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Learning in December with the help of the Gingerbread Man
4 Dec, 2016. 2 Comments. . Posted By: Kristen Smith

December is here and my kindergarten students are excited, energized, and loving our newest theme. They came in on December 1st to find our dramatic play center had been transformed into a bake shop.

Our December dramatic play set up-- Gingy's Bake Shop!

We read The Gingerbread Man and used this as our mentor text for the week. My students were beyond excited to find out that I had made three different scents of play dough for our bake shop. We reviewed what our five senses were and then passed around the tupperware containers to try to determine what types of cookies we could make.

kindergarten students use their sense of smell to determine what scent is in their monthly play dough. *This one was vanilla cookie scented!* kindergarten students use their sense of smell to determine what scent is in their monthly play dough. *This one was gingerbread cookie scented!*

My students were overjoyed to find that we had vanilla cookie, gingerbread, and peppermint dough available for them to create with. They got to work immediately making delicious creations.

kindergarten students create treats in their dramatic play center

kindergarten students create treats in their dramatic play center kindergarten students create treats in their dramatic play center

My bakers also were thrilled to find that they could also create some additional amazing scented creations at the bake shop as well. This group loves using my mortar and pestle and loved crushing peppermints to add to their cookies and muffins.

kindergarten students crush peppermints as they explore their five senses kindergarten students crush peppermints as they explore their five senses

They also used their fine motor skills to add cloves to our mandarin oranges.

kindergarten students add cloves to oranges as they explore their five sense kindergarten students add cloves to oranges as they explore their five sense

Kindergarten students solve critical thinking problems in Math using hands on manipuatives

Gingy also helped us a few times during math this past week. He provided our {critical thinking} question of the week and my students were very excited to figure out the answer. They took out gingerbread men and buttons and eagerly got to work figuring out different combinations that Gingy could have.

Kindergarten students solve critical thinking problems in Math using hands on manipuatives

Each time they came up with a new combination, they added it to our brown butcher paper on the easel.

Kindergarten students record the answer to their math critical thinking question

Each day they came up with more and more ways to create button combinations. The math talk and thought process throughout this activity made my teacher heart so very happy.

Kindergarten students record the answer to their math critical thinking question Kindergarten students figure out the answer to the question, " Gingy has 4 buttons. Some are red and some are green. What different combinations could he have?"

We also used Gingy’s buttons to practice naming and identifying patterns.

kindergarten students practice patterns with loose parts in a Reggio inspired provocation

Gingy also helped us with measuring!

kindergarten students practice measuring with loose parts in a Reggio inspired provocation

My students carefully practiced measuring Gingy using different non-standard units of measurement. If you can’t tell from the picture, they loved this!

kindergarten students practice measuring the Gingerbread Man using non-standard units of measurement kindergarten students practice measuring the Gingerbread Man using non-standard units of measurement

After they measured him, they recorded their number on the board.

kindergarten students practice measuring with loose parts in a Reggio inspired provocation

Finally, the Gingerbread Man also helped us with comprehension and cause and effect! After re-reading the story, my students retold it and I asked them, “What would have happened if the Gingerbread Man jumped into the river?” They had lots of great ideas so we placed a gingerbread cookie in a tub of water to discover the answer. My students were shocked that he dissolved and become mush! I then asked them if they could create a bridge out of toothpicks and marshmallows to help him cross the river. They were more than happy to help him out! (Thank you Vickie Plant for the great STEM idea!!)

Kindergarten students create a bridge out of toothpicks and marshmallows to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river in a fun STEM activity!

In groups of three, they got to work drawing a plan and then executing it.

Kindergarten students create a bridge out of toothpicks and marshmallows to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river in a fun STEM activity!

They problem solved, used critical thinking, and worked together to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river successfully!

Kindergarten students create a bridge out of toothpicks and marshmallows to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river in a fun STEM activity!

Kindergarten students create a bridge out of toothpicks and marshmallows to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river in a fun STEM activity! Kindergarten students create a bridge out of toothpicks and marshmallows to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river in a fun STEM activity!

We had such a fun filled week of learning! I hope that your month is off to a great start, too!

Kristen 🙂

2 Comments
  1. Oh…so nice ideas! I have a little sister, and we`ll spend all Christmas holidays together. So I`ll use your ideas to play with her.

    Regards, Layla

    Writer from http://supremedissertations.com/

  2. Rachel -

    Can you tell me more about your critical thinking question you do weekly in your class? I keep seeing it pop up here and there in your posts! 🙂

2 Comments

  • Oh…so nice ideas! I have a little sister, and we`ll spend all Christmas holidays together. So I`ll use your ideas to play with her.

    Regards, Layla

    Writer from http://supremedissertations.com/

  • Rachel -

    Can you tell me more about your critical thinking question you do weekly in your class? I keep seeing it pop up here and there in your posts! 🙂

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