Stems: Maps, stories and collaborative projects

Stems: Maps, stories and collaborative projects

May 16th, 2019

Hello Stem families,

Welcome into our classroom this week!

As we mentioned last week, we have noticed that many of the Stems are still intrigued by maps.  So this week we have added to our map collection and we have explored maps in a few different ways.  Ms. Soni made a map to show how she drives from her house to Dot to Dot every day. Her map included street names and she talked about taking left and right turns as she drives.

A few of the Stems also worked on making their own maps of how they get to Dot to Dot.  If you and your child feel inspired, you could work together on a map that includes details about your drive from home to Dot to Dot for your child to share with us next week.  Some of the Stems have been enjoying looking at different books that include maps or exploring the map collection and at times incorporating the maps into their pretend play.

But this week, the most popular way to engage with maps has been making them indoors and out.  Many different types of maps (trail maps, road maps, treasure maps…,) many of their new maps are hanging in the pretend area.

As the Stems have been looking closely at more types of maps and have been noticing different information that maps include, we are starting to see that their maps include new details, such as the addition of a compass rose, dirrectional arrors, street names or specific landmarks.

There has also been a lot of storytelling this week.  At several group gatherings the Stems have shared new stories they added to our Storytelling binder.  If you haven’t taken a look at the binder in a while, be sure to take a peak.  Each story is as unique as the members of our class! We also started discussing our end of the school year project.  Every year the Stems leave a gift for the school which is presented at the Stems’ celebration.  This year, since storytelling is something the Stems have come back to over and over throughout the year, we will be making a book that is a collection of the Stems’ stories.  The Stems have shared a few ideas of components they think will be important to include in our book, like a photograph of the authors in the back of the book, illustrations and some information about how we made our book.  Stay tuned for more information about this project next week.


This week, the block area has been a location for testing out the combination of incline and speed for cars. A similar structure was built in this area every day this week, cars were tested and they worked on figuring out how to make a tunnel as well as ways to extend the path.

Ms. Amy brought in some new collaborative projects for us to work on which connect with the Stem’s fascination with tape, wrapping and tying. At our group gathering we talked about materials we might use for these projects and about the word “collaborate” which the Stems decided means “working together.” We look forward to seeing how these projects evolve.

Finally, we have been waiting for just the right moment to use a flower press that Mateo’s family kindly lent us.  Since the Stems have really been enjoying taking apart flowers and using the petals in their play outdoors, we thought this was the perfect time to try pressing some to see how they change when they dry.  Mateo explained the press to us and in small groups the Stems selected small flowers and petals to press.  Next week we will take them back out to see how they have changed once they are dry and see how the Stems want to use them.

We hope to see your family and friends this Saturday at our special event, “Dot to Dot Made Visible.”

Ms. Inga & Ms. Soni