We have three amazing kindergarten teachers at Van Meter...Lynne Caltrider, Brooke Gadberry, and Christa McClintock (who is my most favorite cousin too). I love visiting their classrooms and love when they come to the library. I see them the same as all of the other elementary grades for 65 minutes on a 4-day rotation. I like our new schedule because I can really get into some great projects with these little people.
I also so enjoy collaborating and connecting with the three of them. It is fun thinking of ways we can do new, creative, and challenging projects with the students. They are always excited to try new things and have brought amazing ideas to me throughout the year.
I am especially excited about the project that we are starting this week with the kindergarteners....the Iowa Animal Research Project (Animal Report).
They will be researching an animal that can be found in Iowa. They will choose one that they find interesting and that they want to find out more about. One they perhaps have connections to.
This week we are sending home information with the students. The teachers will be sending a letter and the "Animal Report" packet, which includes a great space for gathering and synthesizing the information that they find, home for them to share with their parents. After we go over the resources this week, they will be working on the research at home with their families too.
I will be including this letter, which gives links to the "Iowa Animal Research Project" Smore (included at the top of the blog post) and the Kindergarten Symbaloo, which contains six different tiles or websites for this project. The six tiles are located in the right-hand corner. You can see these websites in the Smore too. This will help the students, teachers, and parents during this project.MackinVIA and created a new Group called "K Animal eBooks and Resources." I included 12 animal eBooks that relate to Iowa animals and habitats. I also included the Britannica database.
Barbara Stripling's Model of Inquiry.
Then I will show them the websites that I have included on the Kindergarten Symbaloo.
This will be the first time we spend time in Britannica and an encyclopedia, so we will spend lots of time exploring together and by ourselves. All of the students love going to Britannica. They always find something that connects to their interests and passions. I want them to be very curious and to love learning about their animal.
They will also have time to look at the books we have in our library and at the eBooks within MackinVIA.
The teachers and I are still brainstorming ideas for the project they will create from the information they collect. We are thinking about using TuxPaint to have the students draw their animal and then Wordle to have them share phrases and words pulled from their research. We could take these pages (TuxPaints and Wordles), save them as PDF's, and upload them into FlipSnack to create a flippable eBook for each class....or maybe even the entire kindergarten group.
I even thought using Smore or Animoto would be really great teaching them about. And perhaps we could get their 3rd and 5th grade buddies involved to help us with our research and projects too.
And who knows....We might even come across a new idea or tool to use before next week when we discuss the project with the students. They will be working on these during their time with me after the research is complete.
I am so excited to see what our little ones create.....I just know we will be impressed, proud, excited, and motivated by the work that they do.
And I can't wait for them to share what they have learned about Iowa animals with all of us...
One more idea....have them present these to others at Van Meter, or maybe even globally. :)