Today I learned that there are three particularly valuable sources of information…NPR, Jimmy Fallon, and 8 years olds! All three had information about a brand new solar system that NASA announced yesterday. If I had tuned into one of those sources last night I would have also been in the know. Instead I was working on paperwork and indulging in the TV show “Hunted”. It’s a good thing I have these other sources in my life!
Today, I was working with a future astronomer on his fluency goals. All year he has been bringing in current event articles to his 2nd grade class related to space. He told me that a new solar system had been identified with 7 earth-sized planets orbiting a small star. Scientists think there could be possibility for water, which would lead to potential life. So we immediately pulled up more articles online – I was fascinated! I was bombarding him with questions – talk about role reversal! And this was all discovered through telescopes and observations about shadows. Did I forget to mention these planets are 40 light years away?!?!
So I asked my husband if he had heard about this – thinking I was the carrier of breaking news. He receives several science feeds from NPR and other sources, so, yes he was well aware. I should have known better.
Then I asked my dad – figuring he was probably too busy being retired today to know about it. “Oh yeah, I heard about it last night on The Tonight Show”. Of course.
I learned today that even though I may not be up-to-date on the latest scientific discoveries, I sure can apply fluency enhancing strategies to the content! It was an amazing source of material, particularly with the high interest level (meaning mine!) This student has been doing some project-based learning recently using his planet research to create a “Planet Mobile” with three facts for each planet.
My first grade groups are so interested in his project, they are using it as their exit ticket. He is making Neptune next, so I was starting to think about the next steps…looks like we might have a whole other solar system to make!
So next time you find yourself needing to be more “in-the-know”, just turn to NPR, Jimmy Fallon, or an 8 year old!