Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Illuminating photography: From camera obscura to camera phone - Eva Timothy

As we began our exploration of the "magic" behind photography, we enjoyed this video that shared some of the important moments in the evolution of capturing images.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Buhr Park Food Forest

Our class has partnered with Jeannine Palms of The Wet Meadow Project and Cobblestone Farms, to assist her with the development of a food forest in Ann Arbor. We ventured out on Friday for a quick tour and then got to work sheet mulching around the raspberry bushes to help smother the surrounding grass. Others worked on hanging signs near the trees. The signs were created by our class last year using burn pens on discarded cedar shingles. Some of the other students worked on photographing and drawing some of the plants and insects they observed in the young forest. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Howell Nature Center

We closed out the first week with our annual K - 6 retreat to Howell Nature Center. Blue skies stayed with us throughout the day, despite earlier predictions of storms. Thank you to our chaperones (Paul (Thanks for the photos!), Maggie and Jennifer) for all of your help. Our chosen activities for the day were.... 

The Obstacle Course - This consisted of a series of games / challenges. One was called, "Wolf and Deer" where the object was for wolves to capture as many deer as possible by tagging them with a designated object (in this case a squishy dog toy.) The wolf that held the squishy object couldn't move so the key to a successful hunt was for the wolves to pass as much as possible. A long throw gave the deer plenty of time to seek shelter. 

Bald Eagle - While hiking through the woods, students had to partner up and carry carpet squares. When, "Bald Eagle!" was shouted, they had to drop the squares and place a foot on the carpet to be safe. Over time, those that found the safety of their carpet last lost and had to seek safety on someone else's square which led to.....

The feet of 14 children on a single carpet square.

Volcano / Shark / Zombie Escape

Orienteering II - Looking for a challenge beyond the Orienteering I of previous years, we opted for Orienteering II this time around. This sent us into the woods with a map and compasses, in search of stations and clues. 

Native American Games 

Zip Line

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Leo the Lavish

To begin the day, students were greeted by Leo the Lavish and his lowly assistant, Chris. For his first trick, Leo predicted the card that each student would choose, despite the deck being shuffled and students choosing cards at random. His prediction was sealed in the envelope shown above by a student, as Chris, the lowly assistant, doesn't care for the taste of mailing adhesive. A special marking was made on the envelope so that we could be sure it belonged to Leo the Lavish. 

A student retrieved the envelope after our All-School Meeting. Another read the names and corresponding cards one-by-one, pausing to check for accuracy. Leo guessed them all, but the students were dubious of Leo the Lavish and sensed something amiss. 

Several possible explanations were offered. Assumptions were challenged and we ended the day, certain that Leo the Lavish certainly had help.

Tomorrow we continue the exploration with the anatomy of the trick.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Local and Global Connections . SimCityEdu

The students have begun to make contributions to the blog by assuming the role of "scribes" (as described in Alan November's "Digital Learning Farm.") The student or students given that role for the day are asked to take notes about the activities in the classroom, provide a summary and interview students about the work. 

Eva and Henry served as Scribes while we worked on Footstep 5 for our Out of Eden Walk Learning Journey, summarized what various groups were working on and interviewed them during the process. Below are their thoughts as well as some photographs they took documenting the experience:

(Eva and Henry) The students in Chris’s class were split into groups and learned about something global that affected somewhere local. We are doing this to learn about how our actions can affect other people inside and outside of our community. We are also doing this to learn more about how other parts of the world have impacted us locally. We are watching videos and reading articles about the topic, then typing what the articles said in a Google Doc. The articles were about the Pacific Garbage Patch, EthioSkate, Skateistan, Beatmaking Lab, and the experiences of some Muslims in Europe. All of these have something in common which is that something starts out locally, then it affects the world globally and then it affects a certain place locally.

As a part of our exploration of "Cities" we have begun working with SimCityEdu, a version of the SimCity series of games geared specifically toward students. The students are given specific missions to complete which help highlight the various systems at play in a successful city. The first mission asked the students to increase the enrollment of students in the local school by increasing the number of bus stops in the city. They had to consider the location of the underserved population as well as the problems that arise with too few or too many stops.