CHDS Rock Hounds, Recyclers, and Aviators (Feb2018 Hill Rag)

CHDS Rock Hounds, Recyclers, and Aviators (Feb2018 Hill Rag)
Debby Anker

CHDS rock hounds, recyclers, and aviators

Each of the three Early Childhood classrooms are learning math, science, geography, history, social studies, art, and more, each through a different lens. Teachers allow children's knowledge and interests to steer their study, generating guiding questions together.

One class is engrossed in rocks and minerals, and students are busy drawing, sorting, weighing, measuring, and comparing them. Rocks also invite geographic, historical, and cultural study. Guiding questions include: What is a rock? How do rocks form? How and why do living organisms use rocks?

Another group of early childhood students is engrossed in recycling. One day, they saved their lunch trash to see how much waste they produced, and then sorted it into plastics, tins, paper, and trash. They visited the PG County Recycling Center and learned how truckloads of recycling are collected, sorted, bundled, and reused to make new items, like bottles, toilet paper, and stuffed toys. Other field trip adventures included a composting facility, a landfill, and Community Forklift.

Flight is the focus for the third Early Childhood group, with research trips to the "We can fly" learning lab at Udvar Hazy, Air and Space Museum, and College Park Aviation Museum. Students welcomed experts to their classroom, including a UMD Aerospace Engineering student and a NASA engineer.

Whatever the theme, children in the Early Childhood program have ample opportunity to learn and explore through work and experiences relevant to them. Through authentic and tangible project-based work, children are best able to construct knowledge about the world around them.

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