Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Best School Day...EVER!!

Yesterday was one of my favorite days at school. My school is part of a program called Round Square. This is a separate department within the school that plans activities for the students that include the 5 IDEALS (Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership, Service). For the whole day, my 6th graders got to go on a field trip. Although, this school is so activity oriented that they don't have to go through the same procedures of permission slips and what not. It is pretty much assumed that if you allow your child to go to this school you are giving permission to do fun activities all over. I didnt even know my students were expected to be out for Round Square until two days before!

Anyway, Laura and I tagged along as 2 of four chaperones on this trip. We strapped on our "wellies" and put on our waterproofs" eager and ready for this adventure and it was pretty magnificent. Yeah we just went on a field trip...hiking up a mountain, overlooking the most incredible view of the lake with the mountains behind it, and the leaves turning big deal.

We first went to this Footprint Building, made out of all renewable, recycled and local resources called the "Footprint" for two reasons. It is shaped like a footprint, but also to remind us about our own carbon footprint on the environment. The children were able to think about their effect on the environment as well as the residents of Windermere. They did a field sketch on top of the mountain of the lakes and I was just taken back. This is what they get to look at everyday. This beautiful, wonder of God! Ugh...Im so jealous! It will be hard to go back to Texas :(

Then they were broken up into groups and participated in a mock city council meeting debating the construction of a train station through Windermere. Each group acted as a different population of Windermere (farmers, tourists, families, celebrities, the elderly) and voted according to what their character would. SO FUN and SO good for them! It really got them thinking about the issues and how to deal with them democratically!

After lunch we went on an adventure tour of the forest where we pulled tiny Beech Tree sprigs from the ground before they get big enough to chop due to overpopulation in the area. Too many Beech Trees reduce the amount of Oak Trees in the area because of their expansive leafs and quick growth rate, leaving fewer Oak Trees and the habitats and insects that come with them.

Then we got our hands dirty and created little habitats out of logs, leaves, twigs, brush, fern...anything and everything. This was a lot of fun and I was working with the perfectionistas who wanted to cover all the holes with mud and leaves, create a veranda, and make a door out of bark.

I love being at a Round Square School where they encourage outside the classroom learning and stopping for a day to do something completely different.
Overall, GREAT DAY!
(Cutest little Sam after pulling out his Beech twigs)

Also today
-our students found out our first names because Laura and I have a hard time calling each other "Ms. Terry and Ms. Anderson" (whoops)
- I answered more questions about America, than I think I ever will
- they think obese people are as common as Mc Donalds
- Brook asked out Emily
- Emily asked Ben to the ball that is in DECEMBER
- the other Emily wants to ask Matt to the ball
- and Ben wants to marry me

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