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Archive for the ‘Project Work’ Category

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We meet again! It has been so long since I have posted and since you have visited.  Welcome back!  I will do my part (on writing more) if you do your part on visiting the blog and posting more comments.  Can you help me keep our goal?

We had been in a cooking project which lead us to cooking appliances used in the kitchen mainly the skillet, crock pot, blender and magic bullet.  We have several questions for someone who might be able to share how electricity works in relation to these items.

Today, several children joined to sketch a cord from a crock pot.  One question that has come up several times is whether or not the electricity that powers kitchen appliances is different from those that power our cell phones, lamps, etc.  A child wondered if we sketched, investigated, compared and contrasted the two cords if that would answer our question.  So, we started that journey today.20E074F8-5056-A053-5EAB8CEDC24EE7DE_456762550-15136_062315104631_NA

Above: A child (4.8) sketches the cord.  He counts five lines in the cord and draws five lines on his paper. He then identifies a square and makes it.  He then traces the rest of the cord before completing his work.

Do farm animals like our food?

As we work on our farm project, children have been wondering what animals are on a farm.  They also have been wondering if the animals think the same type of food that smells good to us smells and tastes good to the animals.  This discussion arose as we learned and studied silage. photo (63)

Today, after trying cabbage from our garden a child wondered if our bunny, Rio, would eat it. The children ran over calling any adult or child in their path to join them.  Children all joined near the bunny and a child fed the bunny some cabbage.  To the children’s surprise, he ate it!  The children now wonder, “Do horses and cows like cabbage?”



Many times, I am asked by students who do practicum hours in my classroom (for those of you who do not know we are a lab school and I have students join the room who are freshman to seniors to experience life in a preschool room.  Depending on the class, the students may observe, teach lesson or facilitate a project.) what is my favorite part about project work.  I felt  like this was  perfect time to share with you my thoughts.  Please feel free to add your own to the comments.

*The individual learning of each child!

-Some children may write a word for the first time.

-During this project, a little guy who is slow to warm has started the project work activity (whether it be my idea or his) every morning for three weeks (and counting!!)!

-Another of my little ones has remembered the origin of the ukulele and shares that with others.

-One of my older ones created his first three dimension representations and dealt with some frustrations along the way appropriately!

*The things that I learn as a teacher!!

– I learn about my own teaching such as how to engage children effectively with a project, what items I need to transform my room, and different ways to document the children’s learning.

-I also am able to see how amazing three, four and five-year olds are and always will be!  I see them grow in their own learning, begin to learn to represent, set goals for themselves, and work together as  a team.

-I learn details about specific items such as I now know all the parts of the ukulele!

*How caring our community  (both classroom and beyond) are to our children!

-We had the opportunity to meet with a local weather man who was more than gracious to our classroom!

-Families have been an outpouring support whether in my classroom or the community in our building.  This is also a wonderful way to get to know others and help teach the children about kindness, caring, and giving.


What’s your favorite part?



Our sauce experience began with the garlic. One child wondered if garlic only came “white like that”. Another child shared, “No, I don’t think so.” I shared I had something in my fridge that might help and the next day I brought in my container of minced garlic. A reader in my room read the word garlic right away. We opened up the container and smelled it and a child said, “Yup! That is the smell of garlic. Yum!” We then compared the difference between the minced garlic in my container and the actual garlic.

Some comparisons included:

  • “Smell like garlic.”
  • “One is white and one is orange or yellow.”
  • “Really tiny”
  • “flaky” about the garlic clove
  • “cold” about the minced garlic

We even tried it. After some children reported the clove of garlic was hot another child shared, “The other garlic is in water. Water makes things not hot. Like a fire.” I posed the question, “Will the pizza be hot if the garlic is hot?” The same child who shared that the pizza crust will not be sweet because there is not enough sugar shared again, (Click here for the post about Pizza Dough)”No. We are not putting TONS of garlic in.”

After we investigated each ingredient, we created another list of items to try and then we tried them! The children voted for the items they liked the best.  We then created the sauce and tried it again. To the children’s surprise, the sauce was not hot. “It was just right! Like in the three little bears!”



We started with making dough! The children spent three days making dough. Our intention was to make dough one day and the children’s learning, enthusiasm, and yes, some dropping of the dough made our decision change! We noticed and reflected that the children learned so many skills in three days. By the end of the three days, some children were telling Christy, the assistant in our room, the ingredients we need, the order to put them in, and the correct measurements. They were using measurement words and several of the pizza vocabulary.

We began with talking about each of the ingredients. The children labeled the items and discussed other recipes where they had seen that type of food before. We also gave the children an opportunity to taste the salt and sugar. We discussed how each of the items tasted and the children had the opportunity to write their names on chart whether they liked the item or did not. The children who needed help writing their names were guided by older children on how to write their names. They then returned to the table and as they waited for the yeast to dissolve in the mixture they discussed what the crust would taste like. One child shared, “It won’t taste like the sugar. I think we only put a little bit in. If you put a lot in then it taste like sugar!”

After creating batches of dough, the children started to take this into their play making play dough pizza’s or preparing dough at the Happy Joe store.


The answer is….





For those of you confused, click here to find the post associated with this answer.

The mystery item!

The children started pulling items about of our plastic bag to begin the preparation for our pizza sauce.

“What is that white thing?”

“That white thing?  An onion.  Onions go in pizza sauce.”

A child begins to pull pieces off of this mysterious white item.  Other children continue to take items out of the bag as they look back to see what their friend is doing.  Their friend continues to pull and pull pieces of this item.

“It’s an onion.  I’m sure!”

“But it doesn’t smell like an onion.  And it is not making my eyes water! Will you show me a picture of the onion on the computer?”

Mahi brings up a picture on the computer and the children agree it is not an onion.

The item is open and the children are peeling smaller and smaller pieces.  “I’ve smelled that before! It smells so good.  It is…..”

Before we add a picture, does anyone have any guesses what the children discovered together completely on their own?

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