Alpha Journal January 20-22

Where does sand come from?  



We explored different kinds of beaches from around the world – pink ones, black ones, white ones. Why were they different – what was in the sand?


Sharing research from PnP

And so our our week started…wondering about how ALL of the sand gets on the beaches. So we looked closely and found all kinds of bits in it – rocks, shells, crystals, & even bone.


Other ?’s we asked this week…

What makes a tide pool a tide pool? What are the creatures in a tide pool? If we make a tide pool how can we make the animals life size? 

We decided that we needed to use rulers and tape measures to help us.

What have we learned about Tide Pools that we didn’t know before?


Some animals are stuck to the ground

Tides are made from the gravity of the moon

Sea anemones can move

Some creatures don’t have brains, but can figure out how to get food

Big starfish eat other starfish

when you touch the se anemone from the spikes it will sting you.

Sun stars can kill the whole coral

We made simulations of wind and waves to understand how the geography of a beach is created. 



And where there’s sand…well, you have to build sand castles…even mini ones.

A couple ways we brainstormed that we could learn about oceans was to research and measure (sizes of animals, how deep the ocean is, etc). Our research included books and the internet to inform us of accurate measurements we would need to create a representation of a tide pool.


Some tide pool crabs are bigger than we thought they could be!




Sea stars are a favorite!



tide pool fish ~ life-size scale


sand and paint mixtures help create realistic models of sea cucumbers

Resource: Measurement around home

elimeasure fletcherfish

making rocks for our tide pool

painting process for rocksrockmakers


Some of our classmates have been to tide pools. Sally and Abbey shared pictures of them in Oregon and New England.


Another excellent resource to learn even more about tide pools:


Daily menus of skill building



Marley and Pavla play “Guess my Number.” They are learning to ask good deductive questions!


choral reading

The Gammas came to read ” Hummingbird” stories they had written about how one small act can make a big difference. 

You can read some of these stories posted outside the Gamma room.

 fess finnevan


What did you notice about the Gamma’s stories?


They had different kinds of colorings

Some did it by computer

Only a few had outlines of erasings

Stories were about fires and hummingbirds

They’re older and bigger and they know how to do it!


Yoga breaks…camel


hmmm…no one had informed us about this before now!

Wild rumpus (a favorite), tents, & games….Rainy Day Fun

20150122_131056(1) 20150122_123126 20150122_123211_HDR


Rock & Circus stars of the future

Dates to remember…

  • 1.24.15 Skate Party at Playland Skate 10-Noon
  • 1.27.15 Dowser Dan visits the Alpha & Gamma classes at 1:30 in the community hall
  • 1.29.15 Spring Parent Night (6:30) – please come for a community conversation about how Projects and Practice is working for your family
  • 2.7.15 Alternative Education Fair upstairs at Whole Foods 6th and Lamar 10-2 – Come visit our booth and talk with families interested in our school!
  • 2.12.14 Friendship Day

Merci Beaucoup

to Gammas for sharing stories

to Alexa for organizing a visit from Dowser Dan of the Austin Water Utility Dept.

to Gabi for sweeping up high tide tidal pool makings!


Filed January 23rd, 2015.