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Baby Chicks Hatch in Paine Kindergarten Class

collage of students and chickens

May 6, 2022
Jason Gaston


PAINE - It’s no secret that Paine’s enrollment continues to grow.  That enrollment has increased by a few just this week with the arrival of baby chicks in Mrs. Heather Cates’ Kindergarten class. 

It is all part of a study of habitats and life cycles – one in which the students have a profound interest.  Prior studies included those of plants, butterflies, rainforests, oceans, and more.  Now, the habitat/life cycle study has pivoted to chickens.

Walk into Mrs. Cates’ classroom, you will see a large incubator where baby chicks have just hatched this week – and a myriad of other artifacts related to this study including a listing of names proposed by students and artwork related to baby chicks.  These tangibles ride in tandem with a deep study of the life cycle of baby chicks during the months of April and May.

“After each child was an expert on their animal, we decorated our room, dressed up, and rotated between habitats to learn from each other.  After that, we began incubating our eggs knowing that we were going to be studying farm animals the first week of May and that we had just learned about life cycles. We knew they were going to begin hatching [the first week of May] because we had seen and heard all the signs we had learned about,” Cates said.

Cates set up a livestream for students to watch hatching after school hours.

“We wanted to make our learning tangible for our kindergarteners who really learn best through hands-on experiences. For kindergarten, it is all about making learning come alive, both figuratively and literally,” Cates said.  “We are making memories, meeting standards, and, most importantly, igniting a passion for learning that will take through the remainder of their academic career.”