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School Stories

Kindergarten: Tinker Time Takes on Bella's Fall Coat Lacing Challenge

Kat Diez Canseco
This November, the spirit of curiosity and innovation is alive and well in Graland’s kindergarten classroom. Bella's Fall Coat Lacing Challenge, more affectionately known as tinker time, is a creative endeavor inspired by Lynn Plourde's book, "Bella's Fall Coat."
The challenge is not just a fun and engaging activity but an opportunity to foster fine motor skills development in kindergartners. The students embark on the task of lacing a mini-coat, an activity that requires precision, concentration, and perseverance.

In the Gates Innovation and Invention Lab, Mrs. Leddy employs a laser cutter to craft 76 mini-coats for the students. As the kindergartners lace the perimeter of their coats, they not only engage their fine motor muscles but also cultivate cognitive development, spatial awareness, and critical thinking skills. Upon completing the lacing challenge, students unleash their creative spirits, adorning their miniature creations with paint sticks, buttons, gemstones, and beads. This not only enhances their fine motor skills but also encourages creative thinking and expression.

Teaching kindergartners to use a laser cutter might sound ambitious, but the approach is both thoughtful and gradual. Mrs. Leddy begins by showing a video of the laser cutter in action, demonstrating the technology to the young learners. Throughout the year, various items cut by the laser cutter become part of the students' learning experience.

Bella's Fall Coat Lacing Challenge aligns seamlessly with early childhood education. For Mrs. Leddy, when designing tinker time lessons, the focus is on creating integrated learning opportunities that spark joy and curiosity. The Bella's Fall Coat Lacing Challenge exemplifies this philosophy by combining literature, fine motor skills, creativity, and technology in a harmonious learning experience.

Tinker time at Graland is not just a break from routine; it's a dynamic platform where education encourages young minds to explore, create, and discover the joy of learning. Great job kindergarteners!

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.