Monday, January 30, 2017

Outdoor Adevtnures at Monkton

Here are some pictures from this session's Outdoor Adventures workshop, facilitated by 1st & 2nd grade teacher Jenn Livingston. Our young naturalists always have a splendid time in the woods with Ms. L.!

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Short One But A Good One

It was a short week this week because of an in-service day on Monday for teachers and our first snow day (or should I say ice day) of the year.  The kids were rarin' to go on Wednesday and channeled there energy into some really cool projects.

Some highlights this week include the making of a paper mache dragon head in Shawn Kimball's Behind The Scenes.  They're leaving us in suspense as to why they need a dragon head and what their future movie is all about but the beginnings of such an epic creation were fun to witness.

Margot Schips and her Knitting Workshop got some of her knitting crew forming custom slippers and they're taking their needles and yarn home with them to keep working in their free time.  That is what ELP is ALL ABOUT!  We're so psyched to see these kids take off with a new hobby.

Finally Grace Freeman's Magic of Science got their hands dirty yet again and made some stellar silly puddy.  The kids could really not stop working it into the perfect consistency.

So although the week was short we packed it full of fun and are excited for a full schedule next week.  Until then enjoy these photos and have a great weekend!

Grace Freeman has her young scientists create custom silly puddy!

A young star gazer crafts a telescope to pick out constellations in the night sky in Constellations and Myths!

The cozy setting of Beginner Chess has kids focused on their next move.

Basketball, basketball, basketball!!

The talk of the town at Bristol Elementary is BASKETBALL!! Our own Mrs. Wissel is coaching a lean, mean group of Kindergarteners. From the minute they walk through the door their focus is how quickly they can get to the gym to practice. The smiles and enthusiasm from the kids is priceless!
This workshop has become a community effort with parent volunteers and extra staff helping on the court. We even have spectators! We hear there is a basketball team at Robinson..........we just might challenge you
to a game!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Session 3 Off To A Running Start!

We've Hit The Ground Running!!!

Session 3 kicked off last week and I can't say how awesome it's been thus far!  We've got some great new workshops running this session that kids are really excited about.  

Margot Schips and Lisa Daudon have been leading a knitting class that has students creating pot holders and slippers!

Taylor Hutchinson has got a young bunch of stargazers learning all about the myths that make up our night sky.  Just today we heard a wonderful Iroquois myth about the creation of the Milky Way.

Grace Freeman is keeping kids on their toes with with some fun and freaky science experiments in Magic of Science.  They've made all sorts of creations from slime to silly puddy.

Masa Kayoi is leading a wonderful mindfulness workshop that has the kids doing origami and finding their inner animal.  

And Kerry Lake is helping kids discover their culinary greatness in What's In My Pizza?

Check out these awesome kids having a blast at ELP!

Kids start getting slimy in Grace Freeman's Magic of Science.

A fleet of young knitters hone their craft with Margot and Lisa.

An afternoon of molding brings out some mysterious creations!

CRUNCH!  What's In My Pizza led by Kerry Lake gets serious on some cukes!
An ELP Classic rolls on as kids munch their way through the world of Chesssssss.

Mere mortals are forgotten as these kiddos craft new star gazing myths!
Stay tuned for more madness from the Kids of ELP as Session 3 rolls on!

The Great Indoors... And the Great Outdoors!

Session III at Monkton is our biggest one this year! We are seeing lots of new faces, thanks to the popularity of our Outdoor Adventures workshop, facilitated by Jenn Livingston, a dynamite first and second grade teacher here at MCS. With 22 students ranging from grades K-5, this workshop exemplifies the "one-room schoolhouse" philosophy that MCS's expanded learning program embodies. This is the second session we have run Outdoor Adventures and students have participated in nature walks to listen for various birdsongs as well as hunt for tracks. This week, students remembered to look up and spotted a unique nest-type structure high in the branches of a tree near Cedar Lake. The speculation about who might live there was a great discussion for these young naturalists! Next week, the group will be making mittens and, rest assured, there will be hot cocoa at the end!

Not to be outdone by the great outdoors, kindergarten teacher Katie Kuzio is facilitating a lively "Minute to Win It!" workshop with students (again ages ranging K-6, which we love!) engaging in fun time trials to do such challenges as stacking six dice on a popsicle stick in a minute (the popsicle stick is held in your teeth, by the way!), getting a cookie from your forehead to your mouth (no hands!), and successfully stacking six apples on top of each other in sixty seconds. Sounds easy, right? Well, ask any workshop participant and they'll tell you that it takes some crafty thinking to beat the clock during these fun activities!

We are thinking now about what our next sessions hold in store for MCS kiddos. Stay tuned for more news from after school!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Buzz Around Beeman

One of my favorite things about ELP is the chance to get to know students I don't have the privilege of working with in my 1 / 2 classroom... AND listening to all of the excitement that ELP students bring to each workshop. It is impossible not to be excited this time around if you are an ELP participant. This sessions workshop leaders are truly fantastic and leading groups that are both engaging and productive! Students leave each session feeling like something has truly been accomplished and they have had something to show for it at the conclusion of each week. Whether it be a script, a shelter, a fairy house, a new survival skill or some acquired knowledge of how to handle a camera Beeman students have lots to be enthusiastic about. 

Almost better than seeing their eager faces at the end of each Tuesday / Thursday schooldays is hearing the conversations that students are having with their peers. 

"Have you SEEN the sweet shelters in the forest?!" said one 5th grade boy to another
"No! Will you show me at recess?"

I cannot tell you how much of a SMILE this brings to my face. I love the way each student is fully engaged in workshop time, but hearing students who aren't even in the program get excited about what we are working on is sincerely music to my ears. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Session 3 Kicks Off!

"You are in Alaska on a snowmobiling trip when suddenly your equipment breaks down. A storm is coming and you must make shelter..." These are the opening words of the Outdoor Excursion Club... The students are absolutely riveted and eager to hear their role in this exciting story. Session three leader Jared Danyow assigns them to build shelters in teams with a set of expectations. The shelter must have a fire pit, room for at least two people, have a designated sleeping area, a walkway and insulation. Students dove into this with both feet and have spent this week eagerly erecting their shelters. We are off to a great and exciting start!

Meanwhile in film club... Students are creating their very own characters to cast in a collaborative movie. As I came into this session I was guided there by the animated voices of children interjecting their ideas in a rapid fire succession. Shawn handles this eager group with a calm demeanor and a strong sense of humor. It is sincerely a delight to sit in on this group of grade 3-6 students who are all eagerly imagining a script and film that we can't wait to see!