Stems: Into the New Year 2020!

Stems: Into the New Year 2020!


Dear families and friends-

Welcome to the year 2020 in the Stems room! We hope you had a wonderful holiday break and wish you much happiness and many blessings in the new year. It feels as though it were just yesterday when our dear Roots became Stems and now we are already halfway through the school year!

When returning from our holiday break, we were interested in how the explorations of the Stems would be- would they jump right back into what they were doing before break or would they show interest in something different? Lo and behold, we discovered that a majority of the Stems jumped back into what they were doing before break! 🙂

In this week’s blog, we will cover the following-

  • Fixing
  • Transferring
  • Pen Pals


Before break, Annabel brought in an old Keurig machine and Daxton brought in an old printer. When school resumed, we brought out these old yet ‘new’ to the Stems machines out and discovered that they immediately began to take them apart. As the Keurig machine was many years old, it was very sturdy and well-made! Some of the dots tried to use screw drivers to break through the sides as well as pry off pieces with their hands to no avail. That’s when we (educators) decided to pry a side most of the way open so that the Stems would be able to open the side the rest of the way by themselves!

When the printer was brought out, the Stems opened the top, took pieces out, noticed that some parts would lift and others slide, and found secret compartments inside of it! As with the Keurig machine, they also began to use the screwdrivers as hammers and hit/bang the top and sides as if to get inside. Hence, we also removed and loosened a couple of screws for the Stems to finish and then remove! Many of the screws on these machines are extremely tight so that when the dots go to unscrew them, the screws get stripped and the Stems give up, which is why we decided to step in and support their curiosity about what is inside.

With interest in loose parts that had been removed from the machines in the fix it area (plus continued interest in literacy), for small group a couple of days, we invited the Stems to explore loose materials from the machines and then write/draw what their thoughts and ideas about them were-

Questions we have about the fix-it area for next week- as we plan on bringing in “new” machines, how will the Stems interact with them? We have observed some of the Stems utilizing materials from the fix-it area in the building area.. will that continue into next week?


When returning from break and going to outdoor exploration, many of the Stems resumed their transformation play in the sand area as ‘bakers.’ The transferring of materials, mixing, scooping, dumping, pouring, baking continued!  Also, in the sensory bin in the classroom, transferring, the utilization of recipe cards, and the creation of food-like items continued. One of the Stems requested new tools in the sensory bin on Monday, so on Tuesday, our morning assembly was regarding what types of materials and tools the Stems would like to see in the sensory bin. Here are their responses-

“We need more containers. Square containers, big.”  -Annabel

“We need spoons.”  -Smayana

“Seeds.”  -Hank

“Apples.”  -Amelia

“We need instructions.”  -Phoebe

“Flour so we could bake in there and a little round thing to pretend to cook in.”  -Eden

“More sand, like 1/2 way.”  -Madison

“We need to add more sugar.”  -Daxton

“We should put little things, little circles, 1/2 way.”  -Sienna

“Cinnamon.”  -Amelia

“Mixers to mix everything.”  -Aditi

“Beads and ice-cubes.”  -Annabel

“Blocks that are big like mountains.”  -Nicco

We also discussed the shape and size of the sensory bin and what they would like it to be like.

“Bigger rectangle.”  -Madison

“Big behind our backs.”  -Daxton

“100.”  -Mizuki

“A big top. Bigger than people.”  -Eden

“You would jump in it.”  -Annabel

That day during collaboration of the educators, the comments regarding the sensory bin were shared with Ms. Amy and she was interested in building a new and larger sensory bin! On Wednesday during small group, we had the Stems illustrate their ideas as to how they would like the new sensory bin to be.

Look at these detailed ideas via illustration! –

Continuation of transferring of materials-

**On Friday, Ms. Amy will introduce the Stems to the new sensory bin that she has built! Keep an eye out in the classroom for it as well as more information about it in next week’s blog!

Questions we have regarding transferring and sensory materials- how will the Stems interact with the new sensory bin? How will they interact with new tools that we incorporate in the bin?

Pen Pals

Many of you may remember how in December, we wrote a letter to Ms. Nora’s classroom in Minnesota. When we returned from our break, a return letter was waiting for us! –

This week, we finished responding to them! –

As you may have read in the response letter, the Stems mentioned how they enjoyed going on nature walks and making ‘nests with hay.’ On Wednesday, we went on a nature walk and took a photo of the Stems with a nest that they had created.

After printing off the picture and signing the letter, we sent the letter to our pen-pals in Minnesota. We look forward to receiving one in return!

Thank you for joining us on this week’s journey!

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Hugs- The Stems Educators