As a parent of a Kindergarten at Bonny Slope Elementary, my child has been coming home lately talking about the "really cool marble stuff." A volunteering opportunity let me see this odd bug/bee/butterfly building. Which, led me to discover that the four Kindergarten classes were recently each given a large marble run kit, a Mason Bee and Butterfly insect home, and (just revealed) Lego Education Kit; all of which were projects funded by BSCO. And not without coincidence, with the BSCO Auction "teeing" off this weekend, I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet with these teachers to find out more.
Paula Dell, Deb Henely, Frances Kang, and Melinda Tanner make up the Kindergarten team for our school. They were all so happy to discuss how these gifts from BSCO really enhance their lessons and their students learning.
First up, the marble run. This is directly related to their collaborative science unit of 'Force and Motion.’ Mrs. Tanner says she really enjoys the marble kit because it elevates their thinking. "It's something different each day; it transfers the learning from in the book into something real for them." Mrs. Kang adds that her students just love to "build, build, build." They also utilize the Apple TV for videos on marble Olympics to take their creations even higher, faster, and bigger. Mrs. Henely likes that it actually even goes beyond the science. She notices that doing the marble (and Lego) creations together really strengthens the students' social and emotional development, while building up their use of scientific vocabulary. She says how you can hear students taking turns, asking the "what if we do this...." questions, "let's try this idea" "oh neat I like that too."
The other new big project is the mason bee homes. Mrs. Henely was at Costco when she spotted it, and knew it would fit well into their upcoming PYP unit. Mrs. Tanner and Mrs. Dell were excited about how the bees could help the Community Garden group that Bonny Slope has. The teachers mentioned too, that this particular insect home has room for butterflies—which is something the first graders do, so, this project allows the students to get a little glimpse into learning that they will receive next year. Previously, the team has studied worms and ants (thanks to Uncle Milton's ant farms); but, as Mrs. Henely pointed out, "Kids can be afraid of bees, this is a way to alleviate that fear and misunderstanding." All of the teachers echoed that idea, of how important bees are, and how they fit in perfectly with their unit of "Sharing the Planet."
Obviously playing with marbles in class is a fun creative way to learn. Plus getting to see bees in action outside! But, I was curious how it came to be. Mrs. Dell mentioned that since the Kinder team collaborates on so much, that they are always looking for how to change it up. The other teachers quickly agreed. She went on to say that these activities are part of the "Next Generation Science Standards.” Mrs. Tanner added that when one teacher tries something out and it works, then they all want to do it. Which immediately made me ask, "But how do you pay for it?" Their instant response???? "BSCO."
"You are our fairy princess."
The teachers were unanimous in their praise and appreciation of BSCO. One teacher mentioned how BSCO is their go-to for funding opportunities for their classes. Mrs. Kang said, "BSCO is so supportive...always adding to what we are doing in the classroom....it provides such an enhancement." "If we have a dream, if we really wish we could do something to elevate our students' learning, we go to BSCO." "The gifts we receive from BSCO, allow us to give our students' the gift of curiosity."
Thank you for supporting BSCO and hence supporting your students!