How an idea takes shape….
While we were working on our rocks I put the globe on the floor in our classroom. The girls were spinning it around and looking at it but no one asked me what it was. Later we began talking about shapes in the classroom.
One of our girls said “that thing on the floor is round”.
“Yes, It is. I wonder what that thing is? “I answered.
“It’s a globe!!”
“What is a globe?”
“It’s the earth!!!”
“Should we put the globe on the table with the rocks?”
I placed the globe on the table with magnifying glasses and several books about the earth, sun, moon and stars. The girls slowly became drawn to the globe and began asking questions:
Where do we live?
What is that black line around the middle?
Is the blue stuff the water?
I live in Tennessee. Where is Tennessee?
I began listening to conversations in that area and noticed that a recurring theme was “playing school”. The next day during one of our meetings on the carpet we talked about our dramatic play area and asked them if they would like to turn our dramatic play area into a school? They were excited about that idea and so I asked them what kind of school we should create. The girls had so many ideas…we listed them and then voted.
Rock school- 3
Book school- 1
Earth school- 1
Moon school- 3
Space school – no votes
Sun school- 3
Star school- 4
Sky School -1
Space ship school – no votes
Sun and moon school- 3
Outer space school-no votes
Star School received the most votes. I do believe a few of the girls voted more than once!!! Then we began making plans. The girls decided to make a Star School sign. Then one idea leads to another. They added a moon and stars. We already had books and I asked the girls what else we needed in our school.
Markers..so we can color
Paper… to color on
Star pointers… for our stories
ABC’s…so we can write notes to our mom’s and dad’s
And so it began…the girls were drawing the earth and then “Star School” notes were added. I am sure you have seen many of those notes coming home in book bags!! I hope they are sharing those thoughts with you.
Early in the year when the girls began picking up sticks on the way to lunch I decided to share the book, Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis. This book captures the thrill of pretending with a stick in hand… a conductor in an orchestra, a painter, drum sticks…the list is endless when the imagination takes over. Later Ms. Grinder found a great big box and brought it to school one day. I then shared another story by Antoinette Portis titled, Not a Box… a book again tapping into the imagination. I asked the girls “What do you think we could turn this box into?” Many ideas emerged and they girls again voted.
A helicopter- 2
A rainbow- 3
An airplane airport… no votes
Stars and moon- 1
A rocket ship- 6
The girls did agree on the color of our ship 100% …pink and purple!
Reflection: I could not begin to list all the skills these girls were learning during this project. I believe: tapping into the 21 century skills such as creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration were certainly present. I am proud of these girls for thinking “outside the box” and daring to share their opinions and work together. Expanding their minds…the possibilities are endless!!
Ms Prewitt and Ms Grinder
…” Within a structured and nurturing environment, Hutchison encourages each student to develop a lifelong joy of learning, to sharpen her intellectual curiosity, to cultivate artistic expression, and strive for physical well-being” …Hutchison philosophy