FS Kindergarten StudiesEach spring, Nueva’s Kindergarten classes embark on studies chosen by the close observation and inquiry of their students’ interests. This year, students in Laraine Ray’s class have chosen to research and explore the depths of the ocean, while Michelle Barreras’ kindergarteners have decided to study the wonders of space. While the studies seem literal worlds apart, the mirroring explorations have revealed many surprise parallels.

As one class studied the levels of the ocean, from the sunlight layer to the bottom trenches, the other explored the rising layers of the atmosphere. As one class studies submersibles for deep descends, the other has been researching rockets for astronomical ascends! Both studies integrate all areas of study, and provide opportunities for field research. In April, Barreras’ class took a trip to Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center to experience the planetarium, simulate NASA missions, and gain a greater understanding of space exploration. A few weeks later, students in Ray’s class visited Half Moon Bay’s Pillar Point to sift through tide pools, dig for clams, collect trash, and learn first-hand about the ocean in their very own backyard.

As the studies progress, students will begin to synthesize their growing knowledge through various projects and explorations. Using their growing knowledge of both living things on Earth and space travel, Barreras’ students will to create plans to transport and sustain life on Neptune. Ray’s class is currently creating ocean pop-up books and using Design Thinking to begin preventing and resolving the problems of the ocean such as pollution and acidification. Children from both classes will welcome their families on May 25th to share their knowledge and projects for the annual Kindergarten Culmination Night.


With rapid-fire brainstorming, children generate solutions to the Pacific Garbage Patch.
Rafi P. uses a model to gain insight into the ocean’s water pressure.
Mira M. explores life in the low tides of Half Moon Bay.
Kindergarteners research clams, ghost shrimp, and other mysteries in Pillar Point’s tide pools.
Children in Ray’s class size up kelp using non-standard measurements…their bodies!
Using her knowledge of kelp, Maddie L. uses balloons to create bladders in a realistic model.
Structured Word Inquiry Coach Rebecca Loveless helps Ivan C. explore the etymology of the word “universe.”
In math, students measure their jumps on Earth to compare to planets with differing gravitational pulls.
Barreras’ students research and advertise for planets they’d like to colonize.
Dressed as an astronaut, Ella Y. uses free choice time to share her knowledge of satellites.
At Chabot Space & Science Cente, two students test their strength on Earth and the moon.
Tiago S. and Felix P. test out telescopes in Chabot’s observatory.
Students from Barreras’ class pose for a photo beside Chabot’s sundial.


 May 12, 2017



6565 Skyline Blvd.
Hillsborough, CA 94010





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San Mateo, CA 94403



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