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Showing posts from February, 2014

Then and Now: The Handy Helper

We presented our Handy Helper in true pioneer spirit Thursday as we had no electricity!!  As the children presented the invention, questions were raised as how we powered our invention. This  prompted a small discussion about electricity, batteries and solar power. What a knowledgeable group we have at Creative Minds.
 Next week we will be starting our new unit of inquiry: Building Together.  The central idea being 
The work people perform helps build community.

Then and Now: Preparing for the summative.

We began preparing for our summative next week.  Throughout this unit, the children learned that many things were done by hand in the past including cleaning. Referring to the central idea that there are similarities and differences between the way people lived long ago and the way people live todaythe children will develop a cleaning machine so we won't have to clean by hand.

Wendy began the week by showing the children a Cat in the Hat video 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jK6l1WJKUU

She asked the children to pay attention to the end of video where they will see a special invention, one that she wished we had at the daycare. At the end of the movie, the children were excited to share their thoughts about the machine.  Wendy did a human graph - would you want to clean or have a machine do the work.  It was unanimous, the machine won. Next week we will build the machine. Esme said "I cant wait for next week!"

To build a machine we needed to see how machines work. We spent…

Then and Now: Postal Mail

Communication: Postal Mail
We continued with Wendy's idea of communication and investigated postal mail, our main way of sending letters prior to email.  The following 2 videos helped the children understand postal mail.

mail delivery in olden days 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5YeodlER30
a trip to post office https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS8FULtQnGA
It was now time for us to send a letter home. Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day, it was a great opportunity to make a valentine.  The next step was finding out what all was needed on the envelope: return address, recipient address and postage.  Once the envelopes were addressed and sealed, we weighed each envelope to calculate the postage. All of our letters required the 63 cent stamp.  Stamps on and off to the mailbox we went.

The sign on the mailbox said that delivery would be within 2 days.  Could you please let Wendy or myself know when your letters arrive.  The children thought postal mail was quite a bit longer and more…

Then and Now: Paper

Child's Question: How was paper made in the olden days?
Since we did not know how paper is made today, we did some research on the internet. We watched 2 short videos on how paper is made.

.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I3Z05lC9i8
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq7L9-0XdVw‎
The children commented on how huge the machines were and how much paper is produced. We did  some more research  but did not clearly find out how paper was created prior to machines. We did find out how to make handmade paper and that is what we did today. Using recycled paper, a pestle and mortar, a pan and screen we worked together to create one piece of paper. Hopefully, the paper will dry in the next few days so we can display it. 
The last few group times have really started the children thinking about machines and how people came up with ideas for them. I have some of the same questions as the children such as "Who started making machines?" I find it amazing how technology develops and changes in such a s…

Then and Now: Writing Instruments

Today we looked at how writing instruments have changed over time beginning with the quill pen and ending with markers. The children were able to see how an instrument can change over time as people discover new materials and new ways of doing things.

We began using feathers as quill pens.  I was surprised at how patient the children were dipping the quill into ink before every stroke. Then they used two different fountain pens: one with a metal tip and the other with a glass tip.  From there we moved to an ink cartridge pen, ball point then the marker.  The children recognized and commented how each instrument changed from the previous.  The dipping of the various types of pens was enjoyable but the children still prefer to use markers.  "It's easier" said Jayla.

At the end of using the different writing instruments, the group made a timeline showing the evolution of the instruments.

Group time ended with Grace asking the question "how did they make paper in the o…