This unique TK collaborative class is the first of its kind in SMMUSD
Franklin Elementary School’s Collaborative Transitional Kindergarten Class at Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) is generating excitement with their recent project-based learning project titled “What’s the Buzz About Bees?”
Led by TK teacher Danielle Eden and early childhood special education teacher Nell Canon, this Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics- (STEAM) enhanced initiative takes a creative approach to early childhood education.
“It all started with this beehive plush counting toy in our classroom that our students were obsessed with,” said Eden. “Students would even play a game at recess where they would run around the playground and pretend to be bees and sting each other and make honey.”
The TK program, guided by students’ interests, features a STEAM-enhanced and Reggio-inspired curriculum. The students immersed themselves in various activities, from reading books about bees to creating 3D models of bees and exploring honeycomb shapes with hexagons.
The project concluded with the creation of a bee sanctuary, featuring recycled school lunch milk cartons filled with nesting tubes, “bee hotels,” bee baths, and lavender and rosemary plants. This unique TK collaborative class is the first of its kind in SMMUSD, exemplifying the school and district’s commitment to inclusivity and innovative learning.
The TK students will play a future role of beekeepers by watering the plants, changing out the bee bath water and checking on nesting tubes.
“The sanctuary is in the TK/Kindergarten yard for all students to observe,” said Eden. “I am sure it will be ‘buzzing’ come spring when more bees are out.”