Exploring our learning community - Mid-Pacific Institute

Kindergarten Matsumoto

Exploring our learning community

Posted on September 9, 2017

by Ms. Matsumoto on September 9, 2017

This week we met with our 5th grade buddies and found out many things about them, and they found out things about us! We asked each other questions like:
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite color?
Do you have any pets?
Do you have brothers or sisters?
What do you like to do at recess?
What kinds of games do you like?
What is your favorite animal?

Then we drew and/or wrote what we learned. We found that we have a lot of things in common with our buddies, and we're eager to find out similar things about our own classmates. See photos of our time with our buddies throughout the year at our Buddies Activity Time link.

We also explored the environment in our greater learning community by taking a research walk down to the "Bamboo Forest," continuing the learning that began during Jump Start Kindergarten. Teachers are interested in learning whether the investigations that began to emerge during the summer will continue and evolve, if different interests will develop, or if another space in or around our campus will better suit the children's passions and enthusiasm.

Reflecting on this first [re]visit of the year, teachers noticed that the children seemed to be interested in these ideas, which also emerged during the summer:
- things that shouldn't be there (i.e., moss, garbage, pieces of pottery, log/sticks other than bamboo)
- sounds that could be made from the bamboo
- age, old vs. new, which seem to be determined by color and texture
- pretend play (e.g., campfire, store/market)
- relationships (e.g., animals living in the pond, reasons for "fighting", mom and babies - fish, bamboo)

We also noticed that new interests were emerging:
- flowers/lei (e.g., to remember a loved one, show beauty)
- tiny things (e.g., bugs, rocks, plants growing in rocks)
- shadows
- looking for "fossils"

We know that we will need to revisit the space, and perhaps explore other spaces, to truly learn the complex concepts about which the children are thinking and wondering. As the children explore, the teachers will observe the children's movements, listen to their conversations, ask questions, and share our own thinking and wondering. We hope that throughout the inquiry process, you will be able to experience the joy and excitement of the learning. Where we are now, presented with a multitude of possibilities and the anticipation of where the journey could take us, is always intriguing and inspiring!

** No new Family Learning Activities are posted, but please feel free to go back to previously posted activities. These optional activities are provided 1) to inform families of classroom learning, 2) as an opportunity for students to reinforce learned concepts, and 3) as a means for families to share in their child's learning. As the children complete these activities, they may bring them in to the classroom at any time to share with the class. There is no due date, so families may complete the activities as they are able. **

Upcoming events:
Sunday, 9/10 - Welcome BBQ, 3-5 pm
Monday, 9/11 - Make-up picture taking
Thursday, 9/21 - free dress day and monthly assembly, 8:15
- first visit to Mānoa Senior Care