March 1, 2016

Today we watched a new video of our Astronaut friend Chris Hadfield. In this video, he's making a peanut butter sandwich in space! We watched the video in small groups, noticing some things that we remembered from his other videos - like that when he lets go of something it floats. We also learned some new things from this video - like that astronauts use tortillas instead of bread, because bread makes crumbs, and the crumbs would float all over the space station. After he finishes eating his sandwich, Chris uses a wipe to clean his hands and face, since he doesn't have running water on the space station. 

When we finished watching the video we tried making sandwiches for ourselves. Since we don't use peanut butter at our school, we used sunflower seed butter, and we used small pieces of tortillas since they were just a snack. Children washed their hands, then practiced using butter knives to spread the sun butter onto the tortilla. They folded it up, and took a bite! Most children found the sandwiches delicious and ate them all. When they were finished, they wiped the knife clean with their napkin, and used a wet wipe to clean their hands and face just like Chris. We are excited to keep experimenting and building these practical skills, and we will be watching the video as a whole group tomorrow.

Over the past several weeks, we've been focusing on exposing the children to images and ideas, and encouraging them to imagine and hypothesize about outer space and space travel.  This week, though, it's been clear that many kids are ready to take in more detailed and specialized information, and to begin thinking more deeply, and using their new knowledge in creative ways.

Today, our morning meeting began with a question designed to help us transition into a new phase of our investigation: What is in space?  Kids thought carefully about this, then offered these answers:

-Outer space

-Rocketship (with water bottles and food bags)

-Moon

-Astronauts

-Planets (Mercury, Saturn, Blue, Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Neptune, Uranus)

-Hot lava (on the top)

-Fire (on the bottom)

-A purple balloon

-Bubbles that pop on the moon or the sun

-The Sun

During work time Anna S. worked with a small group to think more about the Sun.  This group quickly agreed that the sun has two parts: the circle and the lines.  All three children drew suns using these components, and shared some ideas and questions.

"The sun stays up.  I don't know how."

"I made some black.  It's to cover the while sun, because the sun is different colors.  The circle part is to put the colors in it.  The lines are for heating it up."

"I drew the sun.  And then the moon.  I covered the sun with the moon because it's night time AND morning.  You have to go to bed and wake up at the same time."

This small group work was so rich, full of theories and debate that carried over into a reflection meeting with the whole class.  Important questions were raised, and we'll spend the week  trying to answer them.  Here are our questions, along with some hypotheses kids made.  We'll pursue answers for the rest of the week

"What is the sun made of?"  "Volcanos." "Eruptions."  "Fire."

"Why is the sun more hot?"

"Why is there fire?"  "Because the rocketship has fire out the back and that makes it hot."

"How does the fire get onto the sun?"

"How does the sun rise?"  

"Where does the sun go at night?"  "It's behind the clouds.  In the sky."

"What shape is the sun?"  "It's flat, like a pancake."  "It's round."

"How is the sun bright?"  "Because yellow."