Summer has ended, and we have just begun the 2019-20 school year at the East Boston Early Education Center! I invite you to take a look at several snapshots of our first week in school and in the Science Makerspace:
Our kindergarten Young STEAM Inventors will begin with “Animals 2×2”. This unit provides students with close and personal interaction with some common land and water animals. Students study the phenomena by observing and describing the structures of fish, birds, snails, earthworms, and isopods. They also learn about the animals’ survival needs. The driving questions for Animals 2×2 are:
- How are animal structures similar and different?
- What do animals need to live and grow?
In “Materials and Motion,” students will investigate the how objects are made of materials—wood, paper, and fabric—and how the different properties of these materials determine how we use them. Students will engineer structures and apply physical science ideas. Here are the driving questions:
- What is made of wood, paper, and fabric?
- How are the properties of those materials useful to us?
For eight weeks, we will be doing lessons from the new combined curriculum with Foss and Focus on First. With this curriculum, your student’s science education will also be supported in the classroom. I will start with “Air and Weather”, then move into “Plants and Animals”, and will finish the school year with “Sound & Light”. Here are the driving questions for Unit 1 on Air and Weather:
- Week 1: What does a scientist look like?
- Week 2: What is a meteorologist? Why are they important to the community?
- Week 3: What are some of the tools that a meteorologist uses?
- Week 4: Measuring Temperature
- Week 5: What can clouds tell us about the weather?
- Week 6: Wind Speed
- Week 7: What happens when there is a storm?
- Week 8: How do we describe weather over a month? How does the temperature and weather change over time?
Forest Schools Learning
Over the summer, I was able to research “Forest Schools” and the work the Forest Schools Association does around the world to promote outdoor learning.
A Forest School is defined by the Forest School Association as “an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.” You can read more about using the power of nature to increase student success in a blog article I read on the Community Playthings site. Community Playthings is a company that designs and creates furniture for child playtime and exploration.
My goal is to work with the Parent Council and students to create a space for that learning at our school. Our school had a setting that sits on Gove Street (inside the black iron fence). There, we can begin thinking about how we can develop a “forest school” for all learners. I will write more about this project and on working with the Parent School Site Council project as the year unfolds.
Best wishes to a thrilling school year!
~ Alicia Carroll