Friday, November 20, 2015

Triple Decker

Over the summer, I had the pleasure of reading a book written by a Richmond author, ANOTHER KIND OF HURRICANE. In this debut novel, TAMARA ELLIS SMITH introduces the reader to two very different characters—a black boy who loses his home in Hurricane Katrina and a white boy in Vermont who loses his best friend in a tragic accident. The two boys come together to find healing and peace. Throughout the story, SMITH refers to the boy’s great ideas as, TRIPLE DECKER LAYER CAKE IDEAS. The catchy phrase stuck with me and this autumn when I greeted my students I shared the phrase with them! Knowing young learners always surprise me with creative and novel ideas, I knew the expression would be contagious in our classroom!
This week, preschoolers invested hours of hard work preparing a variety of handmade items for their FAMILIES. After counting family members, preschoolers wrote stories, illustrated family portraits, prepared food, decorated THANKFUL STONES, and designed pattern napkin holders.   The word GRATITUDE was woven into all of our conversations and I was simply astounded by the investment and focus young learners exhibited when preparing gifts for their loved ones! GREAT thoughtfulness was put into each gift by recognizing a parent’s favorite color and using hearts, flowers and rainbows for decorations! Your child’s love for you exceeds a TRIPLE DECKER LAYER CAKE!
We ended our week together by playing the WONDER GAME… I SEE, I THINK and I WONDER.
Colored corn was introduced and the following observations and thoughts were made:
Yellow, red, white, purple and brown corn
Round and long corn
Wire and hair on the corn  
An animal bit some of the corn
It grew in the ground with things that help it grow… they are roots
Soil helped it grow
It has a pattern with lines
If we boil it, if it will turn into popcorn
If people can eat it, because their kind of corn is yellow
If we put the seeds under the ground, will it grow more corn?
What kind of animal will eat the corn, will they take it to their dens when they hibernate

After we completed the WONDER GAME, we dissected the colored corn and that’s when it happened…

One preschooler said, “HEY the corn cob has air pockets just like a cranberry…I bet it will float!
We instantly got out a tray and filled it with water to test out the idea! YES, a corn cob does have air pockets and it does float! The TRIPLE DECKER LAYER CAKE OF AN IDEA lead to many other great observations and ideas! Students noticed the cobs had different colors and became darker when wet. They also compared the hard corn kernels to the cranberries we strung onto wire weeks ago. The children WONDERED… when the colored corn is picked by the farmer does it have juice in it like a cranberry?
Mrs. Emery and I were unsure…the question left us all WONDERING!
Have a
                   TRIPLE DECKER LAYER CAKE OF                                   A THANKSGIVING!

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