Today was an interesting day with a capital I. It was a short day for me having after having an appointment with my arm doctor. When I arrived back at school, laden down with bags, one of the noon-aides told me she had brought a package down to my room. I admit it, I was grumby since my room is already over crowded with stuff. There are garlic mustard plants, Norway maples, Purple loosestrife, water testing supplies, books, and stream tables already strewn all over the room. After settling in, the kids reminded me I had a package. Expecting more bottles to collect water samples, the box instead was too thin to host water bottles. I saw the return address — from Stay Safe Traffic. Suddenly a lightbulb went off in my head. The kids excitedly gathered around as I opened the box. Finally, the last piece of tape was off and I was looking at the back of a big metal sign. Excitedly, I turned it over. A hush went through the room. The kids eyes were wide open, their jaws dropped. Suddenly, a round of applause exploded over the room. Grins were a mile wide. “These are real signs,” the kids said. Proud faces were the order of the day. It was like Christmas, but instead of the kids receiving a present, they were instead giving a present to the town and to the turtles. It was indeed a moment to savor by all of us.
After lunch, it was time for social studies. We’ve just begun our study of Colonial America, and our flipped classroom assignment was to watch some videos on St. Augustine. My in-laws used to “winter” there and had once offered us to buy out their time share (which we didn’t). We never got down there and now I regret that. In the curriculum, the Spanish settlement that we were suppose to focus on was Santa Fe, but I felt St. Augustine might be a better fit with the explorers that we just studied. So, I started to research St. Augustine, finding that the first Thanksgiving was held on September 8, 1568. So, I posed this question to the students, why don’t we know about this Thanksgiving, only the Plymouth Thanksgiving. This led into a great discussion about using different lenses when studying history.
And now storm drains. I have to admit it, I am just fascinated with this aspect of the project. Talk about looking at the river with a different lens! Today, we needed to get down and do our January river writing. Once the kids got settled in, I wandered over to the storm drain. Once again, it was running when it really shouldn’t have been running. I called the three girls who are studying this area. They excitedly ran over and started asking all kinds of questions. I’m not sure where this storm drain study is going to lead, but boy has it been fascinating!
So, it was an incredible three hours of school today! Signs, St. Augustine, and Storm Drains.