Kindergarten News #8

Happy New Year, 2015!

Flashback to SPACE

Though miniterm is behind us now, I wanted to share with you an entry I had composed before Winter break. It will reveal a little bit about the inquiry process that my students went through. I asked students to make "I wonder" statements about space before miniterm began. Later, we checked back in to see how their understanding had grown. While this is just scratching the surface of *inquiry-based* learning, I feel that all of the children did, in fact, find success in this foray.

I wonder...


What is space?

I learned that space is dark. There are stars and planets in space. We live on planet Earth. Our sun is a star. Everything is part of space.


I wonder how far up space goes.

I learned that space is infinite. It never stops!


I wonder how much room space has.

I learned that you can not measure space. It is too big!

From NASA: So how big is the universe? No one knows if the universe is infinitely large, or even if ours is the only universe that exists. And other parts of the universe, very far away, might be quite different from the universe closer to home. Future NASA missions will continue to search for clues to the ultimate size and scale of our cosmic home.


How high does an astronaut go?

I learned that astronauts can go as high as the space station and as high as the moon.

From NASA: Before Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. stepped on the moon on July 20, 1969,people had studied the moon by eye, telescope and images from spacecraft. As long as people have looked at the moon, they have wondered how far away it is from Earth. The average distance to the moon is 382,500 kilometers.

Is it dark in space?

I learned that it is dark in space, but stars like our sun make light.


I wonder what aliens look like? Do they have 3 noses?

I learned that nobody has seen an alien so nobody knows!


I wonder if there are astronauts in space all the time.

I learned that there are always 8 astronauts living on the space station in space.

I wonder if aliens live in houses in outer space?

I learned that nobody knows for sure if there are aliens in space.


I wonder if there alien astronauts in space?

I learned that nobody knows for sure if there are aliens in space.


How much space do people need?

I learned that people live on earth and that is just a little part of space.

There is a lot more space!

From the Far Corners of Space to the Deep Waters of the Ocean

We are moving along with our new unit, the Ocean. So far, students are learning what makes an ocean an ocean, versus a river or a lake, and about some of the plants and animals of the ocean. This wonderful unit provides many opportunities to include the arts as children learn content and develop their fine motor and expressive skills. We have several projects in motion and will dive into some hands-on related experiments in the coming days and weeks.

Notes, In Brief

  • Thank you for sending in all of the things your child needs for school each day. During winter term, the *five things* and sneakers are essential. Everything goes more smoothly when everyone has what they need!
  • Weekly schedule update: My class will have Chinese Language/Culture class on Wednesdays at 10 AM. They will go to the Maker Space most Wednesdays after rest time. Library time is Friday at 10:10. Reading Buddies now meet at the end of the day on Fridays- just until the end of winter term.
  • I'm so excited to be moving into the Writer's Workshop model with students. They've learned all of their lowercase letters and are now learning upper case (at a much more accelerated pace) and this means they can start to read and write simple words. Today, students were inspired by The Quilt Story to write about a special blanket or stuffed animal from home.
  • On Monday, the whole school will come together to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Bement's Diversity Committee, which both Jane and I are on, has put together a program that is sure to be meaningful to Bement students and faculty. Next week, we will spend Keith House meetings reading books that relate to MLK and the Civil Rights Era.
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Stay warm!