The first few months of school have been a huge success and I am so proud of how much progress my students have made since their first day. Now that we have our classroom schedule and procedures under our belts we have been able to spend the last month digging into content and diving headfirst into our learning objectives for the year.
I loved the Fall season because it presents itself with so many amazing opportunities to branch out from our academic curriculum. The first day of Fall happened to occur during the week of Johnny Appleseed’s birthday so we were able to incorporate a lot during our study on Johnny Appleseed. First we focused on the season and all of the wonderful things that happen (leaves changing, weather cooling, days shortening, etc.) as we get further into the year.
We learned that Johnny Appleseed travelled around a large portion of our country planting apple seeds, and we were able to plant our own “apple seeds” and pretend we were Johnny Appleseed. We dyed uncooked rice black with rubbing alcohol and food coloring, giving each student a handful to scatter about the playground beneath a large tree. They had a blast planting their seeds, some tossing them to the ground and others taking great care to bury their seeds individually.
One of my students mentioned watering our seeds (something that I had not thought about doing) so we stretched the water hose out to the tree and sprayed the ground. Initially I had all of them back up so that they would not get wet or step in the wet dirt, but they ended up, undirected by me, all taking hold of the hose to help water their seeds. I love unplanned moments like that. We were able to practice teamwork and direction-following and they did splendidly well.
The next day we went out to check on the seeds we had planted and discovered that apples had “grown” on the tree and had fallen on the ground, ready to be picked by eager hands. We had so much fun hurrying about the playground, picking up as many apples as we good, each child proudly inspecting their apple as they picked them up from the ground. We quickly gathered around a table on the playground for a quick math activity, washing our apples and separating them by color and size.
Once we returned to the classroom we were able to slice the apples and each child helped roll their apples into crescent rolls with cinnamon and sugar to form apple pies. After we ate lunch and the pies baked, we enjoyed them for dessert. I love watching my students take pride in something that they created not only by themselves, but with one another. Confidence is boosted and their appreciation for one another grows as well. And at the end of the day, what really matters most to me is that they understand I believe in them and so do their classmates.
Mr. Daniel is the Kindergarten Prep Academy Teacher at #202 in Oklahoma City, OK. Children leave his class more than prepared for Kindergarten. The parents at his school are always impressed with his creativity, love for teaching, and tenacity in the classroom.