Friday, 21 March 2014

Growing an avocado tree

One day during lunch a child handed me a zip lock bag with an avocado pit inside. "Here, this is for you!" she said full of pride. When I held up the mysterious object I asked the children if they knew what it was. Some thought it was a rock, but most guessed it was a seed. I passed this mysterious object around the table so the children could get a closer look. "It feels like my skin." said one boy, but then quickly changed his mind saying it looked more like a potato. As each child held the pit they told me an observation:
"It's all brown."
"It's really dark at the top."
"It's the color of skin, but it's not actually skin."
"It's going to grow."
"It's hard." 
I asked the children what they thought we should do with this mysterious object, and the answer was unanimous; we must plant it. 

The child who brought the pit in later explained it was a pit from inside the avocado her mom packed in her lunch. She gave us permission to take a piece and observe that as well. The children smelt it, poked it, and some refused to touch it. 

After lunch we looked up how to grow an avocado pit, gathered the materials, and started sticking the tooth picks in it. I will say we poked that poor pit more times then necessary, but we finally got them "just right!" We then searched the room for the perfect location. The children explained it needed a lot of sunlight, so we all agreed on the window sill by the stereo. I explained we could look at the pit and before I could explain why someone said, "Because that jar is glass and we don't want it to break!" The children decided it was imperative to make a "please don't touch" sign so everyone could read it. I noticed some of the children were even drawing pictures of what they thought our tree would look like once it grew.

Every monday for the last 5 weeks we've all come together to record our observations and measurements of the pit. The children are also responsible for adding fresh water to the jar. The first couple weeks there were no change, but week 3 we noticed a little sprout on the bottom. (I'm not sure who was more excited; the children or me) The children have been measuring every week how much the root has grown. As of today it is 1.5 inches!

This group project has been such a fun experiment to do! I'd like to bring in some avocados so the children can make some guacamole soon. This experiment has led into spring nicely, and can't wait to see what other plants we can start growing! Keep an eye out to see an update of our tree!

Why This Matters: 

Math & Measurement 
Fine Motor Skills 
Delayed Gratification
Sense of Wonder & Curiosity 

-Leslie Dionne

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Three Little Pigs

            Whenever we're outside the children ALWAYS beg me to be the Big Bad Wolf. At this time I am no longer Leslie, but a scary wolf that chases them into different hiding spaces and tries to huff and puff their house down. Their laughter is contagious, and they seem to never get tired of playing this game. After discussing with Tabatha, we both decided it was necessary to set up an invitation of the Three Little Pigs.
 We gathered up a few easy materials that were already in our classroom and set up a table for the children to discover when they arrived the next day. One child walked over to see what I was doing and told me, "Heyyy.. I know what that's for. We gotta build them a house to save them from the big bad wolf." She ran her finger over the words and said "That says straw, that says sticks, and that has to be bricks, but you know that's not really bricks." (They never miss a thing.) I explained our bricks might be too heavy so we'd try out our rocks.
               The next morning some of the children went over and started building structures to help protect the pigs. Once they completed their house, they would ask me to come over and see if I could blow it down. I asked them if they think I could blow it down, and every time it was a very certain NO.  (I will say it was much harder than I anticipated, but refused to give up.) If I was able to blow their house down they would brainstorm with each other how to make it stronger. I left the table for a little bit,  and when I returned they had decided to make a Pig City just like in the story we read "A Wolf's Tale" by Eva Montanari. They made bridges and roads so the pigs could travel and visit one another and live "Happily ever after."

                         Why This Matters:

The children used team work to brainstorm and help each other build the houses for the pigs. (Listening skills along with Cooperation)

Problem Solving was used when they needed to make their houses stronger. 

The children applied their prior knowledge of the story, "The Wolf's Tale" when recreating their Pig City. 

                                      - Leslie Dionne (aka The Big Bad Wolf)