As the year has progressed, the children have demonstrated a keen interest in experiments. This assists in developing their interest in enquiry-based learning, teaches them to hypothesise and encourages trial and error. These are all higher-order thinking which better prepares the children for future learning. This week, we engaged in a composting experiment and the children completed individual cloud experiments. Giving the children the opportunity to explore these experiments by themselves allows them to get a greater understanding of the process involved. This helps to consolidate the learning in their minds. They most enjoyed mixing colours and the shaving cream together. Some of the children were able to describe what happened in the clouds prior to the experiment. However, the children tend to learn best when an explanation is given in a visual way, this experiments such as this work very well. The composting experiment will take longer to happen, though aims to show the children what actually happens to the fruit scraps when they are put into our compost bin. The children hypothesised about what they think will happen to the fruit scraps; some suggested that the scraps will grow and others said that they would shrink. We discussed how these were opposite opinions. The children eagerly anticipate what will happen to the fruit scraps.
Further to this, we have been discussing what food we have in our café inside. Together, we sorted through the food and decided what we would keep and what food we did not need, or even know what it was! During this activity we discussed whether food was healthy and if it was unhealthy, it was a sometimes food. This topic will be examined further this term. The children also assisted me in weeding the vegetable patch on Friday. We looked for our vegetables which were almost overrun with nasturtiums and then pulled the weeds. This ensures that the children take some responsibility for the vegetable garden and also maintains their interest in the growth of the vegetables.
Jessica, Fiona and Karen.