How can Kindergarten children research if they are only just learning to read?

This video shows how the children decided to go to the library to find books about space. They brought them back to the classroom and researched using the pictures. They gleamed a great deal of information.

What they discovered:

Hashu: When stars die you get black holes.

Mai: The moon is not a planet.

Anton: Sun is fire.

Molly: People float in space ships.

Matthew: Stars and people get sucked into black holes.

Sojiro: Water stay (droplets of water stay in the air in space).

Julia: Earth is four (number four on diagram of solar system)

Taiki: Black hole tiny one.

Watch this blog for… research on the iPad.

Why would you let children pursue their interests. What about teaching them the facts they need?

FACT ONE

We can teach just facts…

Think they are the foundation on which all knowledge is built… something that never changes?

A lesson in facts… Good bye Pluto!

The first idea the children had was to have the title of their animation about Pluto. We found images of Pluto and discovered it is no longer considered a planet.

The background to this inquiry.

The children started their own inquiry into space in August. They created a dramatic play area, created a whole class scenario where flight manifests were created. They built space ships and all manner of devises to stop alien invasion of their space ship.There was an incredible amount of writing, reasoning and problem solving. They were using high order thinking skills to solve issues. There has also been a great deal of social interaction and development of social skills. I had NOTHING to do with any of this.

In our current unit How We Express Ourselves Elif Raskin (elementary IT support) offered to help the children make a stop animation film, which she would edit. The children were excited to see an example of this. They decided to take one of their favourite books “There’s nothing to do on Mars” Chris Gall and retell the story in new way.

Back to space we go!

There is just so much to share with you. The blog would explode! I will put a little bit on each day. It is incredible. The research and thinking is amazing.

To begin…

I am supporting this inquiry by facilitating the use of technology, finding apps and other research tools. I am making sure the children have access to as many art supplies as they need. Most importantly when the children plan their own day we make sure there is them plenty of time to inquire and design.

Talking and sharing ideas.

I have given lots of time to talking about their ideas. We spent some time discussing the title of the animation and this generated a huge amount of discussion. You can see from the video showing their preexisting ideas. They wanted to see Pluto and then discovered it was no longer considered a planet. A big discussion followed.

We want to our Mars to look real. Art from research. on PhotoPeach

How is my child doing with their writing?

Celebration of learning Publishing Party- party planning.

Unit of inquiry- How we organise ourselves.

Here is a video of the children writing their lists for the celebration of learning, publishing party. Observe the great discussion. See their list of ideas outside the classroom. The video shows the children working together to make a list of food and items they would like.

NOTE: Great collaboration, cooperation and respecting others.

Applying taught skills: list making, phonics and editing work.

Now remember this was only about ten minutes of their day!

How can you do all this technology teaching? How can you find the time?

How well is my child doing learning about technology?

IMG_1004Today we created expert badges. Every child picked their area of  technological expertise and we made them a sticky label. They can now help other adults or children. Needless to say they are very proud. PLEASE ask them about their badge.

The children have had the laptops for two weeks now. I have watched them develop a learning community. One person learns something and shares their expertise. This has really made the children consider what they are good at and has made them verbalise their skills.  Sometimes I explicitly teach something to one child and they become the expert and share it with others.

I generally do not teach something twice. Voicethread has been the exception to this, but now I have a little ‘how to’ comment at the beginning of the presentation (I made this as I was teaching the class) and left another one with feedback. The children checked it out and changed their recordings.

This voice thread is the result of a field trip exploring limited space in Yokohama. It is part of our unit of inquiry. The Japanese department took us for a walking tour. The children took the photographs.

NOTE: The children worked out how to do video recording by themselves. I did not teach them this. My ‘how to’ and feedback comments are on the first slide.