The Early Childhood classroom was transformed into an immersive space/nighttime experience. Excited astronomers entered the classroom and saw twinkling stars up above, heard crickets chirping, and saw nocturnal animals hunting their prey under the light of the moon. With flashlights in hand, students explored their new environment. They read stories by the campfire, found constellations among the stars, and delighted in creating shadows. To end our night together we read Under the Silvery Moon by Colleen McKeown about various nocturnal animals, their sounds, and their behaviors.
To accompany our papier-mâché moon that is now hanging in our classroom, this week Early Childhood students created stars out of newspaper and tissue paper. The newspaper was tightly rolled and glued to create long rods. The rods were bent into star shapes. Artists then applied layers of tissue paper to the insides of the stars using star-like colors. The semi-translucent stars will be suspended from the ceiling adjacent to and in front of the moon.
Special Note: In preparation for the upcoming Maker Faire, PCS is looking for t-shirt donations of any size and color. PCS students will be repurposing the recycled T-Shirts into bags to hand out at the Maker Faire. If you are able to, please send in any used t-shirts with your child. Thank you in advance!
"Mr. Man in the Moon, Mr. Man in the Moon, how do you do it? How do you do it? How do you make it shine?" (From A Little Peace and Quiet - Rick Charette)
We did it! We figured out why the moon isn't always round. Using their prior knowledge of shadows, illumination, transparency, opacity, reflection, light and dark, each Kindergartener modeled one phase of the moon for the rest of the class to guess and explain what was happening between the positions of the earth and the sun. Shadow play continued all week long with the overhead projector, flashlights, hand puppets, and handmade props. We even played a game of 'shadow charades.' This is easy to do at home - hang a sheet and shine a light directly on it. Then take turns acting something out behind the 'screen' while others try to guess what your shadow is doing. In Music, the children became shadows of each other when they tried to mirror a friend's movements.
"Papa Please Get the Moon For Me" by Eric Carle prompted many discussions about the differences between fiction and nonfiction. This read aloud also motivated the class to create shadow props so they could try to act out the entire story using shadows. But first...each child made a list of props they thought this show would require. THIS is a tiny snapshot into how we integrate authentic literacy into our day whenever we can.
In preparation for the upcoming Maker Faire, PCS is looking for t-shirt donations of any size and color (gently used and clean is fine!). PCS students will be repurposing the recycled T-Shirts into bags to hand out at the Maker Faire. If you are able to, please send in any used t-shirts with your child. We will be setting up an asssembly line this Friday afternoon in the Community Room and would love your help tracing, cutting, sewing and tagging these bags. (BYOSM - Bring Your Own Sewing Machine)
We are also gathering several things for our faculty and staff sponsored Maker Faire Area. Based on the good work of Play:Ground Adventure and PopUp Adventure Play, we will be setting up an area where children and adults can build, tape, construct and create. Please start saving any of these items. We need a lot of it!
- Cardboard - any size and shape
- Cardboard Tubes - any size
- Random bits and lengths of PVC Pipe
- Rolls and Rolls of Masking Tape
- Fabric scraps
- Zip Ties
A CELEBRATION OF LEARNING - MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Our Astronomy Unit continues to provide unique and meaningful learning experiences so we have decided to showcase our enduring understandings in a special way. In lieu of a March First Friday, we will be holding a Celebration of Learning the evening of Friday, March 18 starting with a school-wide Pot Luck at 6:30 PM. During the evening, you will be able to take a self-guided tour through the school to see the good work of all our students.
In our latest S.T.E.A.M. challenge, students are designing and creating a lunar transport rover that will carry equipment and people on the moon. The lunar rover will need to be able to roll down a ramp and run for a distance of 50 centimeters. The rover must also have room to carry an egg, which will represent people and equipment in the next challenge of creating a landing pod. Students will also learn to measure the rise and run of the ramp. To begin the challenge, students in Lower Primary created a blueprint of their lunar rover, labeling their supplies and the process in which it will be assembled. Following the design, students will begin the building process and ultimately test their designs and write reflections.
In math this week Lower Primary students were introduced to telling time. We began by understanding the differences between analog and digital clocks. Then the students learned about the hands of the clock. Some students became teachers as they explained the difference between the hour hand and the minute hand and what role each hand plays. Each student had the opportunity to practice their time telling skills on miniature clocks. Encourage your child to practice telling time on your clock at home!
Lower Primary students chose to further their knowledge on planets this week. We began by dissecting what they already know and they had the opportunity to state what they would like to learn in the future. This week we focused our attention on two inner planets. As Lower Primary researched Mercury and Venus, they discovered so many interesting facts! Ask your child what they learned this week about the planets.
The Maker Faire is coming up and PCS is looking for t-shirt donations. The students at PCS will be creating bags from recycled T-Shirts to hand out at the Maker Faire. If you are able to, please send in any used t-shirts with your child. Thank you in advance!
Students have continued to add more details to their overall picture of our solar system. They continue to investigate the individual planets and are organizing that information into overarching categories such as planet history, physical attributes, and possibilities for future missions. This week Upper Primary has been focusing on our sun, especially its structure and its features such as sunspots, magnetic fields, and solar flares. We unpacked each layer of the sun, including the core, radiative zone, convection zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. Students created a diagram and described each layer in their own words. We have begun to investigate how solar activity affects the weather and Earth. Students know that sunspots vary and that the number of sunspots changes over time. Scientists have determined that these changes actually occur in a cyclical pattern. Students are currently in the middle of graphing the changes in the number of sunspots to decide for themselves if the pattern is indeed cyclical.
In preparation for the International Spaces Station’s Commander Scott Kelly’s return next week, Upper Primary has been learning about what it takes for humans to live and work in space for long periods of time. Scott Kelly’s stay on the space station is twice as long as any other U.S. astronaut. We watched interviews of Scott Kelly and his medical team to learn more about how vital his stay is to helping scientists study how the human body responds to long-duration space flights. On Earth, parallel studies have been taking place on Scott Kelly's identical twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly. Upper Primary will be following the coverage of this event next week as well.
Special Note: PCS is looking for t-shirt donations of any size and color for the upcoming Maker Faire. PCS students will be repurposing the recycled T-Shirts into bags to hand out at the Maker Faire. If you are able to, please send in any used t-shirts with your child. Thank you in advance!