Friday, May 2, 2014

Kindergarten Day in the Lab

One of my favorite days of the week is Thursday's this year! Why? Because that is when my Kindergartners come! I had a little trouble in the past creating lessons for my kinders that weren't too simple. I don't want them to spend their computer time learning to click and drag or find their letters on the keyboard. Yes, I do believe those things are important, but I feel like that "stuff" can be incorporated in with more thought provoking lessons. When my students enter the lab I want them to be engaged in inquiring, analyzing, collaborating activities...yes, even my kindergartners!
A couple weeks ago, my kinders started a partner research project on the animal of their choice. All I gave them to begin was a pencil, paper, and a few links they might find useful. Ready, set...GO! I only see my kinders for an hour a week, so going into it I planned for multiple weeks.
The first week the students chose their animal and wrote a few things they already knew about it. They then came up with 2 questions they had about their animal.
Writing what we already know and 2 questions we have about our animal.
Week two, they began researching their animals. Along with finding the answers to their questions, they also had a place on their paper for WOW facts. These were things that really stood out and they would like to share with others.

Researching our animals, using Big Universe, Pebble Go, Discovery Education, & Enchanted Learning.
The third week the real fun began! Students got to use their Discovery Education accounts to create an interactive board in Board Builder. They are in the process, now, of putting all of their information onto their boards, along with some awesome videos, images, and sound effects from Discovery.
Building our boards using Discovery Education Board Builder.
Next week, we will be finishing our boards, and the students will become the teachers! They will use their boards to teach me and the class about their animals.
This is the first time that I have done a complete research project with my kindergarten students and they have blown me away! I truly believe that your students can accomplish anything you believe they can. It does take patience but it is so worth it! I am so excited to see their "lessons" on animals next week!

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