“B.Y.O.Ball” started with an introduction from Mr. Hance's Scientist-in-Residence partner, Robin Hartman, who was on a nationally ranked Ultimate Frisbee team when she was in college at the University of Southern California. Ms. Hartman introduced the students to Ultimate through an initiative called Ultimate Peace, which brings together kids from Israel and Palestine to meet, compete and friend one another through Ultimate Frisbee. The class agreed to create a Google Classroom as a platform to create their final product, which will include some demonstration of a connection between philanthropy, community building and sports. From there, teams were selected, and the kids, Ms. Hartman and Mr. Hance spent 40 minutes playing a wicked-good game of Ultimate Frisbee and finished the hour celebrating their sweaty t-shirts with high-fives and salutations until next Friday. For the next several weeks, students will participate in different sports, ranging from familiar games like basketball and football, to less familiar, like Olympic lifting and yoga. For more on Ultimate Peace, visit:
Games! Games! Games!
The students in the Games! Games! Games! Enrichment cluster generated a list of specific games and types of games they'd like to play. We also learned to play a dice game called Snake Eyes and divided into two groups to play Scattegories and another game called Blurt! Students developed a calendar for what we'd like to do each week when we meet. And, we also brainstormed and discussed a couple of options for some sort of service project to benefit our community.
Boxes, Boxes, Boxes
In “Boxes, Boxes, Boxes” enrichment cluster today we explored a variety of arts and crafts ideas & projects using cereal boxes. Each student went to a website to see different ideas for creating cool cereal box projects. They used a planning sheet to narrow down their top two creations and listed all the materials they will need to complete these tasks. From personal journals, to airplanes, to boats, to shadow boxes, to endless ideas….and some decided to do something completely their own. We can’t wait to show off our cereal box creations. It’s all about boxes in our cluster!!
For our first cluster meeting, we had Mr. Roby Brown, Director of Video Services for RRISD, come in. He is the RRISD video expert, and he showed us several different ways to create a movie. We then acted out and performed it for the class. In the next few weeks we will introduce the students to different video strategies that will help them produce and edit their own videos.
The “Explorer's Guild” had a great first meeting. A short Reading Rainbow segment hosted by LeVar Burton kicked things off on a spooky note as we gave a first look at the classic monster Bigfoot and the mystery of UFOs. Then our guild members were encouraged to come up with their own monsters or mysteries that they would like to investigate. In the coming weeks, I'm going to encourage them to perform research and think critically as we look at the evidence. Are these monsters and mysteries real or fake? How did we come to that conclusion? We look forward to sharing our findings with you at the showcase in December!
The “Photography Fun” enrichment cluster met on Friday and shared what photography was; the study of drawing with light and shadows. We discussed Elliott Erwitt's quote, “Photography is an art of observation. It has very little to do with things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” We shared ideas on what product or service we wanted to have from our eight week cluster. The group decided they wanted to learn the basics of photography which includes how to compose an image, checking background, and style basics like finding a point of interest, rule of thirds, and perspective. They were interested in learning about Macro photography and using editing software. After learning about the basic parts of a camera; how to turn it on and off, keeping it safe while not in use, and using the flash, the students created their very own "Press Badge" by taking their picture and adding their credentials.
At the first meeting, the students established guidelines for how to interact in the game, and then we played through the tutorial world to make sure everyone knew how to play. Some of the kids found secret passageways or raced through mazes, while others focused on mastering Minecraft PC controls. During future meetings, students will decide what product they might like to create and work together to achieve that goal.
The Voracious Volunteers began our cluster by discussing what we know about volunteering and talking about why people volunteer. We learned about the difference between philanthropy and volunteering, watched a couple videos to teach us more, and brainstormed possible audiences for a product or service our group might take up in the next 7 weeks. Halfway through cluster, we hosted the guests Mrs. Andrews and Emma (a golden retriever) to teach us about the Austin Dog Alliance and the Bow Wow Reading program. Mrs. Andrews talked about how volunteering is meaningful in her life, while Emma provided a fun interaction time by being sweet and letting us pet her. We will host a couple more speakers from local non-profit organizations in the next few weeks to help us learn about them and how volunteering is important within their organization. We will then get started on a service project or two of the students’ choosing. We look forward to serving a need in the community and combining our efforts for the benefit of others.
