The group of kindergarteners who is thinking about how colorful reflections move on the kindergarten rug has built a model of the solar system and a miniature window to test their theory about the planets and the sun. In this conversation from 'project circle', I hope you can see the moments of cognitive conflict which are propelling their investigation along.
Do you remember we thought that one way to tell the weather is if reflections come through the windows?
Juliette It doesn’t always work. Because even if the rainbow didn’t show down, sometimes it’s still sunny out, even though if there’s no rainbow there.
Max H. we made a solar system, and now we have all the planets, but we haven’t tested it out yet. Then, we’re gonna, we haven’t built a few planets, so now we have to build two more planets, and then we’ll complete our solar system and then we’ll see about it.
Then they’re gonna show me how the sun and the planets make the shadows move on the rug in the kindergarten. Do any of you already know what makes the reflections move? Can you add any information?
Juliette Friction and the sun. Friction is stuff that, if I rub my hand on my pants, it’s friction. And it also makes electricity. Well, the sun has these things that shine down, and that’s what is making the rainbow and, I have no idea what it’s called, but Gabriella told me...
Gabriella It’s called the rays of the sun.
Oh the rays are like the shines that shine out from the sun?
Juliette Yeah, it’s called the rays of the sun. And also, sun helps, the sun may actually, see, it’s getting shadier out, because a cloud is moving on to the sun. But then it will move away and it will get sunnier out.
Robbie I think that Juliette was wrong about how it was getting shady, because clouds aren’t in outer space.
Robbie It might come from clouds, or it might come out from stars that are out of light.
Maddie It might look like the sun is in the sky, but it’s really in outer space. So if you try to jump up high and touch the Moon a little bit, every single.. see, the sun is exactly a star.
? Yeah, it’s a hundred fifty units away from us.
Tyler Our group is kind of getting confused in some places, we’re getting really silly.
Max H. I just wanted to finish Robbie what you said. It’s not coming out right. It’s not about clouds, cause in outer space it’s so dark you can’t see anything. So that’s why earth might move around, and it might move on the light side and the dark side.
? Well of course!
Skylar Did you know that the moon is actually the sun but in morning you can see moon. But you can’t really, really see it. But at night the sun cuts into a different shape, and it gets white. and it turns into the moon. but the real sun is in outer space, and the only way to get up in outer space is to get in a rocket ship, and you have to have safety helmet on to see the sun. But if you don’t that means you will die because the sun is made of fire.
Tyler No it's not. It's gas.
Do you know when the Earth is on the dark side it's night, and when the earth is on the light side it’s day?
? Right now it’s on the light side
Ethan So the earth, it turns. Like, it turns this way but also it goes around the sun this way. This way and this way.
Is that what’s causing the shadows to move on the rug?
Ethan Yeah. Cause it takes a year to get back around where it started to go this way. When the top of the earth is away from the sun, it makes the shadows
Ivey So like one side is dark and the other side is light, so, like, a different state than us is night time, and our state is morning. So if we go to a different state, then it would be night time.
Giselle I don’t know how to say it, but when the planets move, they can have reflections on the carpet.
Juliette Well, I actually don’t agree with Ethan. Because, actually the Sun if it’s... cause right here it’s morning, but in San Francisco right now it’s still really early in the morning. Because the sun comes to Virginia first. The Earth comes to Virginia first, and then the sun shines on Virginia more, and then goes to San Francisco, and that’s when it gets lighter. and then when it’s night in Va, it’s actually really night in San Francisco. Same thing with Paris.
Max P. New York too! Like right now it’s really it’s night time in New York. Oh! I mean Denmark. Yeah Denmark has that.
Xander Well actually, the moon is behind the earth.
? Ya mean the Sun?
Xander No, the Earth. So when the earth turns, and we turn to the back half, that’s when it’s night time.
Neil The sun moves around.
Tyler The sun isn’t made out of fire. It’s made out of the most hottest thing ever. Even hotter than lava!
Max P. I just want to say that Robbie’s actually wrong, because the clouds are blocking the sunlight that comes down and looks (?) at us.