Classroom Feature: Chickadee Classroom

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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 Saunter to the Montana Natural History Center

At the end of January, the Chickadee class sauntered to the Montana Natural History Center, which is a nonprofit organization in the Missoula community dedicated to cultivating an appreciation and understanding of nature through educational opportunities!  

While we were there we explored the past and present fauna of Montana, inspected rocks and minerals from our state, investigated the hands on learning centers, and played in the Kid’s Discovery Room!  This saunter provided us with a chance to make simple comparisons about the animals in our area, explore the features of things using our senses, and follow multi-step directions.

Kids-Niche Feature: Kinnikinnick First Grade

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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: Kinnikinnicks Write Poetry

This month, the Kinnikinnick First Graders have been learning about poetry! We have been reading from Shel Silverstein, Mary Oliver, and Dr. Seuss. In the Shel Silverstein book, Every Thing On It, we found a particularly inspiring poem:

Lizard

A lizard in a blizzard

Got a snowflake in his gizzard

And nothing else much happened, I’m afraid,

But lizard rhymed with blizzard

And blizzard rhymed with gizzard

And that, my dear, is why most poems are made  

- Shel Silverstein

After reading many more Shel Silverstein poems about different types of animals doing various absurd, atypical animal activities, we decided to write our own poems about animals. First, we each decided about whether we wanted to write a rhyming or non-rhyming poem. Next, we each had to decide the main subject of the poem and the actions that would happen. Some of us wrote rhyming poems, and some chose to write poems that don’t rhyme but we all flexed our creative minds!

Classroom Feature: Steller's Jays Classroom

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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: Steller’s Jays Explore Transportation and Infrastructure

This month in the Steller's Jay class, we are focusing on our Place-Based theme of transportation and infrastructure. Throughout the month we will explore the ideas of What is transportation? and How do we connect it to our lives? In our Dramatic Play center, children will take on pretend roles and situations while they explore our city bus. We will connect our Dramatic Play to the real world by watching the city bus go by outside our window, learning about the bus route maps, and going on a saunter to ride the city bus around the Lincolnwood loop. In the Block Center, children will share and respect the rights of others by using four long buses. Children will build buildings, arrange people and animals, and drive their buses around our Block Center. We will, at the end of the month, begin to explore sustainable transportation and connect all of the knowledge we have built to ways we can help our Earth.

We are exploring big thoughts for 2 and 3 year old children and will learn concepts such as: applying knowledge and experience to a new context, exploring cause and effect, and playing cooperatively with others, all while PLAYING  with various modes of transportation!

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Kids-Niche Feature: Fireweed Second Grade

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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 a New Culture

The Fireweed Second Grade Class has been learning about the indigenous people of Mexico. 

We focused on the writing system of the Maya civilization. After a brief discussion of what Chichen Itza was, the group learned about the language of the Mayan people. We looked at the details in their hieroglyphics and how each one represents a word or phase. Then each student created a language of their own with inspiration from the pictures. This turned into a tedious illustration of each of our names. Next, we will play a modern version of the ancient Maya ballgame called pitz. 

Classroom Feature: Meadowlark Preschool Classroom

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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: Meadowlarks Explore Teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.

Similarities and Differences

We started our week off by talking about similarities and differences. We looked at ourselves, other people around the classroom, various dolls we had, and even people in books. What makes each of us different? What about each of us is the same? What makes Teacher Jocelyn different than Teacher Michelle? Are there things about us that are the same too? The Meadowlarks quickly realized that EVERYONE is different in some way and we are all the same in some ways too. 

Discrimination

Our conversations about similarities and differences led to a conversation about discrimination. We talked about how discrimination is when you treat someone differently because they are not like you. Using dolls from our dollhouse, Teacher Jocelyn acted out different kinds of discrimination for the Meadowlarks. For example: A group of kids with only brown hair are sitting at a table. A girl with black hair walks up and asks to sit with them. Someone at the table says, “You can’t sit here. Only people with brown hair can sit at this table.” Another example: “You’re a boy and boys aren’t allowed to play this game.” The Meadowlarks all agreed that discrimination wasn’t fair and probably didn’t make people feel very good. 

Martin Luther King Jr: Spreading Kindness

After talking about similarities/differences and learning about discrimination, the Meadowlarks talked about Martin Luther King Jr. and the holiday we “celebrated” by staying home from school on Monday to celebrate his life. We talked about how MLK didn’t think that discrimination was okay and about how he thought that everyone should be kind to everyone else, even if they were different. We learned about how he peacefully worked to spread kindness and stop discrimination. After this conversation, the Meadowlarks each sat down at the Art Table, traced their hands, and had a teacher write down their answer to this question: What can we do to help people remember to treat everyone with kindness? These hands are hanging on the Parent Board outside the Meadowlark Room.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate respect for similarities and differences

  • Recognize stereotypes that are culturally or linguistically unfair, as well as other biased behaviors 

  • Demonstrate respect

  • Show empathy for others and respond to another’s emotional reactions

  • Act with kindness

  • Demonstrate pro-social behavior, such as empathy, sharing, compassion, helping others, and compromise

  • Participate in experiences that appropriately push student thinking

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Kids-Niche Feature: Beargrass Third through Fifth Grade

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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: Beargrass engages in STEM

Beargrass has been doing some STEM activities. First, we tried out flying "loop flyers" -- a straw with two loops of paper, one on each end. Students were challenged to consider which variables to include in the final ultimate hoop flyer.  We tested to see how the size of the paper strips affected the flight of the flyer. We also added weights, paperclips, to see if weight in the front or in the back of the flyers affected the length of the flight. We tested multiple times and took an average to come up with our distance for each type of flyer. Each group found the best flyers had both paperclips on the front loop! We also went to SpectrUM and got to explore all the different exhibits they have- experiments with sound, topography, momentum, gravity, and more. It was a fun trip! 

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