Monday, July 25, 2016

More Reasons to Love ELP During Week 3 in Monkton

Making new friends is a huge part of ELP!
Summertime is definitely meant for teachers and students to rest and recharge, but the educators and learners at ELP are keeping their heads in the game with out-of-the-ordinary ways to keep kids engaged and connected during the break. For many kids, ELP is a way to keep up with friends when seeing them every day gets a little trickier without having school and transportation to be the link. We are so happy to see friendships being forged and maintained thanks to the ANESU expanded learning program! Likewise, teachers are getting to work with different and varied age groups than they are used to and also have the perfect platform to try new things and sharpen their own professional games in a more informal and flexible learning environment than the regular school year can often provide.

Making wellness posters about healthy bodies also grows healthy minds!
We've had a great couple weeks in Wellness thanks to Mr. Hall. While the focus remains on getting kids active and using healthy fuel, we did have a chance to reflect as a group on other realms of wellness. The kiddos thought that treating other people well and refraining from becoming angry were very important...impressive thoughtfulness from elementary-aged students! Students worked with to dive into how many daily choices to make within each category of food and made some awesome posters to remind us all what and how much to eat for a healthy lifestyle. Of course, we played a lot of great games, went for walks to the pond, and moved a lot! We began to talk about stretching and breathing as we gear up for next week's yoga unit. We also began replicating letters and animals in order to get comfortable with the mimicking nature of yogic instruction.

In the STEM classroom with Ms. Zimmer, the kiddos spent a lot of time down by the pond discussing, making hypotheses, forming questions, and then researching many aspects about the pond. Students also discussed the life cycle of frogs, representing it in a couple of science-based art projects. In any spare time we had, we worked with our math facts across the four operations by several different games that have become very popular with all of the age groups.

Cooking and gardening have become a huge part of Ms. Gadhue's literacy block, which is a great way to practice and hone technical reading and writing skills. The students harvested mammoth cucumbers and radishes and put up several quarts of refrigerator pickles that we will enjoy next week. They are keeping up with recipe writing for our ELP summer garden cookbook as well, so that the recipes they learn this week can be replicated later on for family and friends at home. Learning to use garden treats for healthy eats fits great with our wellness themes and also helps students become stewards of the new MCS garden. These are great life skills that we are glad to be honing through expanded learning!

Perennial ELP favorite specials educator Shawn Kimball also joined us this week to get students familiar with cameras, Go-Pros, filming, and videography. Shawn will be joining us on and off in Week 4 and all of Week 5 in conjunction with Ashley and Skyler our theatre specialists to pull together some movies for the ELP Film Festival in Bristol on August 5th. ELP-ers as young as six right up through our oldest participants all learned how to use cameras and phones to take videos and even did some underwater Go-Pro filming at the pond, which was a perfect way to spend a sweltering Friday!

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