Welcome To the 2018-2019 School Year

“Play is a primary way that children learn about themselves
and the world around them.”

~ Sir Ken Robinson, “Dirt is Good: Why the Outdoors is the World’s Greatest Playgorund” from National Geographic

Dear Families:

Welcome to the new school year! We have been busy working cooperatively, establishing classroom routines for Science Makerspace and our community agreements.

The School Site Council asked me to work on the Playground Initiative, and so from there, I began developing a new unit of study entitled “Playgrounds and the Importance of Play”. Our Young STEAM Inventors have since looked at playgrounds that have been designed and built from all over the world by students, families, and architects. They have also been looking at playgrounds called “nature playscapes”, a global term used for playgrounds that are built with natural elements and natural materials.

We were then able to make connections to geography and further personalize this research by connecting the playgrounds to our families’ countries of origin. Many students exclaimed, “That’s where my family is from, and they built a playground there!! If you would have seen it, their faces were lit up with so much pride.

Please click the “Read More” link below to enjoy the following images of the first two weeks of school. We are off and running!

Thanks,
Alicia Carroll

The Young STEAM Inventors have been conducting exploring in the Makerspace through centers. The centers included:

  • a dinosaur dig site for paleontologists (all dressed in paleontology hats) to dig for dinosaur bones
  • a train station center where students stepped into the shoes of a train conductor (wearing vests and hats). They collaborated in building bridges and writing signs for train departures
  • a playground redesign comprised of two mini-projects — one section was a landscaping and “nature playscaping” space for students who wanted to incorporate more natural elements such as trees; the other section with the structural and architectural design of the space
  • a penguin research center where students could look up information about penguins through books, compare and contrast penguin feathers versus chicken feathers
  • a Dinosaur Lego Land Park using Legos and unit blocks at the Lego table

 

Playground Redesign

For preschool students using unit blocks and duplo blocks

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For Kindergarten and Grade 1 students using smaller Lego blocks for more developed fine motor skills

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Train Station Center

Preschool and kindergarten students are shown here exploring with trains.

 

Conducting penguin research and comparing eggs

 

Dinosaur Park

Our budding paleontologists (K0/K1, K2, Grade 1) are seen here working at our indoor dig site. We also have architects and engineers designing our Dinosaur Park. This Dinosaur Park is an open collaboration project where students of all age levels can enter at a level in which they are comfortable. The pedagogical challenge for teachers is in making the lessons open-ended while also developmentally-appropriate, in addition to differentiating for students with a variety of skills (especially necessary for students who are a little more advanced).

 

Limitlessness With Legos:  K2 and Grade 1 Students

 

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