Saturday, April 14, 2012

The stars aline

When Mrs. Carpenter and I sat down to discuss our ideas for the April theme: Space, we discovered the stars were aligned.  We were both thinking that studying the stars would be a great focus of study.  "The Stars" provides a wealth of opportunities for projects across subject areas.  With both classes concentrating on the same aspect of the Universe, we anticipate some interesting cross over between the classes.  One of the highlights of the month is a trip to a planetarium on Friday, April 27.

On Monday, my math class explored making stars with various numbers of points.  The preliminary question was: who knows how to make a star.  There were many variations.  We counted the points on each child's star.  There were 4, 5, and 6 pointed stars.  Next, the question was posed: try making a star with 7, 8,...points.  The children experimented.  Later in the week, we watched this YouTube clip about making stars.  The children were inspired to try making more stars.  Several children traced geometric shapes to create stars with more points.  One child pointed out if you used a triangle, 3 times you would get 9 point and 4 times you would get 12 because 3x4=12.  (Another "aha" moment, in math class.)

In homeroom this week we talked about the sun.  
Each child told one thing they knew about the sun, and we compared it to a list of top 10 sun facts from NASA. Three of the things on our list match the 10 facts from NASA.

During the month, we will be focusing on stories and tales about the sun and stars.  We started with 2 myths about the sun: Arrow to the Sun a Pueblo myth which explains how the spirit of the Lord of the Sun was brought to the world of men, and a Maori tale in which the trickster, Maui, slows down the movement of the sun.  

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