We look forward to hearing how you and Barb have been able to integrate
her curriculum into your writing activites. This is the challenge that
all of us face. Many teachers feel that they just cannot fit one more
thing into their curriculum. Maybe Barb will share how she was able to
balance the Oil Spill Mystery and her curriculum learner outcomes.
Isamu and I have been building a mini project with our students around the
topic of the school playground. It is really an extension of our ongoing
effort to bridge language barriers. Ines and her students have now joined us
from Argentina. Take a new look:
These are some of the activities that I have been doing with my students
as we discuss the playground, the daily school schedule and cleaning the
On May 1st we will record the temperature in Delmar at 9 AM. Isamu's
students will record their temperature in Yamato. We plan to do this for
the month of May.
- We made venn diagrams showing the equipment on our 2 playgrounds
- We made a student survey to see which pieces of equipment the kids
like to play with most
- We charted and graphed the survey data
- We gathered the enrollment figures by grade for our school
and compared them to Isamu's school
- We are discussing the issue of cleaning the school. At Isamu's school
the students spend time each day cleaning the school
- I gave the students maps of the world and also of Japan. We marked
Isamu's city on the maps.
- We calculated the time in Japan this morning at 10:15 AM our time. It
was 11:15 PM in Japan.
- Vanessa calculated the average class size for our school and Isamu's
We plan to involve Ines and her students in Argentina in these same
There are so many more things we can do... Of course writing is a big
part of each lesson as we write back and forth to each other.
It is almost the Cinderella hour here and I must get to sleep.
I'd love to hear from more of you. I know we are all very busy these days
but please take a minute and share your thoughts.
Best wished to Mahenaz and her meetings with teachers in Karachi.
Hi Team, Patti, I've been checking the "playground" website since the
I am wondering how high school students could interact in this emerging
Betty, I'm so glad you are following us! When we consider high school kids we
are always talking within a content area - art, science, music, math,
languages, history, economics, etc. Let me toss out a few ideas keeping
in mind that the kids are taking this (we knew they would and wanted them
to) beyond the playground and into the school building:
I'm sure we could brainstorm more ideas.
- class size? Are smaller classes better? Look at my school classes and
Isamu's. His are so much bigger. Yet... every student I see coming
from Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, etc. are bright, motivated students.
How do they do it?
- Topic for discussion: should kids clean the school?
- economics class: design a school playground, plan a fund raiser
itemize what would be purchased and why. Discuss safety. Those
merry-go-rounds are a "headache!" ;-)
- Compare school playgrounds around the world. Do most elementary
schools have them? What equipment do you find on them? The kids in
Argentina don't want to talk about their playgrounds. One child said they
don't have much on them. Their teacher said they didn't want to write
about their playgrounds. Are they embarrassed? I need to talk to my kids
about this. The kids in Argentina want to tell us about the floods they
are having instead.
- Children and play... You could get into the whole topic of Child labor
in third world countries - who made those soccer balls our kids are
playing with on the playground? - young kids in sweat shops?
There is much high school kids can sink their teeth into here.
- organized games on the playground? Design a plan where older kids would
play with younger kids and help organize games. Kids seem to run around
and make their own "games" these days. When I was a kid in elementary school
the older students played (monitored) dodge ball with us. We loved recess
time. We had races, etc. Today teachers stand around and make sure kids
aren't getting hurt but no one runs organized games with them. That takes
place in gym class.
KIDFORUM is running a topic "My Own School" right now. The discussion
questions for this are excellent:
I hope this gives you some ideas, Betty. What class do you have in mind?
Time for my cup of coffee... ;-) The sun came up while I was sitting here.
Thinking more about Betty's question...
Here are more topics that could be discussed with kids on middle and
high school levels:
There is a KIDLINK module that was prepared for a European school project
and one of the topics is about school:
- safety in schools -
- presence of drugs
- respect for life (look at the recent horrifying events in
Arkansas and Pennsylvania where students and teachers have been shot
and killed in US classrooms!)
- parent involvement in our schools
Look at the lesson for Week 7.
Dashing out the door to school........!