Jennifer Errico, Educational Technologist and Lindsey Brown and Maggie Turner, Kindergarten Teachers
Hewitt kindergarteners approach their role as Hewitt's newest community members with fresh eyes, deep curiosity, and lots of enthusiasm. Throughout their first year of school, kindergarteners focus on identity explorations, learning about their larger school community and their own role in that community. As they learn about themselves, they also get to know the people and places that make up Hewitt’s lower school. To help them become more familiar with their classrooms and other learning spaces, kindergarteners collaborated on an interdisciplinary mapmaking project.
The project began with each kindergarten class taking responsibility for researching a different part of the school community. As they learned about their school, students consulted with teachers and drew pictures of classrooms and other important spaces in their building. When a group of kindergarteners decided they wanted to interview faculty members on camera, they went back to their classmates for help brainstorming thoughtful and probing questions. After learning about various elements of video production, including image quality, sound, and framing, they set up their equipment and recorded their subjects.
Hewitt kindergarten students grew a great deal over the course of this unit, both in their understanding of what makes a school community as well as in their sense of autonomy and independence. The girls rose to the challenge of managing the many moving pieces of the project and worked as cohesive teams to delegate and share responsibilities. At the end of the project, student drawings, voice recordings, and video interviews were combined into an informative presentation celebrating Hewitt’s lower school community.
After viewing the students' interactive Prezi presentation, Head of Lower School Frank Patti remarked, "I was delighted and impressed to see how the kindergarteners explored our lower school community so thoughtfully, and how they used technology to share their work in such a fun and informative way."