A friend suggested I start blogging about the cool stuff I've been doing in my classroom.
Its literally cool stuff these days as we are studying the Polar regions. This study started when the children picked up some plastic toys and started playing "north pole".
I casually mentioned to them that polar bears and penguins do not live together. They did not believe me, so we discussed how we could find the answer to this question.
Learning how to learn is even more important than the answers to the questions in this classroom!
We listed that we could read books, we could go to the North Pole, we could talk to an expert-yes, we should talk to Santa Claus, he lives there! After much debate we started with books.
We became very intrigued with both poles, but they were still interested in an expert, so we had to further discuss the difficulties of contacting Santa Claus. It came down to the fact that he doesn't usually respond to mail other than on Christmas Day.
However, I had a solution. Luckily, my father had actually been to the true North Pole on expedition and was willing to come to class and show his equipment, photographs and clothing. He'd also been to several areas in the polar region and was able to compare and contrast the pole to the surrounding areas. We all learned a lot- we were all wrong-neither polar bears nor penguins live at the actual North Pole-nothing does, there is no food, the polar bears are just a bit further south where the seals start swimming.
This is exactly why I love my job so much. I get to learn along with my students.
To coincide with this visit we've been making habitats for polar animals we have made out of clay and painted, experimenting with gloves that simulate polar bear blubber, building with blocks covered in white paper as ice and painting with frozen paint cubes to name a few. And these children are four!! This emergent curriculum came from their wonderings, is answering their questions and following their leads. Perhaps this blog will answer some of yours.