|Hmm...ya think my daughter, Ella, might have been playing on my phone?? Me thinks so.|
As it is, Mondays have a tendency to be hectic. Today was no different. However, today everything was a little weird. Schedule was weird. iPad syncing was weird (big thanks to Steve for helping me figure out that little sweetheart). My post-lemonade computer keyboard is starting to sound crunchy (See last week's post on Choosing Your Attitude for deets on that fun day!). My conference call didn't come when I thought because wires got crossed. Winter weather in Iowa reared its u.g.l.y. head again leaving me driving home in horrid conditions. But, with my white-knuckle driving escapade over, I pulled into my garage and shut off my vehicle, sliding ever so gently back into the warm leather of my seat. I pondered. I smiled.
In the midst of a Monday that would make the Bangles of my 80's youth stand up and sing, I realized that some awesome things were again taking shape in Rock Valley Elementary that were anything but manic. My friends, Shannon Miller, Erin Klein and I are guiding groups of our students in the starting stages of a project that has incredible possibilities for these kiddos. We are taking our three schools and fostering some global thinking in our 2-4th graders.
The plan? To take something the kids love (Rainbow Looms and the rubber band craze) and meld it with research and global outreach. Just today, we hosted a Google Hangout with our new Van Meter friends and brainstormed some names for our new venture. It had the excitement of bringing home a new puppy! Creativity and ingenuity were sparked. Interest was piqued. Smiles spread all around.
Our next step is to complete our research. Using kid-safe search engines and some guides located in our project research folders, students will now begin to think deeper, ask tough questions, search for answers, and collaborate. These are the epitome of H.O.T.S (higher order thinking skills--for those of you who are acronym-challenged).
So how is this global? Well, our hope is to send our little rubber band beauties to kids elsewhere. As in WAY elsewhere. Our sweet kids' eyes shined bright at the thought of sending their creations, along with handwritten letters, to kids an ocean away.
Suddenly, what was a fairly personal craft was now becoming a thing of collaboration.... Discussions about colors combinations that hold meaning. Conversations about varying lengths and styles. Cooperation between boys and girls to create a variety of "rubber-bandy" products (Yes, it's a word...I said so). It was all so brilliant. And this was just the beginning. I am so, so very excited to see this unfold.