For our second module of the year, Kindergarteners at Detroit Prep have been studying weather. We have immersed ourselves in everything weather: reading nonfiction texts, performing science experiments and comparing weather around the world.
While our study of weather has been guided by the EL Primary Language Arts Curriculum, we have worked to put our own local spin on the topic. As an EL school, we strive to make learning authentic and connect the curriculum to our community; EL Core Practice 7 suggests that teachers make learning meaningful and rigorous by incorporating fieldwork, experts, and service learning. Essentially, we try to make sure any unit includes experiences in nearby places, interactions with professionals and contributions to the greater good.
Our fieldwork for the weather unit was hyper-local. We spent many mornings observing the sky outside our school, peering out the classroom window and recording our observations. We were also fortunate enough to have two weather experts share with us: a crew family member (and former meteorology major) and a weather forecaster via the Skype a Scientist Program. These experiences enriched our understanding of weather and made our unit more exciting and fun! As we continue learning this year, we will continue to connect our crew room to places, people and causes in our local community.