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 Somewhere in the World Right Now

11/14/2019 12:00 AM

​“Somewhere in the world right now, it is already tomorrow! Somewhere in the world right now, a child is waking up for school, while another is getting ready for bed. Somewhere in the world right now, someone is eating breakfast, while another person is eating dinner.” These are recent conversations heard across fifth grade at Cherry Valley Elementary School.

One sunny October day, our fifth grade students drew their shadows both in the morning and afternoon. Students used their shadows to make observations about the sunrise and sunset. It helped students learn about the effect of Earth’s rotation on length and direction of shadows as well as the illusion that the sun and stars appear to move across the sky. Next, students explored the changing moon. Students saw how the moon reflects the sun’s light through a moon model using a white ball as a moon, their heads as Earth, and light from a lamp as the sun.

Most recently, Cherry Valley fifth grade students studied the phenomena of day and night, which is caused by Earth’s rotation. During this exploration, students worked in small groups. Each group was provided a globe as a model of Earth and lamp as a model of the sun. Groups worked together to investigate time zones across the world and discuss what is happening somewhere in the world right now.

Our first two months of school have been filled with inquiry, collaboration and learning as our fifth grade students have simultaneously studied Native American history and astronomical patterns. Students have been able to connect patterns from the stars, sun, Earth and moon to ancient civilizations. Students noticed how ancient civilizations saw the daily pattern of the sun rising in the east and setting in the west — which eventually led them to using the sun as a giant clock!

I know that somewhere in the world right now, students are having fun and learning a great deal. I have a hunch that the “somewhere” is happening in fifth grade at Cherry Valley Elementary School.

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