I know I can’t really do a review for an event that I co-hosted and co-planned with my kinder learners, but I can’t help but celebrate this evening! It was our Inquiry Project Expo evening which families and guests attended. I am so grateful for the positive energy from both the kinder learners and their guests this evening. Walking around the room was tough because it was so crowded with celebration, love and joy! I was beaming a huge smile, so proud of all the learning, sharing and the celebration of the LEARNING PROCESS that was going on in our room. Each partnership had their own table set up, similar to a science fair or market style, to showcase their research booklets, brochures, model, an iPad with their video creations and their library non-fiction texts. Families started by visiting their child’s booth and then circulated to the other children’s areas in the classroom. Families were interacting and celebrating with not only their child but every child in the room, they were an authentic audience to showcase our learning to. They asked questions, showed interest in our research books as well as our video projects, they congratulated learners and most of all were impressed by five year olds!! Wow! What an evening.
Over the past two months we have been inquiring about a chosen topic with a partner. Choice, leadership, control, decision making, problem solving and creativity have been (and will continue to be!) KEY throughout this project. Back in January, together we started brainstorming topics of interest to our group, we ended up with about 20 projects listed up on the board. We then begun with moving our names to topics that interested us. We ended up with ten different pics with groups of 2 or 3 learners. Rabbits, Dogs, Trains, Volcanoes… the list goes on!
We began our inquiry journey by following a research guide booklet to direct our questions, learning and research for the first portion of the project. We had already gone through the same research guide booklet as a whole group focusing on penguins, so we were somewhat familiar with using non-fiction texts to research and record facts in our booklets. I believe that inquiry most begin with interest and wonders, so we had interest next came our wonders. We shared our wonders and what we hope to learn. Next we used our non-fiction texts and iPads to research about the appearance of our topics, different things are topic can do, the parts of our project (head, toes, or wheels, etc) and why our topic is important. Once we he completed the research portion, we began coming up with ways to share our learning.
We decided to use Chatter Pix Kids (iPad app) as a tool to share something our topic could do. Bunnies can jump, or trains can go really fast. This app is so much fun and can be used in endless ways!!
“I am a helicopter, I can fly.”
We continued on and decided we should make models, so we spent a few days up in our Maker Space designing, building and creating models of our topics. It was SO neat to watch the projects be planned and then created all by the children.
We then were so excited about our models that we decided to create short video introducing them to others! We shared our videos with our families via Fresh Grade and they were amazed with our technical and design work. We used our Green Screen to help make these videos and the Do Ink iPad app to film and put ourselves in front of a picture of our topic. We were very enthusiastic about creating with the Green Screen so we had a special class viewing celebration in the library.
Someone then suggested that we do art pieces and make an art gallery for our bulletin board showcasing our topics. We did oil resist painting and then used the block tempera paints and shiny paper to decorate our work! Partners worked together to add a title and glue them on a joint poster. We also added QR codes, and had parents use the QR Reader iPad app to scan the code that linked to our Green Screen videos!
Some groups decided to use Puppet Pals to share more of their learning and to make their research visible to others. They added their own artwork and chose backgrounds. Next they added 3 things that their topic CAN do.
We decided to make brochures to share our learning. We had free range of what these brochures looked like but understood that somehow they had to share our learning and would be handed out during our Project Expo. We made one copy and got to use the photocopier to make more copies, this was so exciting! We then coloured and added more details to our copies. Some of us have spent almost every free exploration time, since last Tuesday, colouring our photocopies!!
Then came the planning of our Expo! This was such an exciting part, we knew we wanted it to be similar to a market or fair. We wanted to have our own booths, and have families circulate through so we could share about our projects and hand out brochures. We stared by making invitations to send home, posters and lists to decorate the doors… we continued on to having children bringing in posters which had been made at home and groups of children who made a slideshow that would be looped on the screen throughout the evening to music. Wow wow wow!
The Project Expo:
What a great experience where choice, interest and wonders drove our learning and research and empowered us to take our learning further and deeper. What a memorable and magical experience for our learning community.
Thanks for reading!