As we come to the end of the first half of our term, we also are finishing up our unit on Sharing the Planet. The children spent the two months exploring water, its properties, asking questions and inquiring into how water is used and shared with other living things. We had so many questions, and as we inquired further the questions continued to flow! We started learning a lot of information as we went along, but we really didn't know how we would present this new learning and organize it. One day as we were having a class discussion, Jacob suggested that we could make a science museum! All of us thought that this was a brilliant idea so we started by sorting out our information to pin point the main ideas of our new learning. We decided we wanted to show the following:

  • Water is found in many different places
  • How it rains
  • How rain water can be cleaned
  • How plants use water to grow
  • Other living things we share water with
Below are images of different areas of our classroom. They were slowly created throughout the unit and by the end we had our museum showing what we had learned! Click on each image to see the captions and learn about what each part of our museum shows.

Our friend Joseph
Joseph is a very good thinker and often helps us solve problems! He has one younger sister who is three years old and his favorite books are Thomas books. Joseph's favorite thing to do is go to P.E.! Here are the things we noticed about Joseph's name:

  • 'ph' makes a 'f' sound
  • 'J' is a slide with a hat
  • 'o' is a hula hoop
  • 'h' is stairs going don
  • 's' is a waterslide
  • 'p' is a rollercoaster

All of us in K1PA were very proud today because we were all independently engaged in Reading Workshop for an entire fifteen minutes! That's a pretty long time for a group of 4 and 5 year-olds! Over the past two weeks we have been looking at using Post-its when we are reading. When we were first starting out, the Post-its were used in an open-ended manner. The children were given two Post-its each and we learned that we can stick them on pages that we want to share with our buddies. After the first few tries, we came back together and shared the different types of things we were sharing with our buddies. After a few examples were shared, we discovered that we were all discussing our books in three different ways:
  1. Sharing a part we really liked or made us excited
  2. Sharing questions we had about the book
  3. Talking about new learning (things we didn't know before)
So the next time we went to read our books, the children were given three Post-its each to mark something they really liked in the book, a question that they had and a page that taught them something new. However, some of us got a little confused and couldn't remember which Post-it marked which point! We all came back to Reading Workshop the next day to solve this problem, and luckily Miss Pana had a solution! We needed to mark each of our Post-its with a symbol! Here are the symbols we used:

Exclamation point (!) = A page that made me go "WOW!"
Question mark (?) = A page that I am wondering about or have a question about
The letter 'L' = A page where I LEARNED something new!

Once we did that, all of us were able to easily mark three pages and discuss with our reading buddies why we marked each page. Except another problem came along...what do we do when we are done sharing one book? Well that was an easy question to answer! Take out the Post-its, get a new book and do it all over again!

How many books can you read and discuss in 15 minutes? :)

As we came to a conclusion on understanding how water falls from the sky as rain and how this rain water is cleaned to be delivered to our homes, we returned to our wonder wall to see which question we all were most interested in answering next. The children all chose to find out how plants use water to grow. The big question though, was HOW were we going to do this? The children said that we should plant our own seeds and watch them grow. Many of us had different ideas about what plants needed to successfully grow. Some of us thought that we needed a lot of water, some thought that we only needed a little. Others thought plants would grow just fine inside the classroom, whereas others felt it would be better to have them out in the sunlight. So we all made some choices:

  • Which seeds will I plant?
  • Will I use soil or cotton?
  • How much water do I want to pour in?
  • Where will I keep my plant, inside or outside?
Each day we have been making observations and taking notes like real scientists. We talked about how scientists learn a lot even when nothing  is happening or if they are not successful the first time. For instance, if nothing has changed from the day before, then we should report that nothing has happened. When asked what we could learn from that, we learn that seeds don't grow in just one day!

Stay tuned for the observation books we are currently creating as we make daily notes on the changes, or lack of changes happening to our seeds!

Special thanks to Aina M. for being our photographer during this learning engagement!

Our friend Aina P.
Aina P. is a very responsible and respectful member of our class. She is a caring friend and a very talented artist! Aina P. has one older brother, her favorite book is 'Cinderella' and her favorite thing to do is color!

When we looked at her name we found a few interesting things:

  • The big letter 'A' is like a tunnel going through a mountain
  • the word 'nap' is in her name
  • the word 'in' is in her name
  • the letter 'n' is like a roller coaster!