Sunday, 18 January 2015

Planets, Outer Space, and the Moon

I have been attempting to get to this post since the end of December, and am glad to finally publish it for sharing. Unfortunately at the end of the year, just before the break, we had our technical reps into the school and they re-imaged all our I-Pads including the one I take all my pictures on and although I thought I had made a copy of all the photos and saved them to my Google Drive I was unpleasantly surprised to see that many of the photos have disappeared. This was a lessoned learned for me - back up all photos regularly!

For the month of December the students started showing an interest in Space and Travelling there by rocketship.

We found several larger boxes and allowed the students to design and cut out their spaceship as they saw fit. We encouraged them to make plans before using the scissors to cut out the windows.

Once the rocket was ready for play the children all wanted a turn to fly into space to see what they could see. This was a good exercise in learning how to take turns so that all interested were able to have their fair turn inside the ship to look at the galaxy. As the student climbed into the rocketship another student closed the door, while a third student help the window shut. As the on-lookers performed the count down 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-Blast Off!, the window was opened and the "astronaut" looked out into the galaxy and told us what they saw.

"I see the Moon"
"I see Saturn and more planets"
"I see the milky way"
"I see dark"
Making a space Station from a plan.

Researching the Solar System on the I-Pad.
Creating the Solar System on mural paper.
Taking our time to write the names of the planets.
As the days went on several of the students showed an interest in creating a mural of all the planets in our galaxy. We used the I-Pads to research some of the planets and came across an image of the Solar System. The students wanted to recreate this on the mural paper to hang up in the Planet Corner. Working diligently they consulted the images on the I-Pad and tried to get the planets into the correct order.
Working collaboratively to create the mural.

Several other students were engaged in an art project creating a hanging display of all the planets in our Solar System. They created each planet and wrote its name to hang up. What a great way to incorporate authentic writing experiences.
KWL chart to begin our questions.

Documentation notes taken during Thinking and Learning TIme

Our Documentation Wall.

Watercolour space.
Others worked at the watercolour table to show their learning.
Working on watercolour painting.

Math-magician time.
Math-magician time.

The fun thing about having on-going inquiries throughout the classroom - students will pick up the theme throughout the day at various activities. This was seen when a number of students engaged in Math-magician time and were using 2-D shapes to create images of the planets.

Math-magician time.

With a particular interest in the moon at one of our morning meetings we discussed the things we know, and the questions we had about the moon. We then began to look through books and internet sites to gain more information about our questions - realizing that some of our theories and thinking were actual misconceptions. Always good learning along the way for all.

Creating the different phases of the Moon.
 We are reluctant to take down any of this documentation as the children are often coming back to the pictures and drawing they created to see what they created this year. We are hoping that by leaving it up the kiddos will find another avenue for research to spark this inquiry again.