Friday, 23 May 2014

A Year With Our Bunny

We have been fortunate enough to have adopted Hop, our bunny, from another kindergarten classroom last year. The learning that has taken place with her has been phenomenal. Our students have learned about caring for an animal, how to feed and clean her cage, how to use recycling material for bedding instead of purchasing from a store, and how to show they care for her as a part of our classroom by drawing pictures, writing stories, making crafts, and making books about her.

Bunny Inquiry through the year.
Several students have also engaged in building houses, castles, and playgrounds for Hop. She has thoroughlyenjoyed playing amoungst our children on a daily basis.

Feeling brave to pet the bunny.
Learning to be gentle
while petting the bunny.

Letting Hop join us in play.

Planning a playground for Hop.

Reading non-fiction books
about rabbits.

Making class anchor charts.

When we took on the role of adopting Hop into our classroom, it was under the premise that we would place her up for adoption at the end of this year so another kindergarten class would be able to experience some and more of the same experiences.

Hop is great with the children, she stays at the school during the weekends, and has been a wonderful addition to our room this year. The hope is that she will connect more and more kindergarten classrooms through Twitter and/or Blogs. +Joanne Babalis class has been following the updates this year, and we hope to follow updates next year.

If you are interested in adopting her, for free, for the up coming year please email me at

Monday, 19 May 2014

Will they hatch? Looking Closely at a bird's nest.

I was able to find an empty birds nest several weeks ago, and brought it into the classroom for the kiddos to see. They were all quite intrigued by it and several stayed to draw pictures of what they saw. We had many discussions about what the birds used to make this nest, what kind of bird made this nest, and where would the bird go now that the nest is gone?

I wonder what bird made this nest?
Then we receive a special gift on loan from our teacher librarian. She gave us a nest with three blue eggs inside. We made sure the kiddos knew that this nest had been abandoned by the momma bird and that is why it was ok to bring it to school for us to observe. We took care to place the nest and box in a large plastic bag so that our little hands wouldn't get tempted to touch and hurt the eggs.

Comparing the two nests.

"The momma bird must have left this feather
to let the babies know that are safe."

There was lots of observing and questioning about these eggs and what kind of bird may have laid them.

Our bird's nest inquiry board.
We watched a video showing three blue eggs in a nest in the process of hatching. This lead us to believe the eggs in our nest are from a robin - just like in the video. I love the media to real life connections our kiddos make.

A few of the kiddos decided that the empty nest also should have eggs in it for the momma bird to look after. So they busily began making blue eggs out of playdoh. Another kiddo came by later in the day to witness these home made eggs, and worried that the momma couldn't come and keep them warm so she began looking for a blanket to wrap them in. Unfortunately our blankets are all too big for this nest, so after more searching, CY decided that our coloured feathers would be an excellent way to keep the eggs warm.

Reading books to see if we can guess the momma bird.

Making playdoh eggs.

Our nest matches the other one.
Adding feathers to keep the eggs warm.

Apparently 3 eggs wasn't enough.

Maybe these will hatch, maybe they won't - but this has been a fun mini inquiry into tiny blue robin eggs.

Flower Inquiry

Looking Closely at plants and flowers.
As the weeks are passing, many of our kiddos are quite intrigued by the flowers popping up all over the school grounds. We have flowers sprouting in our inquiry bin, lots of beautiful flowers are coming out at the front of the school, and we even received a special flower gift from the administration with the challenge to find it a spot outside.

Flower Inquiry Bin

The flower Admin gave us.

We have been looking at the parts of a flower, by experimentation, by researching in non-fiction books, and looking on the internet.

Looking Closely at the parts of a flower.

Inside the classroom, we have been busy planting flower bulbs and seeds to see how they will grow. We have looked closely at what the different seeds look like, and are making predictions about what will grow first.

Planting flower seeds in eggshells.
CY brought these in. I wonder what will happen?

Adding water after planting the seeds.
Long and skinny seeds with yellow tops.
Small green seeds.
Why did the water sink to the bottom?

We found these outside.
While looking at flowers outside, we have come across several cool insects and animals worth stopping to study them. While out at the public parkland we came across many dead bees. This lead to a few questions:

Why are they all here in one spot?
How did they died?
Did they sting someone first?

We collected a few and brought them back to the classroom for the kiddos to look closely at and investigate. We have watched a few videos about how bumble bees lay their eggs. In journals we are seeing some Ninja Bees - this has been a good boost to our imagination.

Some of the children are showing their knowledge of flowers through various languages of art. They have created bead flowers, window cling flowers, and paintings of flowers.

Looking at fresh flowers to inspire us.

Watercolour garden for the teachers

Writing about a seed.

Our class has taken on the task of cleaning up one area of our Eco Garden. It is quite a mess as it hasn't been tended to consistently for a couple of years. Our Lunch Supervisor did a good clean up in the fall, but the weeds are beginning to sprout again. I have purchased 5 pairs of gloves for the kiddos, so they are learning patience in order to wait their turn to have a lunch period in the garden. Hopefully it will be cleaned up enough to plant the flower, admin gave us, in the next 2 weeks. We also have some more bulbs growing inside that need to be transferred to the garden outside. It will be fun to watch these continue to flower year after year.

While cleaning up the garden, we have come across several snails.
Looking at snails through a glass jar.
The kiddos are extremely curious about these tiny creatures. We have built them a small habitat in the classroom to observe and watch them. Over the next week or so, I will be teaching the kiddos that we can observe and document them for a while but they will have to go back into their natural habitat once we are finished.

We are adding to our flower inquiry board almost every day.
I look forward to seeing where these snails will take us.