Serious About Science
Our “Serious about Science” enrichment cluster first meeting was a BLAST.....literally! We used film canisters, water, and Alka-Seltzer to create a chemical reaction ending in an explosion! In teams of two we explored physics by creating catapults (simple machines) out of school supplies and shot marshmallows into our partners’ cups. Exploring centrifugal force is always fun so we created spooky Halloween sounds by putting a hex nut in a balloon, blowing it up, and spinning it in circles. Students are considering science lab books, more experiments, and their own science show as possible products!
WRITING IS RIGHT!
In the “WRITING IS RIGHT!” enrichment cluster, we . . . wrote! But first, we played a game of “Whose Line?” where the kids wrote a random sentence on a strip of paper. Two improvisers acted out a scene and, at the appropriate time (like “I remember when my granny said to me…”), pulled out a slip and read the sentence. It was very funny and fun and made us feel “fun.” We talked about dialog, we talked about settings, and we talked about the structure of the class. If the kids want to write and want Mr. Holmstrom to just let them do that, then that’s what those students will get to do (at least 95% of the time). I’ll share scripts so they can see the correct format, we’ll talk about types of poetry, and we’ll talk about . . . whatever they’re interested in. But, mostly we’ll write. The kids will guide us to an end product, but I’m going to suggest writing about something that is taught at school and have their writing inform as well as entertain. We’ll see!
In the “B2” enrichment cluster, we created magnets, coasters and decorations with bottle caps in all different colors. We used our imagination along with some Mod Podge, stickers, glue and gems. We can’t wait to come back again and see what we will create.
Games, Giggles, and Greatness
“Games, Giggles, and Greatness” was a HIT!!! Students paired up for an egg toss with a partner, walked, ran, and hopped around the track with an egg on a spoon and competed to see who could say their name with crackers in their mouth. Students brainstormed other competitions and games they would like to test next week. Whether we become the 1st Annual LME Guinness Book of World Records, share our Fun Games with an audience, or put together a video of our competitions or something else, the students will lead us there!
On Friday in the” Artistic Edibles” enrichment cluster students grabbed a plate and unleashed their imaginations! Utilizing healthy fruits and vegetables students explored their own creativeness creating works of art! Who would think a simple grape and strawberry could be transformed into a beautiful flower arrangement? Students will narrow down their service project this coming Friday; expect something delicious both on the eyes and in your mouth!
Jr. Wildlife Explorers
In the “Jr. Wildlife Explorers”, the students brainstormed what they wanted to learn about animals. We watched some videos on animal rescue groups, ways animals have helped save people's lives, and unusual animals.
“Clay Creators” watched two short videos about hand building pottery in New Mexico and an artist inspired by the volcanoes in Hawaii using the potter's wheel, glazing and firing with the Raku process. Students used the pinch pot technique to make their own creations. They are very excited to use different techniques to create their ideas.
The Future is Coming…Soon“The Future is Coming…Soon” enrichment cluster is full of creative minds bent on creating a better future for us all. In our first meeting we spent some time discussing some of the challenges facing our future population. Members shared ideas of their own and we spent some time learning about innovations others around the globe have developed. There were so many amazing ideas floating around that we decided to create a shared google document to catalog them over the week. We are going to change the world!
Ready, Set, PlayIn "Ready, Set, Play," our first day began with an obstacle course challenge that consisted of eight different obstacles. Each obstacle physically challenged the student's athletic abilities ranging from core and upper body strength, to agility, coordination, balance and endurance. Each student showed a great deal of determination and excitement to push through the course. After all students completed the course we viewed two video clips of worldwide events in which people participate in to challenge their physical abilities as we did in our opening activity. The two events are "The Spartan Race" and "Ninja Warrior." We then discussed what different activities we could participate in to stay physically active, while still challenging our athletic abilities at the same time. Half of the cluster had an idea to create a new game stemming from traditional games while the other half was interested in designing and creating an obstacle course. So, in the next few weeks we will be experimenting with a variety of equipment and modifying games to create a new one, as well as, begin to design an obstacle course/fun run.