In the Origami Cluster we learned the basic steps of folding paper to create 3-D animals including a snake, fox, fish, penguin, lion, chick and butterfly. We also made fortune-tellers. We learned the importance of precise folds, sharp creases and following directions carefully. We practiced problem-solving skills as we checked our folds and corrected mistakes. A great website for step-by-step animated origami directions is http://en.origami-club.com// and the fortune-teller directions can be found at http://pbskids.org/arthur. We are excited to share our origami creations with others!
Global Games Cluster
In the Global Games Cluster we found out that we were all lovers of games! We learned that as the world has changed and developed more machines and technology ,humans have more free time. People developed games to fill that free time. The first game we learned was “Qwirkle” . This is a game of strategies and patterns that requires high level thinking among its players. Secondly, we learned the game of Mancala. Mancala is a game from South Africa that also requires students to strategize and think deeply. During our last cluster meeting we learned the active, running game from Chile called Corre, Corre La Guaraca and from Greece, the game of Statues. The children learned the social skills of taking turns, helping others, and following directions.
The last few weeks we have adopted rock pets, created a fossil rub, observed what rocks and minerals look and feel like, had a big dig for rocks, crystals, and fools gold, classified them, and made our very own fossils using clay. Lastly, we gave our pet rock an identity.
Books and Cooks
During our first cluster meeting we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. After reading the story, the students identified the healthy foods the caterpillar had eaten. We used rolling pins to make graham cracker crumbs, cut up apples, pears, strawberries, oranges and plums and added these ingredients to yogurt to make a delicious sweet treat.
Our second meeting brought us a storm of foods in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. We brainstormed a list of foods we would want to fall from the sky, then got busy heating meatballs in a skillet to make our own cheesy meatball pizza.
Our cluster meeting ended with a flip after reading Pancakes, Pancakes! The story tells us where foods like eggs, milk, butter and flour come from. We used those ingredients to make our own pancake batter. Each student was able to mix, flip and eat this breakfast treat.
The Creative Card Making Cluster
The "Creative Card Making Cluster" had a great time creating original greeting cards. We learned several card making techniques such as: stamping, die cuts, layering, “pop out” cards, yarn embellishments, using stickers, and MORE! Our cluster made many cards for friends and family. We also chose one card we created to send to someone in the military to help brighten their day. On the last day, we made a card making kit. Now we are prepared to make a new card for any upcoming occasion!
Out of This World!
Out of This World!
We've had a very busy three weeks! The first week, our cluster talked about games and all the different places you see them. We watched a video showing games that are thousands of years old! Next, we played some exciting board games. For week two, we ventured outside to play the simple game of strategy, tic-tac-toe, using sidewalk chalk. We also explored a few other outside games. Finally, for week three, we learned about puzzles and discovered some strategies to assemble them. We also went outside to explore a few more game ideas. Throughout our cluster, we focused on having fun, learning and following the rules, and being a good sport. We had a lot of fun exploring the world of GAMES!
The Elephant and Piggie Cluster is filled with loads of fun and many laughs provided by the famous pair. We enjoyed reading a number of Elephant and Piggie books while we made a bird nest hat, character headbands, a special snack and a “snap and break” toy. If you relish Mo Willems books, this cluster is the best!
Bricks, Plates and Beams...Oh My!
Did you know that the LEGO bricks sold in one year could circle the earth 5 times? There must be a lot of people interested in LEGOs around the world. In Bricks, Plates and Beams, Oh My!, our very own LME Kinder and 1st grade LEGO enthusiasts learned fun facts like this, followed the process of making LEGOs in the factory, learned the history of LEGOs and investigated some LEGO world records.
Using the official names of the LEGOs, we worked together as a team to create a vehicle and build the tallest tower with bricks, plates and beams. Our tallest tower was 27 ½ inches tall. We also practiced using instructions to build other’s creations. Dinosaurs, hearts, trucks, trees and turtles are just a few of the things we built.
Finally, we creatively constructed our very own LEGO sets, taking pictures along the way to create a step by step instruction book so others can rebuild our creations. Our sets will be on display during our enrichment showcase. Stop by and try to construct them for yourself. “LEGO” build!
We had a great time being paper airplane engineers in the Amazing Paper Airplanes cluster. We made two models of airplane - The Nakamura Lock and the Spy Plane. We learned about the importance of folding carefully and creating good symmetry, which means both sides of the airplane should be balanced. On the last day, we performed various tests to see how our paper airplanes flew. We measured the distance it flew in meters, measured accuracy by how many times we could get the airplanes through a hoop, and we measured time aloft in seconds. Making a good paper airplane takes practice, so a lot of us went home and kept perfecting our folds for the Nakamura Lock and the Spy Plane.
The Snappy Snapshots enrichment cluster began with an introduction into photography and how to take pictures using a digital camera. Students learned how to appropriately frame the picture, use auto-focus, zoom in and out, take a picture from different perspectives, transfer pictures to a computer file, and delete unwanted pictures. We took students on a scavenger hunt for photos of various colors around campus, and student had a great time taking pictures of people, objects, and nature. We look forward to showing off our portfolios of our work at the Enrichment Cluster Showcase on Thursday, May 2nd!
In the Classy Classifications cluster we learned the importance of organizing animals into classes just like we organize students into classes at school. Each classification has some unique traits. We also chose one animal to learn about and made a beautiful watercolor painting of that animal in its habitat. We had a great time learning about some interesting animals.
The Recycled Crafters got creative with water bottles, tissue boxes, egg cartons, and lots of other recycled materials in our cluster. During our first two meetings the students made gifts using recycled water bottles for our teacher and volunteer appreciation events. They made candy apples with the bottom of the bottle for our teachers and beautiful flowers for centerpieces for our upcoming volunteer appreciation event with the tops of the bottles. During our third meeting our crafters were given boxes of recycled materials and allowed to let their creative juices go wild! They made things like a golf club, bird feeder, race car, two headed monster and a robot. It was fun to see their imaginations at work!
We had an AMAZING time in our enrichment cluster. First we explored remarkable reptiles by observing, touching and holding 3 different species of lizards. Then they students used sculpty clay and made a replica of their own favorite reptile.
Next, we explored brilliant birds. Homer, the African Grey parrot, danced for and perched on the student’s arm so they could get a closer look at his bright red tail feathers, cool feet and grey body. We made a treat for our outdoor feathered friends so they can have tasty seeds in our mini bird feeders.
Finally we enjoyed marvelous mammals. We learned that mammals are warm- blooded, feed their young milk and have hair on their bodies. First the students learned about and were able to hold a long haired hamster. Then they met a dog that is trained to comfort children while in the hospital. We discovered how AMAZING animals really are!
Just DanceDuring the first week of "Just Dance", we discussed what kinds of dances we wanted to learn. Then we learned the boot scooting boogie which is a country line dance. During the second week of Just Dance, we learned a jazz dance to footloose. The last week of Just Dance, one of the students in the cluster taught a dance to the whole class. We had so much fun learning new kinds of dances then getting some time to free dance to the music of some of our favorite singers.