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Curiosity Is Not Knowing and Wanting To Find OuT

by Brie Tompkins and her Kindergarteners

“You can't just give someone a creativity injection. You have to create an environment for curiosity and a way to encourage people and get the best out of them.” - Ken Robinson

“Curiosity is not knowing and wanting to find out.” - Kindergartener MW

“We were curious when we found a lot of monarch caterpillars on the milkweed, and we wondered if we could take care of them.” -ES

“Then we wondered a lot more about our monarchs, like why do they become green?” -WW

“So we asked some questions and discovered the miracles of monarch metamorphosis!” -ED

Curiosity led us on many adventures through play, books, art, physical activity, games, design challenges, and friendship. During these adventures, Kindergarteners explored the Sycamore mindsets - Think Critically, Live Imaginatively, Collaborate, Take Action, and Be Adaptable. With their interests and questions driving their learning, students discovered just how much they can wonder.

“Curiosity is about thinking if you know something, then knowing you don’t know, and then asking questions to find out.” -ED

“Is it a crystal?” -CH

“Maybe it’s a diamond!” -WW

“Let’s smash some more rocks to find more.” -MG

Kindergarteners play games that excite their curiosity. Thinker is a place value game that involves using deductive reasoning to find the answer. They wonder about their friends’ thinking and make guesses to learn more.

“Curiosity is like when you mix something up and you wonder about it, so you ask a question.” -CK

“It makes us want to play more.” -CH

When playing games with friends, curiosity drives discoveries. “I wonder each time I play a game how to win.” -MG

“How do gears really work?” -MW

“We could make our own.” -ES

“AND put them all together!” -CK

“Curiosity is like people sniffing around to figure things out, like my cat.” -BES

We also wonder about how we can challenge ourselves physically. On the big yard, Kindergarteners designed an obstacle course and invited older students to join in! They wondered what they could do to help other kids at school have fun.

Educators at Sycamore ask, “What do you notice and what do you wonder?” When looking at art and imagining how to make your own, these observations and questions lead to beautiful discoveries.

Kindergarteners applied this mindset to the design-thinking process many times throughout the fall. As part of their Exhibition, students generated hundreds of questions, taxonomized their questions, and chose a single question to investigate.

They wondered, “How are shoes made?” “How do airplanes fly?” “What is love?” “ Why do stars shine?” “How are colors made?” “Who invented the first stuffed animal?” “How are TVs made?” “How does the water cycle work?” “How are diamonds found?” and “How do my questions lead to more questions?”

Kindergarteners often wonder how they can collaborate to help each other see patterns, count to bigger numbers, and create amazing things that they could not do alone.

To support their interest in curiosity, Kindergarteners developed a story, The Emotion Investi-Gator, about an alligator who investigates his friends’ feelings. They considered the types of questions that their character could ask to show empathy and are working on putting them to practice in their own lives.

As Kindergarteners develop a growth mindset at Sycamore and begin their journey as curious investigators, they are led by the wise words of Socrates - wonder is the beginning of wisdom.

This makes us wonder, “What are YOU curious about?”

“Curiosity is like wondering when you can have pie.” - WW

Hopefully soon!

Cheers to a happy and curious new year!


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