After the kindergartners spent several class sessions exploring the Magnawall and it’s pieces, we came together and used a more critical eye to explore the parts that come with the wall. The parts include:
I asked students to think about a part we need for the wall that we don’t currently have. Students came up to the Smart Board and illustrated their ideas. Take a look:
Here is a student explaining her idea:
I saw the creative juices begin to flow. Students were encouraged to return to their tables and sketch their ideas of the missing Magnawall parts.
Next week, Mr. Moore’s Upper School Engineering class will pay us a visit. Their job will be to create “the missing piece” that each kindergartner has envisioned, making the kindergartners the clients! I am excited to see how the students’ ideas evolve over the next few weeks and what the final pieces produced look like.
The kindergartners were introduced to our new Magnawall. The installation of the Magnawall is the “hook” for a STEM infused project created by Upper School Engineering instructor, Zack Moore, Lower School Science instructor, Clara Svedlund, and myself. What is the MagnaWall and what concepts does it teach? According to Kodo, the company responsible for creating it, “The Mag Wall is a unique platform for expanding creative play in your classroom or outdoors. Examine slope, cause & effect, momentum and gravity through hands on experimentation! The Magnawall was developed to provide a hands-on, minds-on, open-ended means for experiencing Newton’s Laws of Motion. When it comes to motion, Newton’s Three Laws summarize everything you need to know about teaching young children about how things move.
1. A moving object will keep moving in that direction until something physically pushes on it. So if the ball is rolling down the ramp and collides with something, its motion will change.
2. It takes more force to accelerate massive objects. If you placed a bowling ball on the ramp, its mass would be greater than the force pushing up from the ramp, which would cause the bowling ball to push the ramp down and probably hurt everyone’s feet. So don’t use a bowling ball! If you used a wooden ball on a ramp the forces pushing on the ball, coupled with the mass of the ball would make it move forward. If you used a tiny marble on the ramp, its small mass would cause it to accelerate down the ramp quickly, because it has much less force than the other forces at work.
3. The third law refers to action and reaction pairs. My force is pushing down on the floor as the floor’s force is pushing up on me. So goes the same for the ball. It is pushing down on the ramp and the ramp is pushing up on it.”
Students explored the different pieces in preparation for the cross-age level learning that will take place next week.
It was a great exercise in listening to a partner’s ideas and sharing construction ideas.
For Swooper Citizens today we talked about Responsibility. What is it? Do students have responsibilities? Are there some responsibilities you like better than others? After some discussion, we watched this fun music video.
The tune brings me back to high school…Young Mc Bust a Move anyone? (Or am I just dating myself?)
Lastly, students wrote in their Swooper Citizens journals. Here are some of their responses:
We will be checking in on responsibility later this week….here’s your chance to introduce a new responsibility (aka chore) at home!!
Students explored our differentiated math centers for the first time last week. And they LOVED it! All of the centers had a “Back to School” theme. The skills included measuring with nonstandard units, identifying numbers, number order, counting on a double tens frame, and identifying numbers that come before or after a specific number.
As you may know, a goal of mine this year is to differentiate each center activity to at least two or three different levels. (I have become the master of cutting, pasting, and editing the activities that I have in order to add more challenge, while keeping the graphics the same.) Below are some examples of the centers that were explored.
A student uses a magnifying glass to locate a hidden number. He then recorded the number in the box on the blue paper and wrote down the numbers that come before and after. This activity was differentiated three ways….in one set, students identified numbers 0-10, the next set was 12-50, and the final way was to identify numbers 50-100.
This student measures the school supplies by using nonstandard units of measurement. Students can also measure using a standard unit of measurement – a ruler.
In this patterning center, students identified and extended patterns…an activity that is easily differentiated by making the patterns more challenging.
I had fun observing the centers in action….and I am happy to report they were far more successful than the matching game we tried to play at Parents’ Night!