During the end of April and into May, the Kindergarten class studied rabbits and rabbit habitats. We compared wild rabbits and their habitats to our resident domesticated bunny, Oscar. We read lots of fiction and non-fiction rabbit books, drew and painted rabbits that were used as Fun Fair decorations, built fanciful rabbit habitats and observed Oscar in our classroom and as he dug and ate dandelions out in the Peace Garden. We shared what we had learned about rabbits at Meeting for sharing, too. We also had the opportunity to observe baby rabbits grow large enough to leave their nest--it was built right in the middle of Judy's kitchen garden! It was all very exciting! As a culminating activity the children stuffed and sewed eyes on small felt bunnies that were sent home as a momento of this theme. Thanks to the grandparents and friends who helped us with the sewing!
With all members of the class able to read books with confidence, we shared our skills by partner reading with the Bumblebee and Firefly classes. The younger children enjoyed having books read to them by the "big kids" and the Kindergarten had the opportunity to practice newly learned skills. It was wonderful seeing the class reading and sharing "just right" books with younger school friends!
Kindergarten also spent a lot of time working in the class garden. We read garden books, learned how seeds form, made a garden sign, planted kale, lettuce, tomatoes and sunflowers, weeded our garden regularly (and other garden beds around the campus), and created a garden mural in the school's dining area (see article in the May/June newsletter).
As interest in the gardens/rabbits waned, I asked the class what they wanted to learn about in our last two weeks of school. After just a little bit of discussion the class decided they would like to know more about whales! I brought in my large collection of whale books and a whale poster I had at home, then we were off on a short ocean adventure to end our school year. We measured the length of a blue whale (over 100 feet!) in the school hallway, learned quite a bit about marine mammals and the defining characteristics of mammals in general, and watched videos of whales spy-hopping and tail flipping. The class also created a small ocean poster and shared whale facts (that they wrote all by themselves) at Fairville's final Meeting for Sharing.
During the last week of school, we had a final publishing party so the children could share one of their fictional stories (either a bunny or an airplane story) with their families. I was happy that so many of you were able to attend so you could see just how far our young readers and writers have come during the school year. It has been a year of tremedous academic growth! I have enjoyed every minute of working with your children and watching their skills develop. Thank you so much for sharing them with me!