What a wonderful week back from our Mid-Winter Break.
We continued celebrating Black voices and accomplishments by reading the stories, The Vast Wonder of the World, of the brilliant biologist, Ernest Everett Just, Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon who helped to design the beautiful Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture, and The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne, a journalist unafraid to ask critical questions pushing forward the Civil Rights Movement. With these stories, we celebrated Black people who paved the way and opened doors wide open for people who came after them.
During our project time, we focused primarily on Inner Planets. We read the books Inner Planets, Earth, and You are the First Kid on Mars. Students learned all about these terrestrial planets and were able to continue practice taking lots of notes to refer back to in the future. They are also finishing up the planets that they will use for the mobiles around the classroom.
This week we had 3 people volunteer in the classroom: Lynn’s dad, Jake, Dayton’s mom, Andrea, and a very close friend of mine, Christopher. Jake led the week by showing us how most illustrations we see of the solar system are inaccurate in scale, either in size or distance. He then demonstrated what an accurate portrayal would look like by going outside and showing us that for someone to illustrate a correctly scaled visual of the solar system, the planets would be millimeters small and you’d need a piece of paper the length of his neighborhood street! It was so interesting and engaging and I’m hoping to do something with it in person in the near future.
Andrea came in to share some of her favorite constellations and their corresponding origin stories. Afterward, students were able to create their own constellations with black construction paper, chalk, and star stickers. They came up with some incredibly creative and beautiful constellations and origin stories that really allowed their little personalities to come forward!
Our week ended with a good friend of mine, Christopher, coming in to share his knowledge of the Orion Water Landing and Crew Recovery Design. Christopher is a mechanical engineer working at an aerospace company and had so much knowledge to share with our littles. This information was especially helpful for the start of our next project: How to safely land a spacecraft. After our meeting with Christopher, students were introduced to the scientific method and focused on the first two steps: question and hypothesis. I let the students know we would be conducting an egg drop from 10+ feet and to do that we were asked the question, “How can we keep the egg from cracking?” Students were tasked to formulate a hypothesis using information learned from Christopher or any other previous knowledge they hold and to generate a list of supplies they might need to do this. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, students will be constructing and recording data until they are ready to test out with an actual egg.
Overall, another wonderful week. I’d like to end this post celebrating our very own Henry T. for persevering during math this week. Way to go, Henry!!
Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend!!