Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

120- While we in Portland, our students were busy writing stories about their fairy houses.  I'd started this with them before we left, but I never imagined how far they would be able to come with my wonderful substitute.  I came back to stories that were fully illustrated and painted with watercolors! 

So, today I had the pleasure of turning these little stories into books like the one below.

Fairy Story (the cover) 

A fairy saw a house.
Then, another fairy came and wanted to live there, too. 

They started to fight over the house.

Then they decide to live there together forever.

Upon seeing the number of beautiful books at the Opal School, it was exciting that I had such rich material available to get right to work with these students today!!

118- I brought a few students down to help me edit the second grade book about animals in our community. We have the photobook ready to be published now!

108- We took a walk to the Valley Nature Trail and placed their fairy house in the woods.  We saw some of the other classes' fairy houses.  They had been tipped and perhaps vandalized. I asked them what they think happened:

It might be animals.
I think it was people. 
Maybe it was the wind and the rain. 

We talked about how we would feel if it was done on purpose.  The students agreed that we shouldn't touch things that don't belong to us, even things that belong to the animals. 

J- If you find a bird's nest, you shouldn't throw it or take it.  It could have eggs in it and you would make the Mommy bird really sad.

We found a large hole in the ground and they predicted what could possibly live in it. 

It's a rabbit hole!
It could be a snake!
I think it's where a rat lives.

116- We also took a walk to the Valley Center.  This was the longest walk we've taken back there so far.  We walked all the way to the river...

Then we took a new route back and saw a pond with lily pads!  I asked them what lives in the river and the pond.

G- I think the muskrat lives in one of those holes by the water!
I- The Kingfisher bird lives here.  It's blue.
Y- Catfish live in there! 
J- Frogs and tadpoles.
Y- The frogs sit on those things, right? 

Our longer walk was definitely inspired by the conference.  Instead of just placing the fairy house and heading back, we let the kids explore, probing them with questions and "I wonder" statements. Mrs. Driscoll commented on how they were totally, completely engaged. Their entire bodies were immersed in the learning- climbing through the grasses, touching flowers, smelling, running, laughing, pretend-playing that animals were hiding, seeing "fairies" in the woods.  It was a memorable walk for sure.

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