An Adventure to the Rain Forest
If you enter a kindergarten class at the Gables School, it isn’t unusual to hear the names Jack and Annie even though they aren’t students in the class. The students have come to know Jack and Annie as part of the Tools of the Mind curriculum. The class reads books from the Magic Treehouse series that takes them on adventures with Jack and Annie.
Kindergarteners in Ms. DeRitis’ and Mrs. Perry’s classes have been learning about the Rain Forest and the wonderful creatures that live in it. Using non-fiction books and technology, students researched information on the Rain Forest. They learned about the layers of the Rain Forest, jaguars, piranha, red eyed tree frogs, sloths, butterflies, snakes, howler monkeys, army ants and more. They created crafts to enhance their writing. The Rain Forest was integrated into all of the centers. Students used attribute blocks during math to design different creatures found in the Rain Forest. During Science, students learned about mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, sorting them while working in groups. Literacy skills are always integrated in the centers where students are continually writing about their experiences during the day.Students learn best when they make connections – text to world, text to text and text to self. Not only are the kindergarteners learning about places around the world, but where they are in relation to their home in Neptune. The kindergarteners have journeyed down the Amazon, visited old Japan, were awed by the wonders of Ancient Egypt, gotten shipwrecked on a deserted island and were paleontologists digging out dinosaur bones. They loved the Rain Forest and all its surprises but now it is time for a new adventure. Where do you think they will head next?