Monday, May 8, 2017

Not Just a Book: Outdoor Learning Fosters Early Writing

As we've been exploring outdoor learning, we've been inspired by the book Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis to learn with natural materials. Our student teacher, Kim Williment, planned a fantastic learning experience focused on this book and sticks. All the JK students brought a stick from home, and after reading the book, we explored a variety of math concepts--ordering our sticks by length, using our sticks to measure distance, counting the sticks, and forming numerals with them. Next, the junior kindergarten kiddos were very excited to come up with their own imaginative ideas for their sticks! We used the app Book Creator on our classroom iPads to create our own version of Not a Stick.

Take a look at Not a Sandbox written by the SK class, also inspired by this book.
The SK class decided to write a book about sandboxes as we don't have one on our playground, and we would really like to get one. Together with our student teacher Mrs. Williment, we brainstormed all the creative ways that a sandbox would help us learn and took pictures using an iPad. Next, we uploaded the pictures to Office 365 One Drive (follow this link to get your own free educator/student account) and used SMART Notebook to create a digital book. Next, we exported the pages as JPG files and uploaded them to Mixbook. The exciting thing about using Mixbook is we can embed the final project on our blog and classroom Facebook page and get it professionally printed too! We are sharing this book with our parent advisory council in hopes they will fund our sandbox project. Fingers crossed!