking about how they can organize information they already know, the Penguins have also been wondering, “How do we get new information?” In other words, what are some ways we can learn more about farms? The Penguins came up with several ideas including: visiting a farm, asking other people (or farmers), watching videos and reading books. The class decided that they would begin to gather new information by reading books first because there are a lot of books in the classroom AND there is a whole library right above us! The Penguins gathered as many farm books as they could find from both locations and started a project work book bin. They then each selected a book and were asked to find something interesting that is found on a farm to share with the class. They used their previous skills of organizing information to place what each student noticed into one of three categories: ANIMALS, PLANTS, or OTHER.
A STUDY ON SEEDS
When conducting their book research, most of the Penguins noticed the different plants found on a farm. Because of this, we decided to begin our project work with a study of farm plants. The Penguins were confident that every plant grew from a seed, but they were not sure how… and so we set our to answer the question: How does a plant grow from a seed?
The first thing the Penguins looked at were the different parts of a seed: the Seed Coat, the Food Storage, and the Embryo (made up of the Roots and the Leaves).
They watched a video showing how the Seed Coat of a real seed breaks allowing the Embryo (or tiny plant inside the seed) to make its way out –sending roots down into the soil to look for water and nutrients, while the leaves make their way through the soil up to the sunlight. After watching the video, each Penguin was given their own ziplock bag. They took a paper towel and sprayed it with water, folded it twice and placed it inside the bag. Next, they added two kidney beans and zipped up their bag. Each Penguin’s bag is now hanging on our classroom window so that the sunlight can shine onto the seeds. The Penguins will be taking some time during Work Time every day to look closely at their seed and notice any changes that are occurring. They will dictate their observations to a teacher, who will be keeping notes on the changes the students notice as their seed transforms into a plant.