Shelia Varney – ARI Innovations Mini Grant

Shelia Varney – ARI Innovations Mini Grant

Biography

Students were engaged in hands -on activities highlighted by iPad technology. Technology will be embedded through the unit. During this unit my kindergarten class was immersed in plant and animal life. They became botanists and zoologists, as they got up close and personal with worms, tadpoles/frogs, caterpillars/butterflies, soil, water, air, and seeds/plants. These experiences will help them develop an understanding of the interdependence of plants, animals (including humans) and their environment. After the various observations and hands-on activities, the students created models to communicate their findings and constructed arguments on how plants and animals adapt to their environments. They were able to communicate how changes in the environment by one (plant, animal, or human) can affect another with an emphasis on creating possible solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the environment.
They even became engineers and constructed a habitat that will support butterflies in each stage of its life. In the end, they will create models to represent the relationship between the needs of all of these groups. Along with these hands-on activities, the students used QR codes and apps for animal/plant videos and demonstrations. Also, the Smartboard was utilized for whole group lessons.