As 2016 begins, Denton Avenue students and teachers are finishing up their first PLTW module. And as the classes reach the final project and problem, the teachers are excitedly sharing their pictures with each other. The ideas are flowing, the conversations are vibrant, and the children are showing off their scientific expertise.
In kindergarten, with Module 1: Structure and Function, the children followed Suzi, Angelina, and Mylo through the literary journey of Jack and the Beanstalk and The Three Little Pigs. They were challenged to create beanstalks that would be structurally sound while serving the function of helping Jack climb high. Then they were challenged to create homes out of bricks (styrofoam blocks), sticks (tongue depressors), or straw (toothpicks). Their homes had to withstand the Big Bad Wolf (a powerful electric fan).
What did they learn through all this? As Susan Fabian explained, "The children learned how to work together. And by watching each other, they learned to remodel their beanstalks. They learned that the beanstalk needed a stronger base than just one pipe cleaner." Her students learned about balance. John and Hailey spoke about their beanstalk. "Our beanstalk had to be big to climb up to the clouds. We needed two (pipe cleaners) to make it tight. And one (pipe cleaner) wouldn't balance so it would fall over."
Milly Loman taught her students the spanish words for bricks, sticks, and straw, as well as the words for Structure and Function. The children excitedly used these words to talk about the houses they were building.
All of the kindergarten students had fun while learning. See what they accomplished. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.