In addition to making fancy hats to celebrate the 100th day of school, Kindergarten students also got creative and displayed collections of 100 items. Each student shared their collection with the class. This fun, hands-on activity served an educational purpose as well. Purposely finding 100 of the same item gave students a concrete sense of how much 100 really is in physical form. Plus, it was an excellent chance to practice their counting skills!
Teamwork and collaboration were at its best among the primary classes at The Learning Center Charter School as students in kindergarten through second grade celebrated Native American Heritage Month in November.
Each grade level represented a different Native American Tribe across the nation and studied their tribe in-depth. The unit ended with a pow-wow among all the grades.
Kindergarten represented the Woodland tribe of the Wampanoag. The Wampanoag was the first tribe to meet the Pilgrims. Kindergarten students learned the Wampanoag taught the pilgrims how to survive in their new land and they were also the tribe that celebrated the first Thanksgiving.
First Grade students represented the Southeast region as the Cherokee tribe. They learned the Cherokee language and writing system was invented by Sequoyah, a famous Cherokee. First Graders also learned how the Cherokee used natural resources to make their homes, canoes, jewelry, and clothing.
Second grade students represented the Plains as the Lakota Sioux. Students learned how the Lakota were nomads and buffalo hunters who traveled around the Great Plains. They also learned the Lakota were great warriors, like Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse who defeated Colonel Custer in the Battle of Little Big- Horn famously known as ‘Custer’s Last Stand’.
As part of the culminating pow-wow, students created Native American costumes, jewelry, and instruments. Students paraded around the campus to authentic Native American music. At the pow-wow each class shared with the others facts about the tribe they represented. The students were even able to sample cornbread made by the hands of the Wampanoag (kindergarten). The Cherokee (first grade) shared Tuya Gadu, delicious bread made with sweet potatoes, corn and sweetened with maple syrup.
Before winter break, first grade students wore pajamas, made and ate pancakes, watched Rudolph, and had such a fun time together!
Each week our kindergarten students spend time rotating through a series of literacy centers. They get to participate in fun activities that help them learn letter sounds, letter combinations, site words, and phonetic patterns.
Second grade students at The Learning Center Charter School spent the month of October immersed in a STEM and PBL project all about bats.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and PBL stands for project based learning. Students at The Learning Center charter school are very familiar with each since students at the school engage in STEM and PBL education daily.
A targeted STEM education approach ensures students engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics regularly. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, complex question, problem, or challenge.
Of course the second grade students read about bats but they also expanded their studies across the curriculum. In science, students learned that bats are flying mammals that are important for our environment. In geography, they learned that bats live in warmer climates, closer to the equator and that no bats live in the continent of Antarctica. In math, they learned how to read thermometers as related to the preferred climates of bats as well as measurements of bats’ wingspans.
“Bats are a good fit for students in the month of October due to Halloween,” said second grade teacher Stephanie Hopper. “The kids are interested in spooky things and I take the opportunity to harness that curiosity and use it in every subject we study and really delve into the subject deeply.”
Hopper added that “What we could have learned about bats in one lesson on one day is nothing compared to the deeply engaged learning that we participated in during our PBL unit with bats as the overall theme,” said Hopper.
On February 5th, students in second grade celebrated Chinese New Year. Students learned about the customs and traditions of the holiday and the importance of the celebration in China. They also learned about the lunar calendar.
The students were able to read books, enjoy interactive parades and make Chinese New Year dragons and lanterns. To end the celebration, the students were able to enjoy traditional Chinese fried rice. The day was loaded with fun and learning.
On November 2nd, Second Grade took a trip to Hillcrest Apple Orchard in Ellijay, Ga. The children had an opportunity to learn how the orchard plants apple trees and harvests their crops. They also were able to taste fresh apple cider, milk a cow, enjoy a hayride, walk through a fairy tale trail, participate in water duck races, walk through a vortex, shuck corn, visit a petting zoo, and shuck fresh corn. They also visited the apple museum and learned all about the importance of honey bees, the life cycle of an apple tree and learned all about the life of Johnny Appleseed. Before leaving the children were allowed to shop in the orchards store to purchase fresh apple products.
The children had a wonderful time and learned many new things while visiting the orchard.
A special thank you to a parent volunteer that visited the Kindergarten class and helped them make applesauce. This fun seasonal activity included teaching the students about apples, the importance of eating local foods that are in season and how to read a recipe. Plus, the resulting applesauce was delicious!