We've been learning about Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Goldilocks BROKE baby bears chair! Mrs. Girbach asked us to BUILD a new chair for baby bear...and it had to hold him- 2 pounds worth! We started the process with research...yes, us 5 and 6 year old kindergarteners did research! We took a tour around our classroom and the school and took pictures of all the different types of chairs. Then, in our small groups, we chose THE chair we thought would work the best. We used the app Skitch to label and analyze the chair's features- so we could remember what we wanted to include in the chairs we built, for real! Be sure to read on to see a few samples of our research...it is quite impressive!
Then, on Wednesday- Mrs. McCormick's 2nd grade class joined our classroom. They too did some research and made some plans. We made 5 groups- made up of some kinders and some 2nd graders. Together, we fine tuned the plan and got started....O' the fun! The chairs were created from random materials: cardboard, paper tubes, tape, cups, paper, foam, etc. We all worked amazingly as a team! We talked and planned, we compromised and collaborated. We used some major critical thinking skills...woah! And the creativity was bursting out of the classroom! Check out the slideshow to see the process and the final creations!
A note from Mrs. Girbach:
Wow- what a project! It was an idea on a whim and a collaboration project made picture perfect. These kids worked for an hour and a half- never lost a second of focus! When I was roaming the room and listening in on the conversations- I was amazed at the things I was hearing:
"This is the best day ever."
"What do you think if we use these as legs?"
"I really like your idea of using cardboard to reinforce the seat."
"Dylan, can we make a change, and put the tape here, because...."
"I don't think this is the best design because the seat won't be very sturdy."
The list could go on, but, the point is- without any teaching or much support, these kindergarten students and 2nd grade students teamed together and LEARNED together- making it a memorable day of activity, all while learning more than Mrs. McCormick and I could ever teach. This is what teaching and learning is all about: student choice, student collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication. While it isn't always easy, and something in your normal day has to give...it is a reminder that these are the learning experiences that are the most worth it. Way to go kids!! And, a big thanks to Mrs. McCormick and her expertise and fantastic teaching- it was fun to learn from her and build my background on this kind of learning!