Golden Gate Classroom – “The Flying Tigers”

Children: Cash, Cormac, Gabriel, Eleanor, Gwen, Rosie, Brigid, Tova, Ryan, Noah
Teacher: Barbara


Since the beginning of the school year in September, the children have been exploring the concept of nature as a key part of the community around us. We have included the hummingbirds, the garden plants, the bugs in the courtyard, and our classroom fish and pet lizard as members of our community. As the children have learned to understand and care for their natural environment, their interest expanded to other animals, including the animals who live nearby in the ocean and on our beaches.

To facilitate this learning, and to reach out to another community partner, the teachers invited the Marine Mammal Center to visit the classroom. The Marine Mammal Center, a private not-for-profit organization,  is the largest teaching veterinary hospital for marine mammals in the world. It is located nearby in Sausalito, California.


Project Exploration

Parent-Family Quotes

While in New York, Tova and her family visited the Brooklyn Aquarium. She correctly identified the harbor seals.  “They are eating fish and swimming,” she said. “They say maaa.”

Gwen and her father, Greg, traveled to Point Reyes to see the elephant seals in the winter. Back at their home, Gwen said, “I like elephant seals. They’re so crazy. Remember they make the different sound.”

Some of the Golden Gate Children spent time outside with the toddlers in the afternoon. While they were outside passing out water, a teacher Jane realized they had two cups of water left. She asked Cormac, “What should we do with the water?” Cormac responded, “We can put seeds in the water and that will help the seeds grow. We need some dirt too. We do this in my group with Barbara

Featured Videos


Examples of Community Influences

Items brought into the classroom in line with Weekly Plans

~ Marine mammal puppets
~ Cardboard for herding boards used in marine mammal rescue
~ A large plastic syringe for pretend mammal feeding
~ A net for rescuing
~ Bandages for mammal injuries

What families did at home to continue and extend the explorations and projects at school

~ Visited Marine Mammal Center
~ Visited the Drakes Beach elephant seal colony at Point Reyes National Seashore.
~ Visited the Academy of Sciences
~ Visited the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center
~ Visited the sea lions at Pier 39, San Francisco.


Public Demonstrations

Golden Gate Classroom – The Flying TigersHow to Save a Sea” at the Civic Center Park, May 15th & 23rd, 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Ribbon Cutting

Our Annual Festival of Learning Ribbon Cutting Ceremony that opens the festival is held each year on May 1st, typically, from 9:30–10:00 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Ronald M. George State Office Complex at 455 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

“The Flying Tigers” have been preparing for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for weeks during their other daily explorations, expressions, group bonding, and other amazing adventures, a few of which are represented elsewhere in their area on this website.

The teachers and parents will also document the group’s participation in the ceremony. Much of that information, including statistics about the participants, photos, and videos, will be available on a page linking from this one soon after the ceremony is over on the morning of May 1, 2019.