Kids-Niche Feature: Huckleberry Kindergarten Classroom

Here's this week's glimpse into what's happening in our Kids-Niche Programs! These feature lessons, activities, and saunters from a different classroom each week.

Today’s Feature: Huckleberries Quilt!

Over the last few weeks, we have been learning about the people created world through our Saunter quilt project. So far, we practiced using and getting comfortable with a sewing machine and chose our fabrics for the pinwheel section. Most recently, we took a chunk of fabric that we dyed at the beginning of the year for a painting project. We took inspiration from some Native American Men's Straight Dancers traditional bead work to create our own designs using fabric paint. This section will be incorporated into our finished quilt!

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Classroom Feature: Chickadee Preschool Classroom

Here's this week's glimpse into what's happening in and out of our classrooms in the day school! These feature lessons, activities, centers, and saunters from a different classroom each week.

Today's feature: Chickadees Explore Local Fish Species

We are exploring the fish diversity of Montana’s rivers, lakes, and streams while fishing in our classroom’s dramatic play center.  Currently, we can catch Rainbow Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout, though this space will change in the time we have it available, increasing in complexity.

In this center we need to work cooperatively and respect our personal space, as well as others.  We are encouraged to practice patience and to use our words to communicate with each other while exploring an activity that is very present in western Montana.  Fishing regulations and rulers are provided so that we can make simple comparisons, while learning what it means to be a responsible angler. In this space we also have a chance to practice our counting skills and formulate our own questions.        

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Kids-Niche Feature: Shooting Stars Preschool Program

Here's this week's glimpse into what's happening in our Kids-Niche Programs! These feature lessons, activities, and saunters from a different classroom each week.

Today’s Feature: Shooting Stars Learn About Passover

In the Shooting Stars classroom, cooking projects have been a wonderful way to explore different cultures and traditions. Most recently, we learned about Passover by making charoset, a traditional apple and nut dish eaten during the Passover Seder. We started our lesson by reading a book about a family preparing for Passover. Once we had learned a little bit about the traditions of Passover, we started cooking!

The Shooting Stars had the opportunity to chop the apples, crush the walnuts, sprinkle in cinnamon, and stir in the grape juice to make our charoset. While we prepared our ingredients, we talked about some of the traditions that families partake in during Passover. We learned that foods eaten during Passover have special meanings, and we talked about how foods can remind us of times that we have felt sad, hopeful, and happy.

Learning objectives:

  • Cultural appreciation: I can celebrate the cultures of my classmates, people in my community, and people around the world

  • Fine motor skills: I can use utensils to help prepare a meal

  • Collaboration: I can work with others and practice taking turns

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Classroom Feature: Explorers Classroom

Here's this week's glimpse into what's happening in and out of our classrooms in the day school! These feature lessons, activities, centers, and saunters from a different classroom each week.

Today's feature: Explorer’s Weekly Mandarin Lessons

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Students practice their names and other simple phrases in Mandarin Chinese. In addition to exposure to another culture’s language, students get to pretend they are in an actual Chinese classroom! Each student gets a chance to be class leader and talk to his or her friends in Chinese. Kinesthetic learning is brought into the mix as kids use movement to understand and learn the unique pronunciation of each Chinese syllable. Students also learn through songs and games!

Kids-Niche Feature: Huckleberry Kindergarten Class

Here's this week's glimpse into what's happening in our Kids-Niche Programs! These feature lessons, activities, and saunters from a different classroom each week.

Today’s Feature: Huckleberries Make Sustainable Art

What happens to plastic disks when we heat them up in the oven? What is the "magic" behind Shrinky Dinks? The Huckleberries explored the answers to these questions while learning about upcycling and creating a project for our school's upcoming Sustainable Art Show. When pieces of clear plastic are cut into disks, colored with sharpie markers, and snipped around the edges, they transform into beautiful flowers when placed in the oven. Depending on the type of plastic, it will soften and the petals will curl in various directions. Some of the clear plastic even turned white in the oven! Once the flowers have cooled, the plastic hardens and retains its curled shape. We are hoping to put these flowers together into a wreath for the art show.

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In addition to our art show project, the Huckleberries also colored pictures onto Shrinky Dink sheets and watched them magically shrink in the oven. They were thrilled to see how tiny their pictures became and how the once flexible plastic sheet thickened into a hard rectangle. Both the flowers and the Shrinky Dinks operate on the same scientific basis. When the plastic is hard, the polymer chains in it are lined up in an orderly fashion. When the plastic is heated, those chains move into disarray until they are cooled down again. However, the Huckleberries would still like to say that the shrinking and curling is due to "magic". 

Check out our class' finished flower wreath at the Sustainability Art Show on May 3rd!

Learning Objectives:

  • Practice sustainability through upcycling plastic into artwork.

  • Explore the science of changing the array of plastic polymers.

  • Use creative processes to create a community art project.

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Kids-Niche Feature: Fireweed Second Grade

Here's this week's glimpse into what's happening in our Kids Niche Programs! These feature lessons, activities, and saunters from a different classroom each week.

Today’s Feature: Fireweed Learns About Geology

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Right before Spring Break, the Fireweeds did an activity for our geology unit. 

After we got our supplies ready, the kids were split into two groups. One group worked on team building through games. The other group used a cooperative effort to break open a geode.  When the geodes were opened, we cleaned them up and analyze the surprise inside. 

Our learning objectives were to explore the natural world with a hands-on activity. Develop communication skills and strategic planning, all while building patience. The team building game and the activity tested our ability to wait for your turn, accepting not getting your way and supporting others.