Saturday, 6 May 2017

Our Space Inquiry

"Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand"
- Neil Armstrong

We have been working on a space inquiry for weeks now. Our learners (and us!) are so engaged and learning a lot about our solar system. Here is a small snippet into what we have been learning about and the activities we have engaged in.

We spent time gathering wonders and ideas about space which dictated the direction of our learning. There were many wonders about planets, so we started there. We spent a day learning about each planet and added the planet to our classroom representation of the solar system. 

Here are some of the videos we watched:

Our scientists asked many questions about the planets, stars and whole solar system. Here is a small snippet of their wonders:
C.M- I wonder why that sun is red instead of the yellow sun that has little points on it?
I.O- Is Mercury a rock?
N.B- I wonder if Venus is hotter than the sun?
E.Bu- I wonder what it looks like inside Venus?
L.R- I wonder how the planets get their colour?
M.S- I wonder if the orange (on Mars) is the lava?
L.G- I wonder why Jupiter has 62 moons?
A.S- I wonder why there are dots on Jupiter?
J.B- I wonder if the big black red circle (on Jupiter) is a volcano?
M.R- I wonder why Saturn is a sphere?
T.P- I wonder why Saturn has those rings?
A.B- I wonder why it’s (Saturn) a gas giant?
S.A- I wonder Pluto is not the same to these planets (dwarf planets)?
E.B- I wonder why the moon shines on the people when they sleep at night?
E.S- I wonder the asteroid bumps to the moon?
B.M- I wonder why the moon is a rock?
E.W- I wonder why the meteorite has a little bit of wrinkles on the top?

We had a couple provocations out to encourage their creativity.

Our learners integrated their new learning about space into many different areas of the classroom. They built spaceships, satellites and planets out of Lego, they painted and wrote about planets, they wrote about the solar system on the computer and used loose parts to create planets.

After watched videos sent back from the satellite Cassini (click here for more info from NASA), J.T. built his own satellite to take photos of Earth.

Our theatre drama centre has turned into an area our learners act our orbiting and rotating of the planets

Our writers did a lot of writing about the Earth. Earth Day happened while we were learning about the planets. We talked a lot about ways we can save the Earth and why we need to be respectful of the planet we live on.

We read a book called 'Postcards from the Planets'. This book inspired our writers to write their own postcard from a planet. It was a great way for them to share their learning!

We still have so much information to explore and so many more questions! There have been many wonders about astronauts and satellites, so we will be learning about those next! Stay tuned!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Math Fun

For those of you who were unable to attend our Family Math Night, I hope this post gives you some ideas about ways you can engage with math at home.

“Children deal spontaneously and sometimes joyfully with mathematical ideas. 
This is what real mathematicians do.”
Ontario Kindergarten Program Document (pg. 76)

Math is fun and children explore math in so many different ways. We have been learning lots of different math games that build foundational number sense. Below are a few of the games we have been playing.

During Family Math Night our mathematicians were the teachers and they enthusiastically taught their family members how to play some of our games!

At home, whenever you engage with math ideas or concepts you can use prompts to encourage your child to explain their thinking further, helping them develop a better understanding of math. Here are some prompts you can use at home:
  • Tell me more
  • How do you know?
  • What math do you see?
  • How can you show your thinking?
  • Can you show me in a different way?

During our Thinking and Learning Time, our mathematicians explore math concepts and play math games either independently or with others. We are always so impressed to see the types of math they engage with. Never underestimate the types of math children can do.

Pool noodles provide a wonderful opportunity to explore numbers and various math concepts. Mrs. Gerrell made this fun activity for our learners to explore various mathematical concepts.

We hope this post has inspired you to engage with math at home! Here are some simple ways to incorporate math into your everyday life:
  • Play “I spy” (for shapes : “I spy a cube/circle”; for movement: “I spy a ____ under the table”. For numbers: “I spy 6 of these objects”, etc.)
  • Count around the house (stairs, windows, socks, doorknobs, books, etc.)—ensure they count in order and give each object the correct number
  • Make 2D and 3D shapes using materials (toothpicks & marshmallows; play dough & straws)
  • Talk about patterns you see daily (in clothes, on signs) 
  • Find and/or make patterns using materials found in your house or outside
  • Explore different lengths in your house (bed, carpets, tables) with a variety of measuring tools (your feet, spoons, popsicle sticks, string, q-tips)
  • Talk about how much containers can hold (“which container has more rice?”)
  • Ask family members a question and record the results using a tally chart or a graph
  • Roll a dice and record using tallies how many times each number is rolled

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Canada's Airport Room 122

Sorry I have been MIA lately! Will try and get back into blogging more regularly.

Our learners voted to turn our drama centre into an airport. It was amazing to see how much background knowledge they had. Many of our learners have had experience travelling in an airplane. They were excited to use their knowledge in their play. We built their understanding by investigating their wonders and watching videos that teach about the various aspects of airport life. We found wonderful videos from an airport in the UK. Check out Behind The Scenes at Birmingham Airport's YouTube channel for kids. We learned lots from these videos!

Painting the airplane

Name tags to encourage role play
We learned so many new words and ideas from the videos we watched and the books we read.

 A big part of air travel is security. The TSA has a kid friendly video about the whole security process.

Here is a look into the airport and airplane we created for our drama centre after our learning and brainstorming.

The check-in counter and vocabulary words on the wall.
The airplane (seat numbers on the front and TVs on the back)

The metal detector (right) and the X-ray machine (left)

Our learners loved to take on different roles and they went on many different trips.

Putting shoes through the X-ray machine

Making batons to direct the plane when it lands.

Airplanes also turned up in other areas of the classroom.

He made a propeller for his 'wing'

We had a lot of fun in 'Canada's Airport Room 122'! 

Stay tuned for our next drama centre